Signals of
the month


Discover our collection of past Signals of the month, each offering a unique glimpse into the future of development. From cutting-edge technologies to social change, these monthly highlights provide a window into the opportunities and challenges ahead. Whether you're a futurist, a policy maker, or simply curious about what's next, explore our archive and stay ahead of the curve.

Learn more about our Signals Spotlight report and explore the background behind the signals of the month.

MAY 2023


Demand for copper is set to far outstrip supply

The green energy transition is highly reliant on copper usage, which poses a problem as analysts warn that the metal supply will not match the increasing demand in the future. There are just not enough copper deposits available. It is consequently estimated that the world will experience a nearly six million tons shortfall within the next ten years.


Why it matters for development    
With Goldman Sachs noting that a "net-zero emissions" path would require an additional 54% of copper by the decade's end, prices are set to soar. This would have an impinging effect on the realization of a scaled-up clean energy transition, specifically in developing countries already grappling with the post-Covid realities of a cost-of-living crisis coupled with additional financial stressors caused by the war in Ukraine.

closeup photo of copper

APRIL 2023


Bumpy skies ahead: Increased air turbulence tied to climate change

Increased occurrences of clear air turbulence have been tied to the escalating effects of climate change.


Why it matters for development 
As turbulence experienced on planes increases, it may affect air travel in general as people already wary of traveling via airplane will be put off entirely. As fewer people travel by air, it would affect the longevity of airlines and the global tourism sector. If worsened, this development could increase inequality as job losses in the aviation and tourism sectors translate to increased poverty levels. In addition, airlines might also suffer financially due to damages to their aircraft. On the other hand, the reduction of jet fuel consumption could lead to a decrease in the aviation sector’s contribution to CO2 emissions.


view into a cockpit of a plance