top of page

2023 Wrapped


The Line, a project being constructed in Saudi Arabia made the 2023 architectural headlines.

Like 2022, 2023 was a year full of high-stakes geopolitical drama and economic crises that sometimes seemed like an escalation of existing issues of previous years. New internal and external conflicts emerged, the disruption in the supply chain brought about by the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine continued to bite. Climate disasters have become more acute, and then to top off the year, the Israel-Palestine issue also commenced. But some note-worthy events took place as well.

 

  1. ChatGPT – ChatGPT Plus was announced, providing new and less downtime for a premium subscription. Subsequently, they hit 100 million users faster than TikTok. Open AI introduced ChatGPT API for developers to integrate ChatGPT functionality in their applications. Following this, Chat GPT 3.5, 4 and 4 Alpha was launched. A ChatGPT iOS app was launched along with a ChatGPT app for Android. Later, in the year Open AI CEO Sam Altman faced problems with the board but none of that could slow down ChatGPT. Custom versions of ChatGPT were launched that can be used for specific purposes known as GPTs. Towards the end, new voice and image capabilities were added in ChatGPT which could help a person to have conversations with the AI or show it some images etc. In competition with ChatGPT, google launched its own AI, Bard, which can generate text, translate languages, write creative content & more.

  2. Twitter became ‘X’ - For more than 10 years, Twitter has been recognizable for its blue and white bird logo, which became a symbol of the social network’s unique culture and lexicon. To “tweet” became a verb. A “tweet” refers to a post. “Tweeps” became the moniker for Twitter employees. Tech billionaire, Elon Musk, who bought Twitter last year renamed the social platform X.com on its website and started replacing the bird logo with a stylized version of the 24th letter of the Latin alphabet. X.com now redirects to Twitter.com; the company's headquarters now sports a flashing X where there was once a bird logo, and the app now appears as "X" in the Apple and Google app stores. The rebrand is another step in the ongoing transformation of Twitter, once an online watering hole for hyper-connected people that is aiming to become an app that can do "everything," according to newly installed CEO Linda Yaccarino.

  3. Chandrayaan 3: The year 2023 has been the year in which ISRO has achieved some great feat which no other nation could. ISRO made India the first nation to have done a soft landing near the south pole of the moon on the point, Shiv Shakti, which is 600km from the south pole of the Moon. Not only Chandrayaan 3, but ISRO has also made the nation proud by depicting Gaganyaan’s successful Crew Escape System along with launching its first solar mission, Aditya L1, which also successfully reached the Lagrange Point 1(L1) and is in orbit.

  4. BRICS Summit: This year a historic decision was taken by BRICS. After around 13 years of having only 5 members, they finally decided to open their doors and welcome 6 new members in BRICS. There have been recommendations to change the name to BRICS Plus or BRICS-11. The new members are, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates who will become full-time members from the 1st of January. The expansion of BRICS, now encompassing diverse regions and economic powerhouses, positions the alliance as a key player in shaping this evolving geopolitical paradigm. The evolution of BRICS with its new members represents not just an expansion but a strategic recalibration of global influence. The next BRICS summit will be in Kazan, Russia.

  5. G20: This year also saw the G20 summit hosted by India which was one of the biggest and proved to be a very fruitful one. The 2023 G20 New Delhi summit was the eighteenth meeting of the G20. It was held at Bharat Mandapam International Exhibition-Convention Centre, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on 9–10 September 2023. The motto for this entire G20 was Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (One Earth, One Family, One Future). The G20 Leaders’ Declaration was adopted at the G20 New Delhi Summit, stating their commitment towards the priorities discussed and agreed upon, during the respective ministerial and working group meetings. South Africa was also added as a Permanent member of the G20. Mr. Modi made a renewed push for expansion of the UN Security Council and reforms in all global institutions to reflect the world’s “new realities.” The G20 summit ended with the U.S., Russia and France praising the meeting outcomes under the Indian presidency.

