World in transition - the 4 big challenges

Singapore's future is bound up with major forces reshaping the world. Professor Chan Heng Chee examines them in a three-part IPS-Nathan Lecture series, World In Transition: Singapore's Future. Edited excerpts from the first lecture follow.

Rapid change is now a constant, globally important institutions are questioned or coming apart, a lot of churn is happening, in society, in the economy, and geopolitical shifts are in the offing.

You are familiar with William Butler Yeats' poem The Second Coming. I think it captures the mood presented by the profound challenges we face today. We all know the lines: "Things fall apart. The centre cannot hold." It is invoked so often it is now a cliche.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2020, with the headline World in transition - the 4 big challenges. Subscribe