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Investing in People for a Livable Planet

As workers around the globe face disruptions due to rapid changes in the economic landscape, unemployment and poverty have become critical issues hindering our progress toward achieving the SDGs by 2050. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, 44% of workers’ skills will be impacted by factors such as geoeconomics, technology, and energy transition. To mitigate these negative impacts and create a livable planet for all, collaboration and commitment from all parties in investing in human capital is essential. Relevant stakeholders should begin shifting their investments towards enhancing people's well-being, including clean air, water, health, education, and job opportunities.


As one of the incentives, the World Bank Group (WBG) has initiated a challenge to create 1 billion more jobs by 2050, aiming to address the pressing issue of job insecurity, particularly prevalent in developing countries where 7 out of 10 workers lack financial stability. Women and young people are especially vulnerable, with a global gender gap in workforce participation reaching 30%, rising to 56% in regions such as the Middle East and North Africa. Prioritizing skill development and removing barriers for these groups is crucial, and governments were urged to invest in individuals with high potential returns. Dr. Axel Van Trotsenburg, WBG's Senior Managing Director, emphasized the matter, maintaining that skill enhancement and education are paramount due to the predicted 44% disruption in workers' skills within the next five years. Additionally, lifecycle Investments, which offer diversified funds tailored to retirement years, could underscore crucial areas such as education, access to credit, digitalization, and reliable infrastructure for job creation.


Human capital encompasses individuals’ knowledge, skills, and health, enabling them to fulfill their potential as productive members of society. One of the projects to support the full realization of human capital is the WBG's Human Capital Project (HCP), which aims to stimulate increased global investments in people. Launched in 2017, the project has narrowed the global human capital gap through three pillars: Measurement and Indicators (using the Human Capital Index), Analytics and Operations, and Convening Global Thought Leadership. Currently, HCP has garnered a commitment from 92 governments, and parties have affirmed to continue supporting the project.

As the new generation of workers navigates the dynamic business landscape, prioritizing investment in people is necessary. It's imperative for shaping a sustainable and prosperous future, crucial for tackling challenges like poverty eradication and job creation. Collaboration is key, requiring a collective and holistic approach. Joint efforts among governments, private sectors, and global leaders will be pivotal for success. Investing in people and human capital offers an alternative path to a sustainable and inclusive future, demonstrating a commitment to fostering a world where all individuals can thrive.


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