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发表时间:2018-09-13内容来源:VOA英语学习网

TED全球问题:Michael Green: How we can make the world a better place by 2030

Do you think the world is goingto be a better place next year?In the next decade?Can we end hunger,achieve gender equality,halt climate change,all in the next 15 years?

Well, according to the governmentsof the world, yes we can.In the last few days,the leaders of the world,meeting at the UN in New York,agreed a new set of Global Goalsfor the development of the world to 2030.And here they are:these goals are the productof a massive consultation exercise.The Global Goals are who we,humanity, want to be.

Now that's the plan, but can we get there?Can this vision for a better worldreally be achieved?Well, I'm here today becausewe've run the numbers,and the answer, shockingly,is that maybe we actually can.But not with business as usual.

Now, the idea that the worldis going to get a better placemay seem a little fanciful.Watch the news every day and the worldseems to be going backwards, not forwards.And let's be frank:it's pretty easy to be skepticalabout grand announcementscoming out of the UN.

But please, I invite you to suspendyour disbelief for just a moment.Because back in 2001,the UN agreed another set of goals,the Millennium Development Goals.And the flagship target therewas to halve the proportion of peopleliving in poverty by 2015.The target was to takefrom a baseline of 1990,when 36 percent of the world'spopulation lived in poverty,to get to 18 percent poverty this year.

Did we hit this target?Well, no, we didn't.We exceeded it.This year, global povertyis going to fall to 12 percent.Now, that's still not good enough,and the world does still haveplenty of problems.But the pessimists and doomsayerswho say that the world can't get betterare simply wrong.

So how did we achieve this success?Well, a lot of it was becauseof economic growth.Some of the biggest reductions in povertywere in countries such as China and India,which have seen rapideconomic growth in recent years.So can we pull off the same trick again?Can economic growthget us to the Global Goals?Well, to answer that question,we need to benchmark where the worldis today against the Global Goalsand figure out how far we have to travel.

But that ain't easy,because the Global Goalsaren't just ambitious,they're also pretty complicated.Over 17 goals, there are then 169 targetsand literally hundreds of indicators.Also, while some of the goalsare pretty specific —end hunger —others are a lot vaguer —promote peaceful and tolerant societies.

So to help us with this benchmarking,I'm going to use a toolcalled the Social Progress Index.What this does is measures all the stuffthe Global Goals are trying to achieve,but sums it up into a single numberthat we can use as our benchmarkand track progress over time.

The Social Progress Index basically asksthree fundamental questionsabout a society.First of all, does everyone havethe basic needs of survival:food, water, shelter, safety?Secondly, does everyone havethe building blocks of a better life:education, information, healthand a sustainable environment?And does everyone havethe opportunity to improve their lives,through rights, freedom of choice,freedom from discrimination,and access to the world'smost advanced knowledge?

The Social Progress Index sums all thistogether using 52 indicatorsto create an aggregate scoreon a scale of 0 to 100.And what we find is that there'sa wide diversity of performancein the world today.The highest performing country,Norway, scores 88.The lowest performing country,Central African Republic, scores 31.And we can add upall the countries together,weighting for the differentpopulation sizes,and that global score is 61.In concrete terms,that means that the average human beingis living on a level of social progressabout the same of Cubaor Kazakhstan today.

That's where we are today: 61 out of 100.What do we have to get toto achieve the Global Goals?

Now, the Global Goalsare certainly ambitious,but they're not about turning the worldinto Norway in just 15 years.So having looked at the numbers,my estimate is that a score of 75would not only be a giant leap forwardin human well-being,it would also count as hittingthe Global Goals target.So there's our target, 75 out of 100.Can we get there?

Well, the Social Progress Indexcan help us calculate this,because as you might have noticed,there are no economic indicators in there;there's no GDP or economic growthin the Social Progress Index model.And what that lets us dois understand the relationshipbetween economic growthand social progress.

Let me show you on this chart.So here on the vertical axis,I've put social progress,the stuff the Global Goalsare trying to achieve.Higher is better.And then on the horizontal axis,is GDP per capita.Further to the right means richer.And in there, I'm now going to putall the countries of the world,each one represented by a dot,and on top of that I'm going to putthe regression linethat shows the average relationship.And what this tells usis that as we get richer,social progress does tend to improve.However, as we get richer,each extra dollar of GDPis buying us less and lesssocial progress.And now we can use this informationto start building our forecast.So here is the world in 2015.We have a social progress score of 61and a GDP per capita of $14,000.And the place we're trying to get to,remember, is 75, that Global Goals target.So here we are today,$14,000 per capita GDP.How rich are we going to be in 2030?That's what we need to know next.Well, the best forecast we can find comesfrom the US Department of Agriculture,which forecasts 3.1 percentaverage global economic growthover the next 15 years,which means that in 2030,if they're right,per capita GDP will be about $23,000.So now the question is:if we get that much richer,how much social progressare we going to get?Well, we asked a teamof economists at Deloittewho checked and crunched the numbers,and they came back and said, well, look:if the world's average wealth goesfrom $14,000 a year to $23,000 a year,social progress is going to increasefrom 61 to 62.4.

