Unclassified Assessment of the World: What the NIC Thinks About the Future

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) released its unclassified assessment of the world in the new 2017 edition of “Global Trends: Paradox of Progress“. For those not familiar, the NIC supports the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) in his role as the head of the intelligence community. Fresh from the NIC to you, “this edition of Global Trends revolves around a core argument about how the changing nature of power is increasing stress both within countries and between countries, and bearing on vexing transnational issues.”

The following are seven key trends and challenges identified in the main section of the publication:

  • The rich are aging, the poor are not.
  • The global economy is shifting
  • Technology is accelerating progress but causing discontinuities
  • Ideas and Identities are driving a wave of exclusion.
  • Governing is getting harder.
  • The nature of conflict is changing.
  • Climate change, environment, and health issues will demand attention

Additionally, the main section explores the implications of the trends listed above and “offers up three scenarios to help readers imagine how different choices and developments could play out in very different ways over the next several decades. Two annexes lay out more detail. The first lays out five-year forecasts for each region of the world. The second provides more context on the key global trends in train.”

For more information on Global Trends, the Intelligence Community, or the National Intelligence Council please visit the Homeland Security Digital Library. (Some materials may require HSDL login).