Beats | April 22, 2017

Global elections are coming. What will they mean?

The team at


The Norwegian Nobel Committee, responsible for selecting the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, holds a global election to choose the most deserving candidate. More than 700 million voters from 50 different countries vote in a secure, transparent, mobile, cross-border system. The winner’s image becomes the most recognizable face on the planet, with a mandate to rival any president, prime minister or king.

The Nobel committee has no such plans — yet. Futurist speaker Thomas Frey believes that by 2030, we will have conducted “global elections.” A new global election industry is inevitable, says Frey. “Inside what may start out as a playful way to get more people involved in selecting the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is something far more serious — methodologies for establishing new global mandates.” TV competitions like American Idol and the Eurovision Song Competition pioneered the concept of global voting as a media event. Can global voting raise the profile ocean pollution, carbon emissions and human rights?

Overreach is a real risk. Do we want a global leader? Referenda on religion? Would small countries simply be outvoted? What if too few vote? Would Facebook and Google have too much influence? Still, global mandates will serve as “a temperature gauge for global opinion” and “a checks and balance system for over-reaching countries,” Frey says. “They may also be used by people in first-world countries to impose their will on the less fortunate.”

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