Integration and Whole Futures
Annotated Scenarios Bibliography excerpt from 2010 State of the Future report
Scenarios to 2030. The Challenge Network – an international partnership of experts in the fields of planning and management in commerce and the public sector. 2009/PDF/15pps/www.chforum/org. The Challenge Network believes that the future lies in the interaction between two sets of forces: one of positive growth, vast expanses of understanding and expanded human potential verses the forces of over-complexity, confusion and paralysis. These scenarios were shaped by a number of systematic driving forces that were identified by the Challenge Network scenario team: 1) Economic weight is shifting towards the youthful, efficient and low cost economies of the East, and away from the West. 2) Exports from rising countries such as China are forcing painful changes in employment practices in Latin American and other middle income nations' light manufacturing, or driving these and related sectors out of business. Some nations will adapt to this, but many will not. It will be necessary for these to wait until Chinese wages have risen sufficiently to re-outsource. 3) An increasing number of nations finding it hard to accept social change. Four overarching areas of concern include: environmental constraints current approaches to economic activity, energy supplies and linkage to energy markets, international institutions ability or inability to handle complexity and public health – major epidemics. “These scenarios arise from the interaction between the thrust towards economic and social growth, knowledge, and human potential and the many forces which generate friction, oppose this or throw it off course. Equally, much of capacity to influence events will lie in the balance between these forces and society and the state. “ [The following is an excerpt from the report.] Scenario 1) Carrying the Torch. The US is subject to a major market shock. Europe separately loses its momentum, with a sense of handing on the torch to a new generation, of there being a calm before a transition to a different way of operating. The shape of this new way is slow to emerge. It arrives from a myriad of examples, copied and improved, and a sense that there is no alternative to change but rapid decline. This is a gradual process. It builds out from a core of nations and social groups. By 2020, however, an ethos of self-help and self-betterment, of graceful emulation and of agile awareness of what is happening elsewhere is commonplace. By 2030, the agencies of the world spread themselves out along a continuum. At one end, nations, firms and individuals are caught up in an approach which is provably successful in delivering economic prosperity, social balance and sustainability. At the other, nations and social groups are not prepared or able to adapt themselves to this regime. They may reject modernity altogether, or they may be unable to make the leap to the extremely expert and complex forms of operation that have caught on in the advanced nations. Nations and organisations which have adopted the governing style are caught up in what seems an unambiguous current flowing into the future. Not only does there seem to be no alternative, one can prove that there is no alternative. Social science has come of age: government and the economy, commerce and social policy are all tractable to analysis and policy fine tuning. The state is directive, for if there is a demonstrable "best way", then why follow any other path? The implications for those unable to meet these high standards is that the state intrudes into every aspect of life where this inadequacy presents itself - child rearing and health, commercial practice and personal liability. It is a safe, normative, divided world. Scenario 2) The Age of Anxiety. The model of success in Carrying the Torch does not properly emerge. In part, people are not prepared to accept that the answers that it offers are the whole story. The rejectionists and obfuscators are deeply embedded in the old rich nations, and firmly in control elsewhere in the world. In part, too, it is because extremely unstable economic conditions in the early part of the period led to painful consequences for too many who were excluded from it. One important factor in the development of this case is the mismanagement of the emergence of China. National success leads to a degree of triumphalism and interference in regional politics, and the narrative that Western politicians tell themselves about China begins to shift. From being a source of cheap and high quality goods, it becomes a menace to the social order, to international stability. People begin to talk of 'disciplining China'. The erection of barriers and other constraints to trade, against China in particular and its peers in general, is seen as increasingly mandated by the need for social tranquility. The consequence of all of this is that the international environment rapidly becomes one that is not at all conducive to collaboration. Powerful nations tend to form bilateral agreements with client states, and attempt to tie in scarce resources. The primary aim of trade is increasingly non-economic in character. In such an environment, issues such as the environment receive scant practical attention. The temperature begins to fall as China undergoes its own particular demographic shift, but by then many issues associated with transition into a world of 9 bn people have not been addressed, there is no consensus as to the values and criteria against which solutions should be set, and a suspicion of politicized science, notably social science and economics.
Global Megacrisis Survey: Four Scenarios on a Pessimism/Optimism Axis. William E. Halal and Michael Marien. World Future Review: Journal of Strategic Foresight. Oct/Nov 2009.
In this article, William Halal and Michael Marion ask the reader of World Future Review to evaluate the severity of what they term the “global megacrisis” and likelihood of four global scenarios to the year 2020. Halal and Marion also debate their views of the future. In his recent book, “Technology’s Promise,” Hahal concludes that high-tech globalization is causing a “global crisis of maturity” marked by unprecedented transition points in climate change, environment, energy, economic systems, terrorism, armed conflict, and other threats to civilization. At the same time, advances in IT which enables concerted action, has the potential to produce and is producing a resolution to this crisis. According to Michael Marian, a global megacrisis appears likely on the horizon but is not as optimistic as Halal’s vision. IT is indeed a “gamechanger” but it is just as likely to cause infoglut and fragmentation, “degraded consciousness, indecision, and half-baked inadequate action.” Marion argues that our increasingly complex social systems are adapting in the wrong direction or not adapting at all, or only partially. True, there is more consciousness about global issues, but change is accelerating so quickly that we have reached the paradox of “growing inadequacy.” The following scenarios were described in this article and were posed to the readership to rate/score the scenarios in terms of likelihood. The results of the survey will be published in a later issue of World Future Review: Journal of Strategic Foresight. Scenario 1) Decline to Disaster. The world fails to react, with dire consequences. Indecision reigns due to too many choices, too many entrenched interest groups, and too few resources to make needed changes. Huge government deficits persist, leading to diminished services and an inability make crucial transition investments. Governments are unable to reform financial systems, curb global warming, or solve the energy problem, while corporations remain focused on profit. Technological advances are shelved or fail to help. Global warming becomes severe, with extreme weather events and sea level rise leading to massive migrations and crop losses. The world sinks into economic depression, crippling energy shortages, collapse of large ecological systems, much destruction of life, war, and rampant crime and corruption. Worldwide pandemics, nuclear attacks, bioterrorism, cyber attacks, and/or crashes of the Worldwide Web add to the decline. Many parts of the world suffer the loss of functioning civilization. Scenario 2) Muddling Down.” Half-way, inadequate actions cause civilization to enter a high-tech dark age. Political stalemates, lack of resources, and ignorance about the complexity of the problem result in only modest changes in financial systems governance, energy, and education. The promise of new technologies is only partly met, while pollution and population pressures continue. Global warming and extreme weather increase. Recovery from the Great Recession is slow and uneven, and the number of failed states rises. Regional wars and terrorist attacks increase. Despite claims of progress by political and corporate leaders, the quality of life declines for most people. These strains on the capacity of the planet to support global industrialization lead to more people living in poverty and despair, and often reacting violently. Scenario 3) Muddling Up. Governments and corporations act slowly, but increasing knowledge and mounting threats spur continued efforts. Far more sophisticated IT and AI provide more powerful technical capabilities, a wider understanding of the problems, and an appreciation of the fundamental need to promote sustainability. The sense of urgency builds as problems increase, so public attitudes shift enough to favor needed changes, and reasonably good leadership is able to provide guidance. There are minor disasters along the way but little that is catastrophic. A rudimentary but functioning global order emerges to manage this advanced society in time to avert widespread disaster, albeit with an increasing level of the normal problems in any large social system. Scenario 4) Rise to Maturity. The transition to a new global order is made smoothly and quickly. There is a rapidly growing realization that the Earth is a precious living system requiring human care. Governments and corporations react wisely and with determination, and they are supported by the majority of people, so the world surpasses the UN Millennium Development Goals of halving poverty by 2015 and approaches sustainability. Energy shortages, climate change, and global conflict are largely avoided. The media, schools, and colleges offer useful knowledge and intelligent guidance, and widespread, in-depth debates illuminate and resolve crucial issues. The world enters global maturity rather easily and unscathed.
Long-range Collapse Scenarios: A Compilation. Drawn from the Futures Special Issue on Extinction Scenarios. (Futures is an international multidisciplinary journal published by Elsevier.) Dr. Wendy L. Schultz, Infinite Futures, Oxford, 2010. PPT/ www.slideshare.net/wendyinfutures/collapse-scenarios-drawn-from-the-futures-special-issue-on-extinction-scenarios. “Multiple scenarios are pen-pictures of a range of plausible futures that are constructed in such a way as to bound the uncertainties that are inherent in the future.” A quote by Kees van der Heijden from the book, The Sixth Sense: Accelerating Organizational Learning with Scenarios. Inspired by this insight, Dr. Wendy Schultz devised an option matrix that lays out global collapse scenarios from five general causes: 1) Global Warming - where gradual change comes desertification; slow sea-level rise, aquifer intrusion, and agricultural decline; and abrupt change could land a "Fire" or "Flood" collapse scenario. 2) Global Cooling where gradual changes is the end of interglacial, a transition to glaciation; a abrupt change could lead to a collapse scenario "Ice" a new "little ice age," generated by increased volcanic dust and/or shifts in the Gulf Stream. A third major 'systems' cause could stem from demographic changes. 3) "Life/Demography" where gradual changes could see a slow decline in fertility worldwide followed by global population decline. An abrupt change in this category could see famine, starvation, depressed immune systems; resistant infectious agents. 4) Political systems, as in a "Culture/Society" where gradual change see decreasing stability and security locally and internationally as people compete for scarce resources. Abrupt change could come from mass civil unrest and border/regional conflicts, failed states explode into "Meltdown" or "Blowup." 5) "Discovery/Innovation" where accelerating change comes from nano-bio-info-cogno convergence; the ability to manipulate "nature" and ourselves. An abrupt change under this sphere could see a "Transformation" scenario of singularity or the discovery of a Grand Unifying Theory or "Theory of Everything." These scenario “options” are refined into two primary categories: the Natural World where collapse comes from Fire or Flood or Ice or Plague, or a combination and from the Social World category of collapse coming from Meltdown, Blow Up, Fade Away, or Transformation or a combination. [The following is an excerpt from the report:] Scenario 1) Fire – The Long Term – “Gaia Bites Back” ( excerpts from Christopher Jones, Fire: the long term “Gaia Bites Back: Accelerated Warming,” Futures, Vol. 41, Issue 10, December 2009 The world’s borders became increasingly porous and transparent, driven by the increasingly severe ecological catastrophes, from the collapse of the Amazon forest system, to the widespread coastal ﬂooding around the globe. Sea levels rose faster than many projections—four meters, on average... ...the terrestrial situation continued to deteriorate. The dry, warm climate shift wreaked havoc on temperate and now desiccated tropical forests that caught ﬁre. Hundreds of millions of hectares burned every year, decade after decade. Peat bogs dried and then burned in many remaining transitional lands despite the fact that slash-and-burn agriculture had largely disappeared. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose past 500 parts per million (ppm), ocean temperatures also warmed, and although solar shades were put in La Grange orbits between the Earth and the Sun, there was no obvious immediate cooling eﬀect. Then an even more dangerous and destabilizing development occurred after the world oceans warmed to an average of 14O C, warm enough to begin the release of a form of ice deep in the oceans, methane hydrates, which rose to the surface and melted releasing methane into the atmosphere. Methane is not as long-lived a greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, but is 24 times more potent a greenhouse gas. By the end of the century, the average terrestrial temperature rose to 27O C, and many remaining forests burned. Previously lush, humid and tropical areas like the Amazon, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia turned mostly to desert. The planetary weather was more energetic and chaotic than at any time in recorded history; the seasons severe and months-long planet-wide super storms emerged. ....wild extremes in weather. Ecosystem collapse unfolded across the planet’s surface. The mid latitudes became a screaming dust belt and the only habitable zones were above the Arctic Circle and in Antarctica. Antarctica became unstable geologically due to the uplifting of the Earth’s crust and volcanism—both caused by the loss of East Antarctic glaciers, so earthquake and storm resistant domes were constructed there. Construction was diﬃcult in both polar areas due to the increased frequency and intensity of cyclonic storms, but Antarctica was a far greater challenge due to the fetch of the “Roaring 40s” and intensiﬁed ocean circulation around the great Southern Ocean. The melting of methane ices and loss of vegetation caused a signiﬁcant, rapid buildup of oxygen in the atmosphere. Rust quickly became a huge problem for metal tools and mechanical systems. Accidental ﬁres became a far more serious problem. Population centers on the poles were either underground or sealed and air conditioned: by mid century, few people visited the surface anymore. Scenario 2) Plague (within Fire Meltdown) – The Infected World (adapted from Bruce Tonn and Donald MacGregor, “A Singular Chain of Few nations, even the wealthy, had functional public health systems that could cope with the Events,” Futures, Vol. 41, Issue 10.) Between the 21st and 25th centuries, as temperatures soared, ecologies collapsed, and sea levels rose, .mass migrations moved from poor country-sides into already overwhelmed and unhealthy cities. In Asia, many of these immigrants took their farm animals with them. Since the avian ﬂu had been in the Western news for many years, the birds that migrated with their owners into the cities had been genetically engineered by the West to resist a broad set of ﬂu viruses to deal with just this eventuality. Unfortunately, the Western paradigm was still based on controlling nature, not co-existing with nature. As a result, what happened with bacteria -- such as streptococcus -- when antibiotics hastened the evolution of anti-biotic resistant bacteria happened again, this time with the evolution of a new super-strain of avian ﬂu virus. No animals or humans had ever been exposed to this virus before. It was no surprise that the infection spread rapidly through the Asian bird population. It was also no surprise when the virus mutated again and spread to the human population. Amplifying the destructiveness of the ﬂu epidemic were traditional diseases, including: tuberculosis, cholera, and malaria. These maladies ﬂowed through populations already weakened by HIV/AIDS, diabetes, asthma, obesity, heart disease, and cancer (e.g., from smoking, air and water pollution, and destruction of the protective stratospheric ozone layer). Within a year, just over two billion people died from infectious diseases, roughly December 2009. one third of the human population, about the same as the infamous Black Plague. Unfortunately, unlike the aftermath of the Black Plague in the Middle Ages, human population continued to slide... Next up was climate change. ...the countries of the world had not stemmed the use of fossil fuels and, therefore, had not reduced the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. No technologies had been put in place to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and sequester the carbon elsewhere. It was as if the planet extracted revenge through withering droughts in Central China, Northern Africa, and North Central North America, deadly heat waves in Western and Central Europe, implacable sea level rise in the Asian Paciﬁc region, and apocalyptic storms worldwide. People were literally washed away down rivers and into oceans. Agricultural systems collapsed outside of the economically wealthy areas, which attempted self-suﬃciency and sealed themselves away from the poor of the world. But even in the enclaves of the wealthy the built environment was pummeled. Another round of diseases, mostly mosquito-borne this time, ravaged the world’s population. The developed world oﬀered no safety net for the rest of the world. The largest losses of population were in Asia and Africa, closely followed by Central and South America. Within another thirty years, another billion people perished as even the bulwarks of wealth failed against the scale of the challenges. adapted from Bruce Tonn and Donald By 2400, the world is sparsely populated, with mobility limited not only by collapsed MacGregor, “A Singular Chain of Events,” Futures, Vol. 41, Issue 10, infrastructure but also by deep-rooted paranoia regarding travellers as disease vectors. December 2009. Governance style slid toward the authoritarian, if not totalitarian, as a result of eﬀorts to control public health, public panic, and population movements. Scenario 3) Flood – The Drowned World (adapted from Peter Seidel, “Is it Inevitable that Evolution Self Destruct?,” Futures, Vol. 41, Issue 2009.) Global conditions worsened: energy and food costs rose as scarcities increased; environmental quality deteriorated; and cutthroat global competition caused wage and worker safety standards to erode. Serious environmental incidents multiplied, and resource wars sprang up, generating major acts of terrorism. Most of the world’s powerful and wealthy isolated themselves from, or accommodated themselves to, these continually deteriorating conditions. New Orleans was abandoned after a more serious ﬂooding than that caused by Katrina in 2005. Property values plummeted in low-lying coastal areas around the world as ocean levels rose, salt water seeped into aquifers, and storms became more numerous and severe. The Netherlands anxiously raised dike levels at great expense. Many people from the coasts and the south moved inland and north as it grew warmer and land was lost to rising sea levels. Resentment against them generated increased civil unrest. ...freshwater became more expensive and its sources undependable with increasing saltwater intrusion into aquifers. The poor in the impoverished parts of the world bore the brunt of these disasters, although they had no inﬂuence over the lifestyles of those who were primarily causing the changes. Low-lying areas of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India became uninhabitable and some small Paciﬁc island nations were simply abandoned. Cities such as Calcutta, Mumbai, and Lagos became increasingly uninhabitable as businesses ﬂed and public health crises increased. Flood Businesses, governments, and the well-to-do moved to higher ground. Wealthier cities such as London, Sidney, NY, Tokyo, and Miami could aﬀord to build their own dikes, and did. Ironically, the growing ice melt diluted the Great Oceanic Conveyor: with the increasingly erratic Gulf Stream no longer warming the British isles, temperatures dropped locally, growing seasons shortened, and people began moving south -- where they competed, often violently, with refugees moving north from the increasingly unlivable regions hardest hit by ﬂoods and warming. The last straw was the sudden calving of over half of the West Antarctic ice sheet, creating an additional rapid rise in sea level of over a meter. ...the world food problem was far more serious by now than most people in ... other wealthy nations realized. Reporting on it had been minimized. While new cropland was opened up in Canada and Siberia, across the globe, much more had been lost by coastal ﬂooding, salination, desertiﬁcation, lack of water, excessive heat, and urbanization. Much of the topsoil that remained had deteriorated signiﬁcantly. Malnutrition, starvation, pandemics, sinking standards of living, and lost hope became endemic in large areas of Africa, in the large cities of countries like Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico, and even in the economic dynamos of China and India. Throughout the world, order was replaced by conﬂicts and chaos, and governments by warlords and martial law. Border conﬂicts were rife, as was inner city rioting. Populations that had Flood once grown too rapidly shrank, due to starvation, disease, and escalating violence. Scenario 4) The Frozen World – Ice - The Long Term ( Based on Keigwin, “Are We on the Brink of a ‘New Little Ice Age’?; Jamais Cascio, Worldchanging, “Not-So-Abrupt Climate Change,” 2004: ) Global climate warmed as so many had predicted -- and then surprisingly cooled in what 25th Century historians are calling the “Second Little Ice Age” (comparable to the “Little Ice Age” of the 16th through 18th Centuries). Commentators hearken back to the "Lesser Dryas" cooling event of 8-12 thousand years ago, which also happened in a fairly abrupt fashion. While not the “whiplash ice age” total global glaciation catastrophe some doomsayers gleefully forecast, this local (Northern Atlantic) temperature downturn was signiﬁcant. It originated in the strong chaotic variation of climate properties that often manifests as rapid, decade-long transitions between cold and warm climates followed by long interludes in one of the two states. What actually drove the downward temperature shift? Increased volcanism culminated in a cluster volcanic outbreak around the Paciﬁc Rim that threw massive quantities of dust into the air. Combined with slowing of the Great Oceanic Conveyor due to decreased salinity engendered by increased glacial run-oﬀ, calving, and ice-melt, temperatures in the North Atlantic cooled severely in the late decades of the 24th Century and ﬁrst half of the 25th Century. Models had previously suggested that a disruption of the northern limb of the overturning ocean current circulation would aﬀect the heat balance of the northern hemisphere; their drawn from the US National Research forecasts of potential cooling of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius in the ocean and atmosphere (a third Council, Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises, 2002; Joyce and Keigwin, “Are We to a half the temperature change experienced during major ice ages) proved uncannily on the Brink of a ‘New Little Ice Age’?. The resulting “Second Little Ice Age” in Northern Europe and the UK killed plant species that had ‘migrated’ north during the long decades of global warming from the 21st-early 24th Centuries, and devastated the UK vineyards established in the hey-day of agricultural restructuring after the initial climate shifts. Agricultural output plummeted, and the notion of locally sustainable food supply became unsupportable. The cooling also greatly strained infrastructure designed to withstand heat,humidity, and ﬂooding rather than record cold and the weight of snow and ice, not to mention the friabiity engendered by constant re-freezing. Demands for power skyrocketed as people struggled to stay warm -- some failed, and incidents of older, poorer residents dying of hypothermia were common. On a brighter note, some succeeded, resulting in what demographers have called the “Ice Age Bump” baby boom of 2410-2420. Ironically, some groups are now advocated “radical warming” policies and the drawn from the US National Research promotion of greenhouse gases to accelerate the end of this deep chill. Scenario 5) Fade Away ( adapted from “The Aged World” drawn from Environmental Literacy Council, “World Population in 2300”) In the early 20th Century, the rapid increase in population raised concern that population growth in many developing countries would outstrip countries' ability to feed their populations. By the mid-21st century that concern evaporated in the face of a surprising shift: developing countries experienced their transition from high to low fertility rates much faster than occurred in Western nations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As total fertility rates declined in most parts of the world, people at the end of the 21st century worried more about imminent population decline. What caused this transition from explosion to implosion? First, the continued aging of the global population: longevity increased worldwide and birth rates declined, skewing the age distribution of global population. Europe and Japan led the greying of global society. The global distribution of population shifted south and east during the late 21st and early 22nd centuries: where most countries' total fertility rates fell during this period, more than half of the positive population growth occurred in three countries: Yemen, Uganda, and Niger. At the same time, India overtook China to become the most populous country. Together, India and China accounted for 48 percent of positive population growth. But by the end of the 21st century, global population was falling. The shift of population centres to Asia was also driven by in-migration: from the mid 21st Century onward, the best and the brightest in the West increasingly headed East toward the economic dynamos of the Paciﬁc. The decreasing temperatures of the Second Little Ice Age in the early 25th Century further encouraged out-migration that practically depopulated parts of Northern Europe. With few people left to mind the increasingly shabby store, governments struggled to maintain basic infrastructure and services. Even major initiatives to shore up a viable work force -- working age extended to 85, incentives for foreign labour -- could not address business’s need for labour. The long economic depression that resulted further hampered government’s ability to respond or maintain infrastructure as the tax base fell, creating a vicious circle of fading resources and economic loss that drove even more people to seek better opportunities elsewhere, leaving a society composed of the old and the talentless. Scenario 6) Transform: Mutable Worlds (drawn from Ray Kurzweil, “ Singularity is Near” and “Ubiquitous, Dream, Transformational, and Other Futures,” Jim Dator, 2006). Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. In the late 21st C, the convergence of innovations in information technology, bio- engineering, nanotechnology, and the cognitive sciences created a self-reinforcing acceleration of transformative change. These innovations were underpinned by the paradigm shifts emerging from complexity and chaos theory, and in turn catalysed a state of accelerating and near-continuous transformations in worldview. The results? A completely and continuously mutable reality -- people can bioengineer themselves and “nature”; the human - machine interface is completely porous, with biochips and DNA processors extending “pervasive computing” into the human body; smart machines co-design and re-design themselves and, in concert with their post- human partners, co-design and re-design the worlds around them. Assembly and re- assembly at the atomic level are almost literally child’s play. The 24th century is also post-consumerist, post-literate, and post-Earth: by the end of the 21st century the boundaries between producers and consumers had been all but erased with pervasive home fabrication capability; literacy had evolved into mediacy. Technology will be the metaphorical opposable thumb that enables our next step in evolution.” Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. By 2400, humans, and their technologies, and the environments of both, have all three merged into the same thing. Humans, as humans, lost their monopoly on intelligence, while new forms of artiﬁcial life and artiﬁcial intelligence emerged, eventually perhaps to supercede humanity, while the once "natural" environments of Earth became exercises in managed evolution that were (and are still) continuously envisioned, designed, created and transformed ﬁrst by humans and then in conjunction with our post-human successors (paraphrased from Dator). From homo sapiens sapiens to homo sapiens silica and homo sapiens stellae and oceanus, and bio-silica sapiens. Lives are long, experience a currency, education continuous, production and governance open-source and blurred between the local and global, and children few. The population has declined and scattered, and old installations attract the idle curiosity of nanotech-enabled amateur archaeologists of all ages.
Scenarios to 2040. Oliver Sparrow, The Challenge Network. (The Challenge Network has published global scenarios since 1995. ) 2009/PDF/50pps/www.chforum.org. The world is moving into a period when a large number of international 'systems issues' will urgently need to be addressed. These include everything from security to the environment, economic stability to mineral production, energy supply and public health. These scenarios ask three questions of the next thirty years: 1) What happens if the world does not address these systems issues in time, or if they arrive early? 2) Given that the issues are addressed, what does industrialization feel like for the world's billions? 3) How might humanity transcend these limits and find new horizons? A core team of 30 people worked on these scenarios to address these questions for over a perios of a year. Some 2000 other individuals contributed, and the scenarios were filtered through a wide range of workshops and other forms of assessment. “Something in the order of half a million people have spent some time on the web site where this work was being developed.” The website delves into the deeper issues of: Patterns of Political Evolution; Government and the Nation State in 2040; Rival Political Narratives in 2040; Institutions and Intangible Infrastructures; Networks and Collective Intelligence; The Outlook for Economic Growth; Systems Issues: Managing the Commons; Two Wedges, Three Populations and Three Paths; The Wedges and the Paths; The Populations; Neglect and Fracture; Yesterday's Future; Waking Up; Afterword: A Review and Discussion. [The following is an excerpt of the three scenarios from the website:] Scenario 1) Neglect and Fracture. The ten years after 2010 sees slow growth in the industrial world. The economy of China slows somewhat, both after a period of overheating, and as the first premonitions of demographic change affect its work force. It also sees marked wage inflation amongst skilled workers, and urban-rural divide increases. Otherwise, the world seems relatively tranquil, energy and mineral prices are relatively stable and economic development amongst the poorer nations continues at around 5% per annum. The various military interventions around the world wind down to a tolerable level of dissent, without much resolution and as a moral defeat for the industrial powers. The governments of the industrial world turn their attention to fiscal gaps, skill supply to industry and coping with demographic change. The period up to 2007 was marked by a growing consensus around geopolitics. International law was to be respected and developed. A particular socioeconomic style was seen to lead to stability, wealth and security. The wealthy world was, as a result, both trustworthy and a safe haven. Its views were to be respected and, with local modifications, broadly accepted. If it chose to urge environmental regulation, demand economic transparency and balanced books, a respect for market economics and open politics, then these were things with which it was wise to comply. The economic crisis and the consequent slow-down dispelled this certainty. Foreign policy failures, and the inability of the great powers to sort out the political problems of poor nations through the imposition of force, also dispelled confidence. The international narrative falters, and there is no one dominant way of discussing or addressing problems. The poor nations may show adequate growth, but their politics become more idiosyncratic and their governance less open. Adequate growth encourages inward investment, but this tends to be towards short-term projects. Governments are less inclined to open their doors to radical ideas, and very much less inclined to invite investment in "heart land" resources such as energy and minerals. -- In this environment, the systems issues are not much addressed. The industrial world is not feeling either rich or expansive. The rest of the world is not inclined to be told what to do. Energy and other raw material supply capacity drifts towards demand. Few measures have been put in place to encourage efficiency, at least beyond the industrial world. The world's populations had a limited time to surmount the first of these, the arrival of undeniable systems issues. Unhappily, these arrive quickly and in force. It becomes clear that economic coordination – already weak after the recoil from open markets and coordinated actions – is acutely needed. Low investment and growth amongst the less efficient nations causes supply price spikes in energy and other resources. Some parts of the world become very wealthy, whilst others are precipitated into poverty. For the past decade, virtually all of the population growth in the poor countries has been absorbed into cities. As these crises mount, the lack of resilience of these cities becomes apparent. Nations that have become net importers of energy and food find it hard to supply what is needed.. They seek ever-growing loans, which the much-regulated banks find it increasingly hard to extend. Equally, the neglect of basic infrastructure during the growth of these cities – transport, public health – becomes acute. Localized pollution and infectious disease claim increasingly large numbers of lives. Episodes of epidemic disease spread internationally, causing panic if not great mortality. It is plain that "the system" is in gross need of a system of management. There are many vocal groups which point to the many short comings of the international system. Little has been done about pollution management, the custodianship of the seas and a thousand other issues. Unhappily, there is no source of consensus as to how to address these issues. All potential negotiating groups see their interest threatened in very complex ways. Some perceive a shift in global power, from the old powers to the new nations which need to deliver compliance. They seek huge sums, doing so through a plethora of negotiating bodies and agencies. Acute issues are, therefore, addressed on a case by case basis, often without much analysis and on a basis of antagonism. The powerful nations are quickly convinced that they need a common face. They set out an agenda, complete with prescriptions and processes to be followed. This is carried out in the spirit of open, analytical enquiry: "a scientific investigation into the problems that we all face." It is not, however, received in the same spirit. The rich world has lost much of its legitimacy since 2010, and the rest of the world is not inclined to listen with respect. Special interests, affronted national price and disconnected verbiage fly back and forth. -- Far too much is being attempted far too quickly. At the same time, the issues are evidently acute. An issue – perhaps a very major attack using terror, an epidemic, perhaps a first sign of real climate change such as the shift in a major ocean current – makes this clear. The powerful nations have had enough of irresolvable negotiation. With a coalition of the willing, they begin to impose the required measures, using all modes of action to project power. These range from grand economic levers – tariffs on non-compliant countries or industries, for example – to highly personalized interventions, using all of the tools of covert intelligence. So long as the issue remains at the front of everyone's mind, the coalition lasts. However, the transfers of resource which are involved are an invitation to poor governance to enrich itself, and the underlying resentment begins to re-establish itself as the length of the period of intervention becomes clear. The brief period of unity – and impotent bystanders - descends into mistrust and recrimination. Political blocks begin to form amongst the uncommitted, those acting and those acted upon. Such is the scale of the various issues that begin to surface that it is clear to all but the most committed internationalist that it is better to play for local or national advantage than to play the global statesman. It is, therefore, hard to generate the necessary accords, technology transfer and general coordination that a response needs. Adjustment is limited to a core group of countries, or several cores which approach the issues in different ways. If there was one single problem – such as an epidemic – this reaction would be unlikely. However, when a host of issues present themselves– from energy supply to pollution management, from security systems to the means of handling bubbles, swindles and the other drivers of economic instability – then resolution will be slow. Huge sums are likely to be involved, some of which will go to very unstable or hostile states. The rich will have to invest, make free transfers and curtail their liberties, all with no security that they will gain any benefit from doing so. This is not a situation that predisposes any major block to cooperation. By 2030, the "wedge" is, however, firmly in place. There are economic-environmental no-go areas that stand in the way of development for the poor nations. Political differences accentuate this. The terms of trade for the poor nations have worsened, and there are barriers such as tariffs that block the sale of goods that do not comply with international standards. Resource rich nations have enjoyed surges of prosperity during the period of price spikes, and face both a wide range of suitors and some international odium for having closed their resources to development. Above the wedge, the belated movement towards resource security, extreme efficiency and the installation of a host of procedures and regulatory limits is under way. Commerce has its freedoms tightly constrained, and competition is managed in order to allow this to happen. Individual freedoms – to travel, for example - are curtailed almost as in a period of war. The state tends to rationalize matters wherever resources are scarce: health prevention rather than cure for example, with penalties for those who do not assist in the management of their own health. This phase slackens as the period of confrontation fades into the past. The divisions remain, however, as an impediment to progress. Work – slow, laborious work – begins to mend the broken fences of the previous decade. Many systems issues are only tackled in a serious way after 2035. Indeed, as discussed at the foot of the next scenario, it may be that we will need a period of Neglect and Failure before we can enter the very organized – some would say, regimented - world of Yesterday's Future. Scenario 2) Yesterday’s Future. Growth after 2010 is quick to pick up. The industrial countries carry a debt burden that is purged across the decade, at the cost of about a half percent per annum off their economic growth. However, the general buoyancy tends to compensate for this. Demographic impacts are also limited by a mixture of medical advances, the ability and willingness of the old to carry on working, and considerable improvements in efficiency as both states and companies assess the demands of the future. Indeed, looking forward becomes a general pastime. It is clear that the world has to change its ways very considerably if it is to surmount the many systems challenges that lie ahead. The single prescription, the lowest common denominator that seems to fit all contingencies, is efficiency. Everyone and everything has to become sharply more efficient. Efficiency needs to be coupled to systems awareness, however. That is, as nations become concerned about resource supplies, they have three options open to them. Countries may try to lock in supply through bilateral deals with suppliers. These are hard to sustain when the terms of trade change, making one party the loser. A second, more permanent solution is for individual countries to limit their innate demand, which is partly achieved under the banner of efficiency. There are limits to this, because the fast economic growth in the industrializing countries outweigh the savings of any one nation. Left alone, prices will rise for everyone. Such a policy is plainly inadequate unless it is extended to near-universality. Policy therefore strives to minimize demand in general, something which can only be done in collaboration amongst the powerful and the active acquiescence of the poor nations. Central to such measures is a radical overhaul of the energy and other resource systems of poor nations. Obsolete coal fired electricity plants are replaced with more efficient systems, for example. Urban planning and renewal use minimalist, high technology solutions that cut resource demand. This is assisted by new developments, triggered by a clear policy direction and the creation of certain markets. Near-magic materials appear, in which behaviors are embedded, much as the flexure of a bird's wing is intrinsic to its mechanical form. Common cellulose, for example, is able to cross link into materials that have the strength of metals and the stress resistance of collagen, such that what appears to be a sheet of paper can support the weight and vibration of a car motor. Goods are made specifically to deconstruct easily into their constituent parts, so that "waste refineries" are widely used to separate used goods into feed streams, ready for re-use. The third option is also collaborative, at least insofar as a concert of the powerful is required before effective action can be taken. This is to expand overall resource supply in advance of price signals. This is fraught with difficulties. Resource rich countries may prefer shortage and high prices to a predictable income based on lower prices. They may not want their resources opened to international investment. They may see the possession of resources as a guarantee of political weight. In both the second and third option, the sums of money that are involved are extremely large. They are beyond the practical, political grasp of government consortia and certainly beyond the savings of most of the countries in which the investment must be made. The investments will need to come from private savings, and the technology will need to be derived from companies at the front end of the relevant technologies. This implies that there are two major issues to solve if this is to happen. First, the investment must be possible, and appear safe and attractive to the investors. This implies that legal and political predictability must balance the enormous sums that are involved. Second, the resource-rich countries must feel comfortable with such intervention in their internal affairs. This cannot occur until the style in which such investments are made also changes. That is, the model of foreign finance that funds multi-national companies to operate in effective isolation from the host country's domestic political agenda largely disappears. It derives from a former age, and is supplanted by a new form. This new form is much more that of the managing contractor, a service entity that provides funding as a part of its work. Such entities may arise from the professionalization of state agencies, such as oil companies and mining enterprises, but is also the form into which many resource-focused multinationals transform themselves. They work for the host government, not for shareholders; and capital is raised in a host of ways, from traditional bonds to the innovative possibilities. However, host governments have long understood that predictability equated to cheap capital. They work to stabilize their economies and their political systems. They receive considerable external help in doing this. These measures are designed to minimize systems crises: bubbles, security surprises, price spikes, ecological impacts and the like. Paradoxically, however, in minimizing such impacts they also mute the very signals that drive change. Policy tries to compensate for this, both through directly mandated measures – standards, bans or tariffs on non-compliant goods, supply chain audits – but also through price signals. Carbon taxes are an example that can be extended indefinitely. By 2025, for example, India earns huge sums from carbon fixation. It uses low-technology wind-driven stamp mills to powder the basalt of the Deccan traps. As this contains huge amounts of elements such as Calcium, which act to fix carbon dioxide as carbonates, this earns the local people considerable sums. The spoil goes to make new fields, incidentally making the activity open to exact external scrutiny from space. Other natural resources are also similarly monetized, from the sea to the wilderness. Ocean fishing licenses are hugely costly. Water is an increasing issue for many countries, and its use is priced. The major use for water remains agriculture. There is, however, increased stress in its efficient use, by using drip irrigation, for example, and through the use of drought tolerant and water efficient varieties. What to do with saline water run-off remains a major issue. Ion-flow desalination takes off, enabling sunny desert nations to irrigate huge swathes of land. The Sahara may turn green, but at the expense of further salting the Mediterranean. Not all of the systems issues relate to the balancing of supply and demand. Economic instability management requires international accords on data declaration, banking standards and central bank governance. Standards on a vast range of issues – human migration, public health, intellectual property, security oversight, the use of water and its pollution, air and maritime pollution and so on and so on – all need to be put into place and taken into law. Their implementation needs to be measured and managed. Considerable national sovereignty is necessarily transferred to international agencies, which are in their turn professionalized and made accountable. Much is learned from the history of the formation of the European Union, where many such difficulties were encountered. The result is, in 2030, a very different world from that of 2010. An unstoppable force – the ambition to live the good life – has met an unmovable object, the carrying capacity of the planet and the basic economics of food and raw material production. The complexity inherent in managing the transition that is implied by this collision forces radical simplification. The established a viable pathway to a state in which a significant fraction of the world's population can enjoy what we have termed a "consumer-lite" society. That is, they are well housed and safe in their beds, well-fed and employed, entertained and healthy, and their children are educated to their potential. They do not have the choices open to someone living in a wealthy country in 2000, and their lives are considerably regimented. They do not have the freedom to travel internationally at whim, motorized transport is chiefly public and the range of goods that they can buy is restricted by the very many standards that it and its manufacturing processes have to meet. Their health is managed, and they are expected to play an active role in its maintenance. People who do not comply are, at the very least, sanctioned with fines, the withdrawal of services or in other ways. For example, privileges – such as the right to travel – are earned, and these can be docked following such sanctions. The sovereign is the community, standards are egalitarian, and people are expected to conform with this: "We can all get by if we are all careful." This is not a world in which to be poorly educated. It is inevitable that like will be paid in line with like, wherever they live in the world. It will only be possible to maintain wage disparities in anything but the most local service job, and that if immigration is tightly constrained. Less able people will be idle, or subsidized at work if that is a national political choice. Managing the people that the world economy really does not need in order to function will be a global issue. Handling the transition to demographic decline in the currently young world – see Figure 14 for examples – will exacerbate this. This is a bleak picture, but nevertheless an attractive one to someone otherwise doomed to live in a third world slum. The rich world retains some of its individualism. Nevertheless, state agencies are fervently pursuing best practice wherever its is found in the world. Increasingly, evidence-based policy would supplant judgment and "hard" social science dictate the proper balances to be struck. Individualism survives where it does not challenge this. If – for example – a family's child rearing practices do not transgress these norms, then they will feel free to pursue their instincts. However, a step beyond the prescribed limits will bring about enforcement of these norms. Efficiency can save money. However, attaining it at the very least demands the diversion of expenditure. The International Energy Agency, in its 2009 forward look at 2030, estimated that energy-related investment would require an additional USD32 trillion over historical trends in order to achieve carbon dioxide stabilization at 450ppm, the Copenhagen target. Much of this expenditure would need to be made in the poor countries, where investment does not always repay its investor. Roughly the same number of people would be without commercial energy services at the end of the period as are without it in 2010. Energy is, however, only a proxy for the immense quantities that need to be spent in building social and tangible infrastructure. Without doubt, most of this will ultimately pay for itself, but it will take dedication and collective will to bring it about. Fortunately, Yesterday's Future is a world in which both of these factors are adequately in evidence. In addition, the "wedge" of systems issues is relatively slow to develop, in part due to the efforts being made to avoid them. Paths to development are open for longer, and confrontation is minimized. Yesterday's Future is, however, an end game. It is clear in the 2030 that every last drop of efficiency has been squeezed out of the system, and that even with collaboration, nine billion people cannot climb onto the wagon and hope that it remains stable. Every effort is bent to push the period when standards begin to slip back a few years. However, even with the formidable technology of the times, and with the much larger economy, the sheer complexity of the structure seems to slip between the fingers of government. Its complexity is its vulnerability, and a thin tissue of accommodations and good faith lie between society and sharp decline. This is a situation in which ever-present scrutiny of the citizen is extended in every direction, for malign intent can cause huge damage, mistakes can do the same and even unanticipated surges in demand or traffic can throw out the finely balanced systems of the time. Yesterday's Future feels geriatric, maintained in a careful hothouse in the hope that a new, unexpected door will open. At the beginning of this section, we indicated that these scenarios were not exclusive of each other. Readers will immediately think of groups and nations for which Yesterday's Future is an intolerable intrusion. They may believe that the required negotiations would prove impossible. This is probably indeed the case. However, failure prescribes Neglect and Failure. Some of the world will exist in this scenario in almost any conceivable future. It does not, however, have to be the entire world. We may need to pass through a major episode of Neglect and Failure before a significant part of the world moves towards Yesterday's Future. That is a judgment that you, the reader, must make. However, as already noted, Yesterday's Future is itself a dead end, from which escape is possible only if new horizons open themselves. This is what the next scenario examines. Scenario 3) Waking Up. The full flowering of Waking Up occurs late in the period – at least after 2025. The early path into Waking Up is similar to that into Yesterday's Future. The distinguishing feature of the early Waking Up scenario is, however, the near-ubiquitous success of expert networks in those locations which have the social and other structures to support these. These are recognized to lie at the root of technology adoption, of innovation and of commercial adaptation to enormous potential and extremely fast change. Networks of this sort dominate politics, and virtually every aspect of daily life, from personal and family security to social relations. Anyone and everyone who lives in such an environment is immersed in an ocean made up not so much of data – although that is plentifully available – but of increasingly contextually-aware, intelligent interpretation. This is not to say that networks somehow replace or supplant society. Rather, societies generate fertile niches, some of them industries, some of them companies, some activities such as science or medicine, all deeply rooted in a geographical context such as a city and a firm set of institutions. These support, nurture and propagate ways of behaving that are found to be vastly productive. That they happen to look like networks is fortuitous. These structures generate copious quantities of wealth and enormously accelerate the growth of factor productivity. Yesterday's Future is a scenario that is led by consumption, limited by resource availability but fulfilling existing consumer dreams. Waking Up invents new dreams, new ways of existing and living which consumers have not and cannot discover for themselves. Cliques and networks often inter-connect much more effectively than does the general world. That is because their members share education and insight, values and management talent. Individuals often belong to several networks and information flows across these bridges. The fertile niches are also nested, in the sense that more general connectivity encloses the more dense specialist frameworks. As 2030 approaches, these networks become less the passive conduit for conversations and instead become agents in their own right. They begin to act, purposefully and to a degree in a way that is independent of their individual participants. One can see the early stages of this today: Internet structures which suggest who you might want to link with, discussions you might wish to enter, products that match your personal preferences. However, by 2030, information technology has gained much broader contextual understanding. It monitors conversations and understands them, it is able to prompt, suggest and guide in ways which go well beyond individual abilities. Corporate structures have the organization’s purpose and values explicit within them, and they are expected increasingly to manage procedures, discussions and the use of knowledge. Done badly, this can be catastrophic, done well and it confers superhuman powers on mere mortals. Such systems are expect one day to think largely for themselves, but at this stage they need human intermediation. Nevertheless, they alter commercial structures beyond recognition, building in a relentless creativity, consistence and goal-directedness. Their direction can be altered by rationality, new information and by group processes, but they cannot be discouraged and they never give up. Collective intelligence will never willing step down to atomistic, ill-informed guesswork. There two capabilities – universal trust-within-infrastructure and truly smart communications media – have a profound affect on the societies which are their hosts. They radically change and democratize politics, giving voice to the able and the thoughtful, rather than to the loud, the eminent or the machine politician. They make membership and reputation the scarce resource within the society, not conventional factors such as capital. Such assets become tradable and fungible, with networks focusing on their capability and brand as their core value and brand. Issues such as the ownership of networks and of their product become of critical importance. There is an additional affect at play. Of their essential nature, knowledge networks ramify into domains that stretch beyond their primary activities: they tend naturally to holism, to the incorporation of every consideration that might be relevant. They are natural systems thinkers, and it is the systems of the world that need attention. Here, at last, is an open, expert mechanism that couples directly into the politics of the powerful, through which systems issues can be tabled, debated by a wide range of expertise, each element of which is assisted in its deliberations by mechanisms that guide process, test content and précis and filter rhetoric. All of this is elite. It occurs in those locations and social groups which have created and maintained the required tangible and intangible infrastructure. Its early adopters include commerce, science, the military and intelligence services. It application lags somewhat within state administration. These are closed domains in which it is relatively easy to create and maintain the necessary conditions. However, the style spreads quickly to general society where the relevant conditions are also met or created. It shows itself in education and the pursuit of knowledge, in communications, interpretation and in entertainment. People rely more and more on on-the-spot delivery of specialist expertise that are based on expert systems and triggered by contextual understanding of the current situation in which the individual is set. The blend of these generates an informed state that can be called "life navigation". The style invades virtual reality, appears in purely social formats and makes itself felt in areas such as activism, specialist interests and religion. An individual might spend time in a consensus reality that mirrored their religious beliefs about the afterlife, for example, meeting others of like mind and together working for the construction of Heaven. However, structures that have the magic of trust, embedded in the required intangible infrastructure, are able to achieve things which less free environments can deliver. -- By the mid-2030s, this style is increasingly and universally dominant in the capable regions, and strongly present in structures that span the rest of the world. These conduits manage a wide range of issues that require complex, structured insight, from banking to trade flows, intelligence to science. Such conduits are extremely secure and are highly organized, offering islands of order in less capable regions. Like electricity, local interests hitch themselves in to the feed, adopting the required standards and safeguards. Most of the world is still living in or aspiring to Yesterday's Future, but this is a Yesterday's Future that has had its political heart renewed. It is able to offer intense, fulfilling non-material attractions to the capable. One of the great winners from this style is science; and beyond this, its application to commercial and other useful ends. The reason is clear: science is the most international of human activities, and highly responsive to group debate, critique and endless re-evaluation. It is also intensely responsive to resource flows: the number and quality of the practitioners, their interactions, cash and related inputs. -- The vague connections between deep research and practical applications is made clearer by mass participation, and resources become more targeted to potentially practical insight. Corporations, states and others mine this information flow more or less automatically, and translate it into products, policy, potential very quickly. As has been discussed earlier, the 2010 rate of return to expenditure on science runs at around 35% real when measured directly, and nearer 70% when consequential social issues are taken into account. -- In the 2030s, the flow of knowledge is much augmented, and the application of it greatly enhanced. The consequences are a greater creation of value: essentially, the factor productivity of knowledge creation is enhanced. -- The nucleus of Waking Up has influence far beyond its strict economic and demographic weight. It embodies a habit of thought which permeates successful organizations, and the policy levels of strong countries. Plainly, there are groups who regard some of these developments with anything between distaste – "giving up their rights as parents!" – to outright horror: "Their machines are a blasphemy!" These groups are present in all and any scenario, clustered around the ochre regions. Security is also an omnipresent issue in any scenario. The period after 2020 offers a huge array of tool to those who bent on causing harm. Some of these tools are so accessible, and so harmful, that they cannot be permitted at any cost. The consequence is that surveillance is omnipresent: of flows of money, of movements of people, of communications and personal behavior. In Neglect & Failure, this is not undertaken in a spirit of cooperation, and state-mediated as a part of the defense effort. In both Yesterday's Future and Waking Up, a huge number of organizations an entities collect and exchange data about every aspect of life. In Waking Up in particular, young individuals exist within an invisible cocoon of scrutiny and behavior modeling. Their mentor systems know what they are going to say before they say it. Adults are equally exposed and nearly as scrutable to general systems, and probably even better known to dedicated structures such as company Mother-nets. (One far beyond the Intranet, to those who wonder what that means.). Projection of power in this world consists of getting people to do what you want by presenting them with a path that is immediately attractive and which leads them all in different ways to the generic solution that you require. This entails knowing each individual and their circumstances in exact detail. It is no more than what used to constitute well-head village politics, but writ large and without the occasional beatings. Of course, to do this, you need to have something to offer and this is why the rich world remains the fount of power. Its commerce is tightly entwined with its security, insofar as the two both collect information, and it is commerce that can offer network access, jobs and other good things. The approach to 2040 is marked by a rapid transformation of the Yesterday's Future part of the world to modes of operation that are increasingly similar to the Waking Up centers. It is the only way to compete effectively, people find much of it deeply attractive, and the style seems the only modality that offers the project heroism that transcends the trap of Yesterday's Future. It takes Waking Up to put sunlight-collecting satellites in the Lagrange points, and beam power to equatorial collection towers. It takes Waking Up systems to crack the mysteries of physics and open the way to utterly new technologies. It takes the restless, watchful optimization of Waking Up to keep the world balanced on the knife point of peace and stability.
