Human population and a technological innovation to blow your mind

Do you remember at the end of 2021, Elon Musk tweeted their fears about the end of humanity. “We should be much more concerned about population collapse. If there aren’t enough people for Earth, then there definitely won’t be enough for Mars..”

There is a lot of truth in Musk’s statement, and I wonder how many boards of directors and CEOs are focusing more on recruiting immigrants, implementing innovative fertility benefit programs, or investing in the next frontier of technological innovations that will advance the human population. production in ways that only medical technology fused with advanced analytics and AI can achieve.

Did you know that until the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the world’s population grew very slowly?

However, the growth rate accelerated to 2.09% during the period 1967–1969, but since then, due to the worldwide collapse in the fertility rate, it has declined to 1.05% as of 2020. This translates in an increase in world population from 1 billion in 1800 to an estimated 8 billion as of 2022.

We are rapidly approaching what Hans Rosling called the ‘peak child’, a point in history when the population stops increasing. Since 1950, the total number of children under the age of 15 has increased rapidly, from 870 million children to around 2 billion today. Without access to youth to run our global supply chains, we could face challenges even bigger than global warming: not having enough labor capacity to fuel the world economy.

Why is the world population slowing down?

The growth of the world population is determined by the number of births and deaths. There are two main factors at play: the increase in life expectancy and the decrease in infant mortality in all countries. The main trend is declining fertility rates which is putting an end to rapid population growth.

The outlook for the annual growth of the world population in terms of the number of births will remain at around 130 to 140 million per year for the next few decades. It will then slowly decline in the second half of the century.

The United Nations 2022 report states:

  • In 2022, the two most populous regions were in Asia: East and Southeast Asia with 2.3 billion people (29% of the world’s population) and Central and South Asia with 2.1 billion (26%). China and India, with more than 1.4 billion each, concentrate most of the population in these two regions.
  • More than half of the projected increase in world population to 2050 will be concentrated in just eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • India is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country by 2023.
  • Sub-Saharan African countries are expected to continue to grow until 2100 and contribute more than half of the projected global population increase to 2050.
  • During the last seventy years, fertility rates have decreased by a staggering 50%.
  • 23 countries are already at risk, with Japan, Spain, Portugal, Thailand and South Korea at the forefront of the crisis.
  • The infertility statistics in the US are very worrying since: 1 in 8 US couples have fertility problems.

What is the implication for forward-looking board directors and investors?

First, it is important to increase investment in fertility treatment and support benefits, as well as fund innovations that can challenge current birth methods and create an artificial womb.

In 2017, scientists created a “BioBag” that doubled as an artificial womb and used it to raise a baby lamb. Now, a new concept has been put forth that shows how the same could be done for humans.

In recent footage, Hashem Al-Ghaili shows what childbirth might look like tomorrow. This is an amazing glimpse of what is 100% feasible, and Elon Musk has already stated that EctoLife is feasible and probably necessary.

Meet Ectolife, the world’s first artificial womb facility, EctoLife will be able to raise 30,000 babies a year. It is based on more than 50 years of innovative scientific research conducted by researchers around the world. Watch the video below and somehow life will never be the same again. It also opens ethical debates about what a human being is if it is manufactured as a chip in a research laboratory.

Innovative companies like Apple, Salesforce, ScotiaBank and many others, even Starbucks offer $25,000 towards all infertility medical treatments. This is a very positive step in recognizing that we have a major labor shortage looming.


If we do nothing, we will surely face a labor crisis. Therefore, accelerating investments in robotics, fertility benefits, accelerating educational digital literacy in countries with higher reproduction, and exploring which artificial wombs can help ensure the survival of the human race are all possibilities to explore.

As a C-Suite executive or board director, how do you address future labor shortages as you build your future growth strategies? Perhaps some investment in African universities to train more scientists, or early childhood education and food support programs to end poverty are viable considerations.

Regardless of what each country or company does, should we think ahead and plan wisely?

Research sources: United Nations and the world in data

Note: The United Nations (2022) published its latest population statistics, covering historical and current estimates, and future projections.

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