World Soon To Be Run by Powerful Networks, US Intelligence

The world is probably changing a lot faster than most of us realizes, the US National Intelligence Council points out in their report “GLOBAL TRENDS 2030: ALTERNATIVE WORLDS”. The US Intelligence Council identifies four major trends  so-called mega trends   that are about to make tectonic shifts in the way we live and organizes our lives. The number one driving force is (naturally) the technology. According to the intelligence community is the common use of advanced communication technologies creating more individual power. Among the consequences is the formation of international networks consisting of powerful individuals, all working for their special causes.

“Enabled by communications technologies,power will shift toward multifaceted and amorphous networks that will form to influence state and global actions.”

US National Intelligence Council

howitworks

This is a really interesting paper. Not only does is represent the conclusions of the most comprehensive studies available on how the world is developing right now, but it is also a rare piece of high level strategic communication, designed to create the mental framework for all politicians and leaders in wich they will have to make their decisions. To much thinking outside the box is not recommended at this point in time, it seems. But no one can deny the fact that our society is changing rapidly. And it’s hard to reject the obvious trends the US National Intelligence Council are focusing on.  The US intelligence people paints four different pictures of how the world might be in 2030, and says that the most likely outcome is a combination of all four scenarios.  (Plus a few “Black Swans“…).

NIC“By 2030, no country—whether the US, China, or any other large country—will be a hegemonic power. The empowerment of individuals and diffusion of power among states and from states to informal networks will have a dramatic impact, largely reversing the historic rise of the West since 1750, restoring Asia’s weight in the global economy, and ushering in a new era of “democratization” at the international and domestic level. In addition to individual empowerment and the diffusion of state power, we believe that two other mega trends will shape our world out to 2030: demographic patterns, especially rapid aging; and growing resource demands which, in the cases of food and water, might lead to scarcities,” the National Intelligence Council writes.

THE MEGA TRENDS

trends 2030.

MEGA TREND  #1: INDIVIDUAL EMPOWERMENT

“Individual empowerment will accelerate substantially during the next 15-20 years owing to poverty reduction and a huge growth of the global middle class, greater educational attainment, and better health care. The growth of the global middle class constitutes a tectonic shift: for the first time, a majority of the world’s population will not be impoverished, and the middle classes will be the most important social and economic sector in the vast majority of countries around the world. Individual empowerment is the most important mega trend because it is both a cause and effect of most other trends—including the expanding global economy, rapid growth of the developing countries, and widespread exploitation of new communications and manufacturing technologies. On the one hand, we see the potential for greater individual initiative as key to solving the mounting global challenges over the next 15-20 years. On the other hand, in a tectonic shift, individuals and small groups will have greater access to lethal and disruptive technologies (particularly precision-strike capabilities, cyber instruments, and bioterror weaponry), enabling them to perpetrate large-scale violence—a capability formerly the monopoly of states.”

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MEGATREND #2: DIFFUSION OF POWER

“The diffusion of power among countries will have a dramatic impact by 2030. Asia will have surpassed North America and Europe combined in terms of global power, based upon GDP, population size, military spending, and technological investment. 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 addition to China, India, and Brazil, regional players such as Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Turkey will become especially important to the global economy. Meanwhile, the economies of Europe, Japan, and Russia are likely to continue their slow relative declines.” 

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“The shift in national power may be overshadowed by an even more fundamental shift in the nature of power. Enabled by communications technologies, power will shift toward multifaceted and amorphous networks that will form to influence state and global actions. Those countries with some of the strongest fundamentals—GDP, population size, etc.—will not be able to punch their weight unless they also learn to operate in networks and coalitions in a multipolar world.”

Well, Facebook have already claimed a few governments….

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THE TECTONIC SHIFTS

These are the highly critical changes we’ll have to face like it, or not:

shifts

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THE OUTCOME

And finally, here are the four most possible outcomes the US Intelligence Council are able to see based on the above:

the world 2030

“Based upon what we know about the mega trends and the possible interactions between the mega trends and the game-changers, we have delineated four archetypal futures that represent distinct pathways for the world out to 2030. None of these alternative worlds is inevitable. In reality, the future probably will consist of elements from all the scenarios.”

You can download a copy of the report here:

Related by econoTwist’s:

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