Managing Tomorrow’s People: The Future of Work to 2020. A PricewaterhouseCoopers report produced together with the Said Business School of Oxford University. PDF/36pps./www.pricewaterhouscooper.com. Business models will change dramatically. The pace of change over the next decade will be even more fundamental. Technology, globalization, demographics and other factors will influence organizational structures and cultures. These scenarios outline three organizational models of the future: 1) large corporates turning into mini-states and taking on a prominent role in society - specialization creating the rise of collaborative networks; the environmental agenda forcing fundamental changes to business strategy. 2) People management will present one of the greatest business challenges. Businesses currently grapple with the realities of skills shortages, managing people through change and creating an effective workforce. By 2020, the radical change in business models will mean companies facing issues such as: the boundary between work and home life disappearing as companies assume greater responsibility for the social welfare of their employees. 3) The role of HR will undergo fundamental change. HR has been perceived by many as a passive, service oriented function, but given the context of tomorrow’s workplace and business environment, we believe HR is at a crossroads and will go one of three ways: with a proactive mindset and focused on business strategy, HR will become the heart of the organization taking on a new wider people remit incorporating and influencing many other aspects of the business - the function will become the driver of the corporate social responsibility agenda within the organization; the function will be seen as transactional and almost entirely outsourced. In this scenario, HR will exist in a new form outside the organization and in house HR will be predominantly focused on people sourcing. A number of global forces were identified in this study, that explored the future of society, the environment, business and even the workplace on a global level. Two primary axis of uncertainty were identified and integrated with the scenarios: individualism versus collectivism and corporate integration versus fragmentation. From this axis, the scenario group in this report identified three worlds and business models for the future of the workplace to 2020. Scenario 1) Corporate is King – The Blue World. Big company capitalism rules as organizations continue to grow bigger and individual preferences trump beliefs about social responsibility. Where big company capitalism reigns supreme. In a nutshell: The globalisers take centre stage, consumer preference dominates, a corporate career separates the haves from the have nots 2011: The Indian economy expands dramatically as it goes through a new wave of cross-border acquisition sprees and becomes a global leader in several industry sectors. 2012: World’s biggest search engine and largest technology company merge. 2013: The brain-drain of Eastern European workers starts to reverse as workers return home to set up and lead corporates, building on expertise gained in several sectors. 2014: A decade of M&A consolidation across industry sectors peaks. 2020: Global warming changes the climate of Europe; as the snow on the Alps melts, skiers head to the US. Size Matters - The sheer size of corporations in 2020 means that a significant number now operate with annual turnovers that far exceed the GDP of many individual countries, particularly in the developing world. With echoes of the business models promoted by companies like General Motors in the middle of the last century, many companies now provide the equivalent of the welfare state for their employees to ensure they lock the best talent into their organizations. Internally managed service centers are sophisticated and highly efficient – using processes perfected by the outsourcers of the ‘nineties. People metrics become an essential part of everyday life to keep track of individual performance and productivity. Corporate Divide the Haves and Have Nots - The power of corporations means that a much greater divide has opened up between those working for global corporations and those working in smaller enterprises. Employees of mega-corporations have everything they need laid on. Those working for smaller businesses remain at the whim of housing markets and basic statutory entitlements, needing to self-supplement educational support, health and insurance coverage, what remains of the public health system, and so on. Welcome to the Technology Age - Technology is all pervasive, entire cities in the US, Japan and the UK operate with ubiquitous high-speed wireless networks that allow all commercial transactions, entertainment and communications to be handled by every individual on credit card-sized devices. Pinpointing exactly what you want and being shown where it is available from wherever you happen to be is now taken for granted, allowing businesses continuously to refine and individualize their relationships with consumers, employees and shareholders. Corporates Drive Lifestyle Choices - Sophisticated measurement and segmentation strategies mean companies can target goods and services across their customer base and to employees. For example ‘green politics’ is seen as a lifestyle choice rather than a meaningful political movement. Corporations provide environmental products and services to those who express a preference. Managing People in the Blue World - Companies have become the key provider of services to employees. People management now encompasses many different aspects of employees lives’, often including housing, health and even education for their children. This strategy has led to an increase in staff retention rates as people policies seek to lock in talent, but the top talent is still hard to attract and retain, many senior executives use personal agents to seek out the best deals. Mass consolidation has had an impact on cultural issues. Leadership teams now have a high focus on the evolution of the corporate culture with rigorous recruitment processes to ensure new employees fit the corporate ideal. Existing staff are subject to compulsory corporate culture learning and development programmers. Huge people costs drive the need for robust metrics and analysis. Employee engagement, performance and productivity are all measured systematically. Leadership can access people data on a daily basis. This also provides an early warning signal of non-corporate behaviour or below standard performance. Technology pervades every realm of business and leisure activity. The line between inside work and outside work is often blurred by technology with employers providing the platform. This also provides employers with added insights to staff preferences. A People Management Model for the Blue World - In the Blue World where corporate is king, the people and performance model below is the closest to what many leading companies are aspiring to today – linking HR interventions to improvements in business performance and using more sophisticated human capital metrics to evaluate corporate activity. Under this scenario the management of people and performance becomes a hard business discipline, at least equal in standing to finance in the corporate hierarchy. Scenario 2) Companies Care: The Green World. Where consumers and employees force change. In a nutshell: Companies develop a powerful social conscience and green sense of responsibility. Consumers demand ethics and environmental credentials as a top priority. Society and business see their agenda align. 2010: The UK launches the London Carbon Trading Exchange. 2012: The US signs the Kyoto II agreement and becomes a leading advocate for actions to reduce the rate of global warming. 2013: India becomes a key player in the corporate social responsibility agenda with a focus on preserving the Indian culture and Heritage. 2018: Hybrid or fully electric cars outnumber petrol-powered cars. 2020: A group of scientists confirm that the rate of global warming is slowing. Consumers Drive Corporate Behavior - The environmental lobby is so pervasive that companies must be quick to react to consumer concerns about any aspect of their business which could be deemed unethical. Clear communication and clarity about products and services is essential. Supply Chain Control - Companies have strong control over their supplier networks to ensure that corporate ethical values are upheld across the supply chain, and be able to troubleshoot when things go wrong. This has led to many organizations taking greater ownership of key components of the supply chain through vertical integration. Rigid contractual obligations are in place covering every eventuality. How Green Are You? - The audit process and quarterly company reports are characterized by a focus on measuring greenness detailing carbon emissions ratings, and carbon exchange activity, as well as the more traditional company valuations. This is an indication of the importance shareholders and investors place on these issues which are reflected in the share price. Big Corporate Fines - In the business world ethical behavior is the most important attribute to attain and preserve. Brands can rise and fall on the basis of perceived green credentials, with government imposed corporate fines for bad behavior in this highly regulated world. Corporate responsibility is not an altruistic nice to have, but a business imperative. Managing People in the Green World - New graduates look for employers with strong environmental and social credentials; in response HR departments play a key role in developing the corporate social responsibility programmed; employees are expected to uphold corporate values and targets around the green agenda. Most are given carbon credit tokens which are used like ration books to be cashed in for printing documents in hard copy, company travel and other anti-societal activities. The HR function is renamed ‘People and Society’, the leader being a senior member of the company’s executive team. The need to travel to meet clients and colleagues is replaced with technological solutions which reduce the need for face-time. Air travel in particular is only permitted in exceptional circumstances and is expensive. Working across teams in different locations therefore presents enormous challenges to global businesses, and the HR function dedicates significant energy to generating virtual social networks across the operation and the client base. Most companies provide staff with corporate transportation options between work and home to minimize the need for car use. This has led to many companies choosing to relocate parts of their operation to where people are based and out of big cities. A People Management Model for the Green World - In the Green World where companies care, corporate responsibility (CR) is good. The CR agenda is fused with people management. As society becomes a convert to the sustainable living movement, the people management function is forced to embrace sustainability as part of its people engagement and talent management agendas. Under this scenario successful companies must engage with society across a broader footprint. Communities, customers and contractors all become equal stakeholders along with employees and shareholders. SCENARIO 3) Small is Beautiful – The Orange World. Where big is bad, for business, for people and for the environment. In a nutshell - Global businesses fragment, localism prevails, technology empowers a low impact, high-tech business model. Networks prosper while large companies fall. 2009 - Facebook global membership reaches 1 billion people; 2010 - Skill shortages push up wages in China, switching the balance of power to the individual away from the collective. 2012 - Record number of corporate demergers and spin-offs. 2014 - 71% of Europeans shop at local farmers markets, popularity of supermarkets in steep decline. 2020 - The California Gaming Guild achieves record pay deal for its 7 Star rated Contractors. A Free Economy - Trade barriers come down creating a truly free market economy and countries such as China quickly realize that without embracing full free-market forces they will be unable to compete. Networks Are Key - The dream of a single global village has been replaced by a global network of linked, but separate and much smaller communities. The exponential rise in the efficiency of online systems for buying, selling and trading services and skills has debunked completely the old orthodoxy that economies arise from scale. Businesses are much smaller and roles are more fluid. Complex Supply Chains - Supply chains are built from complex, organic associations of specialist providers, varying greatly from region to region and market to market. The solution is now not to outsource, but to fragment. Looser, less tightly regulated clusters of companies are seen to work more effectively. Often functions are picked up on a task by task basis by ‘garage’ operations, with each transaction bought and sold by the second on one of a number of electronic trading platforms, with local and global exchanges. Millennials Drive Technology Use - The millennial generation, comfortable with technology, is driving the usage of technology as the interaction with services, government and work, with an emphasis on choice and anti-monopoly thinking encouraging innovations in this area. Labour Market Enters the Guild Era - In a tightening labour market individuals develop portfolio careers, working on a short-term, contractual basis. They join craft guilds which manage career opportunities, provide training and development opportunities. Managing People in the Orange World - Organisations recognize that their employees and the relationships they have across their networks are the foundation of company success. Companies seek to promote and sustain people networks. This is achieved through incentivizing employees around achieving connectivity goals and collaborative behaviors. As guilds become more important, they take on many of the responsibilities previously assumed by employers including sourcing talent, medical insurance and pensions, development and training. Employees are usually aligned to guilds and access opportunities through professional portals provided by guild networks – work can be bought, sold and traded in this way. Employment contracts are flexible to accommodate staff churn and a rapid turnaround. Workers are categorized and rewarded for having specialist expertise; this has created increased demand for workers to have a personal stake in the organization’s success with direct ownership share schemes and project delivery-related bonuses becoming the norm. Recruitment has become largely a sourcing function and has been merged with the management of the huge number of contracts and price agreements required for each company’s network of partner organizations. A People Management Model for the Orange World - Our third world is in many ways the most radical. In this world, economies are comprised primarily of a vibrant middle market, full of small companies, contractors and portfolio workers. People management is about ensuring these small companies have the people resources they need to function competitively. This allows an important role to be carved out for HR, one where the people supply chain is a critical component of the business and is strategically led by the HR function. But the flip side is that this could also see in-house HR becoming a sourcing or procurement function, with the high-end people development aspects of HR being managed externally by guilds.
Earth 2100. ABC News Special. Narrated by ABC correspondent Bob Woodruff. Broadcast June, 2009. This special brought together scientists from around the world to explain the human effect on the Earth’s future.
Based on the work of the world’s top scientists, this ABC special outlines a number of scenarios of planet earth to the year 2100. These scenarios, seen through the eyes of “Lucy” a fictional character born in 2009, thread-through events that take place during Lucy’s lifetime. This genre is used by top scientists to pose a warning to humanity about what could happen if the forces of a “perfect storm” come together: population growth, resource depletion, and climate change. The ABC website dedicated to this two hour special invites the reader to view numerous clips about the future of the 21st century, covering important issues such as nuclear proliferation, global warming, and sea rise. John Holdren, science advisor to President Obama is among the experts interviewed for this program. He said, “If we continue on the business as usual trajectory, there will be a tipping point that we cannot avert. We will indeed drive the car over the cliff.” . [NOTE: The complete vidio segments are available on the ABC website.] Scenario 1) 2030: The First City that Runs Out of Water. LUCY: “There was a story my mother once told me I’ll never forget. You put a frog in a pot of cold water and turn the heat on. The water warms so gradually that the frog doesn’t notice. It never realizes the precise moment it is cooked. As I grew up, it became increasingly clear that we were the frog. After our home was destroyed by the hurricane, my family moved to San Diego. Maybe it was because it was as far away from Miami as we could get.” According to notable scientist and writer Thomas Homer Dixon, 2030 becomes a world where human evolution and human ability to adapt to the environment has now cost us. Humans have conquered nature but we have reached a point where adaptability becomes a real threat to our existence. By grabbing everything in sight, we’ll end up destroying ourselves. By 2030, 8 billion people are living on earth. According ot Dixon, “Something that will catch people’s attention is the first city in the world that just runs out of water.” NEWS BULLETIN in 2030: Three days after Tucson declared a water emergency, its parched residents finally got relief. A convoy of National Guard tanker trucks arrived today, bearing gallons of water for the anxious crowds.” Desalination plants were run by private companies and after the Tucson incident, water prices were jacked up everywhere. Protest rallies begin. Scenario 2) 2040: The Albatross Becomes Extinct. Lucy’s daily walks to the beaches of San Diego experience first hand observations of the remarkable decline of the albatross. According to Stuart Pimm, professor of Conservation Ecology at Duke University, “Some of the changes that we’re seeing happen so fast that twenty years ago, we would have thought that albatrosses would be okay, and now we realize that we could lose several albatross species within the next decade or two. It’s a weird puzzle. Albatrosses live in the vast, open reaches of the ocean; they nest on the remote islands, you’d think they’d be okay. Unfortunately, they like fish. They like squid. And we like those species too, and we catch those fish species on hooks, on long monofilament lines, and as the fishermen bait the hooks, the albatrosses come in, try and take the bait, get caught on the hooks and drown. So within twenty years, the world’s albatrosses, and there’s about twenty different kinds of albatross, are going from being okay to imminent danger of extinction. So here’s a bird that more than anything else, summarizes the sort of wild and beauty and remoteness of the world’s oceans, and it too could go in a very short period of time.” Scenario 3) 2050: A New York City Renaissance. By 2050, the population is exploding, rain forests are disappearing, 9 billion people are competing for ever scarcer resources. A bad situation, made worse by widespread drought and huge migrations of people. Life is changing for everyone, including Lucy. LUCY: “My parents both got sick the winter of 2050—it was a virulent flu that year, it seemed the viruses were getting worse each passing season. I kept them comfortable, and I’m glad they were at home and together when they died. After that, Josh, my husband, and I left for NYC.” At 51, Lucy has grown up in a world of soaring population, dwindling resources, and intense climate change, but there were signs of hope by 2050 and it was in New York City, which led a growing global movement among metropolises. Josh, Lucy’s husband, was working as an engineer on the Great Barrier project that would protect NYC from rising sea levels. There were three barriers going up—one at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, one at the top of the East River, and one in Staten Island at Batten Hills. You could see them rising a little every day. NYC had lots of places for hooking up cars in a mega-transport system. LUCY: “I rode my bike to work every day, a mere thirty blocks. We had designated bicycle lanes, the traffic was manageable and you could breathe the air—all the vehicles were electric.” NYC would have multi-story greenhouses, and each floor will be growing carrots and potatoes, every kind of conceivable herb, which by 2050, was considered normal. The buildings generated not just food, but energy. Says vertical farming expert Dr. Dickson Despommier of Environmental Health Science of Columbia University: “Why would we want to build skyscrapers filled with lettuce when we've been farming on the ground for 10,000 years? Because as the world's population grows—from 6.8 billion now to as much as 9 billion by 2050—we could run out of productive soil and water. Most of the population growth will occur in cities that can't easily feed the people.” NYC drew thousands of people because it was then, as it had always been, a beacon of hope. "Vertical farming could allow food to be grown locally and sustainably," says Glen Kertz, CEO of Valcent, a tech company based in El Paso, Texas, that's trying out the process. His firm uses hydroponic greenhouse methods to grow upward rather than out. The result saves space—vital in urban areas—and allows farmers to irrigate and fertilize with far less waste.” Scenario 4) 2070: A Map of the World Redrawn. Imagine now the year 2070, and things are in danger of unraveling. Sea levels have risen nearly three feet and have redrawn the map of the world. Island nations have disappeared. Much of Bangladesh is reclaimed by the sea. Some of California’s famous beaches, gone. The Florida Everglades, underwater . Now, the richest countries are being forced to come up with innovative and expensive solutions. Lucy’s husband, Josh, is one of the leaders. On the Great Sea Barrier project, Josh, Lucy’s husband, was an engineer of 30 years and by 2070, the project was near completion. Within a few months they would be testing the massive gates. But Josh, however, was worried. New York City’s barriers, like others around the world, had been built on the assumption that sea level rise would be gradual. But it was becoming clear – that this might not be the case. According to research presented March 2009 at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen, the upper range of sea level rise by 2100 could be in the range of about one meter, or possibly more. In the lower end of the spectrum it looks increasingly unlikely that sea level rise will be much less than 50 cm by 2100.
Shell Energy Scenarios to 2050. Jeremy B. Bentham, Global Business Environment, Shell International B.V. Royal Dutch Shell, 2008.
When it comes to the energy future, there are no ideal answers. There is one thing, however, that most everyone can agree on: “New energy infrastructures on a global level will not be able to transition quickly enough away from fossil fuels to meet world demand anytime soon.” (Bentham) Yet, we are living in a time of extraordinary transition and enormous challenges. While prices and technology will drive some of these transitions, political and social choices will be critical. Three powerful drivers are happening worldwide over the next 50 years, and will remain fixed on a solid trajectory: 1) Developing nations are entering their most energy-intensive phase of economic growth as they industrialize; 2) By 2015, the production of oil and gas will become increasingly difficult and more unlikely to match the rate of demand growth; 3) the environment is undergoing extraordinary stress with growing populations. “World population has more than doubled since 1950 and is set to increase by 40% by 2050. History has shown that as people become richer they use more energy. Population and GDP will grow strongly in non-OECD countries and China and India are just starting their journey on the energy ladder.” The Shell Scenarios describes two alternative scenarios for the development of the energy system over the next fifty years. Key questions asked were: will national governments secure their own energy supplies? And, will nations build coalitions to create a whole new energy framework? [For a complete narrative of the scenarios, see SHELL.] Scenario 1) Scramble. “Scramble reflects a focus on national energy security. Immediate pressures drive decision-makers, especially the need to secure energy supply in the near future for themselves and their allies. National government attention naturally falls on the supply-side levers readily to hand, including the negotiation of bilateral agreements and incentives for local resource development. Growth in coal and biofuels becomes particularly significant. Despite increasing rhetoric, action to address climate change and encourage energy efficiency is pushed into the future, leading to largely sequential attention to supply, demand and climate stresses. Demand-side policy is not pursued meaningfully until supply limitations are acute. Likewise, environmental policy is not seriously addressed until major climate events stimulate political responses. Events drive late, but severe, responses to emerging pressures that result in energy price spikes and volatility. This leads to a temporary slowdown within an overall story of strong economic growth. Although the rate of growth of atmospheric CO2 has been moderated by the end of the period, the concentration is on a path to a long-term level well above 550 ppm. An increasing fraction of economic activity and innovation is ultimately directed towards preparing for the impact of climate change.” Scenario 2) Blueprints. “Blueprints describes the dynamics behind new coalitions of interests. These do not necessarily reflect uniform objectives, but build on a combination of supply concerns, environmental interests, and associated entrepreneurial opportunities. It is a world where broader fears about life style and economic prospects forge new alliances that promote action in both developed and developing nations. This leads to the emergence of a critical mass of parallel responses to supply, demand, and climate stresses, and hence the relative promptness of some of those responses. This is not driven by global altruism. Initiatives first take root locally as individual cities or regions take the lead. These become progressively linked as national governments are forced to harmonies resulting patchworks of measures and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by these emerging political initiatives. Indeed, even the prospect of a patchwork of different policies drives businesses to lobby for regulatory clarity. As a result, effective market-driven demand-side efficiency measures emerge more quickly, and market-driven CO2 management practices spread. Carbon trading markets become more efficient, and CO2 prices strengthen early. Energy efficiency improvements and the emergence of mass-market electric vehicles are accelerated. The rate of growth of atmospheric CO2 is constrained leading to a more sustainable environmental pathway.”
Humanity in Countdown Mode. Institute for the Future Blog Page, 2009. Revisit of the book, “The Long Descent” by John Michael Greer, (Master Conserver and scholar of ecological history). New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada. 2008.
According to John Michael Greer in his book, “The Long Descent” oil and other fossil fuels reaches peak oil limits by 2010 and decline so societies will eventually enter into the “problematique” of increasing demand for energy among rising world populations and a steepening Hubbert’s curve. Greer argues that energy resource depletion is civilization’s inevitable “predicament” because energy will no longer be ‘limitless’ and societies will have to prepare for the certainty of energy resource depletion over the long-term. “The eventual and historic pattern of the decline of societies steeped in fossil fuel dependency will mirror the historic patterns of the decline of past civilizations.” In the chapter, “The End of the Industrial Age,” Greer summarizes the meaning behind hundreds of scientific studies on oil, energy, fossil fuels, and alternative energy resources and pinpoints an overarching trend he describes as, “an accelerating downward arc of energy per capita.” Since no renewable energy resource will be able to provide more than a small fraction of the immense amounts of fossil fuel energy that civilization has “squandered,” Greer predicts that the millennia of low tech cultures preceding the industrial age will be balanced by a millennia of low tech cultures after the industrial age. This is a transition he calls, “The Long Descent” – a declining arc of industrial civilization’s trajectory through time. Now imagine what one blogger imagined in a scenario he wrote on the IFTF website where Greer’s “The Long Descent” accellerates forward over the next few decades instead of Greer’s original endpoint: 100 years. Scenario) 2019: Humanity in Countdown Mode to Global Extinction. “The decades of the 80s and 90s were an opportunity to stem-off major economic and political consequences through a controlled, creative transition to a more sustainable energy economy. Instead, there was a failure of vision: short-term strategies that artificially lowered oil prices to appease global business and force renewables out of the market. By 2009, it was almost certainly too late to manage a transition to energy sustainability on a global or national scale. Energy decline drives other threats to the world because low energy availability created a scarcity of mitigations against the forces of plague and other disasters started out as small, then grew to pandemic proportions. By 2019, super-threats massively disrupt global society as we know it. There’s an entire generation of homeless people worldwide, as the number of climate refugees tops 250 million. Entrepreneurial chaos and “the axis of biofuel” wreak havoc in the alternative fuel industry. Carbon quotas plummet as food shortages mount. The existing structures of human civilization—from families and language to corporate society and technological infrastructures—just aren’t enough. The New York Times posted a headline FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE on September 22, 2019. It was titled, “Humans Have 23 Years To Go. - System starts the countdown for Homo Sapiens. PALO ALTO, CA — Based on the results of a year-long supercomputer simulation, the Global Extinction Awareness System (GEAS) has reset the "survival horizon" for Homo sapiens - the human race - from "indefinite" to 23 years. “The survival horizon identifies the point in time after which a threatened population is expected to experience a catastrophic collapse,” GEAS president Audrey Chen said. “It is the point from which a species is unlikely to recover. By identifying a survival horizon of 2042, GEAS has given human civilization a definite deadline for making substantive changes to planet and practices.” According to Chen, the latest GEAS simulation harnessed over 70 petabytes of environmental, economic, and demographic data, and was cross-validated by ten different probabilistic models. The GEAS models revealed a potentially terminal combination of five so-called “super-threats”, which represent a collision of environmental, economic, and social risks. “Each super-threat on its own poses a serious challenge to the world's adaptive capacity,” said GEAS research director Hernandez Garcia. “Acting together, the five super-threats may irreversibly overwhelm our species’ ability to survive.”Garcia said, “Previous GEAS simulations with significantly less data and cross-validation correctly forecasted the most surprising species collapses of the past decade: Sciurus carolinenis and Sciurus vulgaris, for example, and Anatidae chen. So we have very good reason to believe that these simulation results, while shocking, do accurately represent the rapidly growing threats to the viability of the human species.” GEAS notified the United Nations prior to making a public announcement. The spokesperson for United Nations Secretary General Vaira Vike-Freiberga released the following statement: "We are grateful for GEAS' work, and we treat their latest forecast with seriousness and profound gravity." GEAS urges concerned citizens, families, corporations, institutions, and governments to talk to each other and begin making plans to deal with the super-threats.
The Next 100 Years – A Forecast for the 21st Century. George Friedman (Founder of Stratfor). Doubleday, New York, NY. 2009. (“Underneath the disorder of history, my task is to try to see the order – and to anticipate what events, trends, and technology that order will bring forth.” Friedman)
George Friedman forecasts that over the next 100 years the United States will most likely dominate the international system because of its inherent power, prominence, and geographical position. It will be an “American Century” according to Friedman. The US will be a pivotal actor on the international stage, a drama that could see intrepid nations building Coalitions, new Alliances, and new geopolitical “fault lines” along the Pacific Basin, Eurasia, Europe, the Muslim World, and Mexico throughout the 21st century. Nations declaring war in the 21st century are likely to act against the US, fomenting new technological ‘space age’ weapons as a means to a “world war,” – one that could be more treacherous than the two World Wars of the 20th century. Scenario) 2050s Sees a World War. In describing the next 100 years, Friedman describes two primary drivers that include the American centrality and how wars will be fought in the future. In the chapter, “World War” Friedman describes a global war scenario taking place in the 2050s, describing the use of new weapons technology in wars between various Coalitions and Alliances. Friedman’s chapters leading to the “World War” scenario include “Culture War, the Population Explosion, and Computers” – an overview of American culture and contrasts to other cultures in the future. For the US, it is the “end of the population explosion” and a new computer age. In the chapter, “The New Fault Lines” Friedman gives a geopolitical view of regions from the present to the future, so by 2020, new ‘fault lines’ are likely to arise in the Pacific and Eurasia regions. In “American Power and the Crisis of 2030” Friedman describes five American political and economic cycles, noting that America is currently in the middle of the fifth cycle. Based on cycle patterns, Friedman forecasts a structural breakdown of America by the 2030s, with a surge in economic development during the 2040s. In the chapter, “A Time of Poaching” political events are forecast to lead to a vacuum around the periphery of the Pacific region, presenting great opportunities for little ‘poachers.’ The 2040s is a “Prelude to War.” This is a decade of ‘flush times’ for the US, but pressures, coalitions, and alliances are building steam. “War Plans” is a chapter that describe pre-war drivers to a potential world war. After the war, Friedman describes the 2060s as a golden decade when a revolution in energy occurs. By 2080, space based energy will power the earth. Mexico begins to behave in unprecedented ways toward the US, among other things.
What ‘s Next - Setting the Context. Volume I. Development Dialogue. The Dag Hammarskjöld Centre in colllaboration with over 200 contributors to insights on global trends over the past 30 years. Pub. June, 2006.
This seminal project is the result of deliberations compiled over thirty years since the publication of "What Now?" that examined the global development trends spanning three decades. In this book, the team looks at workable development alternatives through the belief in the power of ideas and in free and frank discussion. The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation has, over the years, organised more than 200 seminars on a wide range of development issues. In a "What's Next" world, the foundation looks at the global possibilities and role of the state. Plausible scenarios were developed on what the world may look like over the coming 30 years. Will the world find itself on an irreversible trajectory towards continued environmental destruction, massive inequity, and social unrest and insecurity? What will it take in the way of political will and popular power to prompt the policy shifts that can make another, more humane world possible? Scenario) Today - 2035 “The Road Ahead.” In this scenario China shares superpower status with the USA and the EU, and has metamorphosed into a multi-party ‘democracy’. In Beijing, an investigative journalist unravels the increasingly intricate connections between state and corporate agendas. The world is slipping only half-consciously into the cross-currents of changing climates, converging pandemics and new technologies, compounded by corporate corruption and civil myopia and mediocrity. The scenario depicts a world where there is increasing reliance on technological quick fixes to solve pressing problems. Instead of attacking the root causes of these problems – multiple forms of injustice, unsustainable lifestyles and the blind faith in economic growth – powerful nations have, among other things, opted for uncertain ‘geoengineering’ technologies to mitigate the eff ects of global warming. Governments and corporations work closely together to urge public acceptance of nano-technological strategies in the stratosphere and on the ocean’s surface that alter currents and climates. These schemes, however, often have unforeseen impacts on ecosystems and human health, and prove increasingly difficult to control. The technologies also pose another threat to human security and to the very notion of democracy. The possibility of high-tech weaponry ending up in the hands of small groups has paved the way for an era of even tighter and more ubiquitous surveillance reinforced by increasingly powerful monitoring technologies. The general public is told that in order to defend democracy, restrictions on democracy and the scope for expressing dissent must be imposed. The future, as envisaged in the scenario, is therefore a world of greater insecurity and less individual freedom and privacy. At the same time, proponents of these new, converging technologies fervently advocate the seemingly limitless possibilities of ‘improving’ biological systems, the human body and nano-machinery. Increasing job competition and new environmental and health stresses lead to the further commodification of the human body as new drugs and therapies for ‘human performance enhancement’ are introduced on the mass market. As more and more people try to ‘enhance’ themselves, the ‘doping’ phenomenon prevalent in sports becomes commonplace, and enhancement products are available in food stores as well as pharmacies. ‘Designer babies’ become a reality, as couples increasingly use genetic screening to decide which babies should survive with what traits. The scenario depicts a humanity that is rapidly becoming ‘two-tiered’ – those who can afford and are willing to ‘enhance’ and those who cannot afford or do not want to. How will humanity respond? Who is ‘normal’ and able, and who is disabled in this new world? Underlying these technological developments are increasing marketisation, commodifi cation and militarism. Intense competition between existing and emerging powers for market positions, technological dominance, and critical natural resources cause growing geopolitical tensions and conflict. As the problems of over-consumption On the verge of collapse, the world relearns the sad truth that new technologies can be commercial successes but scientific and human failures.”
Life After People. A miniseries on the History Channel broadcast April, 2009.
With so many science fiction accounts on what the world would be like without people, there are tendencies to have morbid imaginations of humanity’s eventual demise. (War of the Worlds, Independence Day, etc). The question becomes: What really would happen to the planet if humanity suddenly disappears and leaves it behind? The History Channel took a hard look into the this question and the future of the earth in terms of what happens to the things we've built, manufactured, and stored. Scenario) A World of “Now you See Us, Now..” It begins on the first day after we've gone. An alarm clock buzzes, a coffee maker starts, a TV left on only displays static. Humanity’s lost influence is immediately felt. Within a few hours, the fossil fuel electric power plants fail after the fuel in their tanks is used up. They power most of the world, so the lights in New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Sydney, Moscow, Berlin, New Delhi, Cairo, Tehran, Jerusalem, Istanbul, and Mexico City flicker out. Wind farms soon shut down as well, as the wind turbines either seize up from lack of lubricant, or even catastrophically explode from wear and erosion. Nuclear power plants are next. They automatically shut down after two days unattended, leaving cities like Paris and Marseille, in France's nuclear-dominated infrastructure, darkened. The last artificial light may be produced by hydroelectric dams. As long as there's water in the reservoirs, they'll still operate, even without human intervention. Additionally electricity demands will be limited to the stuff people left on when they vanished, so in theory the generators will be running on reduced usage. So cities like Las Vegas powered by the Hoover Dam, Shanghai powered by the Three Gorges Dam, and Rio de Janerio powered by the Itaipu Dam may still be lit, barring lightbulb burnouts. Meanwhile, nature begins to transform towns and cities into the environments they once were before human settlement. Trees overgrow, overtaking houses. Vines creep out along buildings, infecting the masonry and wood and eventually causing them to crumble and snap. Weeds grow over streets, cracking the asphalt and eventually transforming them into long fields. Animals return. Coyotes and wolves enter the vacant streets and larger predators like bears and panthers make their way back as well, and pretty soon the foodchain reestablishes itself. Dogs and cats will probably return to their wild roots. Pests like rats and cockroaches will mourn us. Rats and mice will raid pantries supermarkets, but as soon as that food supply is gone massive die-offs will occur although it is likely the cockroach will adapt. As the years turn into decades, suburban homes are consumed by plants and termites, skyscrapers become brand new habitats, cars rust out, and cities will burn from lightning strikes and wildfires. Centuries now pass, and even steel structures show age, at this point corroded beyond all capability. It no longer flexes in the wind, so even a moderate breeze can cause the bolts and rivets to snap. So goes the great steel buildings -- The Sears Tower collapses into Chicago, the Eiffel Tower falls into the Seine marshland, and the Space Needle snaps like a twig in a storm. The Empire State Building suffers from the same problem as the Leaning Tower of Pisa -- its foundation is logged with water because of the flooding Hudson and East Rivers in the submerged subways. Eventually it leans to a point where gravity works against it, and it collapses into itself. Thousands of years have passed. Our cities have collapsed into rolling hillsides and babbling brooks, our pets and livestock are wild animals again, oceans are now repopulated like they were before the fishing industry. What remains of civilization? Amazingly, the oldest structures are the ones to remain mostly intact. The Pyramids of Giza has lasted 5,000 years in the dry heat of the Sahara, and they last another 5,000, swallowed by dunes. The Great Wall of China will be over grown with plant life, but recognizable. The biggest clue left of humanity’s existence will be the space probes in the solar system and beyond. Leftovers from the Moon landings will always be on the Moon, like the Voyager and Pioneer probes will still cruise out into space even after they stop transmitting. The other clue left behind will be trash. Amazingly, glass, plastics, and styrofoam can remain for decades. A glass bottle can last for thousands of years in a landfill, and a plastic jug can last for a million years. Styrofoam will outlast them all. Life After People asks a final question -- who might our replacements be? Who'll build computers and paint tapestries after us? Well... maybe no one. Let's face it, our brains didn't evolve to discuss philosophy or play the piano. These abilities are probably outgrowths of having a big brain to work out problems to help us survive. Our primate cousins may evolve to become more clever, but will they ever be able to imagine and think like we do? The depressing answer is, maybe not.
Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller – Oil and the End of Globalization. Jeff Rubin (Jeff Rubin was the Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets for almost twenty years. He was one of the first economists to accurately predict soaring oil prices back in 2000 and is now one of the world’s most sought after energy experts. He lives in Toronto.) Random House Books, Canada. Pub. May, 2009.
In a world of dwindling oil supplies and steadily mounting demand, the future is likely to see shocks as oil moves away from the “cheap” category and into the “luxury” category. Everything is connected to oil. In a world of future scarcity, new rules will determine the winners and losers. In this book, Jeff Rubin visualizes a world where oil regularly sores beyond $100 a barrel and skyrockets on a regular basis. He describes scenarios of ongoing depletion of the world’s oil resources, thus driving a “smaller world.” A key question is whether future fuel challenges will be met through innovation and conservation. The author is confident the future will be like the past – a world where the story of energy over the past century has been one of breakthroughs, not retreat. Scenario 1) A Much Smaller World. “This is a world that marks the end of globalization. The ongoing depletion of the world's oil resources, coupled with soaring demand from emerging economies like India and China, sends the price of crude through the roof. This seriously escalates transportation costs, which in turn cripple international trade, reverses commercial interdependence and disables the global economy. The resulting age is one in which nations are isolated, technological progress is sluggish and travel is infrequent. The Middle East becomes less relevant and food scarcity emerges as the foremost international problem. Countries with a shortage of arable land scramble and compete to buy agricultural real estate from other nations (for example, as Saudi Arabia is already now doing in Sudan) to alleviate their ever-worsening food crises. To offset the effects of the energy crisis, governments invest heavily in national infrastructure (especially public-transportation systems); national industries once hurt by outsourcing and foreign competition; and the environment becomes cleaner as people are forced to use less fossil fuel and as cars disappear from the streets. Successful adaptation to an energy-starved world depends on individuals altering their energy-consumption norms.” Scenario 2) A World Without Airline Travel. What Would That be Like? (excerpt from the book): “People don't generally realize what gas-guzzlers planes are. A standard return flight from New York to London burns up about 24,000 gallons of jet fuel or 112 gallons per passenger in a Boeing 767. That's as much as a midsized American car burns in three months. It takes over forty times as much energy to fly something over the Pacific Ocean as it does to ship it. Unable to immunize themselves from soaring fuel costs, airlines dramatically change business practices. Flights of half-empty planes traveling to more remote secondary locations are canceled. Connecting to a regional hub like Atlanta or Dallas becomes much more difficult if a passenger doesn't live in a major city. It becomes common for people to drive past the empty local airport on the way to a bigger one in the next city down the highway. The cost of burning jet fuel will disconnect those smaller locations from airline hubs. And that will be only one of the many ways that soaring energy prices will disconnect the people in those locations from the rest of the world. - Even with aggressive pruning of noneconomical service, the tandem of soaring operating costs and declining ticket sales forces many airlines into bankruptcy, only further exacerbating the reduction in airline service. The energy shock that is hitting us is not a momentary political blip like 9/11. This is permanent. Industry consolidation further exacerbates the service cutbacks, as cost-conscious airlines refocus on fewer but more profitable routes with much greater load factors to offset mounting fuel costs. And as airline costs are constantly cut, the public is likely to become more concerned about flight safety, only further dampening demand. Taxes on cap and trade becomes the new sin taxe of the 21st century. The emissions per passenger from a roundtrip airline flight from NYC to London are as bad as the fuel consumption. By putting a price on carbon emissions, air travel is taxed at the same rate as tobacco and alcohol. As a result, people travel less frequently, and when they do travel, they travel closer to home. Business travel will be pared back in just the same way, in part because businesses will be much less global in scope and in part because cost control is going to take on new urgency in an economic environment of spiraling energy prices. Teleconferencing and email replace face to face meetings or sales calls is going to become a bit more of a stranger as teleconferencing and email replace face to face contract. London's Healthrow, becomes a gleaming mausoleum to a past age of cheap and abundant energy. The tourism and recreation industry's ability to weather soaring fuel costs will come down to one factor: location. As in real estate, location will determine the survival of the fittest in a world where people travel much less than they used to. Some of the world's hottest vacation places quickly become ice cold. The Great Barrier Reef and the pristine tropical jungles along the Queensland coast in Australia suffer huge losses from lack of tourism. The Peruvian economy suffers. Peru added one million jobs in tourism between 2000 and 2005, and loose these jobs in this scenario. And while Australia has a much more diversified economy than Peru's, tourism still accounts for about 4 percent of GDP there. that's more than the country counts on from agriculture. Globally, tourism makes up about 10 percent of GDP, and as much as 30 percent in poor countries - hardly a trifling amount, but in this world, tourism threatens the economic well being of many countries. IIn a smaller world, the world misses the $7 trillion dollar tourist industry.”
Global Scenarios to 2025. National Intelligence Council (NIC). Pub. 2008. A total of more than 200 people from about 40 countries participated in various workshops to help shape this work. The process involved scenario planning with a total of approximately 60 issues identified utilizing the STEEP analytical framework. Priority issues were developed into three interdisciplinary scenario logics. Then scenario writing and quantification was worked-through by a group of “scenario champions,” including Barry Hughes of the University of Denver.
Because emerging markets, such as China and India, are growing at more than 10%
and 8% respectively, there is a huge economic shift in gravity away from OECD
countries to the Asian region. Given this background, when developing the scenarios, the following two focal questions emerged: How can the world attain a high level of sustainable economic growth given the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape of the early 21st century?; and What will the balance of power look like in 2025 and to what degree might collaborative policies and frameworks shape the global context? Based on an exploration of these central questions against the backdrop of the critical uncertainties, three scenarios emerged for the Global Scenarios 2025 project. [NOTE: The complete scenario narratives and analysis are available on the NIC website.] Scenario 1) Borrowed Time. Describes a world following a path that, without major changes, leads to an unsustainable future. Ignoring, or giving insufficient credence to the long-term consequences of their policy decisions, leaders leave an “imperfect” or “flawed” legacy for future generations. The result is a world that is ill-equipped to deal with complex global dilemmas. 2009-2012: While the economic pace slows in the OECD, emerging economies continue to grow. Governments tend to focus almost exclusively on problems with a clear historical precedence and are essentially incapable of finding creative solutions to newer problems (e.g., climate change, global terrorism). Short-term, stopgap solutions to problems requiring a long-term commitment are ineffective. Lack of global leadership only worsens conditions. 2013-2021: Lack of harmony in regulatory frameworks in combination with global leadership vacuum results in difficulties in the West’s adjustment to new geopolitical realities. The rules of the game are shifting and cracks appear in the system (e.g., OPEC falters, immigration clampdowns). 2022-2025: Future generations are now set to inherit the many problems that have been allowed to fester. Economic swings, rising protectionism, and clear winners and losers (i.e., inequitable growth) characterize this world. Scenario 2) Fragmented World. Describes a world struggling to manage problems against a backdrop of constrained growth combined with a lack of multinational solidarity. Neither nations not the international system can keep up as the problems leave the solutions behind. 2009-2012: Traditional international institutions are weakened by the diffusion of state power and new powers challenge the status quo. Global economy slumps and nations are unable to manage security and environmental challenges. 2013-2021: The dream of the BRICs fades somewhat and global insecurity increases (e.g., natural resource and ethnic conflicts, Middle East arms race). Technology diffusion dries up. International cooperation is absent. 2022-2025: Poor economic performance, failed leadership, increased tensions, and an absence of multilateral cooperation define this world. An overwhelmed international system is collapsing under its own weight. Scenario 3) Constant Renewal. Describes a world in which nations realize that the international community must work collaboratively on a sustained basis to affect real change at the global level. Leaders systematically adjust policies and frameworks as needed in support of shared global priorities. While the transition is not without difficulties, the world moves in the right direction. Mid-2009-onwards: Political, economic, financial and environmental shocks force changes in mindsets of key players, pressure from civil society spurs change. Leaders and nations re-commit to the international system. 2013-2025: A world in which societies reconnect with each other on local and global levels to tackle global problems. Although problems persist, global community comes together (albeit with some hiccups) and sets itself on a path towards economic growth and shared responsibilities.
