TED Conversations

Marc Goodman

INTERPOL-International Criminal Police Organization


This conversation is closed.

What is the greatest security challenge facing humanity today?

What do you see as the most pressing global security challenges of the 21st century? The broad themes are crime, terrorism, warfare and corruption.

Of course security is a theme which transcends many of the biggest issues facing our planet today, including environment change, access to clean water, poverty and disease/pandemic, to name but a few.

In your opinion, what do you view as the greatest security challenge facing mankind?

What steps can we take now to positively impact the greatest number of people from a global security perspective?

How might an innovative emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotech, biology, ubiquitous computing, genomics, synthetic biology, etc help resolve this challenge?

Thanks in advance for your input.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 26 2011: As a national security professional, I worry about the future of the planet and of humanity itself. In the near term, the next 15-20 years, the existence of the vast majority of the world's population will continue to be at risk for daily survival. Conditions at the micro-level of society - the daily struggle to survive and the personal desire to find a better future are pushing waves of population migrations that exceed all major population migrations of the history of mankind put together. Humanity has, and always, will migrate. The current vast migrations of populations from zones of marginal living towards those zones that offer relative security (physical and economic) continue to set conditions for exploitation by those who, as Mr. Burke points out, lack fundamental character. Mass migrations bring disenfranchised people and create security challenges for even the most stable of governments.

    Unfortunately, we are still a world where seeds of conflict are easily sown and carried. We're still a world exploited for economic gain at the corporate and individual level. And we're a world with continued unchecked population growth - that will continue to demand we consume the Earth's resources and kill its biodiversity at alarming rates. Until population growth is checked and migrations regulated to sustainable rates we will not see a more stable planet. Instability will continue to be a dominant shaping force on the planet.

    The Department of Defense does expend a great deal of focus on shaping security for future generations. For example we are working in Africa across all fields and disciplines, with USAID, with State Department, with non-governmental organizations, to promote African nations' ability to fight corruption, to respect human rights and provide good governance. My fear is that this is only a bandage. What is needed is fundamental change in future generations to understand that humanity's collective action threatens all of us.
    • Mar 28 2011: Hi Larry,

      your work is very important. But how does a bureau like USAID ensure, that it's choices, fundings and projects are the most effective possible?

      thank you and your colleagues for what you achieve and what you try

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.