Re: What is the world's biggest challenge in the coming decade?

Start with the income gap.
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TRANSCRIPT

Jim Wallis: Well I think the fundamental inequality in the world is just . . .  It’s in every conversation.  It’s often not named.  It’s in the room.  Every single conversation.  The gaps between us are growing.  And it isn’t just poverty.  It’s the huge disparity between the top and the bottom.  The life expectancy difference between the rich places and the poor places now in the world is 40 years.  Death is a social disease.  That affects everything now.  The environment, the creation, climate change – these are issues that are affecting all of human life.  These are huge, and a new generation knows we have to deal with them.

    I think that sort of finding a way to move beyond our racial, ethnic, tribal conflict . . .  By 2050, America will be . . .  Mostly Americans will come from Asia, Africa and Latin America.  We’re not ready . . . how do we get ready for that?  And on a global scale, how do we overcome that kind of tribal, racial, religious conflict?  I think the sanctity and dignity of life – all the multiple threats from Darfur to just . . . it doesn’t matter what happens to a lot of people.  Trafficking.  We’re trafficking . . . sexual economic trafficking.  It’s the third most lucrative illegal industry now in the world.  We’re trafficking . . .  There are more people in slavery now than when the slave trade ended 200 years ago.  Now that’s . . . we’re trafficking the image of God.  Now these are huge issues.  I think the breakdown of family and community.  Families are just falling apart, and children are falling between the cracks and having no one to raise that generation of kids.  And the community, you know . . .  Hilary Clinton and Rick Santorum were both right.  “It takes a village.  It takes a family.”  So how do we rebuild the bonds of family and community?  I think those issues are all very crucial.  And finally, you know, finding a better way to resolve our inevitable conflicts than this endless, habitual resort to war which, you know what, isn’t working – pragmatically isn’t working.  The art of conflict resolution is going to be a high priority of the future.  Whoever can figure out how to resolve conflicts, we’re all going to be knocking at their doors.