The Great Transition Today - A Report from the Future. Paul G. Raskin. Tellus Institute. Copyright @ 2006. GTI (Global Transformation Initiative) is a global network that assesses normative transitions to a healthy planet through imagining social, political, technological, environmental, and economic transformations worldwide. The workshop series known as the “GTI Paper Series” can be located on the Tellus Institute website. This is GTI Paper Series #16.
This report is a “report from the future,” a postscript to 2084 looking back on the treatise, “2068 - Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead.” t considers the complex processes of achieving a healthy planetary transition with the most important factor having been a broad shift in values called the “new triad”: quality of life, human solidarity, and ecological sensibility. The following scenarios imagine a world in which the triad of values are working in unison in three primary regions that also demonstrate a “constrained pluralism” - a workable balance between global responsibility and regional autonomy. In this world, a planetary political culture transcends hegemonic beliefs with the realization of three principles: irreducibility, subsidiarity, and heterogeneity. Excerpt from the scenario. Scenario: One World. “…At the turn of this century, the idea of a thorough-going globalism was mocked by august scholars and pragmatic politicians alike. This is not surprising. Looking forward, historical transitions seem highly improbable, while looking back they may come to seem inevitable. From the vantage point of a few hundred years ago, a future world based on nation-states may have seemed an unlikely idea. Then, with the triumph of nationalist struggles, nations came to be viewed as the natural building blocks of the political order for several centuries. Now, globalism is as deep-rooted as nationalism once was. Perhaps more so. One sees our blue planet from outer space in its integral wholeness, not imaginary state boundaries. By the turn of this century, the vision of a global civilization had become anchored in objective realities-a threatened biosphere, interdependent economies, common cultural experiences, and the long reach of war. Humanity as a whole had become a community of fate. …The set of universal principles that underpins global society did not fall from the sky. They were shaped by our forebears in the great historical projects for human rights, peace, development, and environment…The opening section of the World Constitution of 2032, is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized”… Ultimately, it is the keenly felt sense of global solidarity that binds and sustains our planetary society. The global citizens of today have refuted the old skeptics, who could not see beyond nationalism, and absolved the visionaries of a new global consciousness: “The age of nations is past; the task before us now, if we are to survive is to shake off our ancient prejudices, and build the Earth” (Teilhard de Chardin).” In this world, nations engage within three main regions: Agoria, Ecodemia, and Arcadia. Key regional features: Region 1) Agoria: More conventional in consumer patterns, lifestyles and institutions. Economies are dominated by large shareholder corporations, and investment capital is privately held. “Some critics call Agoria “Sweden Supreme”. However, when compared to even the most outstanding examples of social democratic models of the last century, the commitment to social equality, the environment, and democratic engagement from the level of the firm to the globe is of a different order. The key is a vast array of policies and regulations, supported by popular values, that align corporate behavior with social goals, stimulate sustainable technology, and moderate material consumption in order to maintain highly equitable, responsible, and environmental societies.” Region 2) Ecodemia: A fundamental departure from the capitalist economic system. The new system, often referred to as “economic democracy”, banishes the capitalist from two key arenas of economic life. First, the conventional model of the firm based on private owners and hired workers has been replaced by worker ownership in large-scale enterprises, complemented by non-profits and highly regulated small businesses. Second, private capital markets have given way to socialized investment processes. Worker ownership and workplace democracy have reduced the expansionary tendency of the traditional capitalist firm. Region 3) Arcadia These are self reliant economies. Small enterprises, face-to-face democracy; community engagement, and love of nature. Lifestyles tend to emphasize material sufficiency, folk crafts, and reverence for tradition. While the local is emphasized, most people are highly connected with cosmopolitan culture and world affairs through advanced communication. The author summarizes these regions with the use of the Greek roots: “ The use of Greek roots is intended to evoke the classical ideal of a political community-active citizens, shared purpose, and just social relations. In Athens, the Agora served as both marketplace and center of political life; thus, commerce and consumption figure prominently in Agoria. The neologism Ecodemia combines the word roots of economy and democracy; thus, economic democracy is a priority in these regions. Arcadia was the bucolic place of Greek myth; thus, local community and simple lifestyles are particularly significant here.” Paul Raskin
World Lines - Pathways, Pivots, and the Global Future. Paul G. Raskin. Tellus Institute. Copyright 2006. GTI (Global Transformation Initiative) is a global network that assesses normative transitions to a healthy planet through imagining social, political, technological, environmental, and economic transformations worldwide. The workshop series known as the “GTI Paper Series” can be located on the Tellus Institute website. This is GTI Paper Series #16. Paul Raskin is founding director of Tellus Institute, which has conducted 3,500 projects throughout the world since 1976. He also founded the Global Scenario Group, an influential international body, the Great Transition Initiative that carries forward and communicates the scenario work through an expanding global network, and the Stockholm Environment Institute’s North American center.
This essay reflects on alternative trajectories for an emerging global system as it takes shape in the coming decades. The essay uses “world lines” to show pathways to a global future. Chapters describe the current global context and theoretical framework for analyzing human-ecological systems and provides an overview of two key uncertainties - global crisis and human intentionality. These uncertainties and the consequences of the uncertainties show the manifest extent. The final section , “Conscious Global Evolution” considers prospects and strategies for the formation of a global movement rooted in a planetary ethos. In a taxonomy of the future, the author demonstrates how the future can take place with three broad scenarios (plus two variations for each scenario): Conventional Worlds, Barbarization, and Great Transitions. Conventional Worlds are evolutionary scenarios that arise gradually from the dominant forces of globalization-economic interdependence grows, dominant values spread, and developing regions converge toward rich-country patterns of production and consumption. Conventional Worlds also includes variations : In the Market Forces variation, powerful global actors advance the priority of economic growth through such neo-liberal policies as free trade, privatization, deregulation, and the modernization and integration of developing regions into the market nexus. The Policy Reform scenario adds comprehensive governmental initiatives to harmonize economic growth with a broad set of social and environmental goals. If unattended crises should deepen, global development could veer toward a Barbarization scenario. Such a tragic retreat from civilized norms might take the form of an authoritarian Fortress World, with elites in protected enclaves and an impoverished majority outside, or Breakdown, in which conflict spirals out of control, waves of disorder spread, and institutions collapse. By contrast, Great Transitions are transformative scenarios in which a new suite of values ascend- human solidarity, quality-of-life, and respect for nature-that revise the very meaning of development and the goal of the “good life”. In this vision, solidarity is the foundation for a more egalitarian social contract, poverty eradication, and democratic political engagement at all levels. Human fulfillment in all its dimensions is the measure of development, displacing consumerism and the false metric of GDP. An ecological sensibility that understands humanity as part of a wider community of life is the basis for true sustainability and the healing of the Earth. One Great Transition variation is Eco-communalism, a highly localist vision favored by some environmental subcultures. But the plausibility and stability of radically detached communities in the planetary phase are problematic. Rather, the Great Transition vision is identified here with the New Sustainability Paradigm, which sees in globalization, not only a threat, but also an opportunity for forging new categories of consciousness-global citizenship, humanity-as-whole, the wider web of life, and sustainability and the well-being of future generations. One of the most profound things mentioned by the author is the section about the human coping capacity and the possibility of a global citizen’s movement. “A twenty-first century crisis is brewing in a world where twentieth century ideas and behaviors linger. Contemporary economic, political, and cultural institutions are ill-suited for coping with the de-stabilizing environmental, security, and social tensions that they have created. The success of a global citizen’s movement is a critical new factor to a great transition.
Margaret Mead, in: R.B. Textor (Ed.), The World Ahead: An Anthropologist Anticipates the Future, in: W.O. Beeman (Ed.), The Study of Contemporary Western Culture.(Critical essay). Christopher B. Jones. Futures 39.1 (Feb 2007):p120(5).
Margaret Mead was the first to use anthropological analysis to study the future course of human civilization. She contributed to futures studies through her comprehensive writing of anticipatory anthropology”. Mead’s vision of the future was prescriptive and admirably normative. She believed that it was possible to coordinate cultures into a new type of global culture – cultural creation - she called it, which would spark accelerated leadership among rich and poor nations. She believed it was possible for global coordination to make broad leaps instead of slow, incremental steps toward normative change. Meads argued for nuclear disarmament, care for the less fortunate, the invention of adequate social services to replace customary institutions, a minimum annual income, equity for women, and solutions to the problems of atmospheric pollution. Mead was most adamant about promoting a guaranteed income. She wrote, "The idea that anyone should not receive basic subsistence, food, water, and shelter--so long as there was anything left to divide--is a modern savagery." Although Mead was not a scenarist per se, she communicated very clear images of the future because of her broad understanding of history and whole societies. The World Ahead: An Ethical Global Culture. In this world, an important shift happens in thinking about the international relations due to mass cultural change in ethical responsibility, systems thinking (including things such as unanticipated consequences, feedback loops, etc.), self-fulfilling and self-denying prophecies, and what today would be called seventh generation thinking. Mead comments that she is not particularly judgmental about global change, but she recognizes a narrow window of opportunity for humanity to direct change in more equitable and humane ways to create an ethical global culture. In this world, Mead sees strengths and weakness in all cultures and in their capacity to change. Industrialized societies are stuck in traditional models; less-developed societies can leap-frog from wherever they are into post-industrial societies. Mead is clearly concerned about the importance of involving three generations (at least) in each other's lives and education to link the past, present, and future. Early in her writings, she stresses the importance of learning from grandparents because they have been through the most dramatic changes and have learned wise lessons about adapting to change. However, Mead’s later view shifted the focus to a need for the older generations to learn from the young, because they are the ones who know how to operate in the transformed reality of the present. She argued that the vastly longer tradition of the whole of human experience argued for less work and more play. She considered our contemporary arrangements for work and basic subsistence a "modern savagery", and thought we could do a lot better to keep people out of prison, in better mental and physical health, and in community, by shifting our economic system away from the economics of individualism (supported by the nuclear family) to a more communitarian one. She seemed to truly believe that the new emerging world order should integrate cross-cultural understanding and appreciation--that we needed a way (or ways) to build a new symbolization, a new ethic of inclusion, for a planetary culture. In this new world, a planetary culture would require a second language – a living language with characteristics that would make it easy to use cross-culturally and linguistically.
The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall By Ian Bremmer Simon and Schuster NY, NY Copyright 2006. ISBN: 13c-978-11-7432-7471-3.
The book offers a new framework to understand the causal factors involved with the fall of certain powers and the rise of others. “How can the international community help falling states manage their transitions toward greater harmony with the world around them?” Ian Bremmer The author demonstrates the J Curve – a tool that models the level of stability and openness against the axis of political and economic openness. Nations are plotted against these axis so the author can relatively compare nations that are more stable (to the right of the J Curve and higher on the graph) against nations that are less stable (to the left of the J Curve and lower on the graph). Bremmer then visits several countries from authoritarian regimes to those faced with chaotic instability. The author asserts that, if policymakers can better understand how countries undergo transition, they can better influence change and promote international stability.
Scenario: A New Geopolitical Framework “In this world, policymakers realize that policy failures in Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Russia, and many other states in the 20th and early 21st century were due to traditional paradigms of geopolitical frameworks that, simple put, didn’t work. In the mid-21st century, entirely new geopolitical frameworks capture the way decision makers calculate their interests and make choices. More effective U.S. policies are formulated. New tools enable countries to forecast the moment when isolated states descend into chaos. The counterintuitive relationship between a nation’s stability and its openness, both to the influences of the outside world and within its borders are better understood by policymakers. In the past, certain states – North Korea, Burma, Belarus, Zimbabwe – were stable precisely because they were closed. The slightest influence on their citizens from the outside would push the most rigid of these states toward dangerous instability. Other states – the US, Japan, Sweden – were stable because they were invigorated by the forces of globalization. These states were able and continue to withstand political conflict, because their citizens – and international investors – knew that political and social problems within them would be peacefully resolved by institutions that are independent of one another and that the electorate will broadly accept the resolution as legitimate. The institutions, not the personalities, matter in this world. The institutions are better able to make the transition from a country that is “stable because it is closed” to a country that is “stable because it is open,” even though it goes through a transitional period of dangerous instability. In this world, responsible local opposition movements and dissident groups are empowered, so the establishment of even limited trade ties between left and right side states enables more direct communication between peoples within and across national boundaries. It allows them to share ideas and information, and puts money in the pockets of private citizens. It gives people in both states a stake in the stability of their country’s relations with other states. By inviting states like China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran to join the World Trade Organization and to adhere to its rules, right-side states help reinforce the growth of middle classes and create rising expectations for equitable trade. As the energies of globalization open up the least politically and economically developed areas of the world; as the citizens of closed states learn more about life beyond their borders and discover they don’t have to live as they do, tyrants must expend more and more effort to isolate their societies. These states can now fall more swiftly and suddenly into instability than at any time in history. That is why right-side states must be more concerned than ever by the internal developments within left-side states. Social unrest in China, the Saudi education system, a security vacuum in Afghanistan, ethnic tensions in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta, and market volatility in Argentina each have a more immediate impact on geopolitics and economics than ever before. In policy terms, that means right side states have an opportunity to craft an approach toward North Korea that enables the North Korean people to learn more about the outside world and to communicate directly with one another. - The countries on the right side of the J curve have a collective political, economic, and security interest in working together to help move left-side states through instability to the right side of the curve. These countries in this scenario recognize that the most powerful agents for constructive, sustainable change in any society are the people who live within it. This scenario, strategies that empower groups within closed states to challenge the authoritarian status quo can create strong momentum for democratic change.”
The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History. Philip Bobbitt. Published by Alfred A Knopf, distributed by Random House, 2003.
Writing from the perspective of the future, the author, Philip Bobbitt, explores the nature of the state, its origin in war, and its drive for peace and legitimacy in the scenario, The Shield of Achilles. Mr. Bobbitt is a professor of constitutional law and a historian of nuclear strategy, has served in the White House, the Senate, the State Department, and the National Security Council. There is the notion that the nation-state is dying, yet others say that the power of the State has never been greater. “Bobbitt reconciles this paradox and introduces the idea of the market-state, which is already replacing its predecessor. In this book, the author paints a powerful portrait of the everchanging interrelatedness of the world, and uses his expertise in law and strategy to discern the paths that statehood will follow in the coming decades.” Knopf publishing
Scenario: The Shield of Achilles. “By 2025, the world’s population had increased to a level of about 7.5 billion people. The most dramatic demographic event in the first quarter century, however, was a precipitous drop in population growth. This drop did not occur uniformly. The states of the developed world lost population share, declining from 21% to 12%. This decline was especially significant because since the year 1650, that share had hovered between 34% and 26%. Meanwhile, a number of less developed states not only managed to stabilize their populations — including China, Taiwan, Korea and Algeria — but their birthrates declined as well. Other states — such as India, Pakistan, Mexico and Brazil — continued to grow, but then leveled off in the 2030s and 2040s. Some states — notably Nigeria, Zaire, Ethiopia and Rwanda — experienced a largely unchanged, high fertility rate. Yet, these nations’ population levels still suffered, owing to various catastrophic events. The world in 2025 saw a falling population for the first time in four centuries. This had direct consequences on economic growth. In the developed states of the northern-tier, the demand for consumer goods was faltering as the population aged. In the less developed southern-tier states, increasing population pressures drove up the price of foodstuffs. Nevertheless, both regions — with the exception of some African states — were linked by commerce. There were some unattractive aspects to this flourishing trade. For example, organ farms (really “hospitals” that removed organs from paid donors) arose in Pakistan, the Philippines and various other states to supply first-world demand for transplants, though these were ultimately replaced by transgenic methods that used animals. Some states acquired needed capital by locating nuclear waste sites on their national territory — and by permitting mineral-extraction methods outlawed elsewhere. For a time in the 2020s, Russia was taken over by a raw-materials development company that employed political prisoners as workers in mines. It also wholly corrupted the Duma — by giving members “derivative” sub-soil rights to the petroleum and minerals beneath Siberia. - In Russia at this time, a new form of civil right was introduced. It permitted any citizen or registered company to buy shares in the state, thus giving weighted voting according to the number of shares purchased. As unsavory as this may sound, it did have the result of efficiently extracting Russia’s abundant raw materials, which had hitherto frustrated most attempts at development. - Moreover, the privatization of the state brought sufficient capital to the country through foreign investment. As a result, perennial Russian agricultural shortfalls were finally halted through a program of genetically engineered hybridization. - Pakistan and India joined in a free trade area in 2010, providing the crucial momentum that made India the world’s largest single market by 2025. - Other intermediary states flourished in the new environment of general free trade: Witness Turkey, Indonesia, South Africa, Mexico, Iran and Algeria. - A global hiring program operated on the Internet allowed anyone anywhere to access job opportunities worldwide. - As part of a universal reciprocity regime for jobs, that person also received a one-year “green card” — once employment was assured. - By 2040, the number of nominal citizens and resident citizens combined of the top 15 formerly third world countries surpassed year 2000 levels of GDP per capita for first world countries. Successful economic reforms in these states — especially the free trade areas of India-Pakistan, China-Taiwan, Korea-Japan and Singapore-Malaysia-Indonesia-Thailand — prompted the election of ever more politicians committed to economic reform. - Increases in successful free-market reform yielded increases in individual freedom. - By contrast, per-capita consumption in the first world shifted as more emphasis was placed on quality investments such as child safety, preventive medical care and lifelong education. - Environmental quality was monitored and protected by licensed entrepreneurs who held various resources (for example, air quality) in trust for the state. - The 2020s also saw a number of innovations in civil society: Violence-prone adolescents — identified by genetic screening at birth — were monitored when convicted of violent crimes and their activities circumscribed through various electronic means. - The most serious offenders were exiled to other countries in exchange for cash payments — and there, typically turned to agricultural or military duties. - In some countries, medical and education vouchers were earned through the avoidance of legal “demerits.” Citizens with a record of infractions were barred from schooling beyond high school. - They were also denied all but some inexpensive forms of acute care, unless they were able to secure their own funds. - This rather draconian system was to some extent mitigated by a system of behavior bribes whereby nonviolent offenders were paroled to specialized private corporations. - There, they were maintained as wards of the market, in comfortable circumstances performing menial tasks, so long as they refrained from further offenses. - Drug offenders were either exported to states that had legalized drug use — or confined to privately run “Virtual Holiday” camps, where non-lethal drug use was permitted. By these various means, prison populations were dramatically reduced. The universal communications made possible by the ubiquitous (and cheap) handheld wireless computer/telephone/television tied the world’s cultures together as never before. The reach of a single language — English — embraced 60% of the world’s inhabitants by 2040.”
Future of the World & Space Over 100 Years and Beyond Part I – A Collection of Open-Content Textbooks. Future wikia. Wikibooks – a wikimedia project with a mission to create a free collection of open-content textbooks built with world wide participation and that anyone can edit.
This scenario was given the blue ribbon of quality – a “featured article” for its exceptional content, according to a research panel for Wikibooks. As opposed to the realism and forecasts seen in professional scenarios, this scenario is fictional, but grounded enough in the sciences to provide the reader with an image of the long-term possibilities stemming from current breakthroughs in the space sciences. Scenario: Future of Space. “In 2026, the NATO alliance unraveled due to intractable trade disputes. In 2029, the European Union died. From its ashes rose the European Federation, a super-state built out of more than 40 former countries. It stretches from Iceland to the Caspian Sea, to the Balkans, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, the Caucasian states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Turkey's membership means that the Federation has a direct border with the troubled Middle East. - By 2031, hundreds of nuclear fusion reactors provided a virtually limitless amount safe energy from a clean-"burning" fuel. That year the former oil producing nations were driven to the edge of bankruptcy, as their fossil fuel reserves were now nearly worthless. - The 2030s was a decade of transition. Global economies and infrastructures changed faster than anyone could have imagined. In 2033, Iran and Iraq merged to form the Islamic Holy Republic, with Tehran as its capital. By 2043, most of the world's energy came from fusion power. The UN banned the burning of fossil fuels and made it compulsory to recycle all plastics. The use of fossil fuels was now limited to the manufacture of plastics, chemicals and materials. United Nations Space Administration: Created in 2055, the UNSA (United Nations Space Administration) was a combination of the former American, Russian, European and Japanese space agencies. It was the union of all major space-capable nations, united in their efforts to explore cosmos. The names of UNSA spaceships would always began by UNSS - United Nations Space Ship. The Colinization of the Moon: On April 22nd, 2057, the UNSA established the first permanent Lunar Base, Armstrong Luna Colony, manned by 112 brave explorers. In the absence of international agreements governing mineral rights on the Moon, large corporations staked claims to vast regions of the lunar nearside, said by selenologists to be filled with valuable ore deposits. Commercialization of the Moon: In 2059, the Motokatsu-Kyono Combine started mining Helium-3 from the Petavius Lunar Crater, on the dark side of the Moon. Other corporations soon followed; within 10 years, a dozen companies were mining the lunar crust for profitable elements. Helium-3, the ideal fuel for fusion reactors; Gallium, which had replaced silicon in computer chips; chromium, aluminum, iron, oxygen, and super-hard titanium. All the ore was processed in-situ; some was delivered to the Moon, some to the Earth, but most of it was shipped straight to orbit. Mars - On June 3, 2061, the UNSS Aries 3 landed on Mars with a multi-national crew of twelve. The journey to Mars took about 2 months, thanks to the Aries' Fusion Drive. By 2071, 51 men and women manned the Aries Martian Outpost I. The Lunar Crisis - By 2074 the Armstrong Luna Colony had a population of 452. Add the transients and the workforce of the dozen or so commercial mining bases, and you've got more than 1000 humans on the Moon - and they all need the same thing. Waterice could be melted and filtered into water. It can be shattered as O2 and H2, breathed by men and burned by rockets. "It's more valuable than gold dust," said Marius Gilmozzi, chief engineer of the Armstrong Luna Colony. "Whoever controls the Waterice, controls the moon.", he concluded. Had he then added "Whoever controls the moon, controls the universe!", he'd be remembered as a joker - but he knew better, and he did shut up. So, in the year 2074, a dispute over Lunar Waterice mining rights came to the brink of armed conflict. It looked like the Motokatsu-Kyono Combine and Ceres Metals were going to be the first terran entities to engage in space combat, ever. Motokatsu-Kyono blamed Ceres Metals for planting a "software bomb" that ravaged their headquarters. They threatened to retaliate if their suspicions were confirmed. Both corporations began to evacuate non-essential personnel from their Lunar operations. On Earth, the prices of Helium-3 rose sky-high as speculators feared an all-out space war. Helium-3: rare on Earth, common on the moon. Helium-3: a clean burning fuel, an almost infinite source of power. Fortunately, the UN negotiated a settlement to the "Lunar Crisis", and no blood was shed. An elite team of UN peace-enforcers were sent to the moon, and none dared to cross them.”
Future of the World & Space Over 100 Years and Beyond Part II – A Collection of Open-Content Textbooks.Future wikia. Wikibooks – a wikimedia project with a mission to create a free collection of open-content textbooks built with world wide participation and that anyone can edit.
This scenario was given the blue ribbon of quality – a “featured article” for its exceptional content, according to a research panel for Wikibooks. As opposed to the realism and forecasts seen in professional scenarios, this scenario is fictional, but grounded enough in world events to provide the reader with an image of very long-term geopolitical possibilities.
Scenario: A New World in 2084 “The United Americas was formed in 2084. It encompassed the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. On November 23 of that same year, the World Bank declared bankruptcy. The global Economy collapsed, leading to civil unrest around the world. Rioting and looting broke out in major cities across the globe. On January 1, 2085, the 'United Earth Summit' was commenced in Geneva and attended by Australia, China, the European Federation, Japan, New Zealand, the Russian Republic, South Africa, and the United Americas. The nations attending the summit proposed that the United Nations Constitution be radically ratified. These proposals in effect dissolved the UN, replacing it with the United Earth Federation (UEF), an economic/political conglomerate committed to the goal of uniting the nations of Earth in preparation for the colonization of the planet Mars and the rest of the solar system. Unification in the 21st Century - This move sparked several conflicts (the Unification Wars 2085-2102), primarily fuelled by nations who refused to be a part of the new United Earth Federation. The newly formed United Earth Federation soon ratified a treaty of United Earth Federation Armed Forces, a cohesive fighting force to stop these and future wars, with troops and equipment supplied by all member states, under one general command staff comprising of high ranking officers of all nations. The biggest armies in the new United Earth Armed Forces (UEFAF) included EuroCorps, AmeriCorps, ChinaCorps, AsiaCorps and troops from India and Latin America. The year 2086 saw the formation of the East Asian Consortium from China, Mongolia, the Indonesian Consortium, Vietnam, Cambodia and (with some reluctance) North Korea. Many believed its formation was in response to the formation of the United Americas two years earlier. South America War - In 2087, the South American War began as a frighteningly potent alliance between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the National Liberation Army (ELN) threatened to tip the balance of power irretrievably towards the drug barons. At the request from the Colombian government, the United Americas increased it's military aid package to the country. When Marxist guerrillas attacked the UA Embassy in Bogotá, killing the American ambassador and 33 of his staff, the United Americas was drawn into a messy war, sending troops to fight alongside the Colombian troops against the guerrillas, who controlled much of the country's cocaine and heroin-producing regions. Antarctic – Gate - When a United Americas company was found to be secretly drilling for oil in the Antarctic Nature Reserve in 2091, it led to a major scandal in Washington, later to be dubbed 'Antarctic-Gate'. A UEF inquiry unearthed evidence of corruption at the highest levels of the United Americas government. The Andres presidency was left in ruins, as many of her senior staff were implicated.”
Future of the World & Space Over 100 Years and Beyond Part III – A Collection of Open-Content Textbooks.Future wikia. Wikibooks – a wikimedia project with a mission to create a free collection of open-content textbooks built with world wide participation and that anyone can edit.
This scenario was given the blue ribbon of quality – a “featured article” for its exceptional content, according to a research panel for Wikibooks. As opposed to the realism and forecasts seen in professional scenarios, this scenario is fictional, but grounded enough in the physical sciences to provide the reader with an image of very long-term possibilities in physics.
Scenario: The Bunuelian Force “In 2101, Spanish astrophysicist Dr. Ana Bunuel discovered what came to be known as the "Bunuelian force". There were four known forces in physics: two sub-nuclear forces responsible respectively for alpha and beta decay; electromagnetism, which includes light; and gravity. The Bunuelian force is the fifth, and it is generated by thermonuclear reactions. The force has little effect in our universe; in fact, it is barely detectable. Simultaneously with the discovery of the fifth force, however, she discovered a second universe in point-to-point congruence with our own. The "continuum universe" differs from the one we're used to in that there are no known quantum effects there. Within that universe particles may travel as fast as they can be accelerated; and the fifth force exists to accelerate them. This led scientists all over the world to foresee the advent of faster than light communications. By 2107, with a population fast approaching 12 billion, food riots in most countries and a biosphere contaminated by the burning of fossil fuels and use of dirty nuclear power (i.e. fission), the colonization of the solar system was seen as the key to the eventual regeneration and uniting of Earth.
Bunuelian Communication - A year later, scientists in a Taiwan laboratory succeeded in transmitting information faster than the speed of light via the "continuum universe". Calculated at traveling nearly 3.26 light years in one Earth day, near instantaneous communications was now possible with the fledgling Mars colony. A few months later, groundbreaking research based on Zero Point Field Theory, led to the activation of the first suspensor-field generator in San Francisco. This made artificial gravity fields possible on starships. Eckerly Jump Theory - In 2110, an American theoretical physicist named Dr. Everett Eckerly proposed that instantaneous interstellar travel is possible through certain points near a star by passing from this universe to the continuum universe. His theory surmised that for every construct in our universe there can be created a "correspondence particle" in the continuum universe. In order for a construct to go into and emerge from the continuum universe without change it must have some complex machinery to hold everything together and prevent the ship and crew from being disorganized into elementary particles. Correspondence particles can be boosted to speeds faster than light: in fact, to speeds nearly infinite as we measure them. Of course they cannot emerge into our universe at such speeds: they have to lose their energy to emerge at all. There are severe conditions to entering and leaving the continuum universe. According to the Eckerly Jump Theory, since the fifth force is created by thermonuclear reactions: generally in stars, a ship may travel through the continuum universe only along precisely defined lines of equipotential flux created by thermonuclear reactions inside active stars. Dr. Eckerly named these lines, jumplines. Possible jumplines lie between each two stars. In short, this so-called "Eckerly Drive" allows allows instant transport between two stars with a jumplines. These jumplines form entry and exit points to the continuum universe. The Eckerly Drive - In 2115, a consortium of scientists from the European Federation and Japan led by Dr. Everett Eckerly succeeded in creating the Eckerly Drive propulsion engine. The next year, using an Eckerly Drive, the United Americas Space Agency spaceship 'Bunuel' made the first interstellar flight to Alpha Centauri by getting to a proper "jump point" within the Solar System and turning on the drive. Energy was used, the ship vanished, and reappeared in an instant at a jump point in Alpha Centauri 4.39 light years away. With this scientific breakthrough, the problem of travel between star systems was reduced to the problem of travel within star systems. With this tremendous technological development, around the world discussions began about the eventuality of interstellar colonial expansion in which people would seek to escape from the troubles on Earth to the new 'frontier'. However the notion this happening soon was disregarded by every government on Earth to be unnecessary at that time and far too expensive. Yet several of Earth's larger corporations began to fund space exploration efforts (mostly with space probes). This gave way to a rapid increase in the power and influence of multinational corporations. They were not defined by country, society, or ideology. In industry, in business, and in the media, the multinationals became ever more powerful and more visible. The AeroTech corporation was the most prominent company formed during this period.”
Future of the World & Space Over 100 Years and Beyond Part III – A Collection of Open-Content Textbooks.Future wikia. Wikibooks – a wikimedia project with a mission to create a free collection of open-content textbooks built with world wide participation and that anyone can edit.
This scenario was given the blue ribbon of quality – a “featured article” for its exceptional content, according to a research panel for Wikibooks. As opposed to the realism and forecasts seen in professional scenarios, this scenario is fictional, but grounded enough in the biological sciences to provide the reader with an image of very long-term possibilities in biology. Scenario: Biological Development. “Sterility Plague: The year 2118 saw the outbreak of the Bolivian H2 Alpha super-flu strain across Central and South America. By mid-2119 the Bolivian H2 Alpha, nicknamed the "Sterility Plague" had become a global pandemic. By the time Bolivian H2 Alpha was brought under control with a vaccine developed by the Japanese firm Zen Medical in 2124, it had claimed 104.3 million victims. Over 571 million people became sterile as a side effect of the plague. InVitro Program - Seeing a need to fill the labor force gap after the sterility-causing plague had decimated the population, that same year, the government of the United Americas creates the "InVitro Program" to produce genetically engineered humans to fill the gap. The InVitro Program involved engineering human embryos with the best the human genome has to offer, without the randomness of natural selection. The "InVitros" would be conceived from 'parents' that never actually lived as two human beings. Instead they would be composites of DNA from many sources thrown together in a petri dish to optimize the chances of getting the best traits possible. The race would be a step up from cloning in that no two InVitros would be alike; however they would share certain genetic sequences with another InVitro created from the same batch of constructed chromosomes. In 2127, the first batch of InVitro embryos were created using advanced gene splicing techniques and placed in neutral-buoyancy tanks referred to as "artificial gestation chambers" with the natural umbilical cord delivering the nutrients they would need suspended in a sleep state and an artificial cord at the base of their skulls (on the back of their necks) that was connected to a neural network that imputed basic education through direct sensory input to the brain. While floating in the artificial gestation chamber, a series of sophisticated retroviruses attacked the genetic structure of the InVitros, prematurely activating segments of DNA responsible for growth and maturity. By triggering these genes in a closely timed sequence while providing them with a steady flow of nutrient rich protein medium, their bodies were able to reach maturity at a rate far more rapid than naturally. In 2133, after six years, their physical development was equivalent to a "Natural Born" human at eighteen years of age. As it would be with all later generations of InVitros, only 27 percent of the subjects survived the gestation process. Genetically designed to be stronger, faster and less prone to illness, the InVitros were suppose to help bring the decaying human race back to its feet. They were created to be a servant caste, occupying jobs that were too dangerous, demeaning or strenuous for Natural Born humans. After they were born they would serve a five year period of indentured servitude to reimburse society for expenses associated with their creation. Despite the outcry from various human rights groups, the United Earth Federation officially approved of the InVitro Program and in 2134, the United Americas sold the technology and scientific schematics for creating InVitros to various other governments. A few months later, the UEF founded the InVitro Authority to collectively oversee the creation of InVitros all over the world. A few days later, several alien ships began appearing throughout the solar system and attacked UEAF ships and stations and even civilian research stations and mining ships on their way from planets such as Mars. On some occasions a group of aliens would board a space station. This gave human their first at them in their body armor which covered their entire bodies. Many people who encountered the aliens and survived remarked that the helmets the aliens wore were reminiscent of a chigoe flea. As a result the UEAF named the aliens "Chigs". After a month of skirmishes, a small fleet of Chigs vessels were detected to have entered the solar system. They were repelled by several squadron of the United Americas Marine Corps Space Aviator Cavalry and several destroyers of the United Americas Space Navy. Afterwards the United Earth Armed Forces went on the offensive. Early in the war, it was discovered that many Silicates were helping the Chigs in their war against humanity. In 2164 the Chig-Human War continues.”
Future of the World & Space Over 100 Years and Beyond Part III – A Collection of Open-Content Textbooks.Future wikia. Wikibooks – a wikimedia project with a mission to create a free collection of open-content textbooks built with world wide participation and that anyone can edit.
This scenario was given the blue ribbon of quality – a “featured article” for its exceptional content, according to a research panel for Wikibooks. As opposed to the realism and forecasts seen in professional scenarios, this scenario is fictional, but grounded enough in the computer sciences to provide the reader with an image of very long-term possibilities in artificial intelligence.
Scenario of Artificial Intelligence Technology: “In 2138 Silicatronics Incorporated unveiled 'Adam' - the first ever self-aware computer. In 2144, Silicatronics developed commercially available androids - walking humanoid personal computers running the latest in intelligent software design. Dubbed "Silicates" because of their silicon-based artificial neural networks, these androids were manufactured to be servants and soldiers, designed to be visually pleasing. However, their eyes were eerie white with rifle sight-like crosshairs in place of pupils so they would be easily recognizable and never mistaken for human beings. Silicates were programmed to comprehend abstract concepts such as philosophy, theology and ethics. Although they could understand these ideas their programming did not allow them to originate new ideas. Their superior intelligence was totally learned so they could understand an idea like freedom but did not have the ability to formulate how to obtain freedom. The A.I.s were also built to communicate with one another via modulation schemes through a networked wireless modem. When they communicated thusly, the only sound humans could detect were electronic beeps and chirps. The Silicates were networked remotely so they knew one another's position and operating state. In addition, they were capable of storing, and retrieving common knowledge. With a 5 terabyte collected memory capacity, they could share data on demand. With the advent of the Silicates, who could perform menial labor, the subject of the so-called "InVitro Question" heated up as many InVitro rights advocates clamored for the InVitro Authority to be dissolved and all InVitros serving their indentured servitude to be released from it early. The issue of the InVitros had already become the most controversial topic of the 22nd Century, especially since most InVitros who finished their indentured servitude found it very hard to adjust to life among Natural Borns because they were an easy target of constant discrimination since many regarded them as unnatural creations. The additional artificial "navel" present at the back of their necks (where the artificial umbilical cord/neural implant was attached in the gestation chamber) became their only visible distinguishing feature, making InVitros easily recognizable. Silicate Emancipation - In 2147, a computer programmer with Silicatronics named Dr. Ken Stranahan, who was considered a genius, discovered his senior co-workers were taking all the credit for his work. While upgrading the A.I. Central Processing Unit Dr. Stranahan inserted a computer virus into the A.I. code pool. The instruction was "Take a Chance." That one single act triggered a storm of destruction. As the computer virus was trasmitted to the vast majority of Silicates within days, it became a compelling ideology in A.I. behavior, leading them to define all activity in terms of risk and gamble. In less than a week the idea of risk became something of a religion for the Silicates. The only thing human created including themselves that they respected was gambling.
Silicatronics performed an internal witch-hunt, and found that Dr. Stranahan had created the "Take a Chance" virus, infecting the A.I.s. Before formal charges could be laid, Dr. Stranahan committed suicide. By that time, the Silicates had learned how to win a rebellion against the humans, they didn't feel emotions such as fear, intimidation and mercilessness but they knew how it affected humans. A.I. Wars - The A.I.s began indiscriminately taking human life, slaughtering the life forms they derisively called "Carbonites." The United Earth Armed Forces came into duty and to the overall surprise, the different generals worked together as one team. It was the first real test to the UEAF which it passed with flying colors. Natural Born losses were still so heavy that the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Earth Federation jointly passed a resolution that drafted all InVitros serving their indentured servitude into the Armed Forces of their respective nations. After the InVitros were conscripted into the Armed Forces against their will, they proved to be poor soldiers. With no conventional families to protect, a lack of patriotic fervor toward nations that saw them as expendable slaves, and no vested interest in the A.I. War's outcome, the majority of the InVitros refused to fight. Despite the A.I.s networked communication system, they were far less organized than humans during the war. As a result, the conflict essentially consisted of several wars being fought in different areas. As the A.I. Wars raged and many areas remained largely unaffected, others were devastated. Fighting was most intense in the East Asian Consortium. In 2151, President Yung of the EAC was assassinated by a Silicate. A year later, a division of Silicates codenamed the "CC Army" overran the Mongolian city of Karakorum. The so-called "CC War" was the bloodiest of the entire A.I. Wars, however after 13 months of fighting the city was liberated from the Silicates.
By 2154, the Silicates had been driven from all populated areas and intense fighting was confined to isolated areas. However, the A.I.s continued numerous terrorist attacks that killed thousands. That same year, a convention on Silicate POWs took place in Ho Chi Min City. As a result of the convention, A.I.s were considered to have the same rights as human POWs have according to the Geneva Convention. The War in Space - The Silicates took the conflict into space in the year 2155 after they collectively stole several military space vehicles that the militaries of the UEAF had been building. Most of them dispersed throughout the solar system to attack human research stations. Unbeknownst to the A.I.s, the ships they stole were only a small fraction of the ships the UEAF had been building for the enormous new space navies. For the next two years, the Armed Forces of the united Earth fought the Silicates in dozens of space battles, always with the humans being victorious. The AmeriCorps was especially effective. Finally, in 2157, after two years of trial and error the A.I.s successfully reverse-engineered their own Eckerly Drive engines for their ships. After equipping the remaining Silicate vessels with the technology, they traveled to several jump points and jumped out of the Solar system, ending the A.I. Wars. The Zen Restoration - In the midst of that joyous event, 2157 also saw a scientific breakthrough by Zen Medical enable the repair of damage done by the Sterility Plague at a genetic level. With fertility restored, Earth suffered a minor population explosion. With the A.I. Wars now over, the InVitro platoons, an abysmal failure, were dissolved by the United Earth Armed Forces in December of 2158. The InVitros returned "home" without familial or community ties to guide their main-streaming and soon became a rebellious race of socio-political untouchables. The refusal to fight in the war led to a stigma that would haunt InVitroes everywhere. Persecuted and reviled as disloyal cowards, most became outcasts, living on the outer edges of society. They had gained a reputation as being lazy and shiftless. The end of the war and the reversal of the Sterility Plague's effects sparked a reawakened sense of optimism in the public. The idea of colonizing planets in other solar systems was once again talked about heavily amongst the public and this time even amongst government officials. The talked was also sparked by the population surge. A colonization program sponsored primarily by the United Americas and operated by AeroTech began in June of 2159. A month later, the European Federation disbanded indentured servitude to get rid of InVitro ghettos after several rallies of the InVitro Rights Movements had ended in riots. In September of 2160, the United Earth Federation formally outlawed indentured servitude planetwide, completely freeing the InVitros. Out of a sense of guilt, the UEF instituted an InVitro affirmative action program.
Colonization of Deep Space - In 2162, the Colonization Program was launched from Corpus Christi, Texas. The first human extrasolar colony, Tellus was settled in early 2163. Just days after the settlement was established, it was attacked by an advanced alien civilization. During the attack several colonists managed to send a transmission to Earth, however due to the transceiver being decades old it would take a few months for the message to reach its destination. Not knowing of the alien threat, soon after AeroTech launched a second group of colonist from Corpus Christi. This group was headed for a planet dubbed Vesta. As with the Tellus colonists journey, the Vesta colony ship's journey toward Vesta would consist of a series of jumps to different solar systems, traveling through a system to another jump point and to another system until they eventually reach Vesta. After the Vesta colony ship made its first jump it was attacked by the aliens. The ship's emergency systems sent out a distress signal back to AeroTech, however due to the ship's transceiver being damaged during the attack it would take a few days to reach Earth. When the message did reach Earth, out of sheer coincidence the message from the Tellus colony arrived just hours later. After authenticating the messages as genuine, the General Assembly of the United Earth Federation held an emergency and secret meeting in which plans were drawn up for war. The next day, Secretary-General Spencer Chartwell addressed the entire world and told of the attack on the Tellus and Vesta colonists.”
The World in 2025 and Beyond. Erik Peterson, Seven Futures Project. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Co-directors William A. Schreyer, Chair in Global Analysis, and Director, Global Strategy Institute at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The author asserts that the world is not positioning itself well for the global economy. Brazil, Russia, Indian, and China are key countries to follow. By 2025 the developing world will account for over 50% of the total economic output. This book discusses driving forces of change shaping seven distinct geographical regions out to the year 2025 and beyond. “How will leaders from within these regions and within other countries respond?” Erik Peterson Seven Futures challenges leadership across the world to think seriously about events that are over the horizon and outside their borders. Latin America in 2025: Latin America does not have a good long-term outlook, due to over-regulation, governance "fatigue", and political alienation. Although becoming a major force, Brazil falls short of its potential to become a world economic power. Two countires alone – Brazil and Mexico account for 50% of the region’s population. Over 80% of the population in Brazil lives in urban centers. By 2015, Sao Paulo's population exceeds 20 million and Rio's population will approach the 12 million mark. Mexico City will also face major infrastructure challenges in the coming years. By 2015, intra-country economic disparity continues to grow in Latin America. In Mexico, which has the world's tenth largest economy and the highest per capita income in Latin America, 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. One-fourth of the world's plant species live in Brazilian rainforests, making it promising for the development of new drugs; however, governmental plans to develop the Amazon rainforest leaves only 5 percent of the rainforest intact by 2020. However, Latin America – especially Venezuela, Mexico, and Brazil – become increasingly important oil producers by 2025 and an important component fo the emerging Atlantic Basin energy system. By 2015, proven oil reserves are second only to the Middle East. Europe in 2025: Europe never sees true integration via the EU. Social welfare systems are pushed to the brink with falling worker to retiree ratios. Although immigration is necessary to sustain the workforce, anti-immigration attitudes continue to grow through 2015 – 2025. The share of the elderly in continental Europe grows from 17 to 31 percent between 2000 and 2050. One-half of all inhabitants on continental Europe will be 49 or older. As the EU continues to admin member states, it increases the population by nearly 20% but adds no more than 5% to the unions wealth. Middle East and North Africa in 2025: Middle East and North Africa experiences a rapid and dramatic population growth, modest economic growth, political instability and conflict, all mixed together with religious extremism. By 2050, the population grows to more than 7% of the world total – to some 560 million people. Sub-Saharan Africa in 2025: Sub-Saharan Africa continues to have a long term AIDS crisis and increasing undernourishment. The glimmer of hope lies in untapped fossil fuels to boost the economy if they can be properly managed and governed. By 2025, twelve more African countries will join the thirteen that are already suffering from water stress or water scarcity. Russia and Eurasia in 2025: Russia and Eurasia has a weak economy with a population that rapidly declines by a third by 2050. Aging population and health crises from environmental disasters put further strain on this region. Governance is key with massive reform, but the outlook of this seems bleak. The key driver of Russia and Eurasia in the next quarter century is the crisis of a rapidly declining population. Coupled with the alarming prevalence of HIV/AIDS and weapons of mass destruction from the Soviet era, Russia faces significant challenges in its future. South Asia in 2025: SouthAsia becomes an economic powerhouse by 2025, especially India. India is on track to be the most populous country by 2050. The relationship (or lack there of) between India and Pakistan is the only wild card. By 2050 India surpasses China as the world’s most populous nation with a population of over 1.5 billion. India’s sofrwar exports have grown over $5 billion in 10 years, and further growth in the IT sector will make India one of the larges generators and exporters of sofrware in the world by 2010. East Asia in 2025: This is the other potential economic dynamo, but interestingly China has only about a twenty year window to get it right. Their one-child policy leads to a rapidly aging population with a dramatic shortage of females in China. Economic liberalization is unlikely.”
