Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Seal

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has recently released a report titled, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds.” This report presents various scenarios of what our world could look like by 2030, and “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.”

The report discusses various trends that will likely shape our world, including the empowerment of individuals, the diffusion of power, a change in demographic patterns, and the implications of the increasing demand for food, water, and energy. These trends have the potential to create various worlds, for better or for worse. Depending on the interplay of these trends, we could see a world plagued by interstate conflict and increasing inequality, or one defined by cooperation and driven by new technologies.

The report outlines a number of potential “black swans,” or “discrete events,” that would cause the most impact on our world. These include:

  • The outbreak of a severe pandemic
  • Climate change accelerating at a much more rapid pace
  • The collapse of the Euro and the European Union
  • The collapse of China, or a China that has embraced democracy
  • A more liberal Iranian regime
  • Nuclear war, an attack involving weapons of mass destruction, or a cyber attack
  • Solar storms, which could have adverse effects on satellites and the world’s electric grid
  • A decrease in U.S. power

Despite the immense number of possibilities and consequences for the globe, one thing is certain: “The world of 2030 will be radically transformed from our world today.”

This edition of Global Trends seeks to be “the most widely disseminated in its history. The report is available for the most popular content platforms and e-readers as well as via PDF.” To access these platforms, click here.

Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/s_4685