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  2. Global trends 2030: alternative worlds
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In-depth research, detailed modeling and a variety of analytical tools drawn from public, private and academic sources were employed in the production of Global Trends NIC leadership engaged with experts in nearly 20 countries—from think tanks, banks, government offices and business groups—to solicit reviews of the report.

Global Trends 2030: The Changing Nature of Warfare

The world is transforming at an unprecedented rate: it took Britain years to double GDP per capita, with about 9 million people in The US and Germany took between 30 and 60 years with a few tens of million people. But it is not totally back to the future: the world has been transformed in other ways.

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By , majorities in most countries will be middle-class, not poor, which has been the condition of most people throughout human history. Global population in urban areas is expanding quickly: And the pace of technological change will accelerate: Absorption of new technologies by Americans has become much more rapid. The absorption rate in developing states is also quickening, allowing these states to leapfrog stages of development that advanced economies had to pass through.

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This report is intended to stimulate thinking about this rapid, vast array of geopolitical, economic, and technological changes transforming our world today and their potential trajectories over the next years. The NIC begins by identifying what it sees as the most important megatrends of our transforming world— individual empowerment, the diffusion of power to multifaceted networks and from West to East and South, demographic patterns highlighted by aging populations and exploding middle classes, and natural resource challenges.

These megatrends are knowable. By themselves they point to a transformed world, but the world could transform itself in radically different ways.

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Global trends 2030: alternative worlds

We are heading into uncharted waters. The NIC contends that the megatrends are interacting with six variables or game-changers that will determine what kind of transformed world we will inhabit in Based on what the NIC knows about the megatrends, and by positing the possible interactions between the megatrends and the game-changers, the NIC envisions four potential worlds. At one end of the spectrum is a Stalled Engines world in which the risks of interstate conflict increase and the US retrenches.

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At the other extreme is a newly rebalanced and Fused world in which social, economic, technological, and political progress is widespread. In the middle are two other possibilities: a Gini-Out-of-the-Bottle world in which inequalities dominate or a Nonstate World in which nonstate actors flourish both for good and ill.

Global Trends Alternative Worlds | Foreign Affairs

Second, power among countries will become more diffuse, as emerging markets grow rapidly and many rich countries age and grow slowly. Third, demographic changes will take place slowly but inexorably, since aging in many countries will be accompanied by significant youth bulges elsewhere, urbanization, and major migrations.

Finally, as populations grow and increased consumption levels strain existing resources, access to food, energy, and water will become ever more crucial and closely related. The nic declines to attach probabilities to its various scenarios, but this is nonetheless a thoughtful exercise in futurology.

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