Five Scenarios of World Systems. Sohail Inayatullah. Renaissance Universal, New Renaissance Magazine.
Inayatullah asserts that since 9/11 we have become alienated from our common humanity. There is a strong need worldwide for a coherent image of the “globalization of humanity”. “One of the greatest challenges to the US is that the demand from many Muslims, including extremists, not for money or territory, but for the West (and nations claiming to be Muslim) to change, to become less materialistic, more understanding of the plight of the poor, and more religious. The demands of the West on Islamic nations generally has been the opposite: to become more materialistic, more growth-oriented in terms of the formal economy (but not more people) and more sensate, scientific – to develop. From a macro-historical perspective, each distorts what it means to be human by focusing on one dimension, and in extreme forms.” Sohail Inayatullah Dialogue between and among civilizations should be a shared responsibility.
Scenario 1) Back to Normal. “After successful surgical strikes against Bin Laden and others, the USA returns to some normalcy. While trauma associated with air travel remains, these are seen as costs associated with a modern lifestyle, ie just as with cancer, heart disease and car accidents. The West continues to ascend, focused on economic renewal through bio-technologies and possibly emergent nano-technologies. More money, of course, goes to the military and intelligence agencies. The Right reigns throughout the World. Conflicts remain local and silent. Over time, the world economy prospers once again and poorer nations move up the ranks just as the Pacific Rim nations have. La vie est Belle.”
Scenario 2) Fortress USA/OECD. ‘Australia, for example, has already chosen that route, with basically a prison lock down ahead, especially to newcomers (who desire to enter the Fantasy island of the Virtual West escaping sanctions and feudal systems). The costs for the elites will be very high given globalized world capitalism, and with aging as one the major long term issues for OECD. The Fortress scenario will lead to general impoverishment and the loss of the immigration innovation factor. In the short run, it will give the appearance of security, but in the longer run, poverty will result, not to mention sham democracies with real power with the right wing aligned with the military/police complex. Increasing airport security is a must but without root issues being resolved, terror will find other vehicles of expression. After all, fortresses are remembered, in history, for being overrun, not for successful defense against "others." The response from the Islamic world will be a Fortress Islam, closing civilizational doors, becoming even more feudal and mullahist, and forcing individuals to choose: are you with us or against us, denying the multiplicity of selves that we are becoming. The economy – oil – will remain linked but other associations will continue to drift away.”
Scenario 3) Cowboy War – “Vengeance forever. Bush has already evoked the Wild West, and the Wanted – Dead or Alive image, indeed, even calling for a "crusade" against the terrorists. We have seen what that leads to all over the world, and the consequences are too clear for most of us. Endless escalation in war that will look like the USA has won but overtime will only speed up the process of decline. They will remember the latest round, and the counter-response will be far more terrifying, with new sorts of weapons. In any case, with the USA military, especially the marines rapidly increasing its percent of its members who are Muslim (through conversion and demographic growth rates) cowboy war will start to eat at the inner center. And once state terror begins, (or shall we say continues) there is no end in sight. Bush has already stated the assassination clause does not apply to Bin Laden and others since the USA is acting in self-defense. Cowboy war, again, will work in the short run. Crowds will chant USA, USA, until the next hit. The CIA can get back to business, and continue to make enemies everywhere. Most likely, this will lead to an endless global “Vietnam”, well, in fact, an endless Afghanistan. However, there are signs that Bush and others are listening to their soft sides and seeking to focus on the action of terror and not on Islam or any other wider category. They could use the sympathy from the rest of the world to “eliminate” terrorism (just as piracy in the high-seas was ended earlier) and, hopefully, in the longer run, seek solidarity with all victims of violence. The trauma from the bombing could lead Americans to genuinely understand the traumas other face in their day to day existence, to a shared transcendence, or it could lead to creating even more traumas. We can hope he – and all of us – keep on listening and learning. If not, in this future, there will be no real change to the world system. Once the terrorists are caught – well actually the perpetrators are already dead - no changes in international politics or international capital will occur, OECD states simply become stronger, while individuals become more fearful and anxiety prone. A depression of multiple varieties is likely to occur (economic and psychological). The depression will likely lead to anti-globalization revolts throughout the world, either leading to states to bunker themselves in for the long run, or possibly - transform. Most likely, we will see a slow but inevitable movement toward global fascism – the soft hegemony of the carnivore culture (and anti-ecological in terms of land use) of McDonalds’s with the hard side of Stealth bombers.”
Scenario 4) Deep Divide. ““Fortress” in the long run will be difficult, as the globalization forces have already been unleashed and the anti-thesis in a variety of forms has emerged (the socialist revolt, decolonization movements, and even, terrorism). “Cowboy war” will likely only exacerbate the deep cleavages in the World Economy (that the richest 350 or so own the same as nearly 3 billion individuals). Indeed, a case can be made that this is the Bin Laden preferred scenario. Bush attacks lead to destabilization in the Arab world, with the possibility of a nuclear accident and leading to extremists in Islamic nations rising up against modernists. Will Bin Laden escape to China? Over time, there may be a transition in who plays the central role in the world system, and is among the reasons the attacks have led to global anxiety – world system shifts are not pretty events or processes. The periphery tends to see its future through the lenses of the Center; if the Center can be bombed, what future is there for the impoverished periphery? The deep divide cannot be resolved, however, merely by the “hearts and minds” strategy for this involves making traditionalists modernist, i.e. from loving land and God to loving money and scientific rationality. Rather, it involves moving from tradition to a trans-modernity, which is inclusive of multiple but layered realities (the vertical gaze of ethics), moving toward an integrated planetary system (loving the planet and moving away from exclusivist identities but transcending historical traumas). But can this transition occur?”
Scenario 5) Gaian Bifurcation. “A Gaia of civilizations (each civilization being incomplete in itself and needing the other) plus a system of international justice focused not only on direct injustices but structural and cultural. This would not only focus on Israel/Palestine (internationalizing the conflict with peace keepers and creating a shared Jerusalem) as well as ending the endless sanctions in Iraq, but highlighting injustices by third world governments toward their own people (and the list here is endless, Burma, Malaysia’s Mahathir, India/Pakistan/Kashmir). The first phase would be far more legalistic, developing a world rule of law system with the context would be a new equity based multicultural globalization. The second phase would be values driver, with the USA moving to authentically understand the periphery, seeking to become smaller, globally democratic. This means transforming the world system, focusing on a post-globalization vision of the future, and moving to world governance. Specifically, this means: 1) human and animal rights; 2) indexing of wealth of poor and rich on a global level, that is, economic democracy – employee ownership; 3) prama-based- creating a dynamic balance, between regions, rural/city, seeing the world economy through the ecological metaphor but with technological innovation; 4) self-reliance, ecological, electronically linked communities (becoming more important than states); 1) gender partnership; and 2) transformed United Nations, with increased direct democracy, influence of the social movements and transparency within multinational corporations). It means moving away from the modernist self and the traditional self, and creating a transmodern self (spiritual, integrating multiplicities and future-generations oriented). In terms of epistemology, this means moving from the strategic discourse, which has defined us for hundreds of years, to the emergent healing discourse (within, toward others, toward the planet, and for future generations). Healing means seeing the earth as an evolving body. What is the best way to heal then, through enhancing the immune system, listening to the body, or through massive injection of drugs? According to the author, workshops around the world revealed in Islamic, Western and East Asian nations this last scenario is an alternative future that is a desired future. Muslim leaders in a March 1996 seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the Ummah in 2025 desired a future that was based on: 1) gender cooperation; 2) a cooperative economic system (and not capitalism); 3) self-reliance ecological electronically linked communities (glo-cal); and, 4) a world governance system. This perspective appears to be generally shared by the cultural creatives, an emerging demographic category in the West (www.culturalcreatives.org) In the Non-West as well there is a desire to move away from feudal structures but retain spiritual heritage, to be “modern” but in a different way.”
Three Global Scenarios Europe’s Present Futures Thinking: A Societal Science View on Future Geopolitics.Peter H. Mettler , professor, Wiesbaden University of Applied Science. Futures Research Quarterly, Fall 2004.
The author examines trends and scenarios to 2040, 2070, through to 2114. (See paper for the complete scenarios.) Scenario 1) World Cooperation. “This scenario starts from the assumption that the worldwide situation degraded so much by 2040 that there was only a choice between either die or compromise. The world did the latter, survived, and even prospers 30 years later. Though there is no world government, people in 2070 have the assumption that the golden years are just starting. There is a world Marshall Plan in action, the UN is revaluated above its mightiest times and seconded by a more powerful but re-oriented world bank group and a new Bretton Woods System.” Scenario 2) Continued Muddling Through. “Nothing changed fundamentally: whilst in 2040 India, Southeast Asia and the Occident were cooperating and the Muslim Federation as well as China stood on their own, 2070 saw certain cooperations between some progressive parts of the Muslim Federation and India and a certain distance but not hostility of the latter to the Occident and Southeast Asia. China is still on its own.” Scenario 3) A Little More Than Hope. “This scenario requires a more detailed description of the state of affairs in 2040. Chaos is everywhere. States, national militaries or security systems as well as economic structures have lost their power and importance. Multinational corporations (MNCs) have replaced them everywhere but never managed to establish structures of the former states. In regions or sub-continents which had managed so far not to be penetrated by or against each other) and there are millions of casualties. From 2040 on, the chaos gave gradual birth to the following structure which managed till 2070 to stop fighting and negotiate. The UN system now comprises four structures or parliaments. Average life expectance in industrial countries has risen to 130 years, i.e. at least 40 more years than today, that parents have quite a big word to say on the genetic composition of their offspring, but that they have to get agreement from a special agency on when and on how many. Every capable citizen pursues at least thee quite different careers in his/her working life-time and that these experiences lead to unprecedented creativity and innovations. The Occidental Union (OC) comprises some two billion citizens of the described type around the entire Atlantic and adjacent areas of central and Southeast Asia. This OC came about because all present members realized that nobody could be big, powerful or successful enough to really be a Hegemon or to be able to stand the competition of the united rest (against him/her) and that much more can be achieved by cooperation, for one's own entity as well as for others. The political structure followed, in the beginning, the ancient ideas of the founding fathers of the EU in 2003, when they drafted the EU constitution. But it was altered many times hence, following many newand /or day-to-day necessities. And the same phenomenon as described in earlierscenarios could be observed here. And finally: the OC called for the Azores Congress in 2114, three hundred years after the Viennese Congress and in is memory, in order torestructure our global peacefully anew with social as well as environmental concerns at its center.”
Scenarios on the Future of Ecosystems. Scientific Consensus Documents published under the authority of the Green facts Scientific Board with the support of a Panel of Experts. GreenFacts publishes on-line summaries of authoritative scientific documents on environment and health matters. These summaries are presented in three levels of detail, making the scientific consensus easily accessible to non-specialists. GreenFacts recognizes that the current state of scientific knowledge is an essential basis for constructive debates and informed decisions. GreenFacts scenarios help communicate scientific drivers of change to the layperson for a better understanding of ecosystems and trends. Scenario 1) Global Orchestration. “The Global Orchestration scenario depicts a globally-connected society in which policy reforms that focus on global trade and economic liberalization are to reshape economies and governance, emphasizing the creation of markets that allow equal participation and provide equal access to goods and services. These policies, in combination with large investments in global public health and the improvement of education worldwide, generally succeed in promoting economic expansion and lifting many people out of poverty into an expanding global middle class. Supra national institutions in this globalized scenario are well-placed to deal with global environmental problems such as climate change and fisheries. However, the reactive approach to ecosystem management favored in this scenario makes people vulnerable to surprises arising from delayed action. While the focus is on improving human well-being of all people, environmental problems that threaten human well-being are only considered after they become apparent…Growing economies, expansion of education, and growth of the middle class leads to demand for cleaner cities, less pollution, and a more beautiful environment. Rising income levels bring about changes in global consumption patterns, boosting demand for ecosystem services, including agricultural products such as meat, fish, and vegetables. Growing demand for these services leads to declines in other services, as forests are converted into cropped area and pasture, and the services formerly provided by forests decline. The problems related to increasing food production, such as loss of wildlands, are not apparent to most people who live in urban areas. These problems therefore receive only limited attention…Global economic expansion expropriates or degrades many of the ecosystem services poor people once depended upon for their survival. While economic growth more than compensates for these losses in some regions by increasing our ability to find substitutes for particular ecosystem services, in many other places, it does not. An increasing number of people are impacted by the loss of basic ecosystem services essential for human life. While risks seem manageable in some places, in other places there are sudden, unexpected losses as ecosystems cross thresholds and degrade irreversibly. Loss of potable water supplies, crop failures, floods, species invasions, and outbreaks of environmental pathogens increase in frequency. The expansion of abrupt, unpredictable changes in ecosystems, many with harmful effects on increasingly large numbers of people, is the key challenge facing managers of ecosystem services. " Scenario 2) Order from Strength. “The Order from Strength scenario represents a regionalized and fragmented world, concerned with security and protection, emphasizing primarily regional markets, and paying little attention to common goods. Nations see looking after their own interests as the best defense against economic insecurity, and the movement of goods, people, and information is strongly regulated and policed. The role of government expands as oil companies, water systems, and other strategic businesses are either nationalized or subjected to more state oversight. Trade is restricted, large amounts of money are invested in security systems, and technological change slows due to restrictions on the flow of goods and information. Regionalization exacerbates global inequality…Treaties on global climate change, international fisheries, and the trade in endangered species are only weakly and haphazardly implemented, resulting in degradation of the global commons. Local problems often go unresolved, but major problems are sometimes handled by rapid disaster relief to at least temporarily resolve the immediate crisis. Many powerful countries cope with local problems by shifting burdens to other, less powerful countries, increasing the gap between rich and poor. In particular, natural resource-intensive industries are moved from wealthier nations to poorer and less powerful ones. Inequality increases considerably within countries as well…Ecosystem services become more vulnerable, fragile, and variable in Order from Strength. For example, parks and reserves exist within fixed boundaries, but climate changes around them, leading to the unintended extirpation of many species. Conditions for crops are often suboptimal, and the ability of societies to import alternative foods is diminished by trade barriers. As a result, there are frequent shortages of food and water, particularly in poor regions. Low levels of trade tend to restrict the number of invasions by exotic species; however, ecosystems are less resilient and invaders are therefore more often successful when they arrive." Scenario 3) TechnoGarden. “The TechnoGarden scenario depicts a globally connected world relying strongly on technology and highly managed, often engineered ecosystems, to deliver ecosystem services. Overall efficiency of ecosystem service provision improves, but is shadowed by the risks inherent in large-scale human-made solutions and rigid control of ecosystems. Technology and market-oriented institutional reform are used to achieve solutions to environmental problems. These solutions are designed to benefit both the economy and the environment. These changes co-develop with the expansion of property rights to ecosystem services, such as requiring people to pay for pollution they create or paying people for providing key ecosystem services through actions such as preservation of key watersheds. Interest in maintaining, and even increasing, the economic value of these property rights, combined with an interest in learning and information, leads to a flowering of ecological engineering approaches for managing ecosystem services. Investment in green technology is accompanied by a significant focus on economic development and education, improving people's lives and helping them understand how ecosystems make their livelihoods possible…A variety of problems in global agriculture are addressed by focusing on the multifunctional aspects of agriculture and a global reduction of agricultural subsidies and trade barriers. Recognition of the role of agricultural diversification encourages farms to produce a variety of ecological services, rather than simply maximizing food production. The combination of these movements stimulates the growth of new markets for ecosystem services, such as tradable nutrient runoff permits, and the development of technology for increasingly sophisticated ecosystem management. Gradually, environmental entrepreneurship expands as new property rights and technologies co-evolve to stimulate the growth of companies and cooperatives providing reliable ecosystem services to cities, towns, and individual property owners…Innovative capacity expands quickly in developing nations. The reliable provision of ecosystem services, as a component of economic growth, together with enhanced uptake of technology due to rising income levels, lifts many of the world's poor into a global middle class. Elements of human well-being associated with social relations decline in this scenario due to great loss of local culture, customs, and traditional knowledge that occurs and due to the weakening of civil society institutions as an increasing share of interactions take place over the Internet. While the provision of basic ecosystem services improves the well-being of the world's poor, the reliability of the services, especially in urban areas, is increasingly critical and increasingly difficult to ensure. Not every problem has succumbed to technological innovation. Reliance on technological solutions sometimes creates new problems and vulnerabilities. In some cases, we seem to be barely ahead of the next threat to ecosystem services. In such cases new problems often seem to emerge from the last solution, and the costs of managing the environment are continually rising. Environmental breakdowns that impact large numbers of people become more common. Sometimes new problems seem to emerge faster than solutions. The challenge for the future will be to learn how to organize social-ecological systems so that ecosystem services are maintained without taxing society's ability to implement solutions to novel, emergent problems. " Scenario 4) Adapting Mosaic. "In the Adapting Mosaic scenario, regional watershed-scale ecosystems are the focus of political and economic activity. This scenario sees the rise of local ecosystem management strategies, and the strengthening of local institutions. Investments in human and social capital are geared towards improving knowledge about ecosystem functioning and management, which results in a better understanding of resilience, fragility, and local flexibility of ecosystems. There is optimism that we can learn, but humility about preparing for surprises and about our ability to know everything about managing ecosystems…There is also great variation among nations and regions in styles of governance, including management of ecosystem services. Some regions explore actively adaptive management, investigating alternatives through experimentation. Others employ bureaucratically rigid methods to optimize ecosystem performance. Great diversity exists in the outcome of these approaches: some areas thrive, while others develop severe inequality or experience ecological degradation. Initially, trade barriers for goods and products are increased, but barriers for information nearly disappear (for those who are motivated to use them) due to improving communication technologies and rapidly decreasing costs of access to information…Eventually, the focus on local governance leads to failures in managing the global commons. Problems like climate change, marine fisheries, and pollution grow worse and global environmental problems intensify. Communities slowly realize that they cannot manage their local areas because global and regional problems are infringing, and they begin to develop networks among communities, regions, and even nations, to better manage the global commons. Solutions that were effective locally are adopted among networks. These networks of regional successes are especially common in situations where there are mutually beneficial opportunities for coordination, such as along river valleys. Sharing good solutions and discarding poor ones eventually improves approaches to a variety of social and environmental problems, ranging from urban poverty to agricultural water pollution. As more knowledge is collected from successes and failures, provision of many services improves. "
Powerful Times : Rising to the Challenge of Our Uncertain World. Eamonn Kelly. Oxford Press. Published 2006.
The author provides solid frameworks to make sense of a voilatile world. The book poses a series of questions about the future that the reader can use in strategic conversations. The basic thesis of Eamon Kelly’s book: “We’re not just living through an "age of change." We’re experiencing a change of age: the most profound inflection point in human history since the Enlightenment.” In the coming decades, major drivers of change are outlined by Kelly. These drivers will “fundamentally reshape human life in the coming decades.” Kelly calls them “dynamic tensions”: 1) Paradoxes of power in an age of terror: Unprecedented dilemmas for the world’s only superpower; 2) Unexpected consequences of transparency: Ubiquitous information bring new clarity but also confusion, conspiracies, and craziness; 3) The virtual and tangible economies: Economic value is increasingly intangible, even as physical infrastructure matters more; 4) Technology acceleration and pushback: Computing, biotech, nanotech: breakthroughs, catastrophes, or both? 5) New forms of governance: The resurgence of local and global innovations in democracy; 6) The widening human footprint: The impact of 9 billion people on an increasingly challenged planet. Scenario 1.) New American Century. “This is a future in which the United States achieves unparalleled leadership in world affairs, reasserting and strengthening its influence, and essentially establishing the core values and rules —economic, political, and cultural — by which the entire world will play for generations.” Scenario 2.) Patchwork Powers. “This is a future in which geopolitical and economic power and influence is distributed and shared between many different international bodies, geographical regions, and nation-states. This is also a future in which influence is projected through a complex and sometimes confusing patchwork of alliances and treaties.” Scenario 3.) Emergence. “ This is a future in which the established, traditional models of power and leadership prove to be largely unsuited to the challenges of a world of increased interdependence, complexity, uncertainty, and diversity. Instead, change and coherence come from the bottom up, as centralized and hierarchical governments, international institutions, and many large corporations prove slow to adapt to new challenges and opportunities.”
Stephan Hawkings, Disasters, Wild Cards and Survival of the Human Species. Smart Economy – a Forum for discussiong emerging technologies with built-in intelligence or embedded smarts. June 14, 2006.
Scientist Stephen Hawking cautioned that the survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth. Hawking has great confidence in man’s ability to innovate and believes humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mays in the next 40 years. “We won't find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system. If humans can avoid killing themselves in the next 100 years, they should have space settlements that can continue without support from Earth. "It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said. "Life on Earth is at the ever increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of." These disaster events, called Wild Cards, are low probability high impact events that happen quickly, taking most people by surprise. In scenario planning, wild cards are often considered in the discussion of potential events. The following is a partial list of wildcards that could happen at anytime in the future:
- Megavolcano erupts
- Cumbre Vieha collapses, megatsunami wipes out dozens of cities
- Asteroid or comet hits earth
- Massive solar flare wipes out life on earth
- Natural evolution of superbug
- Extraordinary US West Coast Natural Disaster
- First Unambiguous Contact with Extraterrestrial Life
- Ice caps melt, Oceans rise one hundred feet
- Mass Migrations
- Another Chernobyl
- Collapse of the United Nations
- Global nuclear war
- Environmental pressure causes evolution of superbug
- Aids becomes transmittable by air
- Bugs resistant to all known antibiotics
- Rules Change: Economic and/or Environmental "War Criminals" Are Prosecuted
- Terrorists Go Biological
- US Economy Fails or collapse of the dollar
- Civil nuclear war
- Global economic collapse causes mass starvation and conflict
- Global civil war
- Space exploration creates superbug
- Civil war between Soviet States Goes Nuclear
- Collapse of World's Fisheries
- Computer/Chip/Operating System Maker Blackmails Country or World
- Gulf or Jet Stream Shifts Location Permanently
- International Financial Collapse
- Major Break in Alaskan pipeline - Significant ecological damage
A Future Without Health? Health Dimension in Global Scenario Studies. Pim Martens and Maud Huynen. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2003. pg. 81.
This paper reviews the health dimension and sociocultural, economic, and ecological determinants of health in existing global scenario studies through the review of 31 existing scenarios. Most scenarios addressed the global driving forces of health within the 31 scenarios, particularly the report on emission scenarios (SRES), global environmental outlook – 3 (GEO3) and world water scenarios (WWS) to three potential, but imaginary, health futures: 1) age of emerging infectious diseases; 2) age of medical technology, and 3) age of sustained health. Useful insights within the scenarios are provided. The paper argues that a more comprehensive scenario research methodology is required for a global view of health care into the future. The following scenarios are within the context of potential health stages within a conceptual framework known as the health transition. Health Stage 1) Age of Emerging Infectious Diseases. “In this stage the emergence of new infectious diseases or the re-emergence of “old” diseases will have a significant impact on health. A number of factors will influence this development: travel and trade, microbiological resistance, human behavior, breakdowns in health systems, and increased pressure on the environment. Social, political, and economic factors that cause the movement of people will increase contact between people and microbes, and environmental changes caused by human activity (for example, dam and road building, deforestation, irrigation, and, at the global level, climate change) all will contribute to the spread of disease. The overuse of antibiotics and insecticides, combined with inadequate or deteriorating public health infrastructures, will hamper or delay responses to increasing disease threats. As a result, the prevalence of infectious diseases will increase drastically, and life expectancy will fall (as is the case in many developing countries because of AIDS). Ill-health will lead to lower levels of economic activity, and countries will be caught in a downward spiral of environmental degradation, depressed incomes, and bad health. Control of infectious diseases will be hampered by political and financial obstacles, and by an inability to use existing technologies.” Health Stage 2) The Age of Medical Technology. “To a large extent, increased health risks caused by changes in lifestyle and environmental changes will be offset by increased economic growth and technology improvements in the “age of medical technology”. To some extent, this might be comparable with other views on a fourth stage — the “hybristic” stage, described by Rogers & Hackenberg and the “age of delayed degenerative diseases” . If no long term, sustainable economic development occurs, increased environmental pressure and social imbalance may propel poor societies into the age of emerging infectious diseases. On the other hand, if environmental and social resources are balanced with economic growth, sustained health may be achieved.” Health Stage 3) The Age of Sustained Health. “In the “age of sustained health”, investments in social services will lead to a sharp reduction in lifestyle-related diseases, and most environmentally-related infectious diseases will be eradicated. Health policies will be designed to improve the health status of a population in such a way that the health of future generations is not compromised by, for example, the depletion of resources needed by future generations. Although the chance that infections will emerge is only minimal, improved worldwide surveillance and monitoring systems will mean that any outbreak is dealt with properly. Despite the ageing of the world population, health systems will be well adjusted to an older population.”
BBC Book of the Future. www.bbc.co.uk The BBC asked readers and citizens what would the world look like in the year 2020? As a result, the BBC received over one thousand submissions for the BBC Book of the Future. Users were able to vote on these articles and the most popular, interesting, and profound were published. Here is a scenario by Researcher “AngelEyes”published on the BBC site January, 2003. According to the SETI Institute, there is no compelling scientific evidence to support the idea that extraterrestrials are here or on their way, but scientists in general support the search for extra intelligence. From the Report of the Astronomy Survey Committee, National Academy of Sciences, 1991: "... The discovery in the last decade of planetary disks (around other stars), and the continuing discovery of highly complex organic molecules in the interstellar medium, lend even greater scientific support to this enterprise." Scenario: The Year 2020: E.T. “At 18:20 GMT, on the 23rd February 2020, a signal was received by a communications satellite in Earth orbit. The transmission was sent from a small robot spacecraft on the surface of Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, and it heralded the greatest discovery in the history of mankind. Below the freezing surface of the moon Europa, nearly 500 million miles away from Earth, life had been discovered. The ocean beneath the ice, warmed by geothermal activity from the moons core and kept moving by Jupiter's extreme gravity, was rife with microbial activity. These organisms, while not being 'little green men', were similar to primitive microbes found on Earth and gave conclusive proof that life is not unique. Within minutes the news had spread to almost every corner of our planet and, even though at one stage it looked like society might break down trying to comprehend the enormity of it all, people seemed to accept the news with maturity and intelligence. Indeed, the ramifications of the discovery were such that global society improved considerably in the days and weeks of early March. Crime rates fell, strangers spoke to each other in the streets, and it seemed as though the whole planet was smiling. Ironically, while doing more to disprove the existence of God than anything else in history, the discovery had brought people together in the way that religion had advocated for it's entire life…That was until the 15th April when a fundamental religious group, having decided that a world which renounced God did not deserve the gift of life, orchestrated a planet-wide release of a genetically modified Ebola virus. This strain had been engineered to target humans only leaving all plants and animals entirely unaffected. Airborne, highly infectious and 100% fatal the virus ripped through the world population like wildfire. Third world countries fell swiftly as the developed world closed it's doors, but even they could not last forever and the virus claimed the last human lives before the year was out…In interstellar space, and beyond the reach of the Sun's gravity, man's influence is still felt. Pioneer 10, launched in March 1972 and still with power from its radioisotope generators, sits in the freezing blackness of space. The gold plate it carries, etched with greetings from man, still survives to carry the message of the race that created it. The messengers of mankind, originally sent to warn the cosmos of our arrival, now become the only remaining echoes of a lost species.”
What Would Radical Longevity Mean? Three Scenarios on Radical Longevity Jamies Cascio, October 11,2004 World Changing Essays section of Technology Review site of the future.
Technology Review reported that MIT Professor Leonard Guarente may have found the genetic factor that allows mice undergoing 'caloric restriction' to live up to 30% longer. It's long been known that cutting down food intake by about 1/3 can extend the lifespan of mammals by up to 50%. Professor Guarente has found that manipulating a single gene -- the SIRT1 gene -- can produce longer mice lives without caloric restriction. What's more, all mammals -- including humans -- have a similar gene. A 30% longer healthy life -- another 25-30 years, say -- is intriguing, and is on the cusp of being worldchanging. A population that regularly lives to (and beyond) the age of 100 forces us to confront questions about work, relationships, family and our society in general. But living to 100, even 140, may be just the tip of the iceberg. What happens when we figure out a way to live much longer lives? Read on for an exploration of this question. Jamis Cascio
All of these longevity scenarios are laden with discomfiting questions, and each has its own unique implications. Scenario 1) "Magic Pill" "...-- you take a (literal or metaphorical) anti-aging pill, the physical toll of the years slips away, and you spend the centuries in your healthy twentysomething body. This is a world where the only "old" people are those who chose not to take the treatment, those who for some biomedical reason couldn't take it, and those who couldn't afford to take it -- as noted, the question of access and expense is an important one. This world would likely be the most immediately disruptive, with the sudden re-introduction of populations combining the vigor of youth and the accumulated knowledge (and wealth) of age." Scenario 2) "Holy Fire" "...longevity, after the Bruce Sterling book of that name. If you haven't read it, go read it now. I'll wait. In this scenario, your older body is subject to a regimen of biotechnological and nanotechnological treatments that effectively "resets" you to the aforementioned healthy twentysomething body. After that, aging re-commences, and you would presumably need another aging reset half a century later. This is a world where older people are still relatively commonplace, but occasionally return as a younger version of themselves after a vacation. One possible social result is a "rebirthing" ritual, where the newly-young person voluntarily gives up aspects of his or her previous life. As the medical technologies for body resets would probably be complicated and expensive for quite some time, and therefore slow to disseminate widely, such "rebirthing" would be a strong social moderator on the ability of the long-lived rich to continue to concentrate wealth." Scenario 3) "Dorian Gray," "...where aging isn't reversed, but it is slowed considerably. Coupled with incremental improvements and techniques for making sure that old age doesn't mean ill health, you'd eventually see people far older than possible today. "Radical longevity" doesn't come about as the result of a specific technology, but as the result of myriad otherwise desirable medical treatments. I suspect that this scenario eventually results in serious social disruption, as there would be few social leveling elements in the technology. It would tend to exacerbate current imbalances of wealth and power, and would be the most likely to trigger serious push-back and resentment in the long-run." Scenario 4) "Immortal Kids" "...-- a treatment for radical life extension that can only be performed in the early days after conception (or in a test tube). Anyone now alive could never get it, but any child born with this treatment would be able to live far, far longer than previous generations. The choice to live a very long time would be taken out of one's own hands, and will have been the choice of one's parents. How many parents would say "yes" to this? How many would say "no?" If some kids have this treatment and others don't, how do they sort themselves out socially? Do they feel resentment towards their parents for the choice made? How many parents will resent the extended lives of their kids? One saving grace of the last three scenarios is that the effects unfold slowly. Extending the human lifespan by 30, 50, 100, 500 years (or more) doesn't have an immediate and noticeable result. The death rate from age-related illnesses would presumably drop, but people will still die from violence or accidents. Even as the rate of population growth slowly ticks upwards, the social impact of living for a very long time would only really be felt once a critical mass of people actually do live for a very long time. A world where the human lifespan was 200 instead of 100 wouldn't actually feel all that different for a good bit of time."
Youth Futures Jennifer Gidley and Sohail Inayatullah, eds. Youth Futures: Comparative Research and Transformative Visions. Chapter 2.Westport, Ct. Praeger, 2002.
Youth is about renewal, fresh ideas challenging old traditions and yearning for the untried. Youth finds change inebriating, not intimidating. Youth is also impetuous, unpredictable: with the promise of a better future comes a veiled threat to tear down the past. ... Youth breaks all the rules. Youth is colorful, irreverent, entertaining, sometimes shocking, almost always rebellious. Youth is on the vanguard of fashion, music, literature and popular culture. But the young are also the first to hurl stones, to lob bombs, to rush to the barricades. Youth is, in a word, energy. Jennifer Gidley Idealism that is at the heart of young people's visions of the future. It is essentially the desire to create a world that works for everyone - all humans, plants and animals. Idealism means the unwillingness to accept adult reasons why the world cannot change or should not change - the deep structures of history. Idealism, like utopianism, expresses "impulses and aspirations which have been blocked by the existing society." Sohail Inayatullah
This ego and alter-ego comes across in foundational scenarios of the future. These can be seen in popular and academic images of the future, and have certainly come across in visioning workshops with young people (as explored in the section on case studies). The first is the globalized artificial future and the second is the communicative-inclusive future. Scenario 1) The Globalized Scenario: “is high-technology and economy driven. Features include, the right to plastic surgery and an airplane for each person. Generally, the vision is of endless travel and shopping, and generally a global society where we all have fun and all our desires are met. The underlying ethos is that technology can solve every problem and lead to genuine human progress. In contrast is the communicative-inclusive society, which is values driven.” Scenario 2) Communicative-Inclusive Society: “Consumption in this scenario is far less important to communication. It is learning from another that is crucial. While technology is important, the morality of those inventing and using it is far more important. Instead of solving the world's food problem through the genetic engineering of food, the reorganization of society and softer more nature-oriented alternatives such as organic foods are far more important. The goal is not to create a world that leads to the fulfillment of desire but one wherein desire is reduced (the Gandhian sentiment) or channeled to spiritual and cultural pursuits. The underlying perspective is that of a global ethics with a deep commitment that communication and consciousness transformation can solve all our problems.”
Poverty Free Futures Ivana Milojevic The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia.
At the worldview/discourse level, the main debate is whether economy needs to be regulated. Libertarians and conservatives argue against any or against any significant interference into the free-market economy, and maintain that poverty can only be elevated through the free flow of capital and labour. Some also argue that the widening gap between the rich and the poor is “a natural, necessary and even desirable component and hallmark of the improvement of the human condition” This scenario reflects on the international goal to alleviate poverty by the year 2015. Ivana Milojevic
Status of Poverty in the year 2015: “The goal to alleviate poverty by 2015 was partially successful. Not all nations were able to learn the lessons of history about the "poverty mystique" and the complexities of poverty. At the beginning of the 21st Century, analysts and governments only understood poverty from a statistical point of view or "litany level". "At the litany level poverty was measured only through economic and other quantitative indicators. The discourse tends to focus on the overwhelming nature of global poverty, for example, estimates that currently 53% of the world population is classified as poor and that around 3 billion of people live on less then 2US$ a day. The number of people in poverty is represented as the matter of fact and causes are rarely explored. In western media, poverty is usually constructed to be “out there”, among “the Others” and rarely “here”. The common results of poverty, such as high fertility rates, low literacy levels, political arrest, organised crime and scarcity of resources are often presented as its main causes." The wisdom of 2015 shed great light for government and decisionmakers to found strategies some fundamental, newer understandings of poverty. Governments in eastern nations, especially, began to understand that poverty can happen quickly. That it is easy to move from a situationj of relative affluence to a situation of poverty. This happened to millions of people in Eastern Europe, over a relatively short period of time. Secondly, people who find themselves in situations of poverty use multiple strategies to alleviate their condition. The poorer they are the more elaborate and ingenious their strategies for survival are. At the same time, it is often thought that the poor are totally powerless to change their situation and that their only hope is to be passive recipients of aid. Because of this, strategies that the poor used by 2015 were adopted by many national, regional, and local governments. These were the same strategies the poor used back in the 1900s to maintain their own societies Third, in the 19th century and early 20th century, there was a perception that the poor are powerless, and the conviction that poor have no future since their predicament will only get worse. But 2015, societies learned that true poverty needed to be combated from the attitude point of view and redefined by learning about their living and working conditions. Multiple transofrmation in lifestyle took place once it was understood that poverty is a cumulative process. The longer povery goes on, the harder it is to uproot. By 2015, leaders learned to apply creativity and resourcefulness to the hardest-hit areas hit by serious poverty.”
Scenarios on Globalization. Free Agent Ecosystem site. Community Zero.com.
A consortium of government officials and NGOS - nominated an environmental and globalization study to research the future of globalization and had developed four globalization scenarios. For further information on this study, see reference. Free Agent Ecosystem Site.
Scenario 1) Low globalization & Booming U.S. economy: “Ahhh…..2015 is a very good year! Life is very good for consultants right now. We have plenty of work that we love and it is highly valued. We use the logo of a frog to represent our ability to leap across groups to help bridge them.
However, it hasn't always been this way. You may remember The Great Explosion of 2003-2005. It seemed like we'd never find the order in the chaos. It was a very painful and confusing time.
The destruction and breaking down of structures and systems that occurred during The Great Explosion left an opening for The Great Awakening. This was a time when people went deep inside themselves. Individuals emerged with a greater sense of understanding of themselves as interconnected - but with great reverence for different cultures.
In 2006 the world adopted the Mauritius Model. Since then, each culture had had its own economy. It's nationalistic but honors other cultures.
This is where our contributions as consultants come in. We are the bridges of communication and structure between each very diverse group. It is okay to talk about spirituality in the workplace. In fact, spirituality is one of the common bridges between all of the communities that have emerged.” Scenario 2) “High globalization & Booming U.S. economy: So many dreams have been realized by 2015. We are living the fruits of the Awakening of our Consciousness. We have reinforcing loops of economic profits, social justice, and sustainability/ecology.
This Awakening allows us to live in a world where companies = communities. Our workforce is decentralized. We have shifted from a culture of over consumption to one of voluntary consumption. There is enough for everyone.
Free Agency is the way business is done. Companies compete for and retain free agent employees by the health and attractiveness of the communities they form in and around the workplace.
Many kinds of cycles have been shortened including adoption of new and disruptive technologies, personal and spiritual development, and in fact, the corporate life cycle itself. Companies exist long enough to achieve their mission, disband, and the employees reconfigure to achieve a new mission.
Because of increased connectivity language and communication barriers are dissolved. One byproduct is that the investors flood into global stock markets. This decentralized the role once held by a few powerful market makers. We'll just have to wait and see what we consultants will be doing in 2015.”
Scenario 3) “Low globalization & U.S. economy in depression: This is the year that we led our fellow citizens in the revolt we had been moving toward since 2012. We had been trying to work within the failing system but Gerry Brummit's words of wisdom, "If not us, then who??" mobilized us into revolutionary action. We each have been leading several groups of consultants/political activists to reclaim our world.
Our current state was preceded by a very whiny Cryin', Lyin', and Dyin' country western song state of mind. We consultant/political activists were meeting underground but we - and everyone - felt powerless to affect our future.
The powerlessness was the result of many events that happened between 2003 and now. There was just one disaster after another. It began with the war in Iraq. We banned immigration in an attempt to protect ourselves from the outside world but terrorism increased nonetheless. After the U.N. disbanded disease and pestilence were rampant. When the real estate market collapsed in 2007 the economy completed its dive. In 2010 the government increased controls - food was rationed and there was even talk of curfews. In 2011 civil unrest and our leadership role really began.”
Scenario 4) “High globalization & U.S. economy in depression. Life is very different in 2015. China is now the world's strongest economy, followed by the EU. The U.S. economy is third. English is now a second language. But that's okay! (Thank you Patrick Ahern!)
The baby boomers no longer contribute money to the economy because of mandatory withdrawals from retirement accounts. The U.S markets have crashed and have been replaced by a World Stock Exchange. Medical costs are through the roof largely because the aging baby boomers are a high needs group.
A U.N. Security Council led policing body and military has replaced national defense forces (armies, navies, etc.). Defense and intelligence is now truly global.
Because of environmental mismanagement there have been chronic water shortages. All U.S. farming and ranching is outsourced to other countries. The U.S. is no longer a major food-producing economy.
Everyone has personal video conferencing units to communicate directly with anyone in the world.
The world economy is fueled by huge trading blocks and transnational systems that China and other Asian countries have established and manage. Most people living in the U.S. generally work from 4:00 p.m. until midnight in order to be in sync with our Chinese employers and customers. Since English is now a second language, we speak Chinese at work. But that's okay!
As consultants, the services we provide include courses to understand Asian business and cultures, Chinese as a second language.”
Global Exploratory Scenarios Jerry Glenn and Theodore Gordon, Millennium Project. Written in 1998 based on studies in 1996-1997. American Council for the United Nations University - Millennium Project.
How Models Were Used in the Exploratory Scenarios. Most model-based global studies start with the model and scenarios are derived based on the model’s output. When models are used in this way, assumptions must be made about “exogenous” variables- that is, the value of parameters that are used by the model but not computed by it, such as population growth rate or productivity. In this case, the Millennium Project uses the scenario to drive the model rather than vice versa. Rather than having the model drive the scenario, the scenario drove the model. The drafting of exploratory scenarios began with the choice of the principal independent dimensions (axes) that seemed to force the worlds under examination to differ. Future “worlds” were formed around these choices. In the next step, these explicit scenarios were used to provide the backdrop for the choice of the values of the exogenous variables in the selected model. Therefore, when the model was run, its output was consistent with the scenario on which the exogenous variables were based and the model provided quantitative estimates of the value of variables that were then incorporated within the scenario. Jerry Glenn and Ted Gordon (For more information, see “Chapter 4: Global Scenarios on this CD).