(Laughter)

Just 62.4. Just a tiny increase.

Now this seems a bit strange.Economic growth seemsto have really helpedin the fight against poverty,but it doesn't seemto be having much impacton trying to get to the Global Goals.So what's going on?Well, I think there are two things.The first is that in a way,we're the victims of our own success.We've used up the easy winsfrom economic growth,and now we're moving onto harder problems.And also, we know that economic growthcomes with costs as well as benefits.There are costs to the environment, costsfrom new health problems like obesity.

So that's the bad news.We're not going to get to the Global Goalsjust by getting richer.

So are the pessimists right?

Well, maybe not.Because the Social Progress Indexalso has some very good news.Let me take you backto that regression line.So this is the average relationshipbetween GDP and social progress,and this is what ourlast forecast was based on.But as you saw already,there is actually lots of noisearound this trend line.

What that tells us, quite simply,is that GDP is not destiny.We have countries that are underperformingon social progress,relative to their wealth.Russia has lotsof natural resource wealth,but lots of social problems.China has boomed economically,but hasn't made much headwayon human rights or environmental issues.India has a space programand millions of people without toilets.Now, on the other hand, we have countriesthat are overperformingon social progress relative to their GDP.Costa Rica has prioritized education,health and environmental sustainability,and as a result, it's achievinga very high level of social progress,despite only having a rather modest GDP.And Costa Rica's not alone.From poor countries like Rwandato richer countries like New Zealand,we see that it's possible to getlots of social progress,even if your GDP is not so great.

And that's really important,because it tells us two things.First of all, it tells us that we alreadyin the world have the solutionsto many of the problemsthat the Global Goals are trying to solve.It also tells usthat we're not slaves to GDP.Our choices matter: if we prioritizethe well-being of people,then we can make a lot more progressthan our GDP might expect.

How much? Enough to get usto the Global Goals?Well, let's look at some numbers.What we know already: the world todayis scoring 61 on social progress,and the place we want to get to is 75.If we rely on economic growth alone,we're going to get to 62.4.So let's assume now that we can getthe countries that are currentlyunderperforming on social progress —the Russia, China, Indias —just up to the average.How much social progress does that get us?Well, that takes us to 65.It's a bit better, but stillquite a long way to go.So let's get a little bit moreoptimistic and say,what if every countrygets a little bit betterat turning its wealth into well-being?Well then, we get to 67.And now let's be even bolder still.What if every country in the worldchose to be like Costa Ricain prioritizing human well-being,using its wealth for the well-beingof its citizens?Well then, we get to nearly 73,very close to the Global Goals.

Can we achieve the Global Goals?Certainly not with business as usual.Even a flood tide of economic growthis not going to get us there,if it just raises the mega-yachtsand the super-wealthyand leaves the rest behind.If we're going to achieve the Global Goalswe have to do things differently.We have to prioritize social progress,and really scale solutionsaround the world.I believe the Global Goalsare a historic opportunity,because the world's leadershave promised to deliver them.Let's not dismiss the goalsor slide into pessimism;let's hold them to that promise.And we need to hold them to that promiseby holding them accountable,tracking their progress all the waythrough the next 15 years.

And I want to finish by showing youa way to do that, calledthe People's Report Card.The People's Report Card brings togetherall this data into a simple frameworkthat we'll all be familiarwith from our school days,to hold them to account.It grades our performanceon the Global Goalson a scale from F to A,where F is humanity at its worst,and A is humanity at its best.Our world today is scoring a C-.The Global Goals are all aboutgetting to an A,and that's why we're going to be updatingthe People's Report Card annually,for the world and for allthe countries of the world,so we can hold our leaders to accountto achieve this targetand fulfill this promise.Because getting to the Global Goals willonly happen if we do things differently,if our leaders do things differently,and for that to happen,that needs us to demand it.

So let's reject business as usual.Let's demand a different path.Let's choose the world that we want.

Thank you.

(Applause)

Bruno Giussani: Thank you, Michael.Michael, just one question:the Millennium Development Goalsestablished 15 years ago,they were kind of applyingto every countrybut it turned out to be reallya scorecard for emerging countries.Now the new Global Goalsare explicitly universal.They ask for every country to show actionand to show progress.How can I, as a private citizen,use the report cardto create pressure for action?

Michael Green: This is a really importantpoint; it's a big shift in priorities —it's no longer about poorcountries and just poverty.It's about every country.And every country is going to havechallenges in getting to the Global Goals.Even, I'm sorry to say, Bruno,Switzerland has got to work to do.And so that's why we're going to producethese report cards in 2016for every country in the world.Then we can really see, how are we doing?And it's not going to be rich countriesscoring straight A's.And that, then, I think,is to provide a point of focusfor people to start demanding actionand start demanding progress.

BG: Thank you very much.

(Applause)

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: https://www.veryv.net/html/20180913/Michael-Green-How-we-can-make-the-world-a-better-place.html