Connor MacLeod: The World is on the Cusp

The amount of essays that I have started with the phrase “The world is on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution” is insane. Its my go to. From Information Systems (where it might actually be applicable) to Art History (where I shove in a theme into my photography essay that doesn’t really fit). I can’t believe that I can write it with absolute truth now because I am off to the 2018 World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Bali.

The world is on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution and we are living in one of the most exciting times in human history. Commercial flights are planned to go into space, products are expected to get cheaper and green technologies are about to explode, all on the back of unprecedented technological advances. We could be living the utopian future we have seen in movies as robots are developed to do repetitive tasks and machine learning enables computers to streamline roles. However, to ensure that the utopian future is achieved, we need to make sure that we are looking after those who will be worst affected by the changes.

This is why I am so excited to be attending the Annual Meetings. The World Bank and IMF have the ability to set the agenda on global financial policy which if done correctly, can ensure equity is achieved by all. The impact of these organisations can be for the better but the best intentions could lead nations astray, just look at how a similar body, the OECD, recommended neoliberal reform to New Zealand which led to the inequality being faced today.

As I sit at the airport, with relatively little knowledge of what the future two weeks will hold I am quite anxious. Anxious but hopeful. Facing my first foray into global politics, I thoroughly hope that I will come out the other side with something to show and some idea for how I can pitch in to help the community out.

As the resident sociologist on the trip, no doubt my next blogs will quickly become jaded and critical with a million unfounded claims but I hope it will keep you interested and provide an insight into the background of these institutions.

I’d just like to chuck out a big thank you to Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute for allowing me to be a part of the delegation and everyone (Mum) that helped me get here!

All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences

Posted on October 2, 2018 and filed under IMF / World Bank 2018.