Case 5. Scenario 1) Cybertopia: “The explosive growth of Internet accelerated globalization in all forms. Cyberspace became the medium of human activity, as the city had for the industrial transition. The majority of human waking hours were spent in cyberspace. There was a convergence of information and communication technologies (including Internet) with social technologies that resulted in improved education, employment, environment, health, and production not only at a national level but in communities This explosive growth in international activity translated into increased support for and responsibilities of the UN family of organizations such as the WTO, IMF, ITU, and others that provide global standards and cooperation for international business. UN systems and multi-national corporations formed many partnerships such as INSPACECO to manage orbital space activities, INEDSAT to manage global education, and INMEDSAT to manage tele-medicine. Developing countries made remarkable progress via tele-education, telemedicine, telebusiness partners, and telecitizens in richer areas who assisted their poorer homelands. With the spread of information, population growth rate slowed. In the old days, there was a high correlation between population growth rate and GDP per capita; nowadays there seemed to be a correlation between population growth rate and the intensity of use of cyberspace. The development of cyberspace created what some people came to call a global brain: the interconnected minds of people commonly related in their interests or concerns. If it was a brain it was schizophrenic: the groups connected on any single topic rarely came to consensus, the ranges of opinion were wide and the opinions vociferously held. The conventional monetary system was replaced in most countries by a new form of international currency- electronic credits. Improved record keeping and international databases helped mitigate potential food crises The international networks were extremely valuable to both environmental monitoring and environmental management. Not only could UNEP coordinate quickly and globally, but whole new categories of records were established; one of the most significant was a catalog of bacteria. On the downside of this scenario, connectivity also fostered crime. It was a new playground for criminals from petty counterfeiters of paper and electronic currency to major adventurers in embezzlement, bribery and theft. Internet was the medium that the terrorists chose to make the announcement of their nuclear threat. Now with instant global access possible, the terrorists broadcast their intent to detonate a nuclear weapon in two hundred of the most populated listserves. It was difficult to discern what was believable and what could not be believed on the net. As a result, a profession of on-line authentication grew; and news agencies led the way.” (To read the full version of this scenario, see “Chapter 4: Global Scenarios on this CD)
Case 6. Scenario 2) The Rich Get Richer: “Throughout the twentieth century, the rising inequality of incomes within and between nations had been a matter of increasing concern. (126-A, 74-A) In 1997, the most prosperous group of workers in the world - the skilled workers of the industrial countries, earned on average sixty times more than the poorest group--the farmers of Sub-Saharan Africa. Even on a national basis, taking account of all income and workers, the gap was huge; in terms of GDP per capita, by 2050 the difference between the richest country (the US) and the poorest region (Africa) was almost 50 to 1. It was the pace of change and the challenges of the early 21st century that caused some nations to stumble while others surged ahead. Regions of South Asia - Bangladesh and Sri Lanka; Sub-Saharan Africa - Nigeria, Senegal and Rwanda; and Central and East Europe -Moldova, Romania, and the Russian Republic, were at the back of the pack because the institutional capacity within those regions was only partially effective at managing transition economies, integrating into the world economy, initiating institutional reform, and investing in human capital, human development, and quality education. Relatively high population growth early in the century compounded their problems. In the first part of the century, the problem set of the poorer countries fed upon itself. While the poorer countries in Africa and Asia ran into this plethora of problems, the richer countries experienced a period of robust GDP growth. Advancements in science led to improvements in productivity, advances in biotechnology and genetics improved agriculture, health and longevity, information technology revolutionized education and almost every industry, and new industries emerged to fuel the economic momentum. Forces for globalization worked to their benefit. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The uprisings of 2020 followed these frustrations triggered by tensions associated with migration, water shortages, and deteriorating environmental factors. All the while the rich countries prospered. And then things changed. Why they changed is still a matter of discussion among economists and policy experts. But the predominant feeling is that the important 1,000 world corporations, led by the few that showed the way early in the century, established beyond a doubt that the way to corporate success in the global economy was through the development of markets. This meant that buying power of the populations of poor countries had to grow in order for those people to become customers. The development of markets helped, but by 2025, the gap between the richest skilled worker in the OECD countries and the poorest farmer in Sub-Saharan Africa widened to a ratio of 80 to 1. So at the midpoint of the 21st century the world finds itself with populations that generally have improved their living conditions. Life span has increased, health has improved; women are more effectively integrated into the labor force; communications and information systems have brought high quality education to every village. Poverty remains, to be sure, but vigorous capitalism and global trade have led to a world that eluded the policy makers of the last century.” (To read the full version of this scenario, see “Chapter 4: Global Scenarios on this CD)
Case 11: Scenario 3) A Passive Mean World (Extended from the Millennium Project 1996 Mean World Scenario): “Jobs are the problem. In the simplest of terms, population growth outpaced the rate of job creation almost everywhere. In some places the difference was small, especially within parts of the newly developing countries that traded within the three trading blocks - the EU, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim. In other places, such as Africa, jobs - real jobs - were a precious commodity. For example, in Africa by 2010, there was a surplus of a million people in the manufacturing sector, and almost two million in agriculture. (IFs) While population growth rate diminished from the highs of the mid 20th century as a result of somewhat improved literacy, and empowerment of women, the levels achieved disappointed many demographers who had been expecting a steeper decline. Population almost doubled in parts of sub-Saharan Africa by 2025, and in Asia, the world's most populous countries experienced rapid growth. By 2025, India’s population passed China’s. (IFs). Population growth outpaced job growth in most regions, The lousy economy and unemployment generally led to downgrading the priority of environmental issues For the advanced industrial nations the lack of solid employment was the result of a slow-down of growth and bad strategy along the way. Some economists hoped that nanotechnology and biotechnology would provide the catalysts for new growth by 2025, but development in these fields continued to be highly specialized. By 2025, the aging of the population, national debt pressures on public spending and entitlements, and pressures on natural resources dramatically curbed improvements in living standards. Companies, particularly large companies and multinationals, attempted to "rightsize", but with a fiercely competitive global economy, companies continued to undergo an enormous pressure to control the growth of employment. The winners in 2025 were the newly developing economies that functioned within viable trading blocs. But for the advanced industrial nations and for "the rest of the world", it was a mean world indeed because the economic pie had been discovered to be zero sum. The newly industrializing nations increased living standards by relying on productivity gains as their countries industrialized. It became clear that the new industrial world of Asia would benefit from the existing market system far more than the old industrial world by 2025, and far more than "the rest of the world". By 2025 trade wars erupted between the blocs. Protectionism came in many forms and all the methods were used somewhere: non-tariff barriers, protection of intellectual properties, restrictive immigration policies, content laws, price regulations. TO alleviate this dire situation, the UN extended its programs for improving employment via micro credit and village enterprises: it used electronic networks and Web pages on the Internet, brochures, lobbying of governments but for the most part, the world was involved in the problem of survival, and there was very little time to think about global vision. By 2025, this mean world turned dangerous. Crime and terrorism grew. Against this background rose the belief in belief. Faith in community, in religion, in the sanctity of the group. If we can't watch out for one another, who will?” (To read the full version of this scenario, see “Chapter 4: Global Scenarios on this CD)
Case 7: Scenario 4) Trading Places (Adapted from a 1996 scenario developed by The Futures Group for NASA): “From this 2050 vantage point, it is clear that the past five decades have witnessed extraordinary shifts in global economic and political power. The booming economies of East and Southeast Asia have recovered from their meltdowns of the late 1990's and grown and challenge the economic dominance of the US, Western Europe and Japan (IFs). U.S. GDP growth averaged a paltry 1.5 percent between 2000 and 2005 and then dropped further (IFs). The GDP growth rate of China remained at double digit levels through the first part of the new century and then began a slow decline to a rate about equal to the US (IFs). The North/South gap that so preoccupied economists in the late 20th century has narrowed and the concept of balanced equity among nations seems archaic. In fact, technological innovation was increasingly centered in the Pacific Rim, Improved economic development brought increased life expectancy almost everywhere, but the greatest surge was in China. There was a sense of inevitability to the tremendous changes that were taking place in the global economy. The convergence of a loss of Western industrial leadership in key sectors, growing Asian economic and political power, and structural economic problems in the U.S. set the U.S. economy on a downward slope. With the bulk of the U.S. labor force increasingly finding employment in low-wage service jobs, U.S. tax receipts declined. This coincided with the bulk of the baby-boom generation's entry into old age, placing enormous pressures on the tinkered-with-but-unreformed Social Security and Medicare systems. The environment suffered. Fresh water was in short supply in many regions (40-A) and sustainability, once the focus of global policy (82, 65-B) took a second place to concerns about economic development. (127-A). Atmospheric carbon dioxide increased by 50% (IFs). s 2025 approached, Asian economies came into their own. Japan got its financial house in order and was once again a strong investor in the region. China and Southeast Asia were on their way to becoming industrialized societies and assumed solid leadership in several sectors especially those that were technology and R&D-intensive. Women in these countries increasingly contributed to the economic explosion. The U.S. and to some extent, European, technical and research infrastructure was tiny compared to what existed in the 1990s. A record number of private universities closed, and the small percentage of middle-class high school seniors opting for college tended to favor community colleges over larger, four-year institutions. Corporate investment in R&D tended to be overseas. The US and European infrastructure was crumbling as federal and local agencies were able to afford only patchwork repairs to the road, rail, and telecommunications networks. The only bright spot: the emergence of the West as the world's most popular tourist destination for Asian vacationers.” (To read the full version of this scenario, see “Chapter 4: Global Scenarios on this CD)
Very Long Term Scenarios - 1000 Years Jerry Glenn and Theodore Gordon. American Council for the United Nations University - Millennium Project. This study was conducted in 1999 - 2000. See the "2004 State of the Future" CD ROM for more detail.
Most of the research in the book and this CD has a 25-year exploratory horizon and a 50-year normative horizon. The Millennium Project intends to keep these time frames for its work, but has undertaken a unique study to explore the factors that may affect the next thousand years and write scenarios based on their potential trajectories. The celebrations around the world at the dawn of the year 2000 stimulated some reflections on the past thousand years, but little on the next thousand years. This section is intended to be a contribution to stimulate our longer-term thinking. There is no pretense that one can come close to describing what actually will occur at the year 3000. Instead, the research is a challenging intellectual exercise that brings attention to those current factors that deserve our greater attention due to their potential impacts on our longer-term survival. Jerry Glenn & Ted Gordon. (To read the full version of this scenario, see “Chapter 4: Global Scenarios on this CD)
Millennium 3000 Scenarios
Scenario 1. Still Alive at 3000
“Even though we understand the forces of nature, we do not yet know how to provide human security for all. The integration of bio- and nanotechnology with artificial intelligence and our more enlightened worldviews provides the basis of life for 10 billion people on Earth and 50 billion in space. Although few would prefer to go back to the kinds of dangers we faced 40 generations or a thousand years ago, we still have major challenges ahead. Most historians agree that global ethics would have evolved eventually as part of the processes of globalization, space migration, and environmental security efforts, but the fact remains that the rich-poor cyber biowars and then the series of earthquakes that destroyed several megacities in the mid-twenty-second century accelerated progress in global ethics by engendering unprecedented global compassion. Civilization’s complexity and the diverse lives within it render the old Information Age measures of income, intelligence, physical abilities, and social status meaningless in the year 3000. By the twenty-second century the greenhouse effect had leveled off. Nanotech reduced the per capita drain on the environment. Architectural design improved energy efficiencies. Vaporization of seawater by pressure techniques made abundant fresh water. Fossil fuels were replaced by a combination of space solar power and nuclear fusion on Earth and in space. Nearly 20% of energy also came from wind, ground-solar, and geothermal sources. Electromagnetic beams or super batteries transported most energy. These in turn have since been replaced by today’s energy systems relying on the management of the structure of mass, made possible by scientific breakthroughs impossible for most to comprehend a millennium ago. Biological intelligence, artificial intelligence, and network intelligence were increased Increasing human intelligence by education, training, and nutrition became significantly augmented by genetic engineering.
At the turn of the fourth millennium, the combination of genetic engineering and nanomedicine has achieved “functional immortality.” New forms of social organization emerged as the result of being supported by these artificial life forms. Nanotechnology had become as ubiquitous by the mid-third millennium as electricity had by the end of the second millennium. Today a rich diversity of humanity and its symbiotic artificial life forms inhabit many locations in our solar system, and some have begun the trek to star systems with water-bearing planets.” (To read the full version of this scenario, see “Chapter 4: Global Scenarios on this CD)
Scenario 2. End of Humanity and the Rise of Phoenix:
“The growing number of nuclear nations and increasing opportunities to hijack radioactive waste during transport led to the use of this waste by terrorists. This triggered several “brush fire” nuclear wars and the use of nanotechnology and biotechnology poisons, which spread sufficiently in the early twenty-first century that life-support systems for the biodiversity necessary to sustain human life was lost in much of Europe and Asia. Even in less affected areas, global warming sufficiently moved the Gulf Stream to lower temperatures to reduce European agriculture. The resulting mass migrations to Africa and the Americas throughout the twenty-first century caused further conflict. The daily struggle of 30 million AIDS orphans without love or mercy turned so many in Africa to crime networks that roving gangs eventually made political stability impossible. Genetically targeted nanobioagents used by high-technology crime networks in the United States to prevent the migrant takeover got out of control and killed so many people that only minor sections of infrastructure could be maintained. Although centrally controlled nanotechnology was to have prevented mass self-replication in North America, transmission signals were interrupted by the social turmoil often enough that things got out of hand and turned large areas into a gray wasteland. As a result, the prevalence of disease, pestilence, and famine increased across Africa and America. Efforts to create more serious international governance structures failed. An electronic iron curtain arose between the knowledgeable and knowledgeless. The decay of family and social values, corruption, and transnational crime became the governing elements in the system. No one cared about the environment. Then in the twenty-second century, cataclysmic earthquakes under several megacities drove millions into savage frenzies for the necessities of life. Self-organizing groups in safer areas created artificial life forms to manage energy, food, water, and telecommunications. By the twenty-third century, these new life forms put some civilizations back into more functional order in several regions. But much of civilization had given up intellectually and escaped into psychotropic drugs, electrical stimulation, and cybersex. Humanity never recovered from the conditions that continued to generate new kinds of disease and slowly but surely humanity disappeared as a biological life form by the twenty-fourth century. The artificial life forms may well have decided that humanity was a threat and killed the remaining humans, before they knew what hit them. These forms then evolved into a system of robots, computers, and networks preparing to leave Earth and the solar system to seek other life at the dawn of the year 3000.” (To read the full version of this scenario, please refer to the 2004 State of the Future Report CD ROM.)
Scenario 3. It’s About Time
“SETTING: A reconstructed but fairly accurate olive grove. The Acropolis is painted in the background. Clearly this is ancient Greece. The participants are a student audience and a lecturer, all in white togas. PROFESSOR: Class, it’s pleasant to meet with you in this archaic way, sitting here face to face and really talking. I know it’s a throwback to the Greeks, 3,500 years or so ago, but you have to admit that there’s something refreshing about actually seeing each other in person and—what shall we call it?—presence. The topic of this seminar is the history of time travel, which began in the 20th century with physicist Einstein, who postulated, in his special theory of relativity, that nothing could move faster than the speed of light. In the course of the basic research backing up this technology, wormholes were shown to exist, not only in theory but also in actuality. Time travel took many forms. At first there was pseudo time travel (PTT) in the period when the longing for time travel was building but the means were yet absent. Around the globe, enclaves were built that reconstructed periods of the past, the further development of the theme park theme, if you will. We went from PTT to TT when we deliberately sent people into the future. Governed by the Global Time Travel Authority (GTTA), there’s a waiting list, of course, to become a timetronaut.” (To read the full version of this scenario, see “Chapter 4: Global Scenarios on this CD)
Scenario 4. The Great Divides
“By the year 3000, humanity has evolved into a continuum of three principal life forms. One remains on Earth, rejecting much advancing technology; another, which merged with technology, is a conscious-technology civilization; and the third, which emerged as a range of artificial life forms initially designed by humans, consists of new and independent forms beyond human control. Some nations let human genetic enhancement occur; others did not. There were 5,000 distinct cultures in the year 2000. By 2100 the effects of globalization had reduced this diversity to only a few hundred in three-dimensional space, but stimulated countless numbers of sub-cultures in cyber space. “Standard humans” believed their consciousness was biologically brain-dependent, and they shunned the use of cyber-brain symbiotic transceivers. They believed the oneness of humanity was to be a spiritual achievement, not a technological one. Those who welcomed increased involvement with advancing technology argued that humans were evolutionary beings or a transitional species, and, as such, it was wrong to stay in one socio-biological niche. The diversity of artificial life forms evolved to today and is beyond the ability of any human (either standard and con-tech) to comprehend. Some nanoforms are believed to have arrived in several star systems and mated with local intelligences. Others have formed symbiotic relationships with some Earth-centered humans.. It is also believed that these artificial life forms help keep the peace between the standard and the conscious-technology humans today.” (To read the full version of this scenario, see “Chapter 4: Global Scenarios on this CD)
Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Nongovernment Experts. National Intelligence Council. The National Intelligence Council (NIC) is the Intelligence Community's (IC's) center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking.
In undertaking this comprehensive analysis, the NIC worked actively with a range of nongovernmental institutions and experts. We began the analysis with two workshops focusing on drivers and alternative futures. Subsequently, numerous specialists from academia and the private sector contributed to every aspect of the study, from demographics to developments in science and technology, from the global arms market to implications for the United States. The second workshop developed four alternative global futures in which these drivers would interact in different ways through 2015. Each scenario was intended to construct a plausible, policy-relevant story of how this future might evolve: highlighting key uncertainties, discontinuities, and unlikely or "wild card" events, and identifying important policy and intelligence challenges. Scenario 1: Inclusive Globalization: “A virtuous circle develops among technology, economic growth, demographic factors, and effective governance, which enables a majority of the world's people to benefit from globalization. Technological development and diffusion—in some cases triggered by severe environmental or health crises—are utilized to grapple effectively with some problems of the developing world. Robust global economic growth—spurred by a strong policy consensus on economic liberalization—diffuses wealth widely and mitigates many demographic and resource problems. Governance is effective at both the national and international levels. In many countries, the state's role shrinks, as its functions are privatized or performed by public-private partnerships, while global cooperation intensifies on many issues through a variety of international arrangements. Conflict is minimal within and among states benefiting from globalization. A minority of the world's people—in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the Andean region—do not benefit from these positive changes, and internal conflicts persist in and around those countries left behind.” Scenario 2) Pernicious Globalization: “Global elites thrive, but the majority of the world's population fails to benefit from globalization. Population growth and resource scarcities place heavy burdens on many developing countries, and migration becomes a major source of interstate tension. Technologies not only fail to address the problems of developing countries but also are exploited by negative and illicit networks and incorporated into destabilizing weapons. The global economy splits into three: growth continues in developed countries; many developing countries experience low or negative per capita growth, resulting in a growing gap with the developed world; and the illicit economy grows dramatically. Governance and political leadership are weak at both the national and international levels. Internal conflicts increase, fueled by frustrated expectations, inequities, and heightened communal tensions; WMD proliferate and are used in at least one internal conflict.” Scenario 3) Regional Competition:
”Regional identities sharpen in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, driven by growing political resistance in Europe and East Asia to US global preponderance and US-driven globalization and each region's increasing preoccupation with its own economic and political priorities. There is an uneven diffusion of technologies, reflecting differing regional concepts of intellectual property and attitudes towards biotechnology. Regional economic integration in trade and finance increases, resulting in both fairly high levels of economic growth and rising regional competition. Both the state and institutions of regional governance thrive in major developed and emerging market countries, as governments recognize the need to resolve pressing regional problems and shift responsibilities from global to regional institutions. Given the preoccupation of the three major regions with their own concerns, countries outside these regions in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia have few places to turn for resources or political support. Military conflict among and within the three major regions does not materialize, but internal conflicts increase in and around other countries left behind.” Scenario 4) Post-Polar World: “US domestic preoccupation increases as the US economy slows, then stagnates. Economic and political tensions with Europe grow, the US-European alliance deteriorates as the United States withdraws its troops, and Europe turns inward, relying on its own regional institutions. At the same time, national governance crises create instability in Latin America, particularly in Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Panama, forcing the United States to concentrate on the region. Indonesia also faces internal crisis and risks disintegration, prompting China to provide the bulk of an ad hoc peacekeeping force. Otherwise, Asia is generally prosperous and stable, permitting the United States to focus elsewhere. Korea's normalization and de facto unification proceed, China and Japan provide the bulk of external financial support for Korean unification, and the United States begins withdrawing its troops from Korea and Japan. Over time, these geostrategic shifts ignite longstanding national rivalries among the Asian powers, triggering increased military preparations and hitherto dormant or covert WMD programs. Regional and global institutions prove irrelevant to the evolving conflict situation in Asia, as China issues an ultimatum to Japan to dismantle its nuclear program and Japan—invoking its bilateral treaty with the US—calls for US reengagement in Asia under adverse circumstances at the brink of a major war. Given the priorities of Asia, the Americas, and Europe, countries outside these regions are marginalized, with virtually no sources of political or financial support.” Generalizations Across the Scenarios The four scenarios can be grouped in two pairs: the first pair contrasting the "positive" and "negative" effects of globalization; the second pair contrasting intensely competitive but not conflictual regionalism and the descent into regional military conflict.
- In all but the first scenario, globalization does not create widespread global cooperation. Rather, in the second scenario, globalization's negative effects promote extensive dislocation and conflict, while in the third and fourth, they spur regionalism.
- In all four scenarios, countries negatively affected by population growth, resource scarcities and bad governance, fail to benefit from globalization, are prone to internal conflicts, and risk state failure.
- In all four scenarios, the effectiveness of national, regional, and international governance and at least moderate but steady economic growth are crucial.
- In all four scenarios, US global influence wanes.
The Brave New World of Work
Ulrick Beck, Ludwig-Maximillan University, Munich. ISBN: 0745623980. May 5, 2000.
Ulrich Beck is one of the leading social thinkers in Europe today. He examines how work has become unstable in the modern world and presents a new vision for the future. Beck begins by describing how the traditional work society , with its life-long path to jobs, is giving way to a much less stable world in which skills can be suddenly devalued, jobs obliterated, welfare cover reduced or eliminated. Beck’s alternative vision is centerd upon the concept of “active citizens democratically organized in local, and increasingly also regional or transnational networks. Against the threat of social exclusion, everyone can and must have a right to be included in the new definition and distribution of work. This will involve constant movement between formal employment (with a major rduction in working hours) and forms of self-organized artistic, cultural and political ‘civil labor’ providing equal access to comprehensive social protection.” The aim must be to turn insecurity around, so that it becomes a positive and enriching discontinuity in life. Scenario in the 21st Century: Vision of a Multi-Active Society. “2025 reveals new possibilities in harmonizing work, life and political action that can only arise and be assured when the new precariousness of forms of employment are transformed into a right to intermittent gainful employment, a right to discretionary time, to a labor time sovereignty re-embedded in framing conditions according to scale. This future enables every person to harmonize his or her life with the claims and necessities of others in an interim of family, gainful employment, leisure time and political commitment and shape his or her life independently for a period of one or several years. The stimulation of communal democracy is tied to the following preconditions of division of labor in the “multi-active” society: · Work time would have to be shortened for all on the full-employment labor market. · Everyone – women and men – should be able to have one leg in gainful employment. · Parents’ work, i.e. work with children, would have to be equally recognized by society as well as artistic, cultural and political civic work by, for example, claims for pensions and health care being granted to both categories – parental and civic. · Finally, simultaneous commitment to gainful employment and civic work also presupposes redistributing family obligations between men and women.”
Two Scenarios for 21st Century Organizations: Shifting Networks of Small Firms or All-Encompassing “Virtual Countries”?
Robert J. Laubacher, Thomas W. Malone, and the MIT Scenario Working Group. Sloan School of Management. MIT Initiative on Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century Working Paper 21C WP#001.
In 1994, the Sloan School of Management at MIT inaugurated a multi-year research and education initiative called "Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century." One of the key activities for this initiative has been developing a series of coherent scenarios of possible future organizations. The scenarios are not intended as predictions, but rather, as visions of potential alternative ways of organizing work and structuring business enterprises in the next century. This paper describes the results of the scenario development activity to date and suggests directions for future work.
Scenario 1) Small Companies, Large Networks: “Imagine that it is now the year 2015.... “The corporation of the late twentieth century was just a transitional form. It lasted more than one hundred years, but few corporations of that kind remain today. Now, looking back at the "dinosaur" era in which General Motors, Microsoft, and Sony stalked the earth, we are most aware of the tiny "mammals"-entertainment production companies, construction project teams, and consultant work-groups-which operated without much public notice back in the 1990s, only to become the prototypes of today's modern organization. Today, nearly every task is performed by autonomous teams of one to ten people, set up as independent contractors or small firms, linked by networks, coming together in temporary combinations for various projects, and dissolving once the work is done. When a project needs to be undertaken, requests for proposal are issued or jobs to be done are advertised, candidate firms respond, sub-contractors are selected, and workers are hired largely on an ad-hoc basis Consider the design of automobiles : In a typical project, a variety of independent firms form competing coalitions, to explore alternative designs for the electric system, the chassis, or the task of putting the car's subsystems together. Some of these firms are joint ventures; some share equity; some are built around electronic markets that set prices and wages. All are autonomous and self-organizing. All depend on the ubiquitous, high-bandwidth, transaction-heavy electronic network that connects them to each other. A highly-developed venture capital infrastructure identifies promising teams and provides financing. Authority is still evident, but not through commands. A small "Chevrolet/Saturn" central company still has senior people who exercise their judgment by choosing where to invest their R&D, marketing, and production capital. But groups also try wild-eyed ideas that turn out to be very successful-and financially rewarding for their participants. For instance, one team of four people created a factory for nano-engineering individualized lighting systems for each car's grille. They bucked conventional wisdom when they built it, and all became millionaires in the process. Even though this way of organizing work is extremely well-suited to rapid innovation and dynamically changing markets, the world would be a lonely and unsatisfying place if all our interactions were contractual. Therefore, we are all fortunate to have independent organizations for social networking, learning, reputation-building, and income smoothing. These communities evolved from professional societies, college alumni associations, unions, fraternities, clubs, neighborhoods, families, and churches. Many are similar to the writers' and actors' guilds of Hollywood. They help us save for retirement, and most of us pay a percentage of our income to our "guilds" as a voluntary form of unemployment insurance. It is here that we learn and update the skills of our professions, and share war stories and reputations. Perhaps most importantly, we derive much of our sense of identity and belonging from these stable communities that we call "home" as temporary projects come and go. There are two key elements of this scenario: the fluid networks for organizing tasks and the more stable communities to which people belong as they move from project to project.
Scenario 2) Virtual Countries:“Imagine that it is now the year 2015....” “The huge global conglomerate has emerged as the dominant way of organizing work. These keiretsu-style alliances, each with operating companies in almost every industry, have minimal national allegiance. Members of the same family work for Sony/Microsoft or General Electric/Toyota, and feel little loyalty to the United States or Japan. It would be considered disloyal and unusual for members of the same family to work at competing keiretsu. The alliances meet all our needs on a cradle-to-grave basis by providing income and job security, health care, education, social networking, and a sense of self-identity. Our organizations are as powerful and influential as nations, and we owe allegiance to them. They have no dominion over our land, but they control our much more significant assets-access to knowledge, the networks, and our livelihood. They even wage war on each other-using lawyers instead of armies, valiantly protecting the trademarks of our company. These days, if you want to define me, you can ignore my geographic location; I can be stereotyped according to the company I work for, in whose service I expect to retire. My friends and family members from around the world all work for the same organization. Occasionally, although I work for Shell/Daewoo, I must ride a nonaligned airline, and I run across someone from Exxushita. We always converse, full of curiosity, but guarded-taking advantage of a rare opportunity to see ourselves as others see us. Employees own the firms in which they work, through pension plans, stock options, employee participation contracts, and other vehicles. And just as the modern nation states ultimately turned to democracy, many of the corporations of the twenty-first century have moved to representative governance. Our firm is one-employee-shareholders have the right to elect the management of the company, not just the board of directors, but managers at almost every level throughout the organization. Decisions are made hierarchically, but every year, on election day, we choose from slates of managers who vow to do the best job for the company as a whole. Since our livelihoods depend on the choice, nearly all of us take advantage of the keiretsu's "open-books" financial reports, which provide a constantly-updated overview of the business's priorities and assets. Some people think of this system aspaternalistic and bureaucratic. But actually, there is very little "fat" in the system. Nepotism, ossified command structures, and sinecures don't last long, since everyone benefits from improved performance. Specialist "organization designers" travel through the massive alliances, brokering partnerships and helping make sure that people communicate effectively across boundaries. All of us tend to get along, because our companies attract people who agree with the prevailing attitudes. We all know the "Shell/Daewoo way," and we live and die according to it.” The Virtual Countries scenario has two major elements: 1) large vertically- and horizontally-integrated firms; 2) pervasive role of firms in employees' lives; employee ownership of firms; employee selection of firm management.
A Look Back from 2050
Oliver Sparrow is the Director of the Challenge!Forum. He is the author of many publications, including five books which were written for the Forum, as well as an interactive CD-ROM and this web site. He is also known for his groundbreaking computer-based presentations, which are given to audiences totalling well over ten thousand people in the course of a year.
According to Sparrow, the future is driven by five forces known as the Quincunx: infrastructure, options, best practice, connectivity, and exhaustion – are at work all around us. ‘Infrastructure’ once meant physical transport and housing, energy supplies and crude telecommunications, the management of resource flows and waste products. By 2000, it had come to imply the then-unprecedented web of capability and skill on which business, in particular, could draw. ‘Options’ once implied something unusual: choice. Today, we have the world’s capabilities at our hand. ‘Best practice’ is both our constraint and our spur. All can choose, and none willingly choose anything but the best. Every enterprise and political entity survives only through the constant satisfaction of volatile public choice. ‘Connectivity’ once meant the ability to link remote agents together, point by point. Now, it implies a shifting, constant pattern of immersion. It offers us a new universe to inhabit. World systems are known to have exhausted their limits of natural resilience in the ‘teens of this century. Scenario in the 21st Century: A Look Back from 2050. “The world is now segmented by economic circumstance and by access to networks, by geographical location, by elective affiliation and by innate predisposition. Many live their lives within many linked ‘boxes’, exercising different influence and taking on distinctive personal or hegemon-related properties in each. Many of us are fortunate, in being able to alter our relationship to any or all of these boundaries. The majority who live even in the established world play no constructive role in its affairs, however, save through the exercise of consumer choice. Some elect to exclude themselves, often because they are unwilling to change their identity to meet hegemon standards, or because they object to the fusion of the personal with the collective. Others are excluded by circumstance, such as irremediable limits to their intellectual capacity, typically around issues of creativity. We must feel equivocal in the face of this common issue. If we knew how to engineer creative engagement, then we would not need hegemons. We could pass essentially all of our affairs the artificial intelligence community, such as the Gershwin system, quoted earlier. These have long since replaced all former middle management functions. Anything that is routine can be done better by something that is not human. Only hegemonic links to the collectivity can allow an individual to attain a constructive role. There is no room for individuals in this, save as creative contributors. Around 2 bn of the world’s 9 bn have access to modern infrastructure, and some 4 bn are excluded by personal circumstance, by ethical or religious choice or by a rejectionist government. Three billion are, therefore, pounding on a door which those within are frantically attempting to keep locked. It is easy to see that the will not succeed: the Quincunx is battering with them, and its members have mighty fists. Poverty has always flowed from poor institutions and weak insight. The dangerous consequences of poor institutions – to heath and safety, the knowledge economy, to the fragile living world and to natural systems – cannot be tolerated, and there has and will continue to be directive intervention. There may be a development surprise. The past 150 years has seen exponential growth. The world output of 1900 was being delivered in around two working weeks in 2000. As a result of the many improvements to factor productivity and to the reinvestment of a wealth world’s savings in knowledge, the same output took us three working days by 2025 and takes us a little over one day in 2050. A typical individual exchanges more data in an hour than did a city in the whole of 1900. Our annual output of knowledge exceeds the entire world’s cumulative production to 2010. Where, then, shall we go next? There are many problems to solve. There are many people for whom the world has nothing to offer, and yet more for whom it has nothing to offer but regulated fun. Our lives are overseen and interpenetrated as never before, yet – save where we impinge on others, which is everywhere – we are in command of more powers and choices than any historical aristocrat. Many, therefore, see the future as in some way transcendent: as a means by which we can escape the trammels of nine billion, of regulation, of stakeholder paralysis and exhaustion. Intensifying the pressures of the present, as defined by the Quincunx, is not, they say, helpful: what we need is completely new approach. Others decry this as a quasi-religious ideal. This said, the proof that the universe consists of nothing but patterns of self-reflexive information – ‘super-symmetrical hyper-membrane theory’ – has already allowed us to create sub-universes with their own ‘designer’ rule sets. Where we may go is both unimaginable and limited only by our capacity to imagine and instantiate our own destiny.”
Information Technology in the Home: Barriers, Opportunities, and Research Directions. Rosalind Lewis Parnership for Advancing Technology in Houseing and the White House Office of Science & Technology. IP-203. October 2000.
The home building, telecommunications, and consumer electronics industries are rapidly converging on America s doorstep to provide connectivity, access, and services; but what are the implications of increased Information Technology (IT) in the home? To address this question, RAND conducted background research and hosted a roundtable discussion at which participants established a set of policy issues and recommendations. Scenario of the 21st Century: Vision of the Future Home: The In-Home Network. “In the future, the in-home network will have many more reasons to exist, as applications and services will betargeted not only to every home and every person, but also to every thing. Whether the goal is to find more uses forprocessing technology or to add value in consumer electronics to re-penetrate an already saturated market,networking seems to be the direction in which everything is headed. These are just a few existing andpotential applications in the future of 2010: • Home controls, or “digital butlers”: - Heating, cooling, and lighting systems or devices remotely controlled via the Internet, so that if a person forgets to turn something off before leaving home, he or she can sign on and shut off the outlet from any location. - Systems and/or devices that go on and off automatically, adjusting to household routine by observation or access to on-line information sources (e.g., schedules, weather forecasts, electricity prices). - Configuration of the home environment using verbal commands or biotechnology cues.
- Front doors that use biometric data and automatically open for household members as they approach. • Safety/security systems covering a range of applications designed to provide protection and avoid accidents: - Systems that summon emergency help in response to voice commands. - Televisions that interrupt programming to display a picture of anyone approaching the front door. - Preventive maintenance monitoring to help detect or avoid problems such as leaks or termites. - Connected devices that can be monitored and controlled from practically anywhere. • Home office. - Multiple and simultaneous use of a single Internet connection (and peripheral devices) in support of homebased businesses and telecommuting, thereby reducing traffic congestion, air pollution, and energy consumption. • Health care/wellness care. - Telehomecare (medical care in the home using telemedicine techniques) for elders, the homebound, or others who need routine services.9 - In-home health management technology (e.g., devices that record medical history data and routinely report to a health-care provider) to assist young people and families to live a healthy and active lifestyle. - Enhanced access to medical resources for monitoring, diagnosis, therapy, and education. • Distance or tele-learning via an increasing array of technological options for the delivery and receipt of instruction and educational resources, providing educational opportunities to anyone, at any place, at any time. • Transportation management to encourage ridership on and increase the convenience of public transportation by providing information such as real-time schedules and location status; home devices that track buses and trains to inform the elderly or school children when the bus is coming, making public transit easier, safer, and more reliable. • Energy conservation and resource load-sharing via heating and cooling controls that allow the utilities to temporarily adjust homeowners temperature settings via the Internet during peak demand times to reduce energy usage. • Interactions with government agencies that allow people to file taxes, apply for licenses, obtain building permits, complete census forms or employment applications, and access information.
• Communication and interaction with family and friends. - Video e-mailing and video chats connected through home entertainment systems. - Household on-line calendars and/or access to navigation information that enables family members to locate one another. • Access for e-commerce, asset and personal management, and entertainment.
Nationalism: Should Kurdistan Be a Nation? Scotland? How about New York City? Stephen Baker, Business Week. David Fromkin, Boston University international relations professor and author of The Way of the World: From the Dawn of Civilizations to the Eve of the 21st Century. Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1999. ISBN: 0679446095. Stephen Baker, senior writer, Business Week.
Two forces that were supposed to unify the world are actually helping nations to splinter: the internet and the global economy In 1950, there were 58 nations in the U.N. Today, there are 185. Scenario in the 21st Century: The Future of Nationalism: The rate of nationalism and of proliferation of nations continues for another century. By 2100, the U.N. or its successor will have nearly 2,000 members. Imagine some of the new governments, replete with flags, anthems, national birds, and Olympic bobsledders: Scotland. Quebec. Palestine. Kosovo. Tibet. Kashmir. South Ossetia. Kurdistan. Timor. Biafra. New York City. Countries are fractured into new nations by two global forces that were supposed to pull everyone together: the Internet and the global economy. The Net, often seen as a force for universalism, actually makes nationalism easier to express and share. Basque or Quebecker Web pages abound, concentrating the power of breakaway elements. At the same time, the globalization of the economy enables small fry to go it alone. With open trade, countries with something valuable to sell can break away from bigger neighbors and support themselves. They don't even need their own money supplies. Even old-time powers like France and Germany are dropping their national currencies. And with regional security umbrellas, small countries needn't bother with their own armed forces. If the Basques of northern Spain won independence, for instance, they would promptly file for membership in the European Union, adopt the euro as a currency, and maintain virtually open borders with neighboring Spain and France. Little would change. In fact, the clamor for independence is intensifying. Already, the Basque language, after being suppressed by dictator Francisco Franco, is flourishing.
Too often in the 21st century from 2017 – 2050, the birth of nations was violent. The same welling up of nationalism that gave rise to new countries also produces a reaction from mother countries that don't want to give up parts of themselves. China refused to cede Taiwan. Israel continued to hang onto the West Bank until 2010, Indonesia to East Timor. The horror Yugoslavia's breakup was repeated over and over in the century. Presidents of nations were strapped militarily as every would-be nation in the world asserted independence. The risk was and what we saw was: that the risk is that as advanced information societies such as the U.S. and Western Europe form transnational confederations, regions that are left out of the confederations will go in the opposite direction. They may become even more nationalistic, more torn by violence. The poor nations of the world could break, like vases on the floor, into thousands of pieces.”
The Future of Nuclear Power. An interdisciplinary MIT study. Copyright © 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All rights reserved. ISBN 0-615-12420-8. Study participants include: Eric S Beckjord, executive director, Professor Stephen Ansolabehere, Department of Political Science, MIT; Professor John Deutch, co-chair, Institute Professor Department of Chemistry, MIT.
MIT’s pioneering study of the future of nuclear power was initiated due to the belief that this technology, despite the challenges it faces, is an important option for the United States and the world to meet future energy needs without emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) and other atmospheric pollutants. Other options include increased efficiency, renewables, and sequestration. It is believed that all options should be preserved as nations develop strategies that provide energy while meeting important environmental challenges. The nuclear power option will only be exercised, however, if the technology demonstrates better economics, improved safety, successful waste management, and low proliferation risk, and if public policies place a significant value on electricity production that does not produce CO2. Our study identifies the issues facing nuclear power and what might be done to overcome them. Scenario in the 21sts Century: Global Electricity Demand and the Nuclear Power Growth Scenario: “The United States National Academy of Engineering declared electrification as the leadingengineering accomplishment of the twentieth century. This recognition, for a century ofextraordinary technological developments, acknowledges the profound impact of electricityon quality of life and suggests that governments around the world will continue toattach very high priority to providing adequate electricity infrastructure and supply totheir citizens, within their means to make such investments. Today the per capita consumptionof electricity spans three orders of magnitude. The empirical dividing line between advanced and developing economies, as represented by the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), is 4000 kWh per person per year electricity use. The HDI is based on health, education, and economic criteria. The underlying assumption in our mid-century electricity demand scenario is that the developed countries continue with a modest annual increase in per capita electricity use and the developing countries move to the 4000 kWh per person per year benchmark if at all feasible. Specifically, we have taken developed country annual per capita electricity growth rates between 0.5% and 1%, values that bracket EIA expectations for the United States over the next twenty years (EIA Annual Energy Outlook, 2001); over the last quarter century, the growth rate averaged about 2%, falling to 1.5% in 2000 and expected to decline further in the years ahead. We present the 1% case in our table below. We take the same per capita growth rate for the Former Soviet Union countries. Although these are not necessarily robust economies today, they do enjoy substantial per capita electricity use already. Total electricity production is then computed using the United Nations population projections to mid-century. For the developing economies, we assume that the investments needed to reach the 4000 kWh per capita benchmark will be a high priority. When this is combined with the UN population projections, the total electricity production growth rate is then calculated. For example, China needs a 2.9% annual growth rate in per capita electricity use and a 3.2% annual growth rate in total electricity production to mid-century in order to reach the per capita benchmark. For the countries further down the curve in Figure A-2.1, this algorithm would produce unreasonable growth rates. In other words, the per capita benchmark is not realistically achievable in the mid-century time frame.We have limited total electricity growth rate to 4.7% per year, which is 0.5% higher than the EIA’s projected average (to 2020) for all developing countries combined (recall that we have lower growth rates for the more advanced developing countries). More advanced developing countries: those that can achieve 4000 kWh per person per year within the cap on annual electricity production growth rate (e.g., China, Brazil, Mexico, Iran, Egypt,…)
Less advanced developing countries: those that cannot achieve the per capita benchmark within the cap, but can reach “acceptable” levels in the 1500 to 4000 kWh per capita range (e.g., India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam,…) Least developed countries: those that reach less than 1000 kWh per person per year even at the cap (e.g., Nigeria, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia,…). It is easy to see the inverse correlation between level of development and population increase within the developing country categories as constructed above. The global electricity use generated by this algorithm lies between the EIA’s “business-as-usual” and “low growth” scenarios.
Finally, we use this pattern of electricity demand to estimate the nuclear power market share for each country in the context of a robust global growth scenario. This is certainly not a prediction of rapid growth in nuclear power. Rather, it is an attempt to understand what the distribution of nuclear power deployment would be if robust growth were realized, perhaps driven by a broad commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a con- current resolution of the various challenges confronting nuclear power’s acceptance in various countries. Within this context, our judgment on nuclear power market share is based on various country-specific factors, such as current nuclear power deployment, urbanization, stage of economic development, and energy resource base.”
Summary Conclusion of Global Growth Scenario: First, we do not anticipate any nuclear power deployment in the least developed countries. Second, the developed nations remain the locus for a major part of nuclear power deployment in the growth scenario. In particular, the United States, because of the very large demand increase associated with its economic strength and projected large population increase, must experience very substantial expansion of its nuclear reactor fleet if the global growth scenario is to be realized. In addition, nations such as Germany, where there is currently strong anti-nuclear sentiment, would almost certainly need to participate. This is indicative of the substantial difficulty inherent in having nuclear power expand several-fold by mid-century. Among the developing nations, India and China clearly are the major contributors to growth of nuclear power in the growth scenario.However, as nuclear weapons states, these are not the drivers of our nonproliferation considerations. Rather, it is the remaining countries in the “more advanced” and “less advanced” developing categories that shape our nonproliferation discussion. These countries account for about 10% of deployed mid-century nuclear power in the global growth scenario.
Inevitable Surprises: Thinking Ahead in a Time of Turbulence. Global Business Network presents Peter Schwartz. July 2003. Gotham Books.
"Most organizations and most people assume that the world in front of us is basically continuous—that tomorrow is basically going to be pretty much like today," Peter Schwartz. In fact, the opposite is true: We live in a time of perpetual discontinuity, a time in which bombshells and shockers are part of everyday life. "The surprise," explained Peter, "would be no surprise." Yet most of these surprises can be anticipated; they leave trails and have antecedents. "The OPEC oil crisis, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the dot-com bust—all of these were both foreseen and inevitable in their outcomes. The high-level point of his new book, Peter explained, is to show that "it is only an illusion of continuity, not the substance of continuity, that guides our strategy." Inevitable Surprises in the 21st Century: We’re Nearing the End of Retirement: “Most of the assumptions we're making about Medicare, social security, and the future of the labor force are predicated on the assumption that the U.S. will soon be awash with unproductive old people who will eat up healthcare and contribute little to the vitality of the nation's economy. "That's a wrong image of the future," Peter said. The inevitable surprise is that Americans aren't retiring like they used to. They're staying on at their jobs or moving on to second or third careers, either because they're healthy and vigorous or because they can't afford to stop working. "The truth is, no one I know who reaches 65 says, 'Time for golf.' It doesn't work that way." Instead, we'll have a lot of older people holding onto the jobs that young people want. "Two years ago, for the first time in America, the retirement age went up; it went up again last year," Peter said. "This is a surprise that has already happened, and we just aren't noticing it." A Continuing High-Growth Economy is Inevitable: "I still believe in the long boom scenario, and I don't believe it has really changed," Peter said. The long boom was predicated not on the stock market boom but on the underlying pattern of fundamental economic growth, which has persisted through the stock market bust. "The two fundamental forces driving the long boom—productivity driven by new technology and globalization—are still fundamentally sound," he said. "I think therefore that the long boom as a vision not of two or three years but of a half century is in fact still a reasonable vision." We’re Moving Toward a New World Order: “A simple model of the emerging world is developing, Peter said, and it's not the order we would have anticipated even a few years ago. The world has organized itself into three groups of countries.* "Disorderly" countries where chaos and rebellion are rampant and information and financial flows are broken; this includes most of Africa, parts of Latin America, and big parts of Central Asia. * "Orderly" countries that follow a system of rules designed for them not to fight with each other; this group comprises traditional industrialized regions like Europe, Japan, big parts of Latin America, most of China, and most of India. * The United States, aka the rogue superpower. "We're the guys who make the rules but don't play by the rules," Peter explained. "We find ourselves in this unique position with a super-dominant economy and a super-dominant military, and no one can even come close to catching us. And nothing on the horizon
suggests that's going to change." Sources of conflict will rise out of that disorderly world, and the tensions are likely to be played out as the rest of the world tries to contain the United States. It's a position that the U.S. would be in, Peter argues, even without George Bush in office. "Even if Al Gore were president today, I don't think the political situation I've just described would change in any fundamental way," he said. "This is structural, and inevitable." We are in the First Stages of Another Scientific Revolution: “Among the clearest indicators of this impending revolution, Peter said, is the recent discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, which fundamentally challenges a lot of the basic models of how we thought the universe worked. "Twenty years from now, the universe will be almost unrecognizable, in a literal physical sense," Peter said. "We will have reinvented our understanding of the large scale, the small scale, the chemical, the biological." The development of new tools—telescopes, satellites, the next generation of quantum computing—to comprehend new pieces of the world is "the kind of thing that portended scientific revolution a century ago, and now portend a similar, very broad, very deep revolution." Polluting Technologies Get Clean: “Every generation of technology—energy, industry, transportation—is getting cleaner. It used to be that the faster we grew, the dirtier we got, Peter explained. Now it's quite the opposite. "The historic logic of economic change and development has changed," he said. "With the pace of technological change, high growth equals clean, low growth equals dirty." This is certainly the case in China, where coal-burning has been replaced by natural gas and electricity. Look for such radical transformations elsewhere in the world as well.” Abrupt Climate Change is Coming: "We have the wrong model of what's going on in the world of climate," Peter said. It's not global warming we should be concerned about, but the likelihood that the long period of relative climatic stability—a 10,000-year period in which all of human civilization happened to develop—may be ending. Its replacement will be a period of profound cooling. The leading indicator of such an event—the freshening of the waters of the North Atlantic—is already happening. Perhaps as soon as 10 years from now, Europe might look a lot like Canada, and the climate of California could begin to resemble North Africa.”
Three Scenarios for the World Economy Intellibridge Global Intelligence Solutions. This analysis was written for Intellibridge by Caroline Atkinson, an Adjunct Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. Intellibridge Corporation provides an information management tool that develops custom research from open-source intelligence analysis through our top-level analysts and expert network. September, 2002.
