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Discussing society trends in the 21st century

Globalization, equal opportunity and demographic change: the new coordinates?

This section of innovations-reports examines the latest scientific findings in the fields of social sciences as it relates to globalization, demographic change and equal opportunity. Controversially discussed and thoroughly researched, we track current discussions detailed in studies, publications and announcements from renowned organizations and institutes. We address unsolved issues within key topics such as globalization, equal opportunity and demographic change, which are of paramount interest regarding their impact to society and the individual.

How will globalization occupy us in the future?

Globalization, a meanwhile overused expression, refers to the worldwide integration of economies, politics, society, culture and environment . Globalization, equal opportunity and demographic change are phenomena that mean different things to different people the world over. Some scientists view globalization as a process that began with the first species of man. Others date globalization back to the 15th century as European conquerors fanned out across the world. Still others accept it as a tide that was initiated at the beginning of World War II.

The fact is, globalization has transformed the planets into a village affecting all parts of life. The far-reaching structural transformation of overall society triggered by globalization has positive as well as negative impacts. The world continues to be divided into industrial, emerging and developing countries as globalization spreads. Globalization also means mobility and the opening up of national identities. Globalization is the sharing of common global challenges as illustrated by demographic change and equal opportunity. While some welcome globalization as economic progress, others dismiss globalization as neoliberalism.

Are we overestimating or downplaying the significance of demographic change on society?

Demographic change is the new challenge facing society. The post-World War II baby boom generation is aging and a new one is not on the horizon. In Germany, demographic change is viewed as a social, economic and cultural threat. Experts predict that demographic change will shrink Germany's population by 7 million by the middle of the century. The impact of an aging population on society is illustrated by the limits of growth. Structural transformation, redistribution, economic collapse, job exodus: demographic change and the forthcoming population declines will force societies to drastically restructure and reshape. Demographic change will also give momentum to globalization and equal opportunity.

While all of the signs so far point to "big", will demographic change acquire a new modesty? Demographic change and globalization are tightly interleaved. Calls are being made for demographic change and its already entrenched realities to be resolved at the highest level of decision making and understood as a non-partisan challenge for the present and future.

Has the equal opportunity mandate really arrived in practice?

No one accepts discrimination. Regarding the gender question, equal opportunity for minorities and abolishing discrimination based on ethnic or ideological traits, equal opportunity and the equal opportunity legislation introduced in 2006 have established benchmarks. The question is, has this already led to a well-established mindset of equal opportunity among the population? And is equal opportunity actually being practiced in business, politics and society against the backdrop of globalization?

We are reminded that if the pursuance of equal opportunity is left to those who hold the power in society, then equal opportunity for women in the workplace will make hardly any progress worth mentioning. Equal opportunity and demographic change is not a generational question. The obligations that equal opportunity will impose on all societal forces, how individuals can contribute to equal opportunity and how equal opportunity can be realized within the context of globalization and demographic change - all of these issues will continue to keep us in suspense.

Social Sciences

This area deals with the latest developments in the field of empirical and theoretical research as it relates to the structure and function of institutes and systems, their social interdependence and how such systems interact with individual behavior processes.

innovations-report offers informative reports and articles related to the social sciences field including demographic developments, family and career issues, geriatric research, conflict research, generational studies and criminology research.

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Presentation of the WorldRiskIndex with a special focus on Urban Areas in New York

Urbanization: Driver of Risk - or Opportunities for Resilience?

As Governments and UN bodies prepare for the World-Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (March 2015), for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG in summer...

30.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

No direct link found between rising inequality and reduced trust

Does rising economic inequality causes trust to fall in society and thus endanger social cohesion? Recent academic research appears to support this notion. However, a study from the University of Luxembourg disagrees.

As recent work from economists from the University of Luxembourg indicates, the apparent link between income inequality and lower general trust could be...

28.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

ORNL Model Explores Location of Future U.S. Population Growth

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a population distribution model that provides unprecedented county-level predictions of where people will live in the U.S. in the coming decades.

Initially developed to assist in the siting of new energy infrastructure, the team’s model has a broad range of implications from urban planning to climate...

22.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

Difficult behavior in young children may point to later problems

It's normal for a young child to have tantrums and be otherwise disruptive, but researchers have found that if such behavior is prolonged or especially intense, the child may have conduct disorder, a childhood psychiatric problem that could be a harbinger of antisocial behavior.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that certain symptoms of conduct disorder indicate problems are likely to continue...

15.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

Two brain regions join forces for absolute pitch

People who have “absolute pitch” can identify notes immediately without relying on a reference tone. Intensive research is being conducted into the neuronal basis of this extraordinary ability at the University of Zurich’s Department of Neuropsychology. The researchers have now detected a close functional link between the auditory cortex in the brain and the frontal lobe in these extraordinary people – a discovery that is not only important in theory, but also in practice.

Mozart, Bach and Beethoven are all supposed to have had it: “absolute pitch” – the ability to identify and categorize a note without having to rely on any...

07.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

Education is key to climate adaptation

According to new IIASA research, education makes people less vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods, landslides, and storms that are expected to intensify with climate change.

Given that some climate change is already unavoidable—as just confirmed by the new IPCC report—investing in empowerment through universal education should be...

28.11.2014 | nachricht Read more

Don't be an outsider!

Very young children imitate their peers to fit in, while great apes tend to stick to their own preferences

Children and chimpanzees often follow the group when they want to learn something new. But do they actually forego their own preferences in order to fit in...

04.11.2014 | nachricht Read more

Distinguished for embracing equal opportunity

Fraunhofer IAO and the University of Stuttgart IAT receive “Total E-Quality” award: For the fifth time in a row, Fraunhofer IAO and its partner IAT of the University of Stuttgart received the Total E-Quality award for equal opportunity on October 24, 2014. With this title, Total E-Quality Deutschland e.V. honors companies and organizations that foster equal opportunities and practice sustainable personnel policies. The distinction is valid for three years.

High-quality services are possible only when all employees are on an equal footing. Fraunhofer IAO and its close partner the Institute for Human Factors and...

04.11.2014 | nachricht Read more

World population likely to peak by 2070

New population projections from IIASA researchers provide a fundamentally improved view of future population, structured by age, sex, and level of education, which differ from recent projections by the United Nations.

World population will likely peak at around 9.4 billion around 2070 and then decline to around 9 billion by 2100, according to new population projections from...

23.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

EU cooperation project coordinated by Mainz Univ. to develop international Medieval Studies Program

Focus on providing students with skills and professional orientation to improve their future career prospects

At first glance, it would appear that studies on the culture and literature of the Middle Ages have no immediate link to the modern working world. For this...

09.10.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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