In 2023, limits, both individual and collective, will be tested, whether it be inflation, food security, the energy crisis, rising pressure on global supply chains and geopolitical competition, international security and governance systems breaking down, and the collective capacity to respond to it all. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the unexpected scenario of 2022 that became decisive because it accelerated the erosion of the post-1945 order. However, the true scope and depth of the war’s global impact is only starting to become clear. Like the white ball on a pool table, the war in Ukraine has given new momentum to various transformations and crises that were already underway, which then began colliding with each other, increasing the sense of global disorder and acceleration, of geopolitical uncertainty, and of social upheaval. Where will the balls triggered by the war in Ukraine stop? What level of disorder will prevail when they do? Of all the many crises, which could be the black ball that drops into the pocket too soon and produces a new existential threat? It remains to be seen if 2023 will be the year of escalation – intentional or accidental – or the time to cement small de-escalations that reduce geopolitical tensions and their economic impact.
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