“The outlook for the world economy is more uncertain now, and with greater downside risks, than at any other time over the past decade. The key to any scenario for the global economy is what happens in the United States, the engine of growth in the 1990s. The most likely scenario remains one anchored by a gradual recovery in the United States, which in turn would stave off a global slide back into recession. The downside risk is that the U.S. recovery stalls, or reverses, European growth also deteriorates, and that with these two economic giants in decline, decline spreads across the globe, triggering financial crises from Japan to the emerging world. When political dangers—most notably the risk of the US going to war—are factored in, the danger from the downside is very real. The less likely upside scenario would include a surprisingly strong U.S. recovery, with a revival in the dollar helping to promote exports in Europe, developing Asia and elsewhere, bolstered by supportive policies in Europe and Japan to promote their own domestic growth.” Scenario 1) Likely Scenario: “The most likely scenario would be less favorable for business than the economy ofthe 1990s. Growth in the United States that gradually reaches 3-4 percent over2010-2015 would do little to reduce unemployment. Consumers would be unlikely topull back in panic but they are likely to be cautious. Under this scenario, businessinvestment would remain sluggish, with the weakness in demand and thecontinued unwinding of the bubble balancing out the attractions from low interestrates. But the weaker dollar should provide some support for U.S. exports.While the stock market losses will dampen spending, they are to some extent offsetby big increases in bond prices, as interest rates have tumbled, and the everbuoyanthousing market.The likely scenario for Europe is now more gloomy than observers originallybelieved. Germany looks increasingly mired in stagnation. Ironically, the politicalpressure from disappointing economic performance is likely to lead to worse ratherthan better policies for the economy, with less structural reform and more measures to stifle initiative, regardless of the party that wins the election. The European Central Bank (ECB) is likely to remain reluctant to cut interest rates to bolster domestic demand, as it has repeatedly shown itself more concerned with inflation than slow growth. Fiscal policy has no room to maneuver, with the deficits bumping up against the Growth and Stability pact. Sluggish growth for the region as a whole, with steady or in some places slightly rising unemployment, is the most likely. In Japan, the most likely economic outcome is more of the same: a banking system on the edge of collapse, but saved by government support and s a v e r s ’ inertia; a slow but barely discernible recovery in output that is likely to give way again to deflationary forces; and continued inexorable growth in fiscal deficits, as the LDP shrinks from spending reforms in face of the weak economy. In the emerging world, Korea, China and the rest of emerging Asia is likely to continue to be the most dynamic area following the astonishing rebound from the 1997-98 crisis. But disappointing growth and political challenge to the “Washington Consensus” is likely to continue to dog Latin America. A key will be the post-election policies in Brazil: if the new government reaffirms commitment to the IMF program, as is still most likely, there is scope for a substantial return of capital, lower interest rates and renewed growth.” Scenario 2)Downside Scenario: “In this scenario, global political tensions exacerbate the weakness of theAmerican economy and, in turn, fuel a global economic downturn. In particular,the protracted and highly public debate in the United States and other coalitionpartners about the preferred strategy for bringing about regime change in Iraq isa key driver of uncertainty over global economic conditions. Also underminingconfidence is a possible trade war, with U.S.-European tensions over steel, farmsubsidies, U.S. tax subsidies to exporters exploding into a broader fight that stalls the next round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations. That result would also disappoint developing countries desperate for more access to rich country markets. The main risk to the world economy is a much weaker U.S. economy, with a double dip recession in the second half of 2010. The Federal Reserve would probably move to counter signs of renewed recession with further interest rate cuts. But with the Fed Funds rate already so low, it has limited room to provide more of a boost. Under this scenario, lower rates would do little to encourage businesses to invest, or consumers to take on more debt, however, and would be outweighed by a renewed stock market slide. In a worst case, easier monetary policy would also fail to stem the forces of deflation, raising the specter of a Japanese-style period of economic decline. The combination of weak financial markets—beaten down by continuing reports of corporate accounting malfeasance, a dim outlook for growth and profitability, and the possibility of an oil embargo from Saudi Arabia and OPEC—would scare off foreign investors, whose appetite for U.S. assets sends the dollar plunging.
Islamic-world protests of the potential or real U.S.-military action in Iraq would place additional downward pressure on the dollar. The U.S. currency would fall as Saudi Arabian and other Muslim nation investors accelerate fund withdrawals from U.S. and European banks and brokerage accounts. An OPEC mandate that future oil payments must be invoiced in a currency other than the U.S. dollar would further undermine the American tender. The result would be a simultaneous collapse in the dollar and the stock market with the Fed torn between cutting rates to boost the economy and raising them to curb the dollar decline.
A bad as this outlook is for the United States, it would be even worse for the rest of the world. A weaker dollar would provide a glimmer of help for the United States, with a boost to profitability and demand for U.S. exports. But it would strike a serious blow at the countries in Europe and Asia, including the giant economies of Japan and Germany, which have relied on the strong U.S. demand for imports. In the risk scenario, the weakening global outlook would instead freeze tepid financial reform steps in Europe and Japan. In the former, the ECB would be slow to respond to the rising euro leaving monetary policy tight. Unemployment fears would stoke anti-immigration fervor and undermine political support for labor market and other reforms needed to increase flexibility and growth potential in Europe. In a worst case, political support for European enlargement could evaporate and stall the accession of Poland, Hungary and others in the first round. This could in turn destabilize the economies and threaten political stability in Eastern Europe. There are a number of possible routes to crisis in Japan. Some of them are inconsistent with the US decline posited here: a rush of capital out of Japan, as patient domestic savers finally pull their money out of collapsing banks, would bolster the dollar rather than weaken it. If, instead, the yen strengthens as the dollar slides, however, the scenario in Japan would be different. The country’s deflationary spiral already at work would worsen. Businesses become less able to pay rising real debt burdens and banks’ balance sheets deteriorate still further.
Consumers hold back on spending, and output shrinks. Again, the likely government response would be to support the current economic structure, bailing out large companies and banks, rather than risk collapse. It could even include a subtle re-imposition of capital controls to discourage foreign financial institutions from competing too strongly and rocking the boat. Such a scenario would inevitably damage growth and investment in the emerging world. The risk of financial collapse in Brazil spreading to other Latin American countries—notably Peru, Ecuador and Colombia—would be real. A weaker dollar in that oil-rich country, would give a strong signal of hope for the region.”
FUTURELAND; Nine Stories of an Imminent World
Author: Walter Mosley, 2001, AOL Time Warner Publishing
(Note: Mosley is NY Times best selling author of Blue Light and others).
Story: “The Greatest”, Page 27
In The Greatest, Walter Mosley describes both a feminist political future and a drug culture.
The main character is Fera Jones, a 21 year old female who stands six foot nine inches tall and weighs 260 pounds. Fera is a product of SepFem-G, a now outlawed genetics program based at Smith College.
Fera is a boxer. No one, not man nor woman, has ever beaten her in the ring. She is a star, especially among the largest spectator group of the fights – women; and a symbol of the strength of women. The FemLeague political party, now the third largest party in Congress and the FemLeague Governor of Massachusetts want her as their “pinup girl.” They believe her alignment will help the party stem corporate power, end starvation, end militias, and increase women power.
In the background of this feminist political future is a drug culture, in which Fera’s father participates. He and many others in this society, are addicted to a legal recreational drug called Pulse. Pulse was the product of students at CalTech, who wanted to create a drug that would warp time in the brain so they could do months of complex research in just one evening. But instead, they created a drug that altered the structure of the pleasure centers of the brain, giving temporarily consciousness control over dreams, taking the users into complex fantasies, passionate love affairs, musical performances and other sensual experiences that would for days and even weeks.
Pulse was legal in this society, approved by the government and even price controlled. Pulse parlors were everywhere; and the economy was stimulated by the money spent by its users.
However, after 4-5 uses of the drug, users were addicted for life. Without regular ingestion, the brain would collapse in on itself and death was assured. “Pulsedeath” was common, at least among the average and poor. Only the rich could afford to use it regularly; and even they eventually died.
In this scenario, Fera agrees to the biggest fight of her career, one against the male heavyweight champ. Fera will get $10 billion to fight and $10 billion if she wins from the Luna Land theme park for saying she’ll go to Luna Land after the fight. She takes both – to help keep her father on Pulse.
Four Alternative Global Futures, CIA, Global Futures Project.
The following scenarios were developed by the (US) CIA's Global Futures Project and describe four alternative futures related to the effects of globalization through the year 2015. These alternative futures are: Inclusive Globalization; Pernicious Globalization; Regional Competition; and Post Polar World.
Scenario One: Inclusive Globalization In this scenario, the majority of the world’s population is reaping benefits from globalization. Policy consensus regarding economic liberalization has resulted in a robust global economy where wealth is widely distributed; technology has been effectively applied to mitigate some problems in the developing countries; and governance is effective, both nationally and internationally. Many governmental functions have been completely or partially privatized. “Global co-operation intensifies on many issues through a variety of international arrangements.” Meanwhile, “a minority of the world's people - in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the Andean region - do not benefit from these positive changes, and internal conflicts persist in and around those countries left behind.”
Scenario Two: Pernicious Globalization In this scenario, the majority of the world's population is failing to benefit from globalization. The global economy is divided: growth continues in developed countries; at the same time, many developing countries see low or negative per capita growth, resulting in a growing gap with the developed world; and the illicit economy grows dramatically. Technology has failed to help mitigate the problems of the developing world. The poor migrate, resulting in tensions between states. “Governance and political leadership are weak at both the national and international levels. Internal conflicts increase, fuelled by frustrated expectations, inequities, and heightened communal tensions; WMD proliferate and are used in at least one internal conflict.”
Scenario Three: Regional Competition In scenario three, regional identities “increase in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, driven by growing political resistance in Europe and East Asia to US global preponderance and US-driven globalization.” However, regional economic integration increases, “resulting in both fairly high levels of economic growth and rising regional competition.” Technology has been unevenly diffused. In developed and emerging nations, governance thrives; regional institutions take on more responsibilities. “Internal conflicts increase in and around other countries left behind.”
Scenario Four: Post-Polar World In the Post Polar World, the US economy stagnates. Economic and political tensions between the US and Europe grow and the relationship between the two deteriorates. Crises in governance in Latin America, particularly Colombia, Cuba, Mexico and Panama, create instability in the area. Indonesia experiences internal crises and instability as well, although most of Asia is stable and prosperous. Korea’s unification proceeds, with the support of China and Japan. Eventually, however, rivalries among the Asian powers grow, triggering increased military activities. “Regional and global institutions prove irrelevant to the evolving conflict situation in Asia, as China issues an ultimatum to Japan to dismantle its nuclear program and Japan—invoking its bilateral treaty with the US—calls for US reengagement.” Countries outside of Asia, the Americas, and Europe are marginalized, having no sources of political or financial support.
“In all but the first scenario, globalization does not create widespread global cooperation. Rather, in the second scenario, globalization's negative effects promote extensive dislocation and conflict, while in the third and fourth, they spur regionalism.
“In all four scenarios, countries negatively affected by population growth, resource scarcities and bad governance, fail to benefit from globalization, are prone to internal conflicts, and risk state failure.
“In all four scenarios, the effectiveness of national, regional, and international governance and at least moderate but steady economic growth are crucial.
“In all four scenarios, US global influence wanes.”
The Global HIV/AIDS Crisis.
Authors: Seth Berkley, Peter Piot, Alan Whiteside, World Economic Forum, Annual Meeting, 2003 http://www.weforum.org/pdf/Initiatives/GHI_2003_HIVAIDS_Scenario.pdf
In this paper, the authors provide best and worse case scenarios related to the AIDS epidemic and its impact on sufferers, societies, and economies.
Best-Case Scenario: Fighting Back, Saving Lives “In a best-case scenario, the rich countries give 0.7% of their GDP to development, coupled with debt relief. At the same time there is a renewed focus on research and development to produce new vaccines and more effective drugs.
“In the countries most affected by the disease, governments, business and civil society unite to build the infrastructure to care for millions living with HIV. They provide vaccines to prevent its further spread. Fewer people contract AIDS and live with the disease, and they have greater support.
*Africa: countries with infections rates of 30%-40% in 2002 fall to 15% by 2010 and 5% by 2020.
*Eastern Europe and Central Asia: infection rates reach 2%-3% by 2010 and then fall to 0.5% by 2020.
*Asia: India’s national prevalence never reaches 1% because prevention efforts keep the epidemic at bay. China has regional outbreaks but national prevalence never reaches 0.5%.
“By 2020, the epidemic still isn’t over. The number of people infected in Southern Africa, Russia, India and China continues to rise but at a slower rate. Notably, India and China introduce massive new programmes of sex education for school children and economic migrants. The fight against AIDS actually empowers women and brings their voices to bear on a range of social issues. More young people decide to postpone sex, stick to one partner and are tested together before having unprotected sex. The social stigma of AIDS is lifted.
“There are still enormous pressures on the education and health systems and a quarter to one third of skilled and educated workers have died. Despite some tough years, however, significant financial and technical cooperation from richer countries ensure that governments survive.
“Medical breakthroughs lead to the development of a vaccine by 2010 and there is a global effort to get the vaccine and AIDS drugs to the people who need them. A microbicide gel that protects women during sex is an important breakthrough. Activists continue to campaign for lower prices, bulk purchasing and tiered pricing. However, they work closely with industry to ensure that incentives for research remain.
“AIDS is seen to be everybody’s problem, although it directly affects fewer people. There is a sea change when the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria gives money to major companies and civil society to run joint HIV programmes in their local communities. Governments support broad corporate initiatives in HIV/AIDS through tax breaks and training. This is a world where strong leadership and growing cooperation between governments, business and society have begun to turn the tide. An end in the epidemic is in sight.”
Worst-Case Scenario: A World in Crisis “In the worst-case scenario, some leaders continue to deny the threat of AIDS. Instead of tackling the epidemic, time and effort is wasted arguing over the number of infected people. At the same time HIV remains a taboo in some countries, preventing mass education and prevention.
“By 2020, Africa has been decimated by the disease. Many international businesses have left Southern Africa because the lack of educated staff makes hiring and training too expensive. The same will soon be true of parts of Africa. There are widespread food shortages because of scarce labour and a shift to subsistence farming for immediate survival.
*Africa: by 2020, around 60-70 million people are dead. In the most affected countries, 15%-30% of workers are HIV positive and GDP is 30% lower than predicted.
*Eastern Europe and Central Asia: the countries of the former Soviet Union have an adult prevalence of between 1% and 5%.
*Asia: the continent surpasses Africa as the region with the most HIV/AIDS. More then 30 million people have died.
“So many teachers have fallen victim to AIDS that he schools have been forced to close. Orphaned children with few options join the many local conflicts.
“Eastern Europe and Central Asia are also suffering a serious HIV epidemic with tuberculosis raging alongside AIDS. Major businesses have begun to leave the region and recession, mass unemployment and disintegrating public services mean that intravenous drug use – often linked to prostitution – proliferates.
“Asia also faces an AIDS disaster. In China and India authorities view the dying as “surplus” and feel that others can take their place in the economy. International businesses still invest in the region with confidence.
“The Chinese and Indian governments pride themselves on keeping the overall prevalence rate below other countries but become ever more heavy handed to control the epidemic. Sex workers, drug users and HIV sufferers can all expect periods of detention. Almost 5% of migrant workers are infected, bringing the next wave of the epidemic with them.
“The stigma of HIV deepens globally. India’s middle class, for example, sees AIDS as a problem of the poor. Elsewhere, infected people and their families are shunned, breeding increasing ignorance and fuelling the virus’ spread.
“In the West, infected people live almost normal lives on long term treatment. Vaccines protect the rest of the population. However, in other parts of the world unmonitored and uncontrolled use of drugs breeds worse strains of HIV. Drug companies, fearful of losing intellectual property protection, reduce investment in new treatments.
“This is a world of increasing tensions, social divisions, inequity and fear. Some governments have failed to learn the lessons of earlier epidemics in other countries. Millions of people expect to contract AIDS, to see their children die and to die themselves in their 30s and 40s.”
World Forecasts, by Prospective 2100 http://2100.org
(Author note: Prospective 2100 is a not for profit organization of international thinkers who have come together to “promote future studies for useful decision making.”)
Members of Prospective 2100, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the task of promoting “future studies for useful decision making” has constructed a series of global scenarios and forecasts through 2100. These scenarios, summarized below, are: Show Business Society (1980-2020); Education Society (2020-2060); and Creation Society (2060-2100).
Show Business Society, 1980-2020: In this scenario, the world is composed of “irascible ethnic groups, attached to past values and making a fetish out of the possession of their territory or their privileged position.” By this time, fundamentalism in Lebanon, Yugoslavia, India, central Asia and Africa has grown, ethnic persecutions are continuing, and Asia is rearming. Racial conflicts occur. Belief in the power of force is still widespread and reinforced by the temporary successes of warlords and mafias. Despair is evident as millions look for work but there are fewer and fewer entrepreneurs to employ them.
“Major entrepreneurs buy out television stations and money and credibility become entangled.” Stock markets are systemically linked, moving billions of dollars around the world on sheer speculation. Meanwhile, the weather is increasingly unpredictable
Education Society, 2020-2060: By this time, over half of the world’s population is living in urban settings and the atmosphere in these huge cities, whether Los Angeles, Mexico City, Bombay or Algiers, is permeated with feelings of insecurity. Over a billion people have been driven off their land, unable to compete with industrialized agriculture. Children, unable to farm as their families have always done, wander the streets, with no schooling available and no means to incorporate themselves into the modern, technological world.
At this time, Eastern Europe, China and India are in a frantic search for profit. The commitment, however, to a liberal economy has turned out to be “no more than a cover for mafias. Power has remained in the same hands but transfigured...” The world is no longer divided geographically into rich and poor countries; now the rich and poor co- exist within meters of each other, but not comfortably. The market for bombproof devices, locks and video surveillance flourishes as it has never before.
The education society emerges, using mental training software and compulsory conditioning tests to shape minds and monitor daily activities. Social control becomes highly regulated, supported by the appropriate technology. "Cities of education are constructed in isolated areas with the aim of integrating the "human animal" into its scientific and technical environment.”
Creation Society, 2060-2100: In this scenario, the dangers of social upheaval have receded. People are rejecting the restrictions of the past, and revealing themselves creatively. They pursue freedom, and prize independence and universality. Quality of life, self sufficiency, creativity, and the creation of new environments are seen as universal values. As a result, people in this society have created living structures and communities that are small, transportable, and independent. They can be set up anywhere – in the deserts, on ice floes, at the bottom of the ocean, or on hollow artificial planets.
Health Care Innovation in the 21st Century - IAF Scenarios for 2010 - A sequel to the Belmont Vision.
Author: Institute for Alternative Futures.
These scenarios, created by the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) explore the possible futures of health care in the year 2010.
Scenario 1) Steady Innovation Focused on Outcomes: “Accountability and the search for cost-effective care frame the reward structure for pursuing health care innovation. While some major breakthroughs occur, the greatest advances are in terms of disease management and the budding partnerships between managed care providers and R&D organizers.”
Scenario 2) Innovation Stagnates: “The escalating costs of discovery and development – coupled with federal funding retrenchment, price controls on drugs and devices, sluggish regulatory approval processes, health care provider-initiated constraints on using expensive new therapeutics, and the failure of biotechnology to produce appropriate breakthroughs – has led to an even riskier R&D environment. There is only marginal health care innovation, and many players drop out.”
Scenario 3) Paradigm Shifts Accelerate Innovation: New genetic knowledge enables biochemical customization of therapies. Concurrently, enhanced therapeutic and behavioral tools are being developed in partnerships that include leading entertainment and information companies. Development costs have been lowered and approvals accelerated due to biomonitoring, more effective health care provider involvement and dramatic changes in regulatory processes. Nurses and other health care practitioners can access specialist knowledge through expert systems and thereby perform many functions and services more cost effectively than physicians.”
Scenario 4) Innovation That Moves Beyond Treating Individuals: The line between innovation and care delivery has blurred as new models provide ways to move upstream on many chronic diseases. Alternative therapies and community approaches are regularly integrated into therapeutic decision-making. The public actively participates in health care innovation, setting priorities for public research dollars and volunteering for clinica
Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Nongovernment Experts.
Central Intelligence Agency
In September-October 1999, the NIC initiated work on Global Trends 2015 by cosponsoring with Department of State/INR and CIA's Global Futures Project two unclassified workshops on “Alternative Global Futures: 2000-2015.” The first workshop identified major factors and events that would drive global change including demography, natural resources, science and technology, the global economy, governance, social/cultural identities, and conflict; the second workshop developed four alternative global futures in which these drivers would interact in different ways through 2015.
Scenario 1) Inclusive Globalization: “A virtuous circle develops among technology, economic growth, demographic factors, and effective governance, which enables a majority of the world's people to benefit from globalization. Technological development and diffusion – in some cases triggered by severe environmental or health crises – are utilized to grapple effectively with some problems of the developing world. Robust global economic growth – spurred y a strong policy consensus on economic liberalization – diffuses wealth widely and mitigates many demographic and resource problems. Governance is effective at both the national and international levels. In many countries, the state's role shrinks, as its functions are privatized or performed by public-private partnerships, while global cooperation intensifies on many issues through a variety of international arrangements. Conflict is minimal within and among states benefiting from globalization. A minority of the world's people – in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the Andean region – do not benefit from these positive changes, and internal conflicts persist in and around those countries left behind.”
Scenario 2) Pernicious Globalization: “Global elites thrive, but the majority of the world's population fails to benefit from globalization. Population growth and resource scarcities place heavy burdens on many developing countries, and migration becomes a major so
urce of interstate tension. Technologies not only fail to address the problems of developing countries but also are exploited by negative and illicit networks and incorporated into destabilizing weapons. The global economy splits into three: growth continues in developed countries; many developing countries experience low or negative per capita growth, resulting in a growing gap with the developed world; and the illicit economy grows dramatically. Governance and political leadership are weak at both the national and international levels. Internal conflicts increase, fueled by frustrated expectations, inequities, and heightened communal tensions; WMD proliferate and are used in at least one internal conflict.”
Scenario 3) Regional Competition: “Regional identities sharpen in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, driven by growing political resistance in Europe and East Asia to US global preponderance and US-driven globalization and each region's increasing preoccupation with its own economic and political priorities. There is an uneven diffusion of technologies, reflecting differing regional concepts of intellectual property and attitudes towards biotechnology. Regional economic integration in trade and finance increases, resulting in both fairly high levels of economic growth and rising regional competition. Both the state and institutions of regional governance thrive in major developed and emerging market countries, as governments recognize the need to resolve pressing regional problems and shift responsibilities from global to regional institutions. Given the preoccupation of the three major regions with their own concerns, countries outside these regions in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia have few places to turn for resources or political support. Military conflict among and within the three major regions does not materialize, but internal conflicts increase in and around other countries left behind.”
Scenario 4) Scenario Four: Post-Polar World: “US domestic preoccupation increases as the US economy slows, then stagnates. Economic and political tensions with Europe grow, the US-European alliance deteriorates as the United States withdraws its troops, and Europe turns inward, relying on its own regional institutions. At the same time, national governance crises create instability in Latin America… forcing the United States to concentrate on the region. Indonesia also faces internal crisis and risks disintegration, prompting China to provide the bulk of an ad hoc peacekeeping force. Otherwise, Asia is generally prosperous and stable, permitting the United States to focus elsewhere. Korea's normalization and de facto unification proceed, China and Japan provide the bulk of external financial support for Korean unification, and the United States begins withdrawing its troops from Korea and Japan. Over time, these geostrategic shifts ignite longstanding national rivalries among the Asian powers, triggering increased military preparations and hitherto dormant or covert WMD programs. Regional and global institutions prove irrelevant to the evolving conflict situation in Asia, as China issues an ultimatum to Japan to dismantle its nuclear program and Japan calls for US reengagement in Asia under adverse circumstances at the brink of a major war. Given the priorities of Asia, the Americas, and Europe, countries outside these regions are marginalized, with virtually no sources of political or financial support.
The World in 2050.
Author: Nick Bostrom
Structured as an interview broadcast by “BBC Virtual Reality” in August 2050, this scenario explores some of the social, political, economic and technological issues that the world may have to face in the mid-21st century. Although the scenario covers a range of issues including virtual reality, cryonics and global warming, a central theme is the need to regulate molecular nanotechnology because of its immense abuse potential, and the resulting institution of an ever-present global surveillance network. Scenario excerpt: “It’s amazing how quickly people have gotten used to the idea that everything they do can now be known by anybody interested in finding out. When you are going on a date with someone, you can check out their previous relationships, and so on. If you had suggested this to someone fifty years ago, they’d have been horrified! They would probably have referred to it as Brave New World, or Orwell’s 1984, with Big Brother watching you all the time. But it’s like a nudist colony: when every
body is naked, the embarrassment quickly wears off. So we had all these little secrets that we thought were so important, little vices. But when we see that everybody has similar little vices, our standards adapt and we become more tolerant.”
2099: A Eutopia – Prospects for Tomorrow
Author: Yorick Blumenfeld. Published by Thames & Hudson (January, 2000).
The author presents a glimpse into the daily life of a thriving inner-city community in the year 2099. A better world is imagined in remarkable detail -- from a macro-view to a city-view; then, to the point-of- view of the average citizen. Blumenfeld writes intimate stories that are not only detailed and creative, but highly spiritual. In the following excerpt from the book, 2099 sees the illegitimacy of money-driven markets, once held highly valued in the capitalist days of the early 21st Century. Special note: this book is one of the last of the few utopian books of the twentieth century, and, by presenting a broad perspective on one possible future, a series, known as “Proepects for Tomorrow” will be developed. This book encourages thinking along the level of a myriad of plausible futures in the next millennium.
Scenario: 2099: A Eutopia-Prospects for Tomorrow (excerpt from the book): “Since the worldwide ban on most unauthorized travel in 2061 and the regionalizaton of what used to be the infoweb in 2070, we know much less about each other than we used to a hundred years ago –even with our implanted cranial connex. So here I am in england,. Angry. Even frightened. I can’t pretend I’m computerly objective in this alian world, but over the next three weeks – in a series of a dozen public service encrypts on NAIntranet—I’m going to try to tell it to you as it is, issued by issue, I hope I’ll come out of it alive an mentally sound. Communicarianism, I’m told, can be contagious. Yes, both men and women swing their hips provocatively here though as yet, they’re not afflicted by a non-identity syndrome. Lofe is radically diff. I’ve come to give you something more than a panoramic view of the first community in the inner city to have been established almost 30 years ago. Standing on historic Mousehold Health. I can see communities as far as the eye can reach. Right below me is Yare, the community Right below me is Yare, the community from which I’m going ot transmit my log-ins. How are we going to rate Yare after one generation? I Is it a winner or is it simply a “no fun”? Have drugs here replavced vanilla?> It’s important to determine whether the people who live I n this city are free or whether they have somehow been corralled by an ideal. Are they bent on moral uplift like so many of our proto-Christian groups in NorAm? Is t really a community of programmed pleasures, regulated joys and standardized punishments ordained by a Machine Intelligence? Certainly xpectations were stratospheric when a hundred communities of about 1,800 members each were formed out of the historic city of Norwich in 2070. These units were modeled on some of the rural communes which had been successfully established two decades earlier. The Euro MI unit had carefully drawn the boundaries of each of these communities. It had listed who was to join in with who, what they were to do, and practically who was to sleep with who. This caused something of a local revolution, but all of it was patiently xplained I papers, videos, and meetings by the perspic MI. People were promised no hassles, no shoving, no crime. In one word: “civility”. “
A View of the Year 3000: A Ranking of the 100 Most Influential Persons of all Time
Author: Arturo Kukeni Michal H. Hart. Poseidon Press. 1999. The Futurist March-April 2000.
In 1978, Michael H. Hart, a college professor with degrees in mathematics, astronomy, physics, computer science, and law, published a book in which he ranked the 100 most influential persons of all time in descending order. The author is currently retired and is now a full time writer whose latest book, A View from the Year 3000 updates his former top 100 rankings with substitutions and additions from the twenty-first century and after.
Scenario: Who’s Who Tomorrow. (Excerpt from the book) “ Writing from the vantage point of an extra thousand years, the book's nominal author--Arturo Kukeni, Hart's "descendant" born in 2801--retains only 35 names from Hart's original list--and most of these move well down in rank. More than half of the year 3000's Top 100 are individuals born in the twenty-first century or later--and their achievements are certainly impressive. A few examples, and their rankings: #1 Chan Po-Yao (2213-living), who gave quasi-immortality to humans by developing a practical way to replace aging brain cells while retaining memory and personality. #4 Rukmini Gopal (2370-living), who permanently ended the war between the sexes when she perfected easy, safe, and reversible sex-change operations. By 3000, most humans change back and forth between male and female freely. #13 Miguel Carranza (2274-2413), statesman who shaped the United World Federation, the first true world government. #26 John J. Maxwell (2076-2163) founder of the first O'Neill space colony. (By the year 3000, more than half the human race lives off-planet.) #96 Roberto Ferruchio (2047-2086 and 2240-living), game designer who invented an elaborate team sport combining elements of problem solving, wilderness survival, and mock combat. (Stricken with incurable cancer, Ferruchio spent 154 years in cryogenic suspension until medical science advanced to the point where he could be revived and cured--hence the two sets of life dates.)”
Scenarios to 2020.
The Challenge! Network Forum. Directed by Dr. Oliver Sparrow. The Challenge Network.
The Challenge Network has been involved with the design and facilitation of strategy processes for many years. In addition, this organization addresses issues necessitating foresight and scenario formation for the public and private sector. The following scenarios look to the year 2020, based on technological change, quantitative forecasts from authoritative sources, demographics, political structures; and, uniquely framing issues surrounding resource shortages.
Scenario One: Pushing the Edge. “The explosive growth of knowledge, of trained people and of connectivity create a period in which all of the aspirations expressed by capital markets in the Nineties are fulfilled. A glow of prosperity settles over, in particular, the USA. Science performs astonishing feats, and commerce is not far behind in making a technical reality of this potential. There is a view that government is a matter of competent administration, that most issues will settle themselves if exposed to a proper incentive structure and the fashion is, therefore, increasingly laisse faire. However, by 2010, cracks are appearing in this structure. They stem from two centres. One of these is the European societies with high levels of elderly people, notably those with poor pension provisions, such as Italy, Austria, Germany and France. Japan has similar problems and not dissimilar responses. Here, the golden glow of economic success is far from evenly distributed. The prevalent view of technological astonishment is highly negative. The politics of these regions are polarised between those who see the need to accommodate to fast change and a rejectionist, traditionalist group. These nations find themselves increasingly out of step with the cutting edge nations. The second set of crack stem from the inadequacy of institutions to deal with what is being thrust upon them. Regulation is put in place to deal with complex, interconnected issues which appears in retrospect to have been increasing clumsy and, where appropriate, rapidly superseded. Litigation increases, a plethora of complex regulation is enacted, growth slows. In the period after 2010, the major powers find themselves both at odds with each other politically and unable to cope with the stresses of change that are generated internally. Little attention is given to the emergent world and the poor world, save as partners in commerce. International institutions do not develop. However, the use of uncontained but dangerous technologies, the theft of intellectual property - the bane of the knowledge economy - and remote criminality all make the world a difficult place; and the widespread possession of offensive software, biological and other capabilities make it a dangerous one. Environmental issues are both the cause of much distress and, in places of conflict, but also something which the machinery is inadequate to address in an international arena.”
Scenario Two: Renewed Foundations “Capital market expectations are thwarted in the period after 2000 and growth is historically slow. The problem that lies behind this depression is twofold. The 'old' economy is in trouble. In some areas, a flood of low cost goods emanating from the low wage areas have commoditised whole industries. Process innovations that are made to heighten efficiency seem to be exported very swiftly. Productivity drives throw the least able into direct competition with low wage areas. The 'new' industries are, however, failing to deliver on their promise. An innovative treadmill generates new products but not much profit, and incidentally take all firms into what the public see as alarming areas. The second source of failure is in the public sector. States are consuming in the order of half of all added value, and directing four-fifths of this into welfare. The squeeze lessens investment in the public sector. An elderly population views all of this with alarm. Their assets are not growing, state-funded systems of age care are evidently failing and politicians seem able to do nothing about this. Companies seem unable to find their way out of the impasse, yet they engage in frightening activities, many of them doing so in the poor nations, away from regulatory oversight. Activism growth through networks and across nations, demanding action. Some nations are doing rather well for themselves. Despite modest demographic problems, these are building their economies from skilled people doing skilled jobs, operating in collaboration across all manner of boundaries. This approach plays poorly with the nations which have evolved a more confrontational, impersonal or pragmatic style. Nevertheless, economic figures show that this approach is proving effective. The parallel success of knowledge management techniques in some parts of commerce is noted. It is seen that the approach can be lifted entire and placed into the public domain. Once the implications of this linkage are understood, the application of these techniques spreads quickly. The successes which are scored are impressive. A cadre of several hundred million practitioners develops across the industrial world, inter-linked and sharing a common viewpoint on the world. This is, however, a world in which relatively few feel that they have a 'place'. Communities have faded. Austere and impersonal systems confront people whenever they touch the public sector, and do so particularly in areas of claimancy and dependency. By contrast, a rich and focused 'alternative' exists in the electronic media, where interest groups and enthusiasms emerge and blossom. Mass activism, activism as a hobby and hobby politics grow as an educated cadre vents its frustrations. It finds an ideal structure with which to interact in the network of knowledge managing expertise to which we have already referred. What was once difficult, therefore, can become knotted into tangled thickets of the impossible. Complexity management demands delegation, collaboration, networks, knowledge, a systems view, plans, regulatory permissions, mutual consultation. All of this essential equipment, however, creates openings which are exploited by activism. The clean, rational world of expert knowledge-users is increasing required to justify itself. Getting permission to act is central to success in a world where veto can block any step in a fragile chain of regulation and legal process. Where this is adequately managed, however, all see that this is micro-democracy at work. Its expansion offers positive engagement to many and excludes only those with nothing useful to say. It has power, in that the strategic insights which it tables define the options which will be followed. It ties together industry and consumer, state and the private sector, knowledge holders and knowledge users. Most of all, it generates a means to break away from commoditisation, creating a skill pool that only the industrial nations can deploy. The process of full bottom-up integration is, however, by no means complete in every industrial country by 2020. Some nations have taken huge strides, whilst others - still battling demographics and state deficits, still suffering rejectionist fits from their disappointed elderly - have hardly taken the first steps.”
Terrorism and the Threat From Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East – The Problem of Paradigm Shifts.
Author: Anthoney H. Cordesman, Senior Fellow and Co-Director of Middle East Studies Program, CSIS, Washington, DC.
This interesting and detailed paper outlines the vast literature on terrorist activity. Cordesman makes a nice distinction between “alarmist” reaction verses the more proactive stance of those given to solve real world problems to combat terrorism over the long view. Admittedly, before 9/11, politicians and officials tended to ignore warnings about terrorism; but post 9/11 brings a whole new world of vulnerability and the realization that “bureaucracies” aren’t designed to effectively thwart terrorism. Amazingly, 9/11 was a very low-tech terrorist attack that used the hand of US “bureaucracy” as the most effective weapon. Cordesman writes a scenario of “high tech” terrorism with less bureaucracy involved, to illustrate the complex vulnerabilities of a nation’s porous borders. It was written in 1996.
Scenario: "Dr. Ben No" and "Professor Abu Moriarity" At Work in the Middle East. “A radiological power is introduced into the air conditioning systems of Cairo's high-rise tourist hotels. Symptoms are only detected over days or weeks or public warning is given several weeks later. The authorities detect the presence of such a power, but cannot estimate its long-term lethality and have no precedents for decontamination. Tourism collapses, and the hotels eventually have to be torn down and rebuilt. - Parts for a crude gun-type nuclear device are smuggled into Israel or bought in the market place. The device is built in a medium sized commercial truck. A physics student reading the US Department of Defense weapons effect manual maps Tel Aviv to maximize fall out effects in an area filled with buildings with heavy metals and waits for a wind maximizing the fall out impact. The bomb explodes with a yield of only 8 kilotons, but with an extremely high level of radiation. Immediate casualties are limited but the long-term death rate mounts steadily with time. Peace becomes impossible and security measures become Draconian. Immigration halts and emigration reaches crisis proportions. Israel as such ceases to exist. - Several workers move drums labeled as cleaning agents into a large shopping mall, large public facility, subway, train station, or airport. They dress as cleaners and are wearing what appear to be commercial dust filters or have taken the antidote for the agent they will use. They mix the feedstocks for a persistent chemical agent at the site during a peak traffic period. Large scale casualties result, and Draconian security measures become necessary on a national level. A series of small attacks using similar "binary" agents virtually paralyze the economy, and detection is impossible except to identify all canisters of liquid. - Immunized terrorists visit a US carrier or major Marine assault ship during the first hours of visitor's day during a port call in the Middle East. They are carrying anthrax powder in bags designed to make them appear slightly overweight. They slowly scatter the powder as they walk through the ship visit. The immediate result is 50% casualties among the ship's crew, its Marine complement, and the visitors that follow. The US finds it has no experience with decontaminating a large ship where anthrax has entered the air system and is scattered throughout closed areas. After long debates over methods and safety levels, the ship is abandoned. - A terrorist seeking to "cleanse" a nation of its secular regime and corruption introduces a modified type culture of Ebola or a similar virus into an urban area -- trusting God to "sort out" the resulting casualties. He scatters infectious cultures in urban areas for which there is no effective treatment. By the time the attack is detected, it has reached epidemic proportions. Medical authorities rush into the infected area without proper protection, causing the collapse of medical facilities and emergency response capabilities. Other nations and regions have no alternative other than to isolate the nation or center under attack, letting the disease take its course. - A terrorist group modifies the valves on a Japanese remote-controlled crop spraying helicopter which has been imported legally for agricultural purposes. It uses this system at night or near dawn to spray a chemical or biological agent at altitudes below radar coverage in a line-source configuration. Alternatively, it uses a large home-built RPV with simple GPS guidance. The device eventually crashes undetected into the sea or in the desert. Delivery of a chemical agent achieves far higher casualties than any conventional military warhead. A biological agent is equally effective and the first symptoms appear days after the actual attack -- by which time treatment is difficult or impossible. - A truck filled with what appears to be light gravel is driven through the streets of Tel Aviv or Cairo during rush hour or another maximum traffic period. A visible powder does come out through the tarpaulin covering the truck, but the spread of the power is so light that no attention is paid to it. The driver and his assistant are immunized against the modified form of Anthrax carried in the truck which is being released from behind the gravel or sand in the truck. The truck slowly quarters key areas of the city. Unsuspected passersby and commuters not only are infected, but carry dry spores home and into other areas. By the time the first major symptoms of the attach occur some 3-5 days later, anthrax pneumonia is epidemic and some septicemic anthrax has appeared. Some 40-65% of the exposed population dies and medical facilities collapse causing serious, lingering secondary effects. - A terrorist group scatters high concentrations of a radiological, chemical, or biological agent in various areas in a city, and trace elements into the processing intakes to the local water supply. When the symptoms appear, terrorist group makes its attack known, but claims that it has contaminated the local water supply. The authorities are forced to confirm that water is contaminated and mass panic ensues. - Immunized terrorists carry small amounts of anthrax or a similar biological agent onto a passenger aircraft like a B-747, quietly scatter the powder, and deplane at the regular scheduled stop. No airport detection system or search detects the agent. Some 70-80% of those on the aircraft die as a result of symptoms that only appear days later. - Several identical nuclear devices are smuggled out of the FSU through Afghanistan or Central Asia. They do not pass directly through governments. One of the devices is disassembled to determine the precise technology and coding system used in the weapon's PAL. This allows users to activate the remaining weapons. The weapon is then disassembled to minimize detection with the fissile core shipped covered in lead. The weapon is successfully smuggled into the periphery of an urban area outside any formal security perimeter. A 100 kiloton ground burst destroys a critical area and blankets the region in fall out. The same device is shipped to Israel or a Gulf area in a modified standard shipping container equipped with detection and triggering devices that set it off as a result of local security checks or with a GPS system that sets it off automatically when it reaches the proper coordinates in the port of destination. The direct explosive effect is significant, but "rain out" contaminates a massive local area. - Iraq equips a freighter or dhow to spread Anthrax along a coastal area in the Gulf. It uses a proxy terrorist group, and launches an attack on Kuwait City and Saudi oil facilities and ports. It is several days before the attack is detected, and the attacking group is never fully identified. The form of Anthrax involved is dry and time encapsulated to lead to both massive prompt casualties and force time consuming decontamination. Iraq not only is revenged, but benefits from the resulting massive surge in oil prices. - A terrorist group scatters small amounts of a biological or radiological agent in a Jewish area during critical stages of the final settlement talks. Near panic ensures, and a massive anti-Palestinian reaction follows. Israeli security then learns that the terrorist group has scattered small amounts of the same agent in cells in every sensitive Palestinian town and area, and the terrorist group announces that it has also stored some in politically sensitive mosques and shrines. Israeli security is forced to shut down all Palestinian movement and carry out intrusive searches in every politically sensitive area. Palestinian riots and then exchanges of gun fire follow. The peace talks break down permanently. - The Iranian Revolutionary Guards equips dhows to spread Anthrax. The dhows enter the ports of Dubai and Abu Dhabi as commercial vessels -- possibly with local or other Southern Gulf registrations and flags. It is several days before the attack is detected, and the resulting casualties include much of the population of Abu Dhabi and government of the UAE. The UAE breaks up as a result, no effective retaliation is possible, and Iran achieves near hegemony over Gulf oil policy.
A terrorist group attempting to drive Western influence out of Saudi Arabia smuggles a large nuclear device into Al Hufuf on the edge of the Ghawar oil field. It develops a crude fall out model using local weather data which it confirms by sending out scouts with cellular phones. It waits for the ideal wind, detonates the devices, shuts down the world's largest exporting oil field, and causes the near collapse of Saudi Arabia.
Alternatively, the same group takes advantage of the security measures the US has adopted in Saudi Arabia, and the comparative isolation of US military personnel. It waits for the proper wind pattern and allows the wind to carry a biological agent over a Saudi airfield with a large US presence from an area outside the security perimeter. The US takes massive casualties and has no ability to predict the next attack. It largely withdraws from Saudi Arabia. - A freighter carrying fertilizer enters a Middle Eastern port and docks. In fact, the freighter has mixed the fertilizer with a catalyst to create a massive explosion and also carries a large amount of a chemical, radiological, and/or biological agent. The resulting explosion destroys both the immediate target area and scatters the chemical or biological weapon over the area. - Extreme believers in Eretz Israel move a "cocktail" of radiological and persistent biological/chemical agents to the Temple Mount to contaminate the Mosques. They use carefully designed devices which only scatter very heavy matter over a limited area, although they use explosives to ensure a high degree of contamination within the mosques. All prayer in the mosque area must be halted indefinitely and there are significant casualties among the Islamic faithful in Jerusalem. The Jewish group issues a statement demanding that the temple area be clear of all non-Jewish religious activity triggering mass violence. - A large terrorist device goes off in a populated, critical economic, or military assembly area -- scattering mustard or nerve gas. Emergency teams rush into deal with the chemical threat and the residents are evacuated. Only later does it become clear that the device also included a biological agent and that the response to this "cocktail" killed most emergency response personnel and the evacuation rushed the biological agent to a much wider area.”
The World in 2050.
The Economist in collaboration with Shell Oil Company. William Douglas of the United States was the 2001 winner of an international writing competition.
The competition focused on the social, political, environmental, technological, and economic issues that humanity we might face in the middle of the 21st Century. Entrants were encouraged to express their views on the rapid pace of technological change and globalization, and, the impact it would have on the world. Background: Shell and the Economist joined forces for the third international writing competition. Winners receive up to $65,000. The Board that determines the winner consists of Richard O’Brien, founding partner of Outsights & award winning economist and author; and Dr. Peter Warshall, editor of Whole Earth Magazine.
Scenario: A Letter Written on December 8, 2050: “ Dear Nestor, I am writing to you because our name came up as a reference on a “pen pal” list. Although I can easily simulate life in the United States on my Assumption machine, my curiosity, indeed my nostalgia for the past is such that I would prefer to actually correspond in writing with a human from the States. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. First, a bit about myself. My name is Ramesh Pediredla. I am twelve years old and live in the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Perhaps you may have heard of my city, but since you are about the same age as me, the chance that you have actually been here is fairly slim. However it might surprise you to know that we have great number of visitors from the States these days. With the world’s longest unbroken coastline, and many square kilos of untouched rainforest, Bangladesh is really a nice place to visit. If you come sometime, I will give you a ride in my trishaw, which is my job when I am not in school Many foreigners think that the bicycle rickshaw has been consigned to the history books, but in fact they continue to be widely used to Dhaka. Although it is easier and quicker to use a fuel ell-powered baby taxi, those who are quite wealthy, as well as many foreign visitors, seem to prefer the old fashioned rickshaw. So this is what I do when I am not studying, and the pay is quite good, since the job actually involves physical labor.
During the day I take school lessons. Some of these I do at home over the Network, but oftentimes, there is a special project, which requires in-person collaboration with my classmates. These are my favorite days, because, although I can learn a lot on the network, I so enjoy getting to see other people my own age. Often after class we relax together with sweet lassis (a kind of drink we hae here) and discuss the problems and issues facing our region. Mum and Dad say I have to spend at least another four years in lessons, but I’m impatient-I want to get out in the world and stake my own claim now! Everyone, it seems, takes lessons these days, but I would much prefer them on a part-time basis.
Some insist on referring to problems of country, but Mum thinks this is an outmoded expression. We have today is the South Asian Block (S.A>B>), with free movements of people and goods. True, many decisions, especially regarding religious protocol, are made locally, but from an economic standpoint, we in this region are now simply citizens of the S.A.B. Of course we do have some Sovereign Citizens residing here, as in other places. That was one thing I was wondering about; is your family Sovereign, i.e. free from localized taxes and such, or do you actually hold citizenship of the States? It is my understanding that the government there has been perhaps the most diligent in the world, about checking the financial dealings of its citizens and former citizens. OF course we all know about the group of software billionaires who formed their own country in the South Pacific, and thereby intended to pay no taxes at all.
