Sachs articulates six new global trends:

  1. First, the process of sustained economic growth has now reached most of the world, so that humanity on average is rapidly getting richer in terms of income per person. Moreover, the gap in average income per person between the rich world, centered in the North Atlantic (Europe and US), and much of the developing world is narrowing fast.
  2. Second,the world's population will continue to rise, thereby amplifying the overall growth of the global economy.Not only are we each producing more output on average, but there will be many more of us by midcentury. The scale of the world's economic production is therefore likely to be several times that of today.
  3. Third, the rise in income will be greatest in Asia, home to more than half of the world population. As a result, the world will not only be much richer by 2050 but will have its economic center of gravity in Asia.
  4. Fourth, the way people live is changing fundamentally as well, from rural roots that stretch back to the beginning of humanity to a global urban civilization. We crossed the midway point between urban an rural in 2008, on a one-way path to an urban-based society.
  5. Fifth, the overall impact of human activity on the physical environment is producing multiple environmental crises as never before in history. The environmental crises we face cannot be compared with the past because never before in history has the magnitude of human economic activity been large enough to change fundamental natural processes on the global scale, including the climate itself.
  6. Sixth, the gap between the richest and the poorest is widening to proportions simply unimaginable for most people. This is not contradictory to the idea that on average, the poor are getting richer. Most are, but the bottom billion people on the planet are stuck in the poverty trap, which has prevented them from experiencing sustained economic growth. The center of the crisis is sub-Saharan Africa. This is also the site of the fastest population growth."