“We are at a critical juncture in human history, which could lead to widely contrasting futures”
– Christopher Kojm , Chairman of the United States National Intelligence Council
The National Intelligence Council (NIC) is the center for strategic thinking within the United States Intelligence Community. One of the NICs projects is a Global Trends report produced every fourth year for the incoming US president. Recently, NIC released its Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds.
The study looks at the likely state of the Earth in 2030. The book is a well thought out and equally well-presented publication on the upcoming trends that the world faces within the next two decades. The arguments are well researched and thought provoking. The world of 2030 will be radically transformed from our world today.
The authors predict that by 2030, no country, whether the US, China, or any other large country, will be a hegemonic power. The empowerment of individuals and diffusion of power among states and from states to informal networks will have a dramatic impact, largely reversing the historic rise of the West since 1750, restoring Asia’s weight in the global economy, and ushering in a new era of “democratisation” at the international and domestic level.
Some megatrends from the report are population growth, individual empowerment, rapid urbanization, and middle class expansion that combined with food, water, and energy shortages will shape the future of many developing countries, not the least in Africa. Some countries in the climate change-threatened Sahel and Sahara regions will be severely challenged by resource scarcities.
The report concludes that “Asia is set to surpass North America and Europe in global economic power.” These shifts would give China the potential to replace the United States as the world’s international leader before 2030.
Education will be a game-changer for those developing countries that not only offer nominally widespread schooling but ensure that qualified teachers are in classrooms.
Commodity-exporting countries need to be wary that increased volatility in global markets is probably ahead and will challenge their fiscal viability and stability if they do not work to diversify their economies.
Africa will be at risk of conflict and increased violence as development proceeds unevenly among and within the continents countries. The Sahel region, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia will be the most vulnerable and challenged to improve governance and resource management.
Click here to download the report.
Below is a video clip about the report