The Internationalist » Through the Glass Darkly: What U.S. Intelligence Predicts for 2030
Jared Sperli stashed this in economics
Mathew Burrows, counselor to the National Intelligence Council, may have the most fascinating job in Washington. Every four to five years he coordinates the U.S. intelligence community’s crystal-ball gazing exercise, which imagines what the future will bring fifteen to twenty years hence. The sixth and most recent installment, Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, offers an eye-opening glimpse into the turbulent world we will inherit as middle classes grow, power shifts to developing countries, demographics change, and humanity confronts daunting ecological constraints.
The NIC report identifies four “megatrends”—or drivers—shaping the world of 2030. The first is a dramatic expansion of the global middle class. From antiquity poverty has been humanity’s dominant condition. That is poised to change. Not only will extreme poverty (defined as earning less than $1.25 per day) drop by up to fifty percent, but the proportion of individuals moving into the middle class will explode in the developing world, and particularly in Asia. Individual empowerment—driven by advances in education, health, and communications technology,including social media—will have dramatic social, economic, ecological and political impacts. Consumers will demand new lifestyles, generating economic growth but placing strains on the global environment. Wealthier, more educated citizens will demand open, accountable and democratic governments. Closed regimes will attempt to fight back, but the future of authoritarianism looks dim.
That's a future world that I'd like -- more transparency, more accountability, more mobility, more individual freedom.
How can we help make it so?