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The World in 2020

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The World in 2020

Economist Films,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The Economist predicts stories that will make international headlines in 2020.

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Overview
  • Hot Topic


Economist Films examines the world’s social, cultural, economic and political landscapes and predicts what might well be the top five news stories of 2020. While reducing the selection to just five hot topics is in itself an arduous task, a notable omission is the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran – which few could have foreseen but which may have far-reaching consequences. Nonetheless, the selection highlights the trends set to unfold and features stories certain to dominate the headlines in 2020.


The year 2020 marks the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven.

The music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), one of the most influential classical composers of all time, remains cherished worldwide. Beethoven was an innovator, and his work was ahead of its time. His symphonies were bold and passionate and have often been used to make political statements. For instance, the opening bar of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – the rhythm of which spells out the letter v in Morse code – symbolized defiance in Nazi Germany, and Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony has become the anthem for the European Union. Beethoven’s work is as relevant today as it was in the early 19th century. In 2020, orchestras around the world will pay tribute to Beethoven, and climate change advocates will use his Pastoral Symphony in their efforts to unite millions to take action.

The global demand for nurses will continue to outpace supply.

The World Health Organization has hailed 2020 as the Year of the Nurse...

About the Speaker

Economist Films produces documentaries that investigate economic, social and political issues.

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