Mr. Walter Baar, Director of the Institute for Trends Research in Austria presented his statistical research in response to the question: Where is our world heading and why does the family need to be protected? 80% of the population lives in cities and they have fewer children. The extended family is disintegrating. There is a growing economic independence of women and reconciliation of work and family. There is a growing individualism and increase in privacy among family members, change in partnership and growing acceptance of easy divorce.
There is a globalization of industry and a systematic devaluation of family. But the conclusion is rather optimistic; for sustainability, establishing a family is like harvesting, you need to sow carefully at the beginning and realize that the fruit comes later. The extreme trends and anti-traditional talk is causing people to rethink and a shift is perhaps coming. There may be a return to religion and spirituality. Religions are instrumental in usually protecting the value of family.