  6. Israel – Palestine: The conflict between the two nations restarted when Hamas, the political and military organisation governing Gaza attacked Israel on October 7. That day resumed the conflict and saw Israel go into full offensive mode to completely eradicate Hamas. The conflict reached 100 days (at the time of authoring this article) and a lot of deaths, especially on the side of Gaza. There were a few moments of hope in between when a ceasefire was called for a couple of days and an exchange of hostages was taking place but unfortunately, that was short-lived. Since October 7, about 1.9 million people, 85% of Gaza’s population has been displaced internally. 24000 people have been killed in Gaza and the rest are suffering without any fuel, electricity or any basic amenities like food, water or even a shed above their heads. Israel has been relentlessly pursuing its course and promise of ending Hamas. During this course of time, many United Nations Security Council meetings have taken place, and many resolutions have been signed but there has still been no action done. Israel has the full support of the United States of America which has been providing aid to it while asking it to think about a ceasefire. Due to this conflict, the Red Sea has also been seeing some action as the Houthi Militants from Yemen have started attacking and seizing commercial ships passing through one of the most important trade routes. This conflict has also seen tensions rising between Israel and Hezbollah, the militant group of Lebanon backed by Iran. South Africa has claimed that Israel has been committing genocide and has taken this issue up to The Peace Palace, the International Court of Justice, but that is also expected to not bear any fruit and go in vain (at the time of authoring the article).

  7. Elections: In Türkiye (Turkey), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the general elections and got re-elected to come back to power. Erdogan in his address to his people said that they were not the only winners, Turkey was the winner, and their democracy was the winner. 

  8. COP 28: The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held at Expo City, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 30th November to 13th December 2023. This COP was the biggest of its kind with about 85,000 participants, including more than 150 Heads of State and Government, who were among the representatives of national delegations, civil society, business, Indigenous Peoples, youth, philanthropy, and international organisations. COP28 was particularly momentous as it marked the conclusion of the first ‘global stocktake’ of the world’s efforts to address climate change under the Paris Agreement. Having shown that progress was too slow across all areas of climate action – from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to strengthening resilience to a changing climate to getting financial and technological support to vulnerable nations – countries responded with a decision on how to accelerate action across all areas by 2030. This includes a call on governments to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels to renewables such as wind and solar power in their next round of climate commitments. 

  9. Africa : 2023 for this continent revolved around coups, climate, and the cost of living. It was a year full of high-stakes geopolitical drama and economic crises for Africa. Declared worse than the 2011 famine, the drought in the Horn of Africa region entered its third year – and sixth consecutive season – of failed rainfall. According to data from the World Health Organization in August, 2.3 million people were displaced across the region due to the drought alone. Across the continent, the cost-of-living crisis is escalating due to the persevering economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, intensified by the disruption of global food supply chains due to the Russia-Ukraine war. In some cases, frustration spilled onto the streets which led to massive protests in multiple countries including Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, and Tunisia. The sixth and seventh military takeovers in the last three years happened in Niger and Gabon this year. Elsewhere in West Africa, attempted coups were also curtailed in Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau. Military leaders continued to seize power, exploiting deep satisfaction among citizens and anger towards the ruling class over the absence of democratic dividends. A series of contested national elections throughout the year also fuelled the military’s narrative of pervasive political corruption and overbearing external influence. Elections in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Eswatini, Gabon, Sierra Leone and Madagascar were heavily contested and denounced by citizens.


Things to Look out for in 2024 


2024 is hoping to be a year filled with endless possibilities and unprecedented advancements! This year is going to contain many important geopolitical as well as other events. There are going to be Presidential/Prime Ministerial elections in the United States of America, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the European Union, Russia and many other nations. Along with these important elections, the Olympics is going to be held in Paris along with Euro 2024 in Germany for all the football fans. ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is going to be seeing 20 teams participate for the first time ever. Finally, 2024 will also see a restart of the space race as NASA’s Artemis program seeks to return humans to the Moon. Meanwhile, India’s ISRO will also see several missions including Ganganyaan-1 which will be the country’s first crewed spaceflight program, Mangalyaan-2 that seeks to study Mars, and Shukraya-1 which seeks to find out about Venus. And to top it all off, Ram Mandir is going to open in Ayodhya, India on the 22nd of January 2024.

 

~ By Krushna Panjabi


Comentários


bottom of page