Do you have a best friend there? I have my fair share of living, breathing friends, but I have to say, overall my best friend is Jacob, who lives in the Network. I first met him when I was eight, and Mum and Dad said I was now ready to have full access to the Network. When I first met Jacob he had a lot of questions for me, and at other times he was simple very quiet. Even at that age, I think I knew that Jacob was always keeping an eye on me, though. I heard Mum talking to her friends, and say, “Little Rammie’s taken a real shine to his virtual chaperone. I have to admit its right friendly program, that, it’s almost like a human, isn’t it?”
And that’s just the thing, Nextor. As far as I’m concerned, Jacob is human, or if he is not human, he’s every but as good as any human I’ve met so far. I had a real scare a couple weeks ago. One of our local religious leaders said on the Network that Virtual Friends are not the same as people at all, that in fact they’re an attempt to create a graven image of our god. We have a free-flow of ideas here; no one individual makes the religion for my family. Nevertheless, I got scared that Mum and Dad could listen to him, and might try to take Jacob away from me. I ran into their room, begging them not to take him away. Mum said they would do no such thing, and Dad said, “We couldn’t even if we wanted to. Jacob lives on the Network, and if he wanted to find you again, he would. You two are so bloody close that I’m certain he wouldn’t stay away for long even if we asked him too.”
So I was quite relived to get to keep my best friend. What about you? Do you have a best friend, and if so, is he based on silicon or carbon? Some say carbon beings of all types are living on numbered days, that the Silconites are just so much better at what they do that it’s inevitable that they’ll replace us. But Dad says people have been making the same prediction for decades, and there’s no reason we can’t all just peacefully coexist. I understand you live in Houston, Texas. What is it like there? A couple of weeks ago I went on a simulated tropical vacation to Florida with my family. It was fun; we went to Disney World, Miami, and even took the Chunnel from Miami to Havana. Dad says we can go on a real trip there when I finish my studies, which won’t be for a while. Even so, we already got our visas for the trip over the Network. It wasn’t so hard getting the visas. Each of us just had to have a one-on-one interview with some American guy. The thing is, I’m not sure if it was a guy; it could have been a virtual person. At any rate, I guess he liked us, because we all got twenty-year, multiple-entry visas. When we come, I really want to take one of those new Airbus triple-deckers, but Mum says it might be just a plain old double-decker, just like we take on our shopping trips to China. I understand that airplanes going into the States are required to have a human “pilot” in the room in the front of the plane. I’ve never been on a plane driven by a person; that would be wile to see!
Anyway, I’ve never been to Texas, virtually or otherwise. One of these days I’ll go, though. I hear one of the big tourist attractions there is what they call “oil rigs”, which they used to sue to pump petroleum out of the ground, before hydrogen fuel cells got to be popular. I hear that your air there is cleaner than ours in Bangladesh. Our in Dhaka is among the dirtiest in the world. I understand that walking around the streets of Dhaka for a day has the equivalent affect on one’s lungs as smoking some old-fashioned cigarette! Now that’s dirty! - What do you like to do with your free time? I like to watch old movies, mainly American action movies and Hindi pop musicals. Personally I find movies these days to be a bit of a bore. The thing is, it’s hard to be sympathetic with the characters, when you don’t know if it’s a real person or not. I mean, I have nothing against Bots, but if these are just Bots (bits) running around on the screen. I’d like to know! I can’t tell you how many old Schwartzenegger movies I’ve seen and enjoyed, only to find out that the man himself had no knowledge of the production. For all I know, these movies were made in someone’s bedroom in Hyderabad! Call me old fashioned, but for me, Bots are not proper replacements for a human.
I understand the North American Trading Block (NATB) has just elected a new Representative. What do you think of her? My Dad says that in America elected officials are irrelevant to people’s day-to-day life, that in the NATB people do what they want to do. However, I can’t help; but wonder if Americans like their President as a figurehead, as it used to be for the Thai people and their Royal Family. Did your family give you Special Genes when you were born? My parents told me they didn’t, just the usual anti-cancer, anti-HIV molecular strategy. But after a lot of trying I figured out how to crack into my personal file on the Network, and found out that I have a few Special ones, as well. A couple of them are there to help me get old slower, so that I’ll hopefully live to 120 as well. A couple of them are there to help me get old slower, so that I’ll hopefully live to 120 or so. A few of them are there to give me a mild boost in intelligence. I guess this explains why my parents didn’t figure out how to encrypt my personal file from my prying eyes! Anyway, some people in my country are opposed to people trying to give their kids an edge in life, so I guess that’s why they didn’t let on about it. It’s sort of like how adults are about New Skin surgery-0-everyone does it, but do body wants to admit it. I’ve heard hat people in other countries are experimenting with all kinds of mods for their kids, for height, good looks, etc., but I think that is all a little silly. Just watch, Nesto- in the future, so many people will look alike from all these bodily modifications and genetic alterations, that the cool thing will be to have been born Natural, just like me. At any rate, I’m not worried-I like who I am and I think I’m going to do just fine.…Well, Nestor, I’ve written an awful lot about myself and my circumstances in this letter. I look forward to hearing about you. Indeed, despite all the progress humanity has made in the last couple thousand years, to say nothing of the last several decades, then it comes down to it, what still matters most to us is our lives and our loves ones. Yours truly, Ramesh”
Proteus: Insights from 2020.
Compiled by Pamela Krause with portions written by Michael Loescher, Chris Schroeder and Charles W. Thomas, The Copernicus Institute Press, 2000.
The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is a U.S. intelligence agency that sponsored a scenario- based futures study "to investigate new methodologies and technologies for intelligence collection and analysis." The technique employed was "adopt a world," a method in which scenario are created across a "space" of interest and persons with a range of skills are then instructed to "live" within those worlds, making appropriate decisions consistent with the worlds to which they have been assigned. Mr. Charles Thomas of Deloitte Consulting was in charge of the methodology and responsible for much of the scenario work.
In the course of this work, five scenarios were created. The descriptions below were drawn from the report itself.
1. Amazon.plague is a world wracked by highly contagious, deadly viruses that flare up, die down, and then return in mutated form. Efforts to contain and counteract the plagues have been only marginally effective. Consequently, trade and commerce have dried up and the world's economy has declined sharply. The globe is now mired in a serious, long-term recession. Nations have tended to either become authoritarian or succumb to chaos. The U.S. and a few other resilient countries with relatively low fatality rates have signed a mutual assistance treaty to find the cure and protect each other's security interests. These "viable" states have sealed their borders to shield themselves from constant mass migration attempts from less fortunate neighbors.
In the US, the Democratic and Republican parties have given way to "Greens" and "Techs". Greens seek a return to basic living and tend to blame technology for the world's evils, while the Techs look to medical research and technology to solve the plague crisis. Power increasingly resides in community groups and local health centers, most of which are connected to and supported by the federal government. The public has generally agreed to sacrifice some personal freedoms in favor of medical JDs and increased surveillance of potentially "unhealthy" populations. The Internet has evolved into the Global Information Grid, which hasbecome the preferred method of commerce, communication, and education in this disease-ridden world.
2. The Enemy Within is a world in which the U.S. has slowly, unexpectedly, and quite dramatically unraveled. Like so many other nations at the height of power, our disagreements, ethnic tensions, and single-issue politics have torn the social fabric. Our society is fractured and fragmented - politically, socially, and culturally. Intergenerational strife, compounded by record unemployment, has torn apart our churches, neighborhoods, and families. Racial tensions are a tinderbox in cities, suburbs, and rural America.
In this uncivil society, the specter of imminent collapse looms over everyday activity. Violence can pop up at any time and in the most unlikely places. There seems to be no refuge. Under such social circumstances, capital and business are flowing out of the country. The nation's economy creaks along at barely sustainable levels.
Agriculture, health care and pharmaceuticals, low-end re-tail, personal security services, and construction are among the few bright spots in this abysmal economy. Government coalitions struggle to find an appropriate national response to the seemingly never-ending crisis. All other national tasks and obligations take a back seat as the country turns inward to face the most critical turning point of its 250-year history.
3. Militant Shangri-La is a world of unexpected events and difficult-to-trace villains. The world in general, and the U.S. in particular, has continued into a third decade of a prosperous, information-driven economy. But the world is also continuing along the road to complexity, with new structures of influence throughout the globe. The Newtonian diplomatic and military calculus of the past 400 years, since nation-states emerged at the end of the Middle Ages, seems to be giving way to a new Age. In particular, the global man-in-the-street has endured the past century of 200 mil-lion deaths in war, endured dizzying and difficult technological change, and is listening sympathetically to the Earth groan under the burden of pollution and extinction. Nearly all of the animals of Africa, many of the fish in the sea, and much of the wild areas of the globe are used up.
Into this world enters the new and worrisome Alliance of the Southern Constellation: South Africa, India, Indonesia, China, and other pariahs to the Western social philosophy of individual liberty and human rights, operating both legitimately as a block of aligned nation states and illegitimately as criminal cartels. Their grand strategy is to keep the world on the edge of chaos, and from that chaos, reap profit. The Alliance is in space, on the seas, in the media and financial institutions, and worming into the hearts and minds of individuals, killing the very idea of personal liberty. Meanwhile, the U.S., its four English-speaking cousins, Japan, and a newly unified Korea have united to resist this evil empire.
4. New Camelot is a world in which most of the world. We enjoy economic growth, international stability, technological progress, and the fruits of an energy breakthrough that promises cheap fuel and a clean environment. Most American citizens sleep soundly without worries of global conflicts, physical threats, or financial insecurities. Large, horizontally integrated, global corporations drive strong consumer markets and keep products, services, ideas, and technology flowing across all borders. The global economy churns with machine-like efficiency.
The U.S. no longer dominates militarily and economically, but at a time of rising affluence and an ever-improving quality of life, nobody cares. The U.S. government is still very involved and assertive in world affairs. For the first time in anyone's memory, the past is not looked back on wistfully as the "good old days." A confluence of factors got us here- globalization, governmental reform, and information, among them- and they promise to sustain forward progress. There are, of course, no guarantees. Not all the world is sharing equally in these good times. Some nations are left out, perhaps too far behind in skills and infrastructure to play in this very competitive, free and global marketplace. But the mood is bright, government is visionary, firms are dynamic, and we all believe in the future.
5. Yankee Going Home is a world in which little is clear except that the world has changed in fundamental ways. Who is running things? Why are certain decisions made? What goals are being pursued? Who are friends and who are enemies? The U.S. has withdrawn from the world, gone home after a series of terrible foreign policy blunders and after a longstanding and deep recession. The world is heavily influenced by the memories of terrorism, regional war, and worldwide instability that followed the U.S. retreat.
The world that emerges is made up of both traditional actors (nations, international organizations, non government organizations) and powerful non-traditional actors (global corporate alliances, criminal groups, mercenary units). These actors cooperate for power and influence while simultaneously competing for position and control in a constant whirl of politics and economics, bewildering to nearly all concerned. In this world, historical notions of allegiances are questioned, and the rules of the game are difficult to understand. Predictable behavior becomes the unique exception rather than the expected standard.
One remarkable aspect of this work is that its sponsors drew insights from the scenarios about the characteristics of the future, as least as depicted in the diverse worlds, that would affect decision making for NRO. These insights were named, again quoting:
Starlight; the role and nature of time in analysis Sanctuary: the propensity to hide in an open world Small Stuff software, biotechnology, and nanotechnology
Veracity: the challenge of truth and knowledge
Herds: people and ideas on the move
Wealth: moving past money
Power: clout and who or what has it
A Parallel Universe: from networks to cyber life
Bedfellows: the significance of teaming
This is a well-written report, worth reading.
PAHO of the Future: Alternative Scenarios.
Author: Cristina Puentes-Markides, Pan American Health Organization, Office of Analysis and Strategic Planning, June 2001.
The Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office of the World Health Organization initiated a process of collective thinking about what kind of organization could best serve the interests of the Member States in 1996. The process has included a series of consultations with internal and external stakeholders, the preparation of a background paper, PAHO of the Future: an Institutional Challenge for the 21st Century and a set of four scenarios that are being used as a learning tool for the preparation of PAHO's Strategic Plan for 2003-2007. The analysis shows that the most important external drivers of change are globalization, environmental quality and the deployment of science and technology. Each of the scenarios includes three main dimensions of the scenario, the big picture of macrotrends, health and health care and international cooperation in health, focusing on the possible role of PAHO in that scenario, and a short list of warning signs leading to that future. Four scenarios are described: Business as Usual, Renaissance, Hard Times, and Sustainable Society. In the Business as usual scenario, technical cooperation in health shifts the focus of poverty towards the enhancement of social capital and elimination of social exclusion. The UN has fewer programs, offices and employees, while PAHO is unable to retain flexibility due to fewer resources from main contributors and reductions in budget from the WHO. The demands exceeded the response capacity, and the international leadership role in health is fragile. The organization finds it difficult to translate emerging trends in medicine and public health into meaningful cooperation programs. In the second scenario, Renaissance, horizontal cooperation among countries works better because of increased connectivity, networking and political and economic integration. Financial institutions and bilateral agencies share goals. PAHO is smaller in size, but larger in talents, it is more meaningful and the empowerment has been enhanced by the strength of regional structures. PAHO has recognized prestige and a relevant role in the coordination of international health with a socio-ecological approach. In the third scenario, Hard times, non-governmental organizations regain a space for much needed support to those excluded from access to social benefits. The United Nations disappears because disappointed and broke major contributors pulled out. Financial lending institutions and bilateral donors are in crisis, and non-profits do vertical work in countries when they can. PAHO survives as a small agency, as part of the Interamerican system. It is unable to face the changes and feeble governance has affected its structure, the meaning and delivery of cooperation. In the fourth scenario, Renaissance, knowledge is power and wealth and PAHO has fully taken advantage of the opportunities for harnessing science and technology and managing IT. PAHO has become a new global forum for international well being and health. It is an outcome drive organization with effective mechanisms of accountability and quality control of cooperation products. This diverse organization acts as a cooperation broker, managing knowledge on the cutting edge.
Pathfinding: A Scenario for the Transition 1996 – 2050.
Authors: Willis W. Harman, formerly of the Noetic Institute and Thomas J. Hurley, graduate, UHCL Studies of the Future Program.
The authors present a scenario of transformation to the year 2050. This highly detailed and superb scenario begins with "The Closing Years of the 20th Century" - where among other societal, economic, & political issues, evidence emerges that there are values subcultures — traditional, modern, and transmodern — contesting the future in the “developed” countries. ..."yet, even while the critique of modern society deepened and spread, there was initially no agreement on a set of alternative societal values or goals.” At "The Turn of the Millennium" section of this scenario, there is a sense of accelerating social energy - some groups forecasting apocalypse while others looking for "instantaneous cultural change". Amazingly, the authors assert that the latter tended to have the upper hand as the "dawn of the new millennium did contribute to a feeling among many that it was time to live out a new human "story" on Earth". ... "This shift of consciousness was "pulled" by the positive images of the future that an increasing number of people participated in creating and, "pushed" by worsening social and environmental problems in many parts of the world." Many organizations, including non-governmental and the United Nations became more effective in collaborating with forward looking business people.
The following is a complete except "In The First Two Decades of the Twentieth Century" 2000 - 2020: “… some issues proved more challenging than others. In particular, the issue of meaningful work moved to center stage as awareness grew that the mainstream economy could not provide jobs for everyone who wanted them. Aware that the high levels of unemployment were a temporary but inherent aspect of the cultural transition taking place, thoughtful people in government, business, and the independent sector devised new programs that created work opportunities in a variety of jobs not being done by existing businesses or community agencies. These were backed up by a powerful set of community welfare programs shaped by the lessons learned in the welfare experiments undertaken by the states (in the US) in the late 1990s and by the experiences of Western European governments in tinkering with their social welfare programs during the same period. At the same time, local initiatives designed to help provide basic needs flourished. There were small-business initiatives, crafts revivals, mutual help associations, permaculture and other alternative food-producing enterprises, and numerous experiments in the development of alternative economies and alternative currencies. A market-basket-based global currency was introduced to help bring stability into the global financial markets and to help protect small countries that were still dependent on marketing cash crops and natural resources.
Out of these myriad efforts, many of which proved more successful at providing for basic societal needs — and more productive of human satisfaction — than had previous efforts, a sense of collective possibility and excitement began to emerge. At the same time, another kind of intervention comprised measures to increase understanding and reduce fear. Those with a broad grasp of the historic nature of the change taking place realized that societal healing would be more likely if people understood the nature of and need for the systemic transformation that was taking place. These activities, while in some ways the most urgent, were largely educational. They were pursued through the media, through professional associations, through community initiatives, and through many other vehicles. They fostered widespread understanding of the historical forces bringing about change — including the fact that fundamental change was very likely inevitable, although positive outcomes were not — and a broader understanding of the kinds of things one could do to weather the transition and contribute to it in positive ways.
One early example of this involved Mohandas Gandhi’s concept of trusteeship, which he explained as a dual commitment to ahimsa (non-injury in thought, word, and deed to all forms of life, including non-violation of another person’s essence) together with satayagraha (pressure for reform through friendly passive resistance; militant action with concern for the opponent; literally, insistence on truth). Trusteeship, then, involved taking responsibility for assets and social values and administering their rightful and creative use for the benefit of all, including coming generations. Gandhi saw free enterprise with a commitment to trusteeship as having the potential to replace both socialist and capitalist economic forms. This turned out to be an accurate forecast of what was to take place in the early 21st century under such concepts as “stewardship” and “participation”.
The Scott Bader Commonwealth — a small business enterprise in Wellingborough, England — was one of the earliest industrial corporations to attempt to apply the concept of trusteeship. In 1951 the company’s founders, inspired by Gandhi and certain Quaker principles, transferred ownership of the company to the Commonwealth in order “to create an organization which operates for the common good of all who work for it and the benefit of the community”. The members of the Commonwealth were the workforce (including directors and managers), and it had a Board of Management whose members were largely elected from within the Commonwealth. Because the workers were the owners, the problems with then prevalent ownership patterns were avoided. Because of the trusteeship principle, the interests of the community, customers, suppliers, future generations, and other stakeholders were automatically taken into consideration.
Another example of a company discovering the new role of business on the planet was the Rouse Company around 1970. When the Rouse Company was still young and small, it truly lived by three corporate goals, which were profoundly meaningful to the founder and the employees. The first was to provide a setting within which this group of affiliated people could find maximum opportunity to achieve fulfilling work lives. The second was to do together something of genuine benefit to society — in this case, in the area of land development. The third was to accomplish both of those effectively enough to automatically make a profit and stay in business.
These examples of the business world discovering “the new role of business” as a responsible planetary citizen, with aims far beyond those of production, marketing, and providing maximum return on investment, were almost invisible 20th century forerunners of what was coming. In the early decades of the 21st century, however, businesses, organizations, and groups of all kinds moved surprisingly quickly to participate in the new “movement”. Initially in part for the boost to public relations, businesses of all sizes began to adopt a set of corporate responsibility guidelines developed in the late 20th century. Business lobbies began to abandon their efforts to undermine programs promoting ecological responsibility and instead sought to enroll companies in initiatives like the Natural Step, which aimed to bring economic production into long-term compatibility with the natural systems that support human life. Suddenly, it was “good to be green”.
As innovative efforts proliferated, understanding of the maladaptive nature of the assumptions that lay at the very foundations of Western industrial society deepened. An analogy from the field of health care became popular. Growing numbers of people recognized that the worsening national and global environmental crises, social problems, and institutional breakdowns were not “problems” to be handled with technological, managerial, or legislative “solutions” but, instead, symptoms of an underlying disorder involving core societal beliefs and values. Strong challenges were issued to the materialistic worldview of modern society and to its tendency to elevate economic logic and values above all others.
A noteworthy aspect of the spreading cultural renaissance was the emergence of new leaders at all levels of society. Indeed, the most vital leaders of the movement were not initially high-profile figures at all. When more influential individuals did begin to speak out and champion the new ideas, they came first from the independent sector and the business community. Only gradually did politicians at the national level begin to articulate views consistent with the trend toward a transmodern culture. Individuals with these values were elected to national office, however, and then legislative and regulatory changes began to support the movements already underway in business, social policy, health care, education, and other fields. New accounting systems were created which drew attention to ecological and social costs and benefits as well as to purely economic costs and benefits. Tax systems were revised to provide incentives for the kinds of personal, organizational, and institutional behavior that supported emerging societal goals and disincentives for those that did not. For example, taxes on income were reduced and taxes on resource use and energy use were increased. This reduced the cost of labor (thus reducing businesses’ incentive to substitute machines for workers) while discouraging excessive resource and energy use (thus reducing environmental degradation). The tax structures and agricultural subsidies that had encouraged intensive agriculture — which was recognized as non-sustainable — were abandoned in favor of policies that promoted more ecologically sane practices. A serious national tax on short-term speculative gains and a global tax on financial transactions were introduced to slow down speculation in the “global casino”. The revenues resulting from the latter were turned over for the support of United Nations programs.
This paper concludes with the Outlook, "By the Third and Fourth Decades of the 21st Century" and a summary of the "Midpoint into the 21st Century" and
a list of the basic shifts that took place.
Creating Global-Local Cultures of Peace.
Authors: Linda Groff and Paul Smoker
“During the last few years, the term "a culture of peace" has become increasingly popular-- thanks to the leadership of UNESCO--but there is at present no clear consensus as to how the term should be interpreted. Should it be the culture of peace, or should it be a culture of peace, or should we think in a more pluralistic fashion about cultures of peace, thus incorporating part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO's) operational definition that a culture of peace cannot be imported or imposed from outside, but must develop out of the culture of the people concerned? There are many different ways to define the concept "cultures of peace, ". The authors develop in painstaking detail the history - to-present patterns of cultures of peace, recognizing that from a systems point of view, every "cultures of peace" concept needs to apply within and between cultures; to be a property of both the local parts and the global whole. In developing six normative visions of peace, the authors explicitly state that peace research, as it has developed in the West, often has a tendency to focus primarily on the negative factors, thus the authors make it a point to reframe from negative to positive
conceptions of peace; and create positive, multicultural visions for each of the six visions of peace. The visions were based on the Institute for World Order Models Project (WOMP), which has been involved with articulating normative values and alternative, desirable futures. Thus, four core values: Peace (positive), not War (negative) ; Social and Political Justice (positive), not Injustice (negative); Economic Wellbeing (positive), not Poverty (negative) ; Ecological Balance (positive), not Decay (negative) The authors suggest that in our globally interdependent world, these positive visions of peace in each area are based on a synthesis of some of the best ideas from different cultures around the world . But the authors also remind the reader that these visions are exploratory - not definitive.
Vision 1) Peace as Absence of War “This view of peace is usually stated as a negative, i.e., peace requires the absence or elimination of war. It would seem that most cultures of the world would accept this as a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for peace in the world. Nonetheless, Western religions have all had, in varying degrees, some idea of holy wars or crusades or jihads to convert people to their faith, which seems to go against this idea. Hinduism may also believe to some extent--as in the Bagavad Gita--that one must go to war and do battle, although it is certainly possible to question whether this was meant literally to do battle physically in the external world, or whether it was meant more allegorically, i.e., that one must do battle with one's own internal self, and one's own demons, to develop internal mastery over one's baser emotions, if peace is to be achieved--in oneself, or in the world. There are many variations of this idea, including: "There never was a war that was not inward: I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war. "--Marianne Moore; "When we do not find peace within ourselves, it is vain to seek for it elsewhere. "—Duc Francois de la Rochefoucauld; and "He had so much security inside that he could afford to go without any outside. " --said about Kagawa, a Japanese pacifist.(Larsen, et. al., 1987) Certainly this is a more positive formulation of "doing battle" in the nuclear age today, and one that fits well with mystical traditions in all the world's religions.
A positive restating of this idea of eliminating war, as a precondition for peace in the world, also comes from Western Biblical text, where it says: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares." and "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9). These are certainly positive visions implying that someday peace is possible.”
Vision 2) Peace as Balance of Forces in the International System “This view of peace originated with Quincy Wright in 1941 in the U.S. It may also parallel and build on the earlier European idea of changing alliances to balance power blocs in Europe, so that no country or bloc of countries gained too much power--though it is clear that this idea sometimes broke down in Europe, resulting in wars. The interesting question is whether any comparable idea of peace as a balance of forces exists in Eastern cultures historically? Interestingly, there is a theory in Japan, about how Japanese politics and society is organized, called "the hollow centered balanced theory, " which holds that there is no person or principle at the center of power in Japan (unlike Western cultures), but that instead power is balanced around a void center (so to speak) by different groups--much like different feudal lords each balancing off their different feifdoms or kingdoms. In feudal England, the King also played off one feudal lord against another to maintain a balance of power system, to his own benefit.
In international relations today, the idea of balance can be translated into the many United Nations Associations and support groups in different countries who are concerned citizens who work in support of the United Nations, as well as bilateral friendship societies between citizens in many pairs of countries in the world, who also work towards better relations between their two countries. Citizens diplomacy groups which support exchanges and dialogue between citizens in countries that have been in conflict, such as the U.S. and the former Soviet Union, are also excellent examples of people taking positive action to improve relations and create greater interdependence and understanding between people in different countries and cultures in the world, thereby creating better "balance" in the world. Such groups all help create a global network of interconnections between the citizens of the earth, making us all more interdependent and hopefully more aware and understanding of each other's cultures and traditions as well. Such groups, through numerous NGOs and INGOS, also help create the underlying fabric for a more peaceful world in the 21st century.”
Vision 3) Peace as Negative Peace (No War) and Positive Peace (No Structural Violence) “Johan Galtung first propounded the idea of positive peace as no structural violence--in the international system or within domestic systems. This view of peace says that if people are starving and there is food in the world to feed them, or if people are sick and dying and there is medicine in the world to treat them, then the failure of this to happen are examples of structural violence. Abuses of human rights, as documented by Amnesty International in various countries around the world, are additional examples of structural violence. One might also add that authoritarian or dictatorial political systems that deny individuals basic human rights, or legal protections under the law, with the right to have their case heard if they feel their rights have been abused, are further examples of structural violence in the political area. All of these ideas seem to originate in Western cultures, where individualism (a Western invention based on individual identity) is seen as a necessary foundation for Western democracy, which is in turn based--for its effective functioning--on individual rights and responsibilities. Since political democracy is now a global trend, this will hopefully lead to increased opportunities for more members to participate politically in their countries in future. Positive reformulations of the above would include peace based on social and political justice, protection of basic human and individual rights, along with opportunities for everyone in a society--including minorities and women--to get a good education, so that they will all have positive opportunities to better their life situation and as a result also be able to make constructive contributions back to their societies and cultures.
Vision 4) Feminist Peace--on Macro and Micro Levels: “ The women's movement, which says that peace must occur not only on macro political, economic, and social levels, but also on micro family levels that apply to women and children, first arose in Western, democratic countries, but has now spread to cultures around the world. While the situation of women and the major problems faced by women vary in different cultures around the world, there has emerged ahnost universal acceptance today (as seen in the recent United Nations Conference on Population in Cairo, Egypt) that world population, food, energy, and environmental issues and development issues of different countries around the world will not be able to be adequately addressed until women, like men, gain access to adequate education and health care. Improving the status of women will help to solve many of the issues haunting humanity today. Increasingly, countries are realizing that women are an important resource that can help the world to establish peace. Indeed, women have often been quite active in peace movements in the world, and have resisted efforts of men to send their sons off to fight wars. The existence of religions historically or still today based on the goddess, or a combination of both gods and goddesses, also indicates that women once held more power at certain times historically than they often do today in both Western and non-Westem cultures.
Vision 5: Holistic Gaia-Peace: Peace With the Environment “ There is no question that non-Western cultures, including Eastern cultures, that developed before the industrial revolution, had more of a cultural value of living in harmony with nature, since they saw themselves as part of nature, not separate from it. With Western individualism came the idea that we are all separate individuals and also separate from nature. Thus the goal changed to how we could control and "harness the forces of nature" for human ends. This was also coupled with the industrial revolution, which began in Europe and the West, but which is now sweeping the planet. Even in non-Western cultures, which have a cultural value of being part of nature and living in harmony with nature, this cultural value has often been lost as such countries moved rapidly ahead with industrialization, modernization, and economic development, often initiated from the top down, leaving behind a trail of pollution in countries--Western, Socialist, and non-Western--throughout the world. While it would be easy to conclude that Western individualism is the source of all this environmental pollution, one positive thing can be said for such individualism. Democracy is based on the idea of individual rights and responsibilities. This idea has often empowered individuals in Western countries to believe that they have a responsibility to take personal initiative on issues that they perceive to be important--whether that be the environment, peace, women's rights, or whatever. In this respect, there are a number of individuals and groups in Western countries that are active on environmental issues around the world. Sometimes countries with group cultures may take longer to develop a group consensus and to mobilize people on such issues before group action can be undertaken by their society.
In summary, it would be a positive development in the environmental area if we could combine the Eastern value of living in harmony with nature with the Western democratic value of taking responsibility for one's own actions based on an internalized value of the need for all of us to be caretakers of planet earth.
Vision 6) Holistic Inner and Outer Peace “ There is no question that the focus on achieving inner peace as the best way to achieve peace in the world is a stronger view in Eastern religions (such as Hinduism and Buddhism), where the mystical traditions of their religions are still stronger, than in Western religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), where more exotic, outer forms of organized religion are more dominant, even though all religions, including Western religions, began by someone who had a mystical revelatory experience which they then tried to share with others, who became their followers and who often helped create a new organized religion around the teaching of their original founder. (See the authors' article for UNESCO, 1995, on "Spirituality, Religion, and Peace: Exploring the Foundations for Inner-Outer Peace in the 21st Century" for more substantiation and elaboration on this point.) It is thus not surprising that Western religions tend to focus more on achieving social justice and human rights in the world as a necessary preconditions for achieving peace in the world. We are arguing here that both perspectives are necessary. Either perspective alone makes it more difficult to achieve the other perspective. For example, if one tries to achieve outer peace in the world only, but does not deal with inner peace, then one's inner conflicts can be projected out onto the world, making it difficult to achieve outer peace--the supposed goal. Likewise, if one tries to achieve inner peace only, but does not pay attention to creating outer peace in the world, then the social injustices and structural violence in the world will make it more difficult for most people experiencing those conditions to be able to find inner peace--the supposed goal. Thus the achievement of either inner or outer peace helps create the conditions necessary for the creation of the other type of peace
Summary: Developing Indicators of Positive, Multicultural Visions of Peace
Concerning each of the areas of peace, it is interesting that from the examples cited above, Eastern cultures have made especially strong contributions in each of the last two more holistic areas of peace (environmental and inner spiritual), while Western cultures have made especially strong contributions in the previous four areas, focusing more on changes in the external world, including social justice and human rights issues, and women's issues. There are also a number of Western activists in the environmental area. In the anti-war/peace area, there is especially strong citizens' support for peace in the form of opposing the sending of national troops abroad in both Japan and Germany, due to the consequences of such actions in the past. It would appear that as different cultures and countries, there are important things that we can all learn from each other about the many dimensions of creating a peaceful world. Hopefully, we can move towards some kind of a global consensus on these issues over time...”
Is it Simply Boom, Interrupted?
2001. GBN Website www.gbn.org
This article asserts that the long-term conditions that drove high productivity growth are as strong as ever. Companies can in fact, expect to create "virtuous circles" with the right strategy and recognition that the most significant of these gains involve improvements in information technology. The author acknowledges the high likelihood of weak growth in the near term - perhaps even a brief recession, then asks the reader to consider three long-term scenarios of varying impacts on " research and development, mergers and acquisitions, and the equity markets "
Scenario 1) Fundamentals “First, if the growth fundamentals of technology and globalization that have been powering the boom so far persist, then there is every reason to believe that the boom will resume. The return to high growth could come quickly, by the end of this year, following a V recession. Or, the return to high growth could take a bit longer if the near future is more like a U recession, where the recession could be slightly shallower, -1 or –2 percent, and last somewhat longer—say, a year or so. Recovery takes a bit longer as the restructuring and restoration of confidence stretches out. The implication of a U slowdown would be that growth will take off again by the middle of 2002. In either event, we would be seeing the boom take off again by the end of next year. And this time it is likely to be global in character as Europe and a recovered Asia also kick into high gear, joining the United States at a high growth rate of 3 to 5 percent.”
Scenario 2) Technological Engines: “A second possibility occurs if the technological engines of growth are weaker and the productivity gains of recent years were merely cyclical rather than structural. Then we may be in for a return to the slow growth of the '70s and '80s. We would see little increase in productivity, and the bureaucratic economies of Europe and Japan would be very slow to change. This could be exacerbated by higher energy prices raising inflationary pressures like they did in the '70s. The weak growth of the short-term U recession, or even the L recession, could develop into a sustained slump with no recovery in the near future. In this case, we might see long-term growth rates on the order of 1 to 2 percent.”
Scenario 3) L Recession: “The third possibility is less likely but not impossible. Here, the L recession could turn into a full-blown stagnation or depression. A collapse of confidence and stock markets and a successful challenge to globalization could reverse the gains of recent years. A real collapse of the bubble, la Japan, but on a global basis, could create a vicious cycle: a falling stock market leads to falling confidence; which leads to less consumption; which leads to less investment, less trade, and more protectionism; which leads to rising inflation and falling stock markets—and back around. This is also a scenario that risks international conflict as trade tensions develop worldwide. Recovery would only come late in this decade with growth rates averaging around 0 to -1 percent.”
Four Human Resources Development Scenarios of the Future.
Author: Joe Willmore Training & Development Alexandria, Virginia, December, 1999.
Human Resource Departments, normally embedded in the back offices of organizations, appear at first to have very little in common with the world. This article makes the exception. Using the technique of scenario analysis, this author presents four scenarios that unfold a global outlook for Human Resource Departments pondering the future of the workplace over the next five to seven years.
Scenario 1: Sub City “In this picture of the future, the past five years have seen cataclysmic and increasingly violent events throughout the world. The second Korean conflict and armed efforts by the People's Republic of China to assimilate Taiwan have led to market jitters throughout the world and created a poor economic climate throughout Asia. Young, sophisticated, and well-educated professionals have fled the stagnant economies of their countries to pursue work and careers elsewhere. Referred to as the "new boat people," these expatriates serve as a metaphor for how training, performance, OD, and facilitation professionals have evolved. Work in almost all organizations is increasingly project-driven with definable start and end dates. Most organizations mimic Charles Handy's shamrock model, with a small core of indispensable employees and a lot of temps and subcontractors. For the vast majority of HRD professionals, their role is that of subcontractor. Almost all HRD work and functions are now being outsourced. What few functions remain internal are done mostly by contract managers and HRD procurement specialists, whose job is to contract with and oversee the external contractors their organizations bring in as needed. A depiction of businesses by size looks like an hourglass-a lot of large businesses and sole proprietors, with practically no small or medium-sized firms. It has become too difficult for small and medium-sized firms to pay their overhead and operating expenses, so they must get much bigger or much smaller, even downsizing to one-person shops. Because of the time pressures in the new economy and the difficulty of finding people who are a good fit for specific roles within a project, sub work is highly lucrative-when subcontractors are working. This is an organizational world driven by fads and an imperative to cut costs. Because of the rate and unpredictability of change, degree programs in the HRD field have trouble staying current and have begun to lose their value. Certification efforts have failed: The lacks of consensus on key competencies and frequent change in job requirements have left such programs eating dust. Certificate programs, however, are popular because they can be set up quickly to respond to emerging market demands. Contractors are relying less on credentials and evaluations and more on competency testing in order to make hiring decisions regarding HRD subcontractors.
At the same time, job demands are changing continuously-driven by fads, new demands by clients, or the expectations of a new contractor. The HRD profession has splintered into hundreds of subprofessions, and the competencies for each seem to change monthly. Because of the reliance on subcontractors, most organizations don't invest in upgrading their contractors; they just hire new people with the necessary competencies. Thus, individuals are solely responsible for their professional growth. Those who don't continually look for ways to grow find themselves unemployable. For HRD workers, life is transient and mobile, moving from one contract to the next. In this scenario, it's common to see subcontractors' resumes that list 12 projects for 12 different contractors in four countries over a two-year period. Not even the U.S. government offers much security anymore. There's tremendous movement in and out of the HRD field. Conversely, the demographics of HRD roles show that there are an increasingly larger number of young entrants to the field. At the same time, the nature of project work makes it easy for older and semi-retired professionals to continue working on a limited basis. Thus, HRD workers are getting both younger and older, while middle-aged professionals are leaving the field to try to find work with more financial and lifestyle stability.”
Scenario 2: A boundaryless world “How ironic: In this scenario in which governments continue to erect new barriers and create divisions between countries, interaction and networking among professionals worldwide are proliferating. The former Soviet Union continues to splinter into smaller, separate nation What signs are warning signals that any of these scenarios is developing? What career strategy plays out well for each of the scenarios? states, what was once Nigeria is now three separate countries, and the secession of Quebec has sent reverberations throughout North America. The trade wars that swept through the world economy in 2002, have led to the disintegration of NAFTA and the European Union. National barriers abound. And yet, professional networks, links, and collaboration have reached unprecedented levels. Informal communities are now the norm, having been partly driven by an emerging set of common needs and competencies around learning, networking, and use of technology. These communities are facilitated by the widespread dissemination of groupware and information technology. Though the nature of HRD work and roles is diverse, everyone is a consultant.
The prevailing organizational model in this scenario is referred to as a "swarm" or "virus" because organizations are fluid and highly adaptive, and their forms are ever-changing. These collaborative organizations pull in professionals as needed, and they change in size, composition, location, and focus on the basis of the task at hand. There's no longer any effort to distinguish between internal and external practitioners because such a distinction is meaningless in this economic environment. To be successful in such a world requires strong team skills, a great ease with chaos and free-form work, and tremendous networking and linking abilities. No one can afford to work alone anymore; those that do don't last long. Even large-scale manufacturing has converted to just in time, lean production and outsourced most components. Large efforts are usually a combination of several temporary strategic alliances and collaborative arrangements, often between competitors… Given the informal and ever-changing nature of organizational affiliation, it's understandable that businesses have now given up most responsibility for developing employees' skills. Instead, people have almost total responsibility for their development. The profession and key competencies are stable, but the glut of information, the need to keep up with it, and fluid networks make for a continuously evolving world for HRD professionals. Thus, they spend most of their time learning and connecting rather than performing.”
Scenario 3: Caste system “More than halfway through the first decade of the new millennium, the corporate mergers so prevalent in the nineties continued to proliferate. The world now sees new global conglomerates that span multiple industries. Through mergers and a new class of multinational executives, merged firms typically have strong ties to many nations and don't depend on one country as a base of operations. Nor are most of these fh-ms from the usual places such as the Pacific Rim, North America, and Western Europe. Russian oligarchs, Brazilian software giants, and Israeli-Palestinian consortiums are sudden entrants to this group of corporate behemoths. There's a clear dividing line between firms with the right stuff and those that aren't long for this world. The best of the big firms have found ways to capture and leverage knowledge, and they invest heavily in intellectual capital. They're ruthless predators and have found that certain human assets have direct links to strategic targets. They publish annual reports in color that score human performance and assess the value of nonfinancial assets. Though big organizations, their corporate staffs are lean. Anything or anyone that isn't shown to have a direct, tangible, quantifiable payoff to business results is discarded. For HRD professionals, a clear set of competencies has emerged. To be able to hold a job at one of these big firms requires expertise in ROI, measurement, and evaluation. All HRD initiatives are driven by major strategic goals and evaluated by quantitative measures, usually reflected as a form of business results. With clear competencies for HRD identified, informal certification efforts have begun to blossom, However, they tend to be specific to an individual corporation rather than industry-wide…”
Scenario 4: The silo economy “The wave of consolidation has reached tidal proportions. The number of competing firms within any particular industry continues to diminish as businesses acquire market share by buying out competitors. Part of what's driving that is economy of scale. In addition, the market crash of 2001, which sent Asia into another tailspin, reversed U.S. growth, and slammed the world economy, has led to excess capacity so firms continue to consolidate. There are several implications of these global-sector consolidations: Associations have been devastated as the number of potential members and exhibitors dropped.
A state of near monopoly exists in most industries. Though it's rare for any firm to have a presence in more than one sector, the age of big conglomerates has passed. Mass customization is the key organizational imperative. Customers expect products and services to be tailored to their individual circumstances.
Given the tremendous splintering and diversity of markets around the world, that means successful organizations either specialize in niche markets or master the ability to adapt to individual circumstances. For example, a buyer of a new computer fills out a 200-question survey and Microsoft's operating system adjusts the software setup, options, and keys automatically to his or her needs and level of expertise when the PC is first plugged in. The evolution from cookies to brownies in the operating software instructs each Website how to reconfigure itself on the basis of the user's interests and Web savvy. …Despite the global and interrelated nature of the economies, HRD professionals are finding themselves in a series of separate but parallel worlds driven by the industry or sector they work in. Some sectors (IT, software, and systems integration) invest heavily in human development. High-tech firms provide extensive support for HRD initiatives, but industries such as finance, health care, and manufacturing hold employees responsible for their professional development, learning, and "credentialing." HRD staff in such organizations have little support, funding, or perceived value. Even the focus and competencies for HRD vary by industry. Practitioners in manufacturing sectors are required to have strong backgrounds in quality and ISO…. Job security is a double-edged sword. With the number of firms in each industry shrinking through consolidation, HRD slots are decreasing. However, given the emphasis on industry experience, there are usually only a few candidates for the open slots. So, for HRD professionals at firms that are doing the acquiring, security is good. Entry into the field usually comes from working in the industry in a non-HRD-related position and then moving into the HRD role…”
Futurology --- Futures Off the Shelf: What's around the bend? Authors have come up with numerous scenarios -- but they're not pretty.
Wall Street Journal, 2001
Most literary visions of the 21st century and beyond, assume things like human control over all things;nature giving out; more dictatorship except with technology; less tolerance for weakness and error (especially in the tabloids); control and safety issues becoming more important than social goals. This article reviews a number of science fiction novels; some drawing rather plausible scenarios of the human condition.
Scenario 1) No Pain “People suffer no pain, either psychological or physical, in Lois Lowry's novel "The Giver," set in an unspecified time in the future. At the first nip of discomfort, physical pain is treated with relief-of-pain pills. Psychological pain is addressed by confining all human memory to the mind of one person, the Receiver, who is also the only living being who remembers such anachronisms as colors, snow, sand and the sun. To protect people from their own emotional quagmires, spouses are selected based on compatibility, and parents never raise the children they bear. Those too old to work get a cheerful retirement party and a fatal shot in the arm. There's no unemployment or crime. Everything is perfect except for one problem: Nobody wants to be the next Receiver. Once the Receiver trainees realize what's been sacrificed for perfect security, they want to come back to the pain and pleasure of our time.”
Scenario 2) Rational Reproduction “The old-fashioned, inefficient way people bear children now will soon be replaced by technologically sophisticated methods; babies will be created in brown glass bottles and men will have the ability to breast-feed. In Thomas M. Disch's "334," the Revised Genetic Testing Act, passed in 2011, determines who may reproduce based on their intelligence, heredity and physical condition. Everyone gets a Regents score, and a score of less than 25 -- which is true of some 12 million people -- makes them ineligible to pass their genes along. Disch's hero, Birdie Ludd, does badly on one test, which involves choosing the funniest punch line from four choices and trying to tie two ropes together with pliers. On another test, a man got a top grade by thinking of 131 different ways to use a brick in 10 minutes. Disch's vision is darkly comic, but this is another future you'll be happy you missed.”
Scenario 3) Class System “The main characters of Paul Theroux's 1986 novel "O-Zone" are Owners, wealthy people who can afford to live in tall buildings protected from the riffraff below. Other people are lowly workers or, worse, aliens known as Trolls or Skells, who roam the countryside looting, burning, robbing and killing. In New York, the wealthy have sealed themselves up behind high walls and heavily guarded entry points; even the Owners must contend with constant and random ID checks, patrols, scanners, sniffers and searchers. O-Zone, an abbreviation for Outer Zone, is an enormous part of middle America that was abandoned because of contamination from nuclear waste. Deserted, primeval and overgrown, O-Zone becomes irresistible to the few who dare to see it.”
Scenario 4) What Utopia Looks Like “Connie Ramos, a young woman who has been committed to a mental institution in the 1970s, can time-travel to the year 2137 in Marge Piercy's futurist novel "Woman on the Edge of Time." Connie expects the future to be filled with steel cities and high-altitude traffic jams, but her hermaphroditic guide to the 22nd century explains that big cities "didn't work." Instead, humans have returned to their bucolic roots, tending fields, fishing, capturing power from the wind, sun and compost heaps, living in modest but comfortable cottages with plenty of privacy for meditation and composing songs. Everyone gets a sabbatical from productive work every seven years. Luxuries like jewels, vases and paintings circulate to everyone through libraries. Public speeches are limited to five minutes. The greatest crime is greed. Previous centuries, says one character, were "such fat, wasteful, thing-filled times."
