Careers in STEM
IssuesWork and economic development
- Inclusive and sustainable industrialisation needs to be promoted, building resilient infrastructure, facilitated in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological, and technical support. Full and productive employment, safe and secure working environments, and decent work for all are essential for sustainable economic development.
- Higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation are needed. Global resource efficiency in consumption and production needs to be improved, and to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation. Economic research feeds into how economic development happens, how the economic system needs to be reformed and how science and technology feeds into this system.
- Many of the least developed countries are behind in industrialisation, which also means a lot of the industrial infrastructure these countries have are higher polluting than more advanced industrialisation.
- Fostering innovation is essential to help developing countries have access to the same, modern industries as developed countries, to keep improving industrial processes and infrastructure, and to help combat the climate crisis.
- Consumption and production are key to the global economy. However, they are ravaging the health of the planet, through natural resources being used unsustainably. Unequal and unfair subsidies, such as for fossil fuels, are still a serious concern. An unacceptably high proportion of waste, such as with food, is lost along the supply chain, and the amount of waste is increasing. A circular economy process of production needs to be implemented.
- Excessive military spending harms economic development and can produce undesirable social and political consequences in both high- and low-income countries. Stemming the proliferation and easy availability of ‘small arms’ (e.g. handguns) can counter the recruitment and use of child soldiers. Opportunities to build decent livelihoods can attract young men away from armed groups or gangs. Adequate arms regulation helps prevent illicit transfers of weapons in support of human trafficking, modern slavery or forced labour.