This important report from the American National Intelligence Council (NIC) was released in December 2012. Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds is the fifth installment in the National Intelligence Council's series aimed at providing a framework for thinking about the future.
This report is intended to stimulate thinking about the rapid and vast geopolitical changes characterizing the world today and possible global trajectories during the next 15-20 years. As with the NIC's previous Global Trends reports, we do not seek to predict the future—which would be an impossible feat—but instead provide a framework for thinking about possible futures and their implications.
Potential world scenarios examined in the report: Stalled Engines - In the most plausible worst-case scenario, the risks of interstate conflict increase. The US draws inward and globalization stalls.
Fusion - In the most plausible best-case outcome, China and the US collaborate on a range of issues, leading to broader global cooperation.
Gini-Out-of-the-Bottle - Inequalities explode as some countries become big winners and others fail. Inequalities within countries increase social tensions. Without completely disengaging, the US is no longer the "global policeman."
Nonstate World - Driven by new technologies, nonstate actors take the lead in confronting global challenges. MEGATRENDS * INDIVIDUAL EMPOWERMENT * POVERTY REDUCTION * AN EXPANDING GLOBAL MIDDLE CLASS * EDUCATION AND THE GENDER GAP * ROLE OF COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES * IMPROVING HEALTH * A MORE CONFLICTED IDEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE * DIFFUSION OF POWER * THE RISE AND FALL OF COUNTRIES: NOT THE SAME OLD STORY * THE LIMITS OF HARD POWER IN THE WORLD OF 2030 * DEMOGRAPHIC PATTERNS * WIDESPREAD AGING * SHRINKING NUMBER OF YOUTHFUL COUNTRIES * A NEW AGE OF MIGRATION * THE WORLD AS URBAN * GROWING FOOD, WATER, AND ENERGY NEXUS * FOOD, WATER, AND CLIMATE * A BRIGHTER ENERGY OUTLOOK * GAME-CHANGERS * THE CRISIS-PRONE GLOBAL ECONOMY * THE PLIGHT OF THE WEST * CRUNCH TIME TOO FOR THE EMERGING POWERS * A MULTIPOLAR GLOBAL ECONOMY: INHERENTLY MORE FRAGILE? * THE GOVERNANCE GAP * GOVERNANCE STARTS AT HOME: RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES * INCREASED FOCUS ON EQUALITY AND OPENNESS * NEW GOVERNMENTAL FORMS * A NEW REGIONAL ORDER? * GLOBAL MULTILATERAL COOPERATION * THE POTENTIAL FOR INCREASED CONFLICT * INTRASTATE CONFLICT: CONTINUED DECLINE * INTERSTATE CONFLICT: CHANCES RISING * WIDER SCOPE OF REGIONAL INSTABILITY * THE MIDDLE EAST: AT A TIPPING POINT * SOUTH ASIA: SHOCKS ON THE HORIZON * EAST ASIA: MULTIPLE STRATEGIC FUTURES * EUROPE: TRANSFORMING ITSELF * SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: TURNING A CORNER BY 2030? * LATIN AMERICA: MORE PROSPEROUS BUT INHERENTLY FRAGILE * THE IMPACT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES * INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES * AUTOMATION AND MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES * RESOURCE TECHNOLOGIES * HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES * THE ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES * STEADY US ROLE * MULTIPLE POTENTIAL SCENARIOS FOR THE UNITED STATES' GLOBAL ROLE * ALTERNATIVE WORLDS * STALLED ENGINES * FUSION * GINI-OUT-OF-THE-BOTTLE * NONSTATE WORLD
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