The human population and breathtaking technological innovation

The human population and breathtaking technological innovation

Do you remember at the end of 2021, Elon Musk tweeted his fears about the end of humanity. “We should be much more worried about the population crash. If there aren’t enough people for Earth, there certainly won’t be enough for Mars..”

There’s a lot of truth to Musk’s statement, and I wonder how many boards and CEOs are more focused on recruiting immigrants, setting up innovative fertility benefit programs, or investing in the next frontier of technological innovations that will advance the human population. production in a way that only medical technology fused with advanced analytics and AI can achieve.

Did you know that until the beginning of the industrial revolution, the world population grew very slowly?

However, the growth rate accelerated to 2.09% during the period 1967-1969, but since then, due to the global collapse in the fertility rate, it has fallen to 1.05% from by 2020. This translates to an increase in the world’s population from 1 billion in 1800 to around 8 billion in 2022.

We are rapidly approaching what Hans Rosling called “child’s peak,” a time in history when the population stops growing. Since 1950, the total number of children under the age of 15 has increased rapidly, from 0.87 billion children to around 2 billion today. Without access to young people to run our global supply chains, we could face even bigger challenges than global warming – not having enough work capacity to fuel the global economy.

Why is the world population slowing down?

World population growth is determined by the number of births and deaths. Two major factors are at play, the increase in life expectancy and the decline in infant mortality in all countries. The major trend is that falling fertility rates are ending rapid population growth.

The outlook for annual world population growth in terms of the number of births will remain around 130 to 140 million per year for the next few decades. It will then decline slowly in the second half of the century.

The United Nations 2022 report states:

  • In 2022, the two most populated regions were both in Asia: East and Southeast Asia with 2.3 billion people (29% of the world’s population) and Central Asia and South with 2.1 billion (26%). China and India, with more than 1.4 billion each, accounted for most of the population of these two regions.
  • More than half of the projected increase in the world’s population until 2050 will be concentrated in just eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.
  • Sub-Saharan African countries are expected to continue growing until 2100 and contribute more than half of the projected global population increase until 2050.
  • Over the past seventy years, fertility rates have dropped by a staggering 50%.
  • 23 countries are already at risk, with Japan, Spain, Portugal, Thailand and South Korea at the forefront of the crisis.
  • In the United States, the statistics on infertility are very worrying because: 1 in 8 American couples have fertility problems.

What are the implications for forward-looking directors and investors?

First, it is important to increase investment in fertility treatments and support services, as well as to fund innovations that can challenge current birthing methods and create an artificial womb.

In 2017, scientists created a “BioBag” that functioned as an artificial womb, and they used it to grow a baby lamb. Now a new concept has been unveiled showing how the same could be done for humans.

In recent images, Hashem Al-Ghaili shows what childbirth could look like tomorrow. It’s a startling glimpse of what’s 100% doable, and already Elon Musk has asserted that EctoLife is viable and probably necessary.

Experience Ectolife, the world’s first artificial womb facility, EctoLife, will be able to grow 30,000 babies per year. It is based on over 50 years of groundbreaking scientific research by researchers around the world. Watch the video below and life will never be the same again. It also opens up debates by ethicists about what is a human if they are made like a chip in a research lab?

Innovative companies like Apple, Salesforce, ScotiaBank and many more – even Starbucks is offering $25,000 for any medical treatment for infertility. This is a very positive measure that recognizes that a major labor shortage is looming on the horizon.


If we do nothing, we will certainly face a labor crisis. Therefore, accelerating investments in robotics, fertility benefits, accelerating digital literacy in education in high-reproduction countries, and exploring what artificial wombs can help ensure the survival of the human race are all possibilities to be explored.

As a board member or senior executive, how do you address future labor shortages as you develop future growth strategies? Perhaps some investment in African universities to train more scientists, or early childhood education and food support programs to end poverty are viable considerations.

No matter what each country or company does, we must anticipate and plan wisely?

Research Sources: United Nations and the world in data

To note: The United Nations (2022) has released its latest population statistics, covering historical and current estimates, and future projections.

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