The Fred H. Bixby Forum: The World in 2050

The Fred H. Bixby Forum:
A Scientific Investigation of the Impact of Global Population Changes on a Divided Planet

Held on Jan. 23 and 24, 2009, in Berkeley, California

Each day’s presentations and discussions have been webcast. Presenters’ PowerPoint slides are included with their remarks. (See below for participants’ and presenters’ names and biographies.)

Day 1: Human Population Growth and Demographic Transition; Patterns of Stall in Fertility Decline and Their Determinants in Eastern Africa; Declining Populations; Population, Poverty, and Economic Development; Sola Schola et Sanitate: Human Capital as the Root Cause and Priority for International Development; Population and Climate Change; General Discussion.

Day 2: Population Policies, Programs and the Environment; Traversing the Mountaintop; World Fossil Fuel production to 2050; Considering Population and War: A Critical and Neglected Aspect of Conflict Studies; Making Family Planning Accessible in Resource-Poor Settings; the Theoretical and Political Framing of the Population Factor in Development; General Discussion.

(February 2009) Population change will be a major force shaping the next half century. Looking ahead is difficult, but we can be certain that the size and structure of human populations will be an important factor driving many of the key global changes likely to take place in the coming decades. Projections of global population by country and region can be made with some assurance as far as 2050, because the parents of many of the children who will be alive then are already growing up. We know that 99 percent of future population growth will be in the developing world, and that 90 percent of that growth will be in the poorest countries and regions. We also know that the populations of Europe, Russia, and Japan will decline by a measurable amount.

The Forum focuses on the impact of population growth and population decline on economic and social development, on resources, and on broad national and international issues such as energy use, environmental degradation and conflict. The goal of the Forum is to develop the best possible population-related policies and programs that will foster the welfare of the human and natural world.

We are exceedingly grateful to the sponsor, the Fred H. Bixby Foundation, who made this gathering possible through its generous support.

Malcolm Potts, MB, BChir, Ph.D., FRCOG
Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability, University of California, Berkeley

Anne M. Pebley, MPA, Ph.D.
Bixby Program in Population and Reproductive Health, University of California, Los Angeles

J. Joseph Speidel, M.D., MPH
Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco

List of participants and presenters