Competitiveness 2.0

By Mathis Wackernagel, President, Global Footprint Network
and André Schneider, Chairman and CEO, Global Advisory SA

What is at Stake?

We are entering a new era, one in which resource costs are rapidly becoming an ever more significant economic factor.

Today, resource demand is so high that biocapacity — the services and resources that nature makes available — is being overexploited, not just locally but at the planetary scale. If these trends continue, resource constraints will become a leading factor determining economic success — or crisis — in the 21st century.

Course corrections are still possible. But these physical resource trends are slow-shifting and hard to reverse. As with super-tankers, course corrections need to be taken early and decisively to avoid disaster.

Recognizing these new dynamics offers opportunities. Proactively addressing resource constraints is in the direct self-interest of nations. Nations that adjust to this new reality and limit their resource dependence will accrue the benefits of new opportunities and risk reduction.

Decision-makers must better recognize all the key economic drivers of success. Without reversing trends, the impacts of the growing resource gap might rise substantially, and become increasingly non-linear and volatile. Those who fail to act will lose their competitive advantage as potentially rapidly growing resource costs eat up more of a nation’s income.

Resource constraints are global, but the risks and opportunities they create are largely local. For nations that want to succeed, we are proposing an updated competitiveness framework: Competitiveness 2.0.

Mathis Wackernagel and André Schneider