The Third Millennium presents unprecedented opportunities and challenges to capitalism as a global economic system. Technological advances, governmental policies, energy supply, ecological concerns, and a burgeoning world population are among the issues to be addressed by private enterprise in holistic and humanitarian ways. No longer can these issues be treated in isolation inasmuch as they are becoming increasingly interdependent.
As Rogers shows, in industrialized nations, with their aging and stabilizing populations, the marketplace and the working environment are changing, requiring new approaches to work and leisure. In sharp contrast, populations in the Third World are growing rapidly and represent vast potential new markets for the private sector. Simultaneously, enormous social, health, and political problems abound in many Third World countries that may be addressed by private sector and governmental initiatives. Economic expansion in Third World nations will require great expansion of electric and other energy systems, resulting in increased environmental degradation unless major preventive measures are taken. Continued growth of energy systems in industrialized nations will require the introduction of increased pollution controls in the near future. A definitive transition from dependence on fossil fuels to nonpolluting renewable energy sources should be a major global priority. Environmental protection efforts, previously confined to major industrialized nations, should become a high priority issue on a global basis. Global climate change and other air pollution, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and water pollution are extending into formerly pristine areas, forcing international approaches to mitigation. A challenging assessment for business officers, policy analysts, and economists involved with corporate strategy and economic development.