Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds
is the fifth installment in the US National Intelligence Council’s series aimed at providing a framework for thinking about the future. As with previous editions, we hope that this report will stimulate strategic thinking by identifying critical trends and potential discontinuities. We distinguish between megatrends, those factors that will likely occur under any scenario, and game-changers, critical variables whose trajectories are far less certain. Finally, as our appreciation of the diversity and complexity of various factors has grown, we have increased our attention to scenarios or alternative worlds we might face.
We are at a critical juncture in human history, which could lead to widely contrasting futures. It is our contention that the future is not set in stone, but is malleable, the result of an interplay among megatrends, game-changers and, above all, human agency. Our effort is to encourage decisionmakers—whether in government or outside—to think and plan for the long term so that negative futures do not occur and positive ones have a better chance of unfolding.
Who Reads Global Trends?
In December 2016 [election year], the US President-elect will receive Global Trends 2035, the sixth edition in the National Intelligence Council’s (NIC) series aimed at providing a framework for thinking about the future.
This time period affords the incoming or returning President and senior staff the opportunity to weigh the report’s judgments and lay the groundwork to address long-range issues of importance to national and global security.
The report also is publicly released, aiding policymakers, scholars, and others in many countries in better understanding possible trends and discontinuities in the global environment.
Global Trends 2035 will be available in December 2016
Dr. Mathew J. Burrows, counselor to the National Intelligence Council, responds to the role the United States is projected to have in 2030? Will we still be the so-called “world’s policeman” or will there be other countries that will assert this power?