Europe – a role model for the world in 2050

by Helmar Böhnlein

Hi, mi name is Helmar. I’m from Germany, but I live in Vienna and I’d like to share my vision about Europe in 2050. 31 years into the future – in 2050 – how will the world look like? We don’t know – nobody knows. 31 years ago – this was one year before the fall of the iron curtain – nobody could possibly foresee this was going to happen. 

I think it’s possible that we have such a big shift for the perspective of Europe in the near future. Many people don’t think about this – they think their reality will stay the same all the time. But the digital transformation of our societies – that already changed our societies a lot – in positive senses, but also bringing up new problems – will really challenge us in the near future.  

Another fact: 4 billion people are currently living in Asia and only 3 billion in the rest of the world – but we still see the world in a very Eurocentric way. We don’t acknowledge that most innovations will not come from Europe in the future and are not coming – already – from Europe. We missed many important developments during the last decades. But anyway my wish is that we in Europe are the trail-blazers for three developments in the near future and until 2050:

  1. Climate crisis: We need to show good examples of how to work on the problems related to the climate crisis.
  2. We need to show that liberal democracy is not dying continuously. We need to develop the European Union. We need to make it more democratic and we need to show that e-voting systems etc. can be accepted – can give back the power to the people. 
  3. We need to show to the world that alternative economic systems that go away from the growth-oriented style we see in our economies today are possible. We need to develop social businesses. We need to give the right incentives to them and link social problems and challenges with economic thinking. 

I think these will be the solutions for the future and we need to show to the world that all this is possible. 

That’s my vision for Europe in 2050. 


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