global trends, values, and ethics


Global Trends 2030 Reports

United States Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds

Theme Major Trends Ancillary Trends
Megatrends Individual empowerment Reduction of poverty
Expanding global middle class
Narrowing education and gender gaps
Innovations in communications technologies
Improving health
Increasingly conflicted ideological landscape
Diffusion of power Rise and fall of countries: no hegemonic power
More limits to hard power
Power shifts to networks and coalitions in a multipolar world
Demographic patterns Widespread aging and shrinking number of youthful countries
New impetuses for migration
Increasing urbanization
Food, water, energy nexus Increasing demand for resources
Increasing linkages among resources
Game-changers Crisis-prone economy Pressures on the West
Pressures on emerging powers
Multipolar global economy: Inherently more fragile?
Governance gap Governance starts at home: risks and opportunities
Increased focus on equality and openness
Creation of new governmental forms
A new regional order?
Increase in global multilateral cooperation
Potential for conflict Interstate conflict: continued decline
Intrastate conflict: chances rising
Wider scope of regional instability Middle East: at a tipping point
South Asia: shocks on the horizon
East Asia: multiple strategic futures
Europe: transforming itself
Sub-Saharan Africa: turning a corner by 2030?
Latin America: more prosperous but inherently fragile
Innovations in new technologies Information technologies
Automation and manufacturing technologies
Resource technologies
Health technologies
The role of the US Steady US role
Multiple potential scenarios for the US

European Union Global Trends 2030:
Citizens in an Interconnected and Polycentric World

Theme Major Trends Ancillary Trends
Empowerment of individuals: A global human community but a growing expectations gap Empowerment of individuals Global rise of the middle class
More education: the cornerstone of knowledge societies
The evolving information age: empowerment but threats to privacy
A universal information revolution: the new world of the Internet
Converging values and demands, but risk of extremism The universal spread of human rights and democracy
Improving women’s rights
More sharing of the earth
An increasingly “post-Huntingtonian” world
Increasing expectations gaps and risks of extremism and nationalism
Demands for political participation but dangers of populism More gender politics
Multiplication of non-conflicting identities
Increasing “development with dignity”
More participatory democracy
Greater human development but inequality, climate change, and scarcity A rising middle class but persistent poverty and inequality Rising wealth in developing economies
A shift of economic gravity to Asia and the developing world
Demographics: aging and slow growth in the West and East Asia
Demographic pressures migration
Ongoing financial instability
Output and greening pressures
Less abject poverty, but persistent poverty and inequality
A greater focus on women and development
Inequality and the hyper-rich
Social challenges in advanced economies
Climate change and scarcities: challenges to human development Climate change and scarcity
Water scarcity
Natural resource scarcity: energy
Other resource scarcities
Delivering the green industrial revolution
Human security: protecting citizens Major conflict trends
Scarcity and strategic interests
Military technology and future conflicts
Regional conflict trends
A polycentric world but a growing governance gap A power shift to Asia but greater uncertainty A world of diffuse power
Soft power
The great powers
Uncertainty for some great powers
Uncertainty for some rising middle powers
Regionalism as a vector of power
Diffusion of power but dangers of fragmentation A world of networks
A world of private actors
A world of cities
Increasing global initiatives but governance gaps Global politics
Charting the future: the governance factor
Governance and responsibility: normative competition and contamination
Reforming global governance: synthesis, resilience, and fairness
Towards governance hubs?

