29 September 2022
We live in a world of worry: the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine and elsewhere, record-breaking temperatures, fires and storms. Each is a troubling manifestation of an emerging, new uncertainty complex (figure 1) that is unsettling lives around the world. It is driven by three novel, interacting layers of uncertainty at a global scale: the destabilized planetary systems of the Anthropocene, the pursuit of sweeping societal transformations to ease planetary pressures and widespread, intensifying polarization. The 2021/2022 Human Development Report unites and extends discussions on inequalities and security presented in the 2019 and 2020 reports under the theme of uncertainty—how it is changing, what it means for human development and how we can thrive in the face of it. The central message of this year’s Report is straightforward: to turn new uncertainties from a threat to an opportunity, we must double down on human development to unleash our creative and cooperative capacities.