A Dramatically Different World

You need to copy this for both Trend Card 11 and 12 since we put them together when we sent them out.

This week, we have put two 2030 trends together, since they are both from the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report. Global Trends 2030 was intended to stimulate thinking about the rapid and vast geopolitical changes characterizing the world today and possible global trajectories as we approach 2030. It is important to note that these were “alternative worlds” so the two trends were not seen as definitive. Last year, the National Intelligence Council presented an updated look in Global Trends: Paradox of Progress. We will cover these trends next week.

For now, here is a quick summary:

A Dramatically Different World

A combination of widespread aging, falling fertility, and urbanization will lead to a dramatically different world in 2030. With an expected 8.3 billion people, human civilization will be both older and much more focused on city life. Our infrastructure may improve, but our level of innovation and output will slow down without younger workers. “Aging countries will face an uphill battle in maintaining their living standards.” It’s entirely possible, however, that within the next several decades, humanity will generate more urban construction than it has in the rest of its history.

Diffusion of Power

Developing countries in Asia will become more prominent world powers compared to North American and European nations. “China alone will probably have the largest economy, surpassing that of the United States a few years before 2030. In a tectonic shift, the health of the global economy increasingly will be linked to how well the developing world does — more so than the traditional West.” In other words, having the most money or people won’t necessarily keep a country powerful if others are more adept at staying connected to data and resources.