Russia Strategic Global Outlook 2030

Theme Major Trends Description of Trends
International security A more stable world The world will face less radical changes and shocks than in the previous twenty years
More responsible leadership Globalization of security and development issues will bring about changes in strategic thinking of political elites of leading nations from a “center of power” orientation to one of “responsible leadership”
More coordination of global powers for international peace will prevail over inclinations to conflict Widening usage of “soft” and “smart” powers in foreign policy through financial and economic superiority, science and technological advancements, culture and education, and of ideological influence.
Increasing calls to reform the UN, WTO, IMF, and other organizations
There will be increasing cooperation of global and regional powers in the maintenance of international security with regional integration happening in Europe, the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and to a much lesser extent in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
Positive developments in global powers security There will be gradual democratic reforms in China, as well as an increasing number of democratic countries with rising nationalism.
Nuclear nonproliferation between the US and Russia will be maintained at lower levels. Great Britain, France, and China may disarm faster.
Increasing trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific security arrangements NATO will remain the foundation for Trans-Atlantic security with some global dimensions, cooperating with Russia and China in some regions such as Central Asia and Afghanistan.
A new model for Trans-Pacific security will emerge on the basis of military and political cooperation among the US, China, Russia, Japan, and other countries in the region.
Traditional challenges Rising importance of advantages in financial, economic, and natural resources; global interdependence; and manipulation of information to influence public opinion.
New challenges New priorities in the security sphere, included human security; protection of property rights, information security; and habitat safety
Non-traditional threats will be the front line of international military and political cooperation
Economy World economic growth 4–4.5% average annual rate of growth in GDP
Innovation breakthroughs in new materials; bioengineering; human health products and services; energy conservation; humanitarian and social technologies; non-traditional sources of hydrocarbons; and nano-, bio-, info- and cognitive technologies.
China, the US, middle-income countries, the EU, and India will be the main contributors of world economic growth. China will become the world leading consumer market.
Regional integration Integration will progress in the EU. A new level of integration in the Asia-Pacific will take the form of a free trade area of “ASEAN, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea”
Globalization and global economic governance Globalization will go beyond finance toward intellectual pursuits, e.g., skilled labor, art, medicine, education, culture, entertainment.
Financial markets will stabilize as the real economy becomes less dependent on finance.
Improvement in global financial governance with new legitimacy of the IMF and the G-20
Ideology Liberal democratic globalization Globalization based on market and democratic principles will remain the leading ideology.
Global governance Ideologies will be increasingly interconnected with global political social, economic, and cultural trends rather than only the domestic political life of countries
Social sphere Rising inequalities may undermine not only national social systems, but will cause international social problems (migration, demographics, ethnic conflicts, etc.) Growing stratification of the global middle class along with the increase of its population in absolute terms. The poor will represent 20% of the global population whereas 10% will be on the verge of starvation. There will be a rapid increase in the number of millionaires and billionaires in China, India, Brazil, Russia, and other rapidly growing economies.

NATO Multiple Futures Project:
Navigating Towards 2030

Drivers and Sources Major Trends Description of Trends
Structural Friction
(distribution of power)
The degree of ease with which decisions are made at the international level, functions in essence as a relative power meter, ranging from cooperation to confrontation.
The degree to which national and regional economies trade, and their level of functional integration.
(states/political entities)
The relative discrepancy between states in terms of wealth and power, and influences international relations in terms of both development and security.
Deterministic State capacity The distribution and management of power at the state level.
China, the US, middle-income countries, the EU, and India will be the main contributors of world economic growth. China will become the world leading consumer market.
Climate change Any long-term significant change in the “average weather” that may have an impact on international relations.
Use of technology The evolution and availability of technology up to 2030.
(migration and urbanization)
Domestic population trends related to birth, death, age, income, ethnicity, and the other characteristics of a state’s population. It includes migration, urbanization, and external factors.
Competing ideologies and worldviews Alienation and confrontation based on different values, religion, and historic geopolitical perspectives.
Sources of threat Super-empowered individuals Individuals who have overcome constraints, conventions, and rules to wield unique political, economic, intellectual, or cultural influence over people and events.
Extremist nonstate actors Non-sovereign entities expressing extremist values and ideas that exercise significant economic, political, or social power and influence at a national, and in some cases international, level.
Organized crime A structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time, who act in concert with the aim of committing serious crimes or offenses in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.
Rogue states States that act without respect for other states or global norms and rules.
Confrontational powers Those powers that are quick to resort to force or threaten the use of force disproportionately to what is at stake and how it affects their vital interests.
Nature The manner in which the physical world exists and changes of its own accord, such as weather and geology, and the physical forces that shape the world.

[84] National Intelligence Council (NIC), “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” Washington, DC: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, December 2012, available at www.dni.gov/files/documents/GlobalTrends_2030.pdf .

[85] European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), “Global Trends 2030: Citizens in an Interconnected and Polycentric World,” Paris: Institute for Security Studies, European Union, April 2012, available at www.iss.europa.eu/publications/detail/article/espas-report-global-trends-2030-citizens-in-an-interconnected-and-polycentric-world .

[86] Alexander A. Dynkin, “Strategic Global Outlook 2030,” Moscow: Institute of World Economy and International Relations , Russian Academy of Sciences, 2011, available at www.imemo.ru/en/publ/2011/forecasts/11001.pdf .

[87] NATO, “Multiple Futures Project: Navigating Towards 2030,” 2009, available at www.iris-france.org/docs/pdf/up_docs_bdd/20090511-112315.pdf .

Conclusion: One World, Many Ethics

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Copyright © 2014 by Thong Nguyen

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Of All Possible Future Worlds: Global Trends, Values, and Ethics by Thong Nguyen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.