A compelling look at the powerful global forces that will cause billions of us to move geographically over the next decades, ushering in an era of radical change.
In the 60,000 years since people began colonizing the continents, a recurring feature of human civilization has been mobility—the ever-constant search for resources and stability. Seismic global events—wars and genocides, revolutions and pandemics—have only accelerated the process. The map of humanity isn’t settled—not now, not ever.
As climate change tips toward full-blown crisis, economies collapse, governments destabilize, and technology disrupts, we’re entering a new age of mass migrations—one that will scatter both the dispossessed and the well-off. Which areas will people abandon and where will they resettle? Which countries will accept or reject them? As today’s world population, which includes four billion restless youth, votes with their feet, what map of human geography will emerge?
In Move, celebrated futurist Parag Khanna provides an illuminating and authoritative vision of the next phase of human civilization—one that is both mobile and sustainable. As the book explores, in the years ahead people will move people to where the resources are and technologies will flow to the people who need them, returning us to our nomadic roots while building more secure habitats.
Move is a fascinating look at the deep trends that are shaping the most likely scenarios for the future. Most important, it guides each of us as we determine our optimal location on humanity’s ever-changing map.
Khanna (The Future Is Asian), founder of the management consulting firm FutureMap, speculates in this diffuse account on how the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, aging populations, political turmoil, and economic disruptions will affect human migration. He argues that the free movement of people across borders is an integral part of human social life and an economic boon to countries, despite the recent resurgence of populist protectionism, and that human migration will only increase in the coming years. Khanna also contends that generational identities have overtaken national consciousness, especially among young people, and predicts that climate change will make "climate-resilient zones" such as the U.S. Rust Belt and Alaska more desirable, while severe water shortages and a collapsing economy will push Egypt to the brink of collapse. Unfortunately, Khanna's frequent use of anecdotal evidence (he cites an "arthouse film" as proof of Italy's increasing acceptance of immigrants) and technocratic optimism ("We may have lost our sixth sense, but we can use our technologically assisted autoimmune fight-or-flight instinct to run inland and upland from nature's wrath") fail to convince, and the book's choppy structure makes it difficult to follow his central argument. This fitful road map to the future gets lost in speculation. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM Partners.