We can define "emerging states" as those countries of the southern hemisphere which, though their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is lower than that of developed northern nations, are experiencing an important rate of economic growth. This is owing to the integration of these countries—the increase of trade flows—in a globalised world.
It is not so important to know if this is or is not China's century, if we are witnessing the decline of the United States, or if India, Russia and Brazil will displace Japan, Germany and France by the mid-21st century. What does matter is knowing the why and wherefore of these readjustments and how they will affect or benefit the common heritage of finite resources that belong, now more than ever, to a global society, which no longer has any choice but to advance collectively towards a shared medium and long-term future.
The economic growth of these emerging countries translates into a better standard of living for their inhabitants. Their HDI (Human Development Index) has yet to match that of northern countries, but it has improved significantly in recent years. Yet does that improvement really apply to the entire population? Is that growth apparent in both rural and urban settings?
Today it is not enough to applaud the arrival of new actors on the stage of economic success with a simple scheme of winners and losers. Although the dominant trait of the abovementioned hegemonic nations from 1750 to 2011 has been their irresponsibility attitude towards the future and their irrational waste of the natural resources that constitute humanity's shared heritage, this cannot in any way be considered a justification for old and new economies to do the same thing today, to the detriment of our collective sustainability.
The exhibition aims to offer a general overview of the social and environmental aspects of the so-called "emerging countries".