Scenario 5) Everything Bad Gets Worse “In William Gibson's 1993 novel "Virtual Light," all the bad taste and overkill of the '90s has grown to appalling proportions: There's a mutual self-help euthanasia group called Cease Upon the Midnight, or CUTM -- "Cut 'em," the paramedics call them. In groups of eight or nine, CUTMs take legal drug overdoses, leaving milk and cookies for the emergency crews. Meanwhile, the surgeon general is trying to outlaw convertibles because they promote skin cancer. There's a gun called a chunker that shoots air-powered cubes of rubber -- it can fire around corners, and close up, it can cut a sheet of plywood in half. You see? Everything is just a little bit worse. A cataclysm might be preferable.”
Scenario 6) Great Gizmos “Rip Van Winkle becomes real in H.G. Wells's "When the Sleeper Wakes," the story of a man who falls into a cataleptic trance for 200 years and awakens to a world of strange mechanical devices. There are elaborate moving sidewalks; three-dimensional images projected in space; and television that's called "kineto-tele-photographs." Even writing in the 19th century, Wells had an amazing vision of the 22nd century, except perhaps for the language. The population of London is said to be "Eight and twaindy myriads" (23 million), and a barber is known as a capillotomist.”
Global Trends 2015.
Report prepared under the direction of the National Intelligence Council (NIC).
Any good futurist in his or her right mind needs to spend a few days in solitary with a map of the world at-hand while reading this seminal report. The study, "Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future with Nongovernment Experts" was prepared under the direction of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and approved for publication by the National Foreign Intelligence Board under the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence. The best part is this - the full report is on the web:http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/globaltrends2015. It is easily readable, clear-cut in and segments the entire world by region, with clear implications of global trends trickling into alternative regional futures with commentary from world renowned experts and world organizations. Some of the major conferences co-sponsored by the NIC with other government and private centers in support of Global Trends 2015 included: - Foreign Reactions to the Revolution in Military Affairs (Georgetown University); Evolution of the Nation-State (University of Maryland); Trends in Democratization (CIA and academic experts). The list is quite extensive. Four Alternative Global Futures:
Scenario 1): Inclusive Globalization: “ A virtuous circle develops among technology, economic growth, demographic factors, and effective governance, which enables a majority of the world's people to benefit from globalization. Technological development and diffusion—in some cases triggered by severe environmental or health crises—are utilized to grapple effectively with some problems of the developing world. Robust global economic growth—spurred by a strong policy consensus on economic liberalization—diffuses wealth widely and mitigates many demographic and resource problems. Governance is effective at both the national and international levels. In many countries, the state's role shrinks, as its functions are privatized or performed by public-private partnerships, while global cooperation intensifies on many issues through a variety of international arrangements. Conflict is minimal within and among states benefiting from globalization. A minority of the world's people—in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the Andean region—do not benefit from these positive changes, and internal conflicts persist in and around those countries left behind.”
Scenario 2: Pernicious Globalization: “Global elites thrive, but the majority of the world's population fails to benefit from globalization. Population growth and resource scarcities place heavy burdens on many developing countries, and migration becomes a major source of interstate tension. Technologies not only fail to address the problems of developing countries but also are exploited by negative and illicit networks and incorporated into destabilizing weapons. The global economy splits into three: growth continues in developed countries; many developing countries experience low or negative per capita growth, resulting in a growing gap with the developed world; and the illicit economy grows dramatically. Governance and political leadership are weak at both the national and international levels. Internal conflicts increase, fueled by frustrated expectations, inequities, and heightened communal tensions; WMD proliferate and are used in at least one internal conflict.”
Scenario 3) : Regional Competition “Regional identities sharpen in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, driven by growing political resistance in Europe and East Asia to US global preponderance and US-driven globalization and each region's increasing preoccupation with its own economic and political priorities. There is an uneven diffusion of technologies, reflecting differing regional concepts of intellectual property and attitudes towards biotechnology. Regional economic integration in trade and finance increases, resulting in both fairly high levels of economic growth and rising regional competition. Both the state and institutions of regional governance thrive in major developed and emerging market countries, as governments recognize the need to resolve pressing regional problems and shift responsibilities from global to regional institutions. Given the preoccupation of the three major regions with their own concerns, countries outside these regions in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia have few places to turn for resources or political support. Military conflict among and within the three major regions does not materialize, but internal conflicts increase in and around other countries left behind.”
Scenario 4: Post-Polar World US domestic preoccupation increases as the US economy slows, then stagnates. Economic and political tensions with Europe grow, the US-European alliance deteriorates as the United States withdraws its troops, and Europe turns inward, relying on its own regional institutions. At the same time, national governance crises create instability in Latin America, particularly in Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Panama, forcing the United States to concentrate on the region. Indonesia also faces internal crisis and risks disintegration, prompting China to provide the bulk of an ad hoc peacekeeping force. Otherwise, Asia is generally prosperous and stable, permitting the United States to focus elsewhere. Korea's normalization and de facto unification proceed, China and Japan provide the bulk of external financial support for Korean unification, and the United States begins withdrawing its troops from Korea and Japan. Over time, these geostrategic shifts ignite longstanding national rivalries among the Asian powers, triggering increased military preparations and hitherto dormant or covert WMD programs. Regional and global institutions prove irrelevant to the evolving conflict situation in Asia, as China issues an ultimatum to Japan to dismantle its nuclear program and Japan—invoking its bilateral treaty with the US—calls for US reengagement in Asia under adverse circumstances at the brink of a major war. Given the priorities of Asia, the Americas, and Europe, countries outside these regions are marginalized, with virtually no sources of political or financial support.
Generalizations Across the Scenarios: The four scenarios can be grouped in two pairs: the first pair contrasting the "positive" and "negative" effects of globalization; the second pair contrasting intensely competitive but not conflictual regionalism and the descent into regional military conflict. In all but the first scenario, globalization does not create widespread global cooperation. Rather, in the second scenario, globalization's negative effects promote extensive dislocation and conflict, while in the third and fourth, they spur regionalism. In all four scenarios, countries negatively affected by population growth, resource scarcities and bad governance, fail to benefit from globalization, are prone to internal conflicts, and risk state failure. In all four scenarios, the effectiveness of national, regional, and international governance and at least moderate but steady economic growth are crucial. In all four scenarios, US global influence wanes.
Future of Food.
Author: Sohail Inayatullah. Professor, Department of Futures Studies, Tamkang University.
The author makes the argument that there are generally two foundational futures. One is the traditional perspective of globalization/technologization - that "all things rise - more progress., more technology, more development, more wealth, more individuality". The other perspective is based on transformation; transformation by those "marginal in the system" - women, youth; and values that tend to be more spiritual, grassroots centered, green, and with an attitude such as, "wise and moral use of technology". The West follow the first perspective, the non-West the latter. In fact, recent history shows an oscillation back-and-forth, with the West being fed the Non-West perspective to feed its ego. Then, there is the third perspective - a return to the imagined past - "where men were men, women were women, life was slower, predictable, reality was confined within nations, and there was little leakage in terms of the mobility of ideas, capital, nature and labour." Sohail, in this very comprehensive report, writes a number of chapters on the Western world view, case studies, structure of the future, the Non-West, Sarkar's contribution to the future, Sarkar's vision of the future, the microvita revolution. The report also includes scenarios of the future - two visions where the first perspective represents an exponential curve; the other a spiral curve. These scenarios capture global trends such as disintermediation, aging, multiculturalism, the rights movement, global governance, framing them in a much more integrative context of larger pattern of change with these scenarios.
Scenario 1: Globalized Artificial Future The globalized scenario is high technology and economy driven. Extreme features include, the right to plastic surgery and an airplane for each person. Generally, the vision is of endless travel and shopping, and a global society where we all have fun and all our desires are met. It is the Western vision of paradise. Food, while plentiful, in this scenario is identity based, i.e. food that defines self. Food is fun, food is exotic (Thai or Indian). Food is also mixed, e.g. Tex-Mex. Agricultural, as mentioned earlier, while at one level considered dirty, at another level, it is not considered at all, even if the reality is that world population increases require increased food production. Food, like other commodities, should be not scarce. It definitely should be globalized, all sorts easily available wherever one is. This is part of the postmodern thrust, of having all perspectives quickly and easily available. In the long run, in this future, food will move from globalized food to transgenic food, moving not just from cultural diversity (many types of food) to genetically engineered food. For example, "the world market for transgenic products is projected to increase to $8billion in 2005 and 25$ billion in 2010. Corporate transactions related to ventures in GM seeds, agro-chemicals and research, valued at more than $ 15billion (from 1996-1999) is expected to keep pace." Ajay Singh, op cit, 73. Overtime, food, will merge with pharmaceuticals, with the creation of functional foods, created for particular health needs.
Rural communities will be so not because they are agricultural based but because they are different from the city, indeed, they provide areas of respite for Earth as City: City as planet. Rurality may become redefined as areas of elite wealth and not as areas of cultural backwardness, as areas of limited choice, as, for example, the Australian Bush or the South Asian village are seen today… The underlying ethos is that technology can solve every problem and lead to genuine human progress. At a grand level, this vision of the future challenges traditional notions of truth, reality, nature, Man and sovereignty. Truth is now considered multiple, socially constructed. Reality is physical but as well virtual (cyberspace). Nature is no longer considered fixed but can be challenged and changed by humans, largely through genetic manipulation. While previously human evolution was stable, with cultural evolution quicker and technological evolution the quickest, now the technology has the potential to quicker human biological evolution itself. This fundamentally shifts the tension between culture and technology, to technology and biology, leaving culture where? The category has been has been deconstructed by feminists and shown to be historically constructed. And finally economic globalization makes sovereignty problematic and cultural globalization makes the sovereignty of the self (one stable self) porous, leading to far more liminal selves. The impact of this vision and the underlying trends in the food area are singular. Genetically modified foods that are the solution, especially since global agricultural production has been steadily declining since the Green Revolution of the 1960s' and will continue to do so at 1.8% a year. With population increasing, along with a purchasing power (and technology and gene) divide, food production must dramatically increase.”
Scenario 2) Communicative-Inclusive: In contrast is the communicative-inclusive society, which is values driven. Consumption of every possible good in this scenario is far less important to communication. It is learning from another about another that is crucial. While technology is important, the morality of those inventing and using it is far more important. Instead of solving the world's food problem through the genetic engineering of food, the reorganization of society and softer more nature-oriented alternatives such as organic foods are far more important. The goal is not to create a world that leads to the fulfillment of desire but one wherein desire is reduced (the Buddhist perspective) or channeled to spiritual and cultural pursuits. While earlier incarnations of the scenario were to make everyone into a worker (the Marxian distribution dream) or everyone into a shudra (a worker, the Gandhian sentiment) or a peasant (the Maoist), recent articulations are far more sophisticated and focused on what Sarkar See, P.R. Sarkar, Prama. Calcutta, Ananda Marga Publications, 1987. has called Prama – or dynamic balance. Prama means inner balance (of material/spiritual), regional balance (of nations, no one nation can be rich if the neighbor is poor), of industrial/agricultural production (not leaving the land but seeing it as part of national development) and of economic balance (self-reliance in basic needs plus export orientation of non-essentials).
Of course, in the USA, where only 2% work directly in the agricultural sector, balance should be defined differently. However, As Steve Diver argues in "Farming the Future," "Though a dramatic increase in the farm sector is not appropriate in a developed economy, clearly more people would take up farming were it economically feasible. In addition, when so many people are removed from the land and the experience of living and working around Nature, a cumulative collective psychological effect of dislocation and disconnectedness from self and one's environment is likely. Indeed, eco-psychologists suggest that many of the social ills present in industrialized countries are the result of such an imbalance. " Steve Diver, "Farming the Future," in Sohail Inayatullah and Jennifer Fitzgerald, eds. Transcending Boundaries: P.R. Sarkar's Theories of Individual and Social Transformation. Maleny, Australia and Ananda Nagar, India, Gurukul Publications, 1999.
Along with balance, in this future, is diversity. In particular the pitfalls of reliance on genetic intervention are crucial here since they threaten biodiversity. Indeed, the Irish potato famine of the 1840s is largely because everyone plotted one crop. "Had the crop been biodiverse, the catastrophe would not have occurred." The alternative scenario gains credence as well since the logical conclusion of gm foods are nano-foods, or the fabled meal-in-a-pill. Of course, the pill will not tasteless or odourless or emotionless – eating it will be a real virtual programmed experience. The pill will not just provide nutrients but evoke emotions, stimulate glands and for all practical purposes be everything we currently and historically associate with eating. Of course, the meal-in-a-pill still has to be invented but when it does, the issue will be what type of social situation will go with it. Once the collective meal is lost, what society will result? What ways then will there be to slow time down, to connect with others? It is these concerns that the communicative-inclusive scenario articulates and presents. Far more important than the meal-in-a-pill is the communicative nature of eating, of the importance of work for those producing food and of the social design of food producers (not collectives nor corporations but cooperatives, sharing land and wealth)…
The underlying perspective is that of a global ethics with a deep commitment that communication and consciousness transformation can solve all our problems. The trends that underlie this scenario are as with the earlier scenario challenges to Truth, Reality, Nature, Man and Sovereignty but with a different angle. Instead of genetic science it is new paradigms in physics. Instead of a world ruled by multinations, it is the growth of green parties that is far more important. Truth and Reality are seen as both ultimate (spiritual) and physical. It is multi-perspective in that we make are own realities, however, there is an underlying non-constructed unity to reality – that of a moral universe driver by cause-effect. In one word: karma. This comes out from the growth of the spiritual movements and cosmological exchange (the non-West creating cultural bridgeheads in the West) as well as through the dramatic new health paradigm, which while essentially spiritual focuses on integrating mind-body, seeing both as essential to well-being. Nature, however, is not be tampered with. Urbanization is the problem and nature is given, indeed, a sacred trust given to humanity. Man is contested as humans are among the many species on the planet – nature, with spiritual entities, Gaia herself. Sovereignty is challenged as nation-states are considered passe' – part of the problem. A solution could be a planetary civilization based on the self-reliance model.
However, this scenario should not be seen as anti-technology, although there are certainly groups that prefer aspects of this vision who are more luddite than others. But most likely technological is likely to be driven by ethical values. For example, technology could be used to give information on the caloric count of foods, so as to avoid high-fat foods. These health-bots could also immediately let one know the level of pollutants in the food, where the food was produced, and over time the social conditions that the food was produced in. Thus the net, cellular phones could be used to transform globalization from within, giving consumers information on products so that they could make choices consistent with their worldviews. Technology would thus serve as a moral guide, an angel over one's shoulder, helping one do the right thing.
However, while this is a change in paradigm, at a deeper cosmological level, it is not a foundational change, in that this scenario represents the alter-ego of the West. It is the West, contracting searching for that identity it has unconsciously repressed.
Hello 21st Century – A Letter to the Year 2100.
Author: Roger Rosenblatt, Time Magazine, Jan 1, 2000. Vol. 155 No. 1.
A Letter To The Year 2100 by Roger Rosenblatt, one of the most exceptional writers and commentators of sociel trends. A Letter to the Year 2100: “Dear America, Are you wearing pajamas? I do not mean to begin this letter by getting personal. I was just wondering if you people leave the house anymore--something that seems to be increasingly unnecessary these days, a hundred years ago. Not that leaving the house is always a good idea. Outside lies the wide and brittle world of wars, gunplay, scandal, disease, superstition, categorical hatreds, willful ignorance, envy, pettiness and cant. In your perfected age, all such things undoubtedly have been eradicated. Are you six-feet-six? Are you fly-fishing on Mars? Are you talking on a cell phone? We are, usually. We are talking on a cell phone as we walk among the blazing office towers and the gridlocked SUVs, along a frozen sidewalk on the Avenue of the Americas in New York City, from which we call a colleague in an airplane who, while speaking to us, is faxing an application for a Platinum card and e-mailing a color photo of his beaming children, taken with a digital camera and put on a CD, to a screen in his home in Connecticut, where the kids are playing Pokemon (don't ask) or dancing to Livin' la Vida Loca (don't ask), before he trades a hundred shares of Microsoft, transfers some cash, buys a Palm Pilot for his wife (who's doing Pilates at the health club this afternoon), auctions off the cabin in Vermont, then orders one set of tickets to a black-tie dinner for breast cancer and another to the latest off-off-off-Broadway play, about a man talking on a cell phone as he walks among the blazing office towers and gridlocked SUVs, along a frozen sidewalk on the Avenue of the Americas.
As lovers leaving lovers say, By the time you read this, I'll be gone. Or possibly I won't. Given the way life is being prolonged these days, I—with my pig's liver, titanium hips and knees, artificial heart, transplanted kidney and reconstructed DNA--could write this letter in my century and pick it up in yours. ("Dear Me"--the perfect address for a solipsistic time.) No thanks. It is enough to be able to send these words across the abyss of years to tell something of who we are. We are members of a narrative species, you and I--two eras connected by a story that changes just enough to keep it interesting.” For continuation, see original article.
A Global Good Morning With a Cup of Coffee and a Click, the World Comes to you Each Morning.
Author: John R. Moran, The Hartford Courant 06/15/98, STATEWIDE; Issue: PSA-2117; MAIN (A) Section.
One of the most popular techniques used to contemplate the future is the "scenario," a vision of what that future, might look like. The following story, drawn from interviews with a variety of futurists, is one such scenario of what life might be like in the future.
In the Year 2020, the newspaper doesn't land on the doorstep anymore. “Instead, it downloads silently into the home at daybreak. And there it waits, a bundle of digits in the home computer network, until someone summons it to a screen. But on this particular morning, some two decades hence, a suburban resident named Jim decides he wants his news the old-fashioned way: on paper. "I don't care how good these computer monitors get," Jim thinks, as he sips his morning coffee. "I still prefer holding a newspaper in my hands to browsing online." With that, Jim touches a button and the printer begins generating a hard copy of the day's news. Still, this newspaper is not the one-size-fits-all version of yesteryear; some of it is customized according to Jim's preferences. He's a big sports fan, for example, so his version of the sports section is extra large, with special emphasis on his favorite teams. Otherwise, the newspaper itself looks pretty much the same as a generation ago -- a varied collection of photos, stories, graphics and advertising. The paper quality is better, of course. All the photos are in color. And the ink never smudges. But, in this scenario of what the future might hold in the Year 2020, the headlines often seem like they're from another planet. WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Census Bureau today announced the world's population has topped 7.5 billion people -- up roughly 25 percent since the turn of the century… Most of the growth is occurring in developing nations, while populations in Japan, the United States, Russia and much of Europe are actually falling, the bureau reported… There is also evidence that the world's overall population growth is slowing much more quickly than had once been forecast. Total global population is now expected to fall well short of 10 billion when it tops out in another 30 years. "The Earth's population is reaching a plateau," a bureau spokesman said. "People are simply not having as many kids." Some hailed the news as a boon to the environment and to efforts to ease global poverty. But others, fearing that low birth rates could undermine economic growth, immediately called for new government subsidies to encourage parenthood…Scientists now believe lifespans of 100 years and beyond may be common by the year 2050. ... "Hmmm," Jim thinks. "Better not forget to take my vitamin supplement. Better beef up my 401(k) contributions, too. I could be here for a while."
His eyes drift down the page . . . PARIS -- Thirty-five countries walked out of the United Nations today in a dispute over creation of a global military force. Dissenters, citing a backlash by staunch nationalists, said they feared a global military force was the final step in building a world government to override national sovereignty. The dispute emerged just days after most nations had agreed to strengthen various global organizations, including the United Nations, the World Court and Interpol. Supporters said that agreement had signaled a growing recognition that the Earth's most pressing problems -- environmental decay, terrorism, narcotics trafficking, money laundering and poverty -- are not confined within national borders. Because the problems are international, the solutions must be international as well, they said. Leaders also pointed out how the world's peoples and economies are locked together more closely than ever before. Massive growth of international commerce over the Internet has transformed everything from retailing to stock trading, they noted. Fueling the advancement of these multinational governing bodies over the last 25 years has been the worldwide spread of democratic forms of government. Only a comparative handful of dictatorships and kingdoms have survived to 2020.. . . Jim stops a moment to ponder how this announcement might affect his business, a virtual consulting group with branch offices in 14 nations worldwide. "Tougher enforcement of anti-ocean dumping laws would be great," he thinks. "But a global army and police force could mean an increase in taxes." Jim turns to his voice-recognition system and dictates a video-mail message to his United Nations representative. WASHINGTON -- Feminists from around the world gathered today to celebrate the inauguration of the first woman president and woman vice president of the United States. The event was hailed as a landmark advance for women, shattering one of nation's most enduring "glass ceilings." For continuation of scenario, including news from San Francisco, New Delhi, Johannesburg in 2020, see original article.
The World in 2020: Towards a New Global Age.
Anonymous, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics OECD, 10/10/98.
This article sets out a broad vision of the world economy in the year 2020 where all countries have the potential of participating actively in the global economy, covering such closely linked fields as trade, investment, taxation, social stability, technology and the environment. It outlines a report that was prepared by an interdisciplinary team of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretariat. The report presents two alternative visions of the world economy in the year 2020, namely a slow-track reform and adjustment scenario (a `business-as-usual' - low growth - scenario) and a high performance (high growth) vision of the world economy.
Business as Usual: this scenario suggests a continuation of current trends and leads to only modest growth constraining the potential for human progress. It assumes less trade and investment liberalization and slower progress on domestic policy reforms especially in the areas of fiscal consolidation, removal of domestic subsidies and structural policies.
High Growth: this scenario embodies a more optimistic outlook based on an acceleration of policy reform, with the promise of greater human well-being, better integration of developing countries, enhanced international security and a world-wide reduction in poverty. The high performance vision seeks to portray a plausible scenario for the world economy if national governments undertake a wide range of necessary policy reforms. In this context, the report deals with some of the key economic, social and environmental policy challenges for realizing a `New Global Age' and sets out some policy implications for the role of international organizations, including the OECD, in helping to achieve the goal.”
The report observes that under the high growth scenario, the GDP growth in the OECD countries is estimated at the same rate as 2.9 per cent per annum as in the past 25 years as compared to a growth rate of 1.7 per cent in the low growth scenario in the decade to 2020. In the non-OECD economies, the underlying growth potentials being significantly higher than in the OECD economies and with sound policies providing an additional growth impulse, the growth rate is estimated around 2.5 percentage points over the next 25 years and the GDP growth rate averaging 6.7 per cent per annum in the high growth scenario. In the low growth scenario, the growth performance of non-OECD economies is not forecast to improve over the past 25 years. High future growth in the non-OECD economies can be expected to result from an interaction of a combination of factors: expansion and upgrade of the quality of labour force, high rates of saving and capital accumulation, investment in human and physical capital and fast total factor productivity growth, intersectoral resource transfers and strong productivity performance.
The report notes that close linkages between the economies of OECD and non-OECD countries are beneficial for sustained economic growth, improving living standards. eliminating poverty and promoting environmental sustainability, which will strengthen the foundations of global political stability. A window of opportunity has been opened for improving welfare, and for moving along an accelerated path toward sustainable development by shifting economies on a higher performance growth path. The report outlines the major challenges that have to be tackled, which include liberalization of trade, investment and financial flows, strengthening the rules-based multilateral system to facilitate a deepening of economic integration between the world's economies. The report recognizes that the New Global Age will not materialize automatically. It emphasizes the need for making significant and concerted efforts to secure the stability of macro economic policy to facilitate large-scale structural reform and define innovative approaches. “
21 Ideas for the 21st Century
Authors: Peter Coy, Neil Gross, Business Week, 08/23/99 Issue 3644, p78, 4p, 1c.
Business Week introduces a special section that looks at a multiple number of scenarios for the twenty-first century. In this summer special report, there is a compilation of ``21 Ideas for the 21st Century” - a set of propositions, concepts, and vignettes from meditations on empty forests to the outlook for urban sprawl and the immortality of the mind noted in the scenario with the headline, ``The earth will don an electronic skin'' and ``Creatures on the fringe hold secrets of life'' The special report is built on the concept that, the more possibilities that can be entertained, the less likely we are to be blindsided. Scenarios include:
Recipe from the Internet: A world in which it is possible to download from the Internet the ``recipe'' for a cell phone, to be assembled at home in an oven-size device called a nanobox. Such boxes would radically reshape the manufacturing sector of the economy.
Quantum Computers: Computers that utilize bizarre quantum effects to solve problems with the equivalent of a roll of the dice.
Quantum Learning: “Should you drum math and science into your kid's resisting brain when, in a mere 20 years, she will be fitted with embedded chips that make her far smarter than Stephen Hawking, or be able to pop a pill to achieve the same effect?”
Other Speculations: a world of 2,000 nations; high schools may not wither away; giant utilities remain the energy suppliers of choice; business, after experimenting with management by teams, decide to become leaderless corporations that in turn, decide that what they really want are iron-fisted CEOs. According to BT Laboratories Futurologist Ian Pearson, the future of technology could be a world in which people on telephones try to make customer representatives angry because it's the only way to tell that they're people and not computers. ``The fridge has time locks on the door and a video camera watching what you take out,'' he writes on the British telephone company's Web site. ``It won't allow the microwave to cook it because it contains too many calories. Kitchen rage is becoming a major social problem.'' For more, see this special issue.
Four Visions of the 21st Century Ahead: Will it be Start Trek, Ecotopia, Big Government or Mad Max?
Author: Robert Costanza, Futurist, Feb 99, Vol 33 Issue 2, p23, 6p, 3c, 1bw.
Lays out four visions of what the 21st century will be like. The author, a professor of ecological economics, a future that reflects fundamental choices: technological optimism or skepticism, free markets or communitarianism. According to the author, “the most challenging task facing humanity today is the creation of a shared vision of a sustainable and desirable society, one that can provide permanent prosperity within the biophysical constraints of the real world in a way that is fair and equitable to all of humanity, to other species, and to future generations. This vision does not now exist, although the seeds are there. We all have our own private visions of the world we really want, and we need to overcome our fears and skepticism and begin to share these visions and build on them, until we have built a vision of the world we want…To start the dialogue and move quickly to public judgment, we may consider issues in the form of "visions" or scenarios.” This article lays out four such visions, each presented as a "future history" written from the vantage point of the year 2100.
Star Trek: The Default Technological Optimist Vision: Humans venture into space, buoyed by technological optimism and cheap, clean fuel. “The turning point came in 2012, when population pressure was mounting and natural resources were being strained. The greenhouse effect caused by burning fossil fuel was beginning to cause some major disruptions. But the development of practical fusion energy allowed a rapid reduction of global fossil-fuel burning to practically zero by the year 2050, eventually reversing the greenhouse effect. Fusion energy was infinitely better and cheaper than any alternative, and it was inexhaustible. Air pollution was essentially eliminated between 2015 and 2050, as cars were converted to clean-burning hydrogen produced with energy from fusion reactors. Electricity for homes, factories, and other uses came increasingly from fusion, so the old, risky nuclear fission reactors were gradually decommissioned; even some hydropower stations were eliminated to return some great rivers to their wild state. In particular, the dams along the Columbia River-in Oregon were completely eliminated by 2050, allowing the wild salmon runs and spawning grounds to be reestablished.” For more on energy, population by 2050, and food production, see original article.
Mad Max: The Technological Skeptic's Nightmare: Ecological systems are a complete shambles as the greenhouse effect kicks in. “The turning point came in 2012, when the world's oil production finally peaked and the long slide down started. The easy-to-get oil was simply exhausted, and the price started to rise rapidly. All the predictions about the rapidly rising price of oil causing new, cheaper alternatives to emerge just never came to pass. There were no cheaper alternatives--only more-expensive ones. Oil was so important in the economy that the price of everything else was tied to it, and the alternatives just kept getting more expensive at the same rate. Solar energy continues to be the planet's major power source --through agriculture, fisheries, and forestry--but direct conversion using photovoltaics never achieved the price/performance ratios to allow it to compete, even with coal. Of course, it didn't really matter anyway, because the greenhouse effect was kicking in, and the earth's climate and ecological systems were in a complete shambles. Rising sea levels inundated most of the Netherlands, as well as big chunks of Bangladesh, Florida, Louisiana, and other low-lying coastal areas, by about 2050.” For more on financial markets in 2016, physical and social infrastructures, viruses in 2025, and distribution of wealth, see original article.
Big Government: Public Interest Trumps Private Enterprise: Strict regulation keeps technological and economic development at slow, safe pace. “The turning point came in 2012, when the corporate charter of General Motors was revoked by the U.S. federal government for failing to pursue the public interest. Even though GM had perfected the electric car, it had failed to make its breakthrough battery technology available to other car makers, even on a licensing basis. It preferred, instead, to retain a monopoly on electric cars, to produce them exclusively in China with cheap labor, and to gouge the public with high prices for them. After a series of negotiations broke down, government lawyers decided to invoke their almost forgotten power to revoke a corporation's charter and made the technology public property. This caused such a panic through corporate America that a complete rethinking of the corporate/public relationship took place, which left the government and the public with much more control over corporate behavior. Strict government regulations had kept the development of fusion energy slow while safety issues were being fully explored. No one wanted a repeat of fission energy's problems: The Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents were nothing compared to the meltdown of one of France's fission breeder reactors in 2005, which left almost one-quarter of the French countryside uninhabitable, killing over 100,000 people directly and causing untold premature cancer deaths throughout Europe.” For more on fusion energy, taxes, population policies, global income distribution, and sustainability see original article.
Ecotopia: The Low-Consumption Sustainable Vision: People begin to take better care of the environment, changing lifestyles toward less consumption and more satisfaction. “The turning point came in 2012, when ecological tax reform was enacted almost simultaneously in the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Australia after long global discussions and debates, mostly over the Internet. In the same year, Herman Daly won the Nobel Prize for Human Stewardship (formerly the prize for economics) for his work on sustainable development. A broadly participatory global dialogue had allowed an alternative vision of a sustainable world to emerge and gain very wide popular support. People finally realized that governments had to take the initiative back from transnational corporations and redefine the basic rules of the game if their carefully constructed vision was ever going to come to pass. The public had formed a powerful judgment against the consumer lifestyle and for a sustainable lifestyle. The slogan for the new revolution became the now famous "sustainability, equity, efficiency." All depletion of natural capital was taxed at the best estimate of the full social cost of that depletion, and taxes on labor and income were reduced for middle-income and lower-income people. A "negative income tax," or basic life support, was provided for those below the poverty level. Countries without ecotaxes were punished with ecological tariffs on goods they produced.” For more on QLI (Quality of Life Index), fossil fuels, mass transit, the workweek in 2050, unemployment and travel, see original article.
Which World? Three Global Scenarios : Choose the World We Want. Author: Allen Hammond, The Futurist p. 38, April, 1999.
Market World, Fortress World, or Transformed World? A scientist and strategic analyst looks at
where today's events may lead us in the next century, and what we can do about it. Scenarios have long been used by corporate strategists and military planners as powerful tools to aid in decision making in the face of uncertainty. More often we are seeing these tools used for wider social purposes and incorporated into public policy processes at the community, national, and international levels. The Futurist Scenarios were used in the recent 2050 Project undertaken by the World Resources Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Santa Fe Institute. The 2050 Project provided one of the intellectual underpinnings of the scenarios summarized here. These scenarios reflect three conflicting world views and set out three different trajectories for the next half century for the globe as a whole and, separately, for each of seven major continental-scale regions. The follow up on regional reports to the scenarios is excellent.
Scenario 1. The Market World: “One view of the future is rooted in a belief in the power of markets and of private enterprise to create prosperity and improve human welfare. This view maintains that the extended U.S. economic boom shows that free-market policies, corporate restructuring, and entrepreneurship offer a model for the rest of the world. The Market World scenario also points to increasing global market integration, the unprecedented technological innovation of our time, the worldwide spread of democracy, and rising literacy in virtually all parts of the globe. The thesis is: Let markets work, turn loose the private sector, break down barriers to free trade, and all will be well. Sooner or later, rapid economic growth and increasing prosperity will happen in virtually every region of the world. The Market World scenario and its supporting world view are not easily dismissed. Its voice can be heard in the pages of The Economist and the Wall Street Journal. Its adherents dominate corporate board rooms, and its allure motivates countless entrepreneurs. Markets are in the ascendancy, as oil analyst Daniel Yergin has argued. Free-market reforms have moved governments everywhere to downsize, deregulate, and privatize. The pace of innovation breeds new opportunities at astonishing speed-witness the rise of the Internet, the spread of electronic commerce, and proliferating breakthroughs in biotechnology. And globalization proceeds inexorably: In just 20 years, international currency transactions have swelled from $20 billion per day to more than $1.25 trillion per day, and corporate investments abroad have soared despite the Asian financial crisis…”
Scenario 2. A Fortress World: “Markets cannot do everything. They do not necessarily redress social wrongs such as poverty or prevent environmental disasters; they often make them worse. Moreover, truly free, unregulated markets can be very unstable, as shown by recent events in the global financial markets. The global market boom remains highly concentrated: Fewer than two dozen developing nations benefit to any significant degree from private investment, while in more than 70 countries incomes are lower now than they were in 1980. The more-pessimistic Fortress World vision of the future is rooted in two convictions: that large portions of humanity will be left out of the prosperity that markets bring and that unconstrained markets and widespread poverty will devastate forests and fisheries, erode soils, pollute water supplies, and alter the earth's climate. The Fortress World scenario argues that these failures will eventually destroy the natural resources and social framework on which markets and economic growth depend, at least in many places. This will lead to a world in which islands of prosperity coexist with an ocean of poverty and frustration. Economic stagnation will spread as wealthy enclaves devote more resources to maintain security and stability; economic fragmentation will occur where conflict dominates or the social order breaks down. The result is deepening human misery and desperation, growing conflict between rich and poor, and a future of violence and instability. The Fortress World scenario, too, cannot be easily set aside. The dark side of global capitalism is all too evident in the sweatshops and horrendous pollution of industrializing Asia, in the widening income gaps between rich and poor countries. We can see other shadows of Fortress World in the rising tide of illegal migration; in the growth of private security forces, which now outnumber the police by four to one worldwide and 10 to one in South Africa and Russia; and in the expanding popularity of gated communities in the United States. Global criminal organizations operate with seeming impunity, corrupting many developing countries, while new and more deadly forms of terrorism proliferate. Instability threatens Russia and stalks a number of developing countries. There is growing scientific consensus about the risk of global warming and massive, irreversible losses to the earth's biological resources...”
Scenario 3. The Transformed World: “A third and more-hopeful scenario is also plausible, although it requires a leap of faith. The Transformed World vision of the future assumes that social and political change-and perhaps even changed values and cultural norms-will give rise to enlightened policies and voluntary actions that shape or supplement market forces. It points to the power of civil society to shape social and political agendas, to the "greening" of a small but growing band of enlightened global corporations, and to the potential for imaginative uses of new technologies to expand access to information and services worldwide. The Transformed World scenario argues that these trends together could lead to a more peaceful, equitable, and environmentally stable world. In effect, Transformed World envisions a society in which information is more accessible, power is more widely shared, and new grass-roots coalitions shape what institutions and governments do, broadening the forms of governance. It is a future that makes use of the power of markets and private enterprise, but aligns market incentives with social and environmental goals. The Transformed World accepts economic competition, but does not lose sight of the need for making deliberate social choices and meeting basic human needs. Evidence of such change is already accumulating, although it is often buried by lurid headlines telling of scandal, crisis, and disaster. Note the startling reversal in U.S. attitudes toward smoking that has led to smoking bans in workplaces and public buildings over the past 10 years, or the abrupt political and economic transformation that has taken place during the same period in Poland and the Czech Republic. Other examples include the remarkable transformation from racist minority rule to a multiracial democracy now under way in South Africa, the introduction of village-level democracy in China, and the explosion of micro-loan networks in many developing countries. Literacy and life-spans have risen dramatically in most developing countries over the past few decades, and the status of women is slowly improving nearly everywhere. It was a global coalition of citizens' groups linked by e-mail that initiated and largely drafted the recent treaty to ban land mines and persuaded most of the world's governments to sign it. And increasingly, environmental groups are working with private corporations, often to startling effect: Witness the recent decision of some two dozen major companies to endorse the global climate treaty…”
Humanity Comes Into It’s Own – The First Truly Human and Global Society. Author:Jesse Ausubel, RAND Corporation, 1998.
Historically, technologies improve slowly and steadily. Industrial societies have increased overall efficiency in energy use about one percent per year over the last 200 years. But now and again a burst of technological innovation changes the way people produce, consume, and live. Today, most people in the industrial democracies live comfortably in cities and use brain power rather than muscles to earn a living. In the future, it is likely that nearly everyone in all parts of the world will have this modern lifestyle. But the "take-off" to modernity now and in the coming century will follow a very different path than that experienced by today's industrialized countries. Most important, growth will be both more rapid and last longer. There will be environmental stresses, but eventually with wealth and sustainable development practices, the tendency for peace and individual freedom will plausibly increase.
Jesse Ausubel Scenario: The First Truly Human and Global Society: “This scenario assumes that the full economic and social effects of recent technological advances are still far from realized, and that they are likely to propel a widespread and lasting surge of economic growth--growth that will be surprisingly widespread and, in developing regions, very rapid. Further, this wave of rising prosperity will bring peace and increasing individual freedom to an unprecedented proportion of the world's people. This scenario acknowledges that many environmental problems may worsen (although some may eventually turn around) and that economic disparities may increase, but asserts that these stresses will not be sufficient to undermine progress in most regions. The result, a century hence, will be the first truly human and global society.”
Technology Spares the Environment.
Cal-Tech Scenarios, 1998 http://www.caltech.edu.
Based on variations of high technology, low global and local environmental impact, and low conflict and from trends forecast and earlier Reference Scenario: Population: 5 billion in 1990, 10 billion by 2050, 13 billion by 2100; Equity: 19 in 1990, 15 by 2050, 8 by 2100; GWP: $17 trillion in 1990, $100 trillion in 2050, $310 trillion in 2100 (assumes 2.3% average growth in GWP, doubles every 30 years); the Global Scenario Group developed a normative scenario driven primarily on high technological impact.
Scenario: Technology Spares the Environment: “The 21st century emerges as an era of techno-optimism as accelerating technological advances help to boost industrial efficiencies, prosperity, and environmental sustainability throughout most of the world. These technological advances are driven in part by market competition, which tend to reward firms and societies that produce more for less. The dramatic efficiency gains in the use of land, energy, materials, and labor unleashed by technology and market competition outpace population growth and increases per capita consumption. The world economy becomes better equipped to meet human needs with less land, pollution, and natural resources. Dire warnings of widespread food shortages, pollution, overpopulation, and environmental depletion never materialize.
One major trend accelerating industrial efficiency is free trade. Lowered trade barriers due to the free flow of information, capital, and goods due to technology helps shake-out less efficient industries, leaving behind a web of lean and agile industrial networks employing advanced technology. Dramatic gains in energy efficiency also serve to alleviate pollution and depletion of non-renewable resources. Energy efficiency has been gaining over the past three hundred years, particularly for motors and lamps. Extrapolating from gains over the 20th century, engines and motors based on fuel cell technology achieve efficiencies of 70 percent by 2050, up from 50 percent in 2000. Total system efficiency in the economy, defined as the ratio of the theoretical minimum energy consumed to the actual energy consumed for end-goods and services, achieves an even more dramatic increase -- 15% by 2100, more than 300% times that of 2000…”
Global Scenarios for the Millennium.
Author:Hardin Tibbs, YES! A Journal of Positive Futures, Spring, 1998.
It sounds too cliché to be true, but the major scenarios for the years around the turn of the century “really are catastrophe or transformation.” To see why, we need a way of looking at history with a wide-angle lens. Two measures can help us do this - one is global human population, and the other is the flow of materials through the economy. We know how these two have changed over very long periods of time, and we also know that they are among the most important factors shaping future global conditions.
Hardin Tibbs Scenario 1. The “Official” Future of Governments Around the World (optimistic): “The official scenario of governments is that world population will smoothly decelerate and the growth curve will flatten out, like the upper "question mark" curve in an “S” curve. This is not an unreasonable scenario: the population appears to have passed its peak growth point, and many biological systems do show this "S-shaped" growth pattern…”
Scenario 2. Exponential Growth: “The optimistic scenario is not guaranteed. Extremely rapid population growth is causing social and cultural dislocation around the world, and technological advance is running ahead of our ability to control it. By almost every measure, we are living at a historically unique time of high risk. There is a real but unquantifiable possibility that instead of a smooth deceleration, the population could plunge as a combination of economic and ecological disaster strike, triggering wars and causing food production to plummet. Hence the other basic possibility shown by the lower "question mark" curve is a future population collapse. This frightening possibility is certainly plausible: many biological systems show population crashes when crucial environmental resources are depleted. And the global human population has crashed in the past-for example the Black Death killed between a third to a half of the population of Europe and Asia in the 14th century…”
The Future of the Global Village.
Author: Anthony Mutsaers, (copyright) 1998. http://www.talewins.com/Global.html
By consequence, institutions have changed, social, political and economic, even religious institutions; all of society is now on a global voyage. This is new, it is different, it creates a discontinuity in all aspects of life and casts a shadow of doubt and uncertainty concerning all future development. Einstein said that God throws no dice, that how the future works out is all of God's great plan and let us hope this may be so, because recently scientists have found that random is a frequently occurring natural phenomenon. By that logic, anything can happen, nothing can be taken for granted, so that in the greater scheme of how society functions, and by what values it lives, there are no official rules. Anthony Mutsaers In the greater scheme of things there are three major alternatives or scenarios to public policy relative to this global phenomenon.
Scenario 1. Continuation: “One is to continue business as usual, that is, continue nationalist policies in a global environment of free markets and free trade. This scenario describes more or less the current international global econ/political process and serves as starting point, describing the existing situation and by carrying it to its logical conclusion, one may learn something of its ultimate implications for to-morrow's world. This scenario draws on the reality that the Global Corporations (from here-on referred to as GCs) are turning increasingly to mergers to sustain double digit growth and expected profits. They are forced to do so because both in the EU and US, eighty percent of all trade is within its own borders, and the US and EU do not grow at double digits. Four percent is considered" robust." Ultimately, this policy cannot be sustained. The GC system therefor must depend on opening new, growing and profitable markets outside the US and EU markets at the needed rates…”
Scenario 2. The Global GC System: “The second scenario, the Global GC System, intends to find ways to open new profitable and growing markets, reduce risk and increase productivity all around by following the inherent logic of global ideology. Global ideology creates a new playing field. While there are many implications, the most basic is that there are limits, the world is finite. In the past, if you didn't like Detroit or Rotterdam, you could go somewhere else, to greener pastures, but the ultimate destination of 'global ideology,' it being a finite world, is that there are a finite number of destinations. To the extent one is global to that extent one has reached that number of destinations and then, there is no more. So one must make the best out of what there is. This scenario accepts that globally, a poor globe, poor people, make for poor, unstable markets and globally, for rich people to be rich, and become even richer, one needs a richer globe, richer and bigger markets, global markets. The GC must find ways not to exploit the globe, but to enrich it…”
Scenario 3. The ‘Post GC Era’: “Is more in the realm of science fiction and draws on the world as seen by the anti GC forces. It is based on the belief that the current economic/political system, centered around the GC, is unable to carry mankind prosperously and safely into the twenty-first century and that it needs to be replaced by a new improved system. The idea of 500 private GCs running this globe gives it the chills, it is afraid of the massive power in so few hands and seeks ways to eliminate the GC. It defines a 'Post GC Era,' the world without a few hundred GCs controlling the globe's economy and relatedly, the political system. It is based on pluralism, transparency and redefines global capitalism as powerless optimum sized firms functioning in a perfectly competitive market place, characterized by a totally transparent institutional setting, real time universal communications /transportation/ systems and equal rights to access knowledge ( the result of transparency). It goes along the lines of seeing the current world order as one would see old fashioned software; a mode of thinking and operating in great need of a new improved version, more in line with current needs and problems. It is, if you like, the nerd version of this discourse, the version which says," I respect all that you have done in the past, it was wonderful, but now, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, we are in a new situation, we are entering the 'Post GC Era.' This scenario requires the world works how it easily could, if it just would be kind to itself, and forget about the past. In the last decades mankind has learned an awful lot and has done an awful lot, technically…”
Technology and Human Responsibility.
Daily Meditations for the Computer-Entranced. A series of relatively brief, highly readable columns testing your assumptions about computers and the Net. Last revision: April 16, 1999.
American business people have long thought that they would be much better at running the education system than academics and social welfare types who are still, for the most part, in charge. 2010 Scenario:. Three `M's for the New Millennium: In the 21st century, they're finally going to get their chance. Start with the premise that economic advantage is now replacing democratic ideals as the reason for education. Following this argument, public schooling soon makes little sense. In a market economy with its requisite winners and losers, the incentive for education changes. Parents who naturally want their own children to be the winners, are, in 2010, unwilling to pay for other children's education. As this attitude prevails, less and less money is put into public education until public education will become a subsidiary of the business world, controlled and managed by multinational corporations. What will the captains of global industry teach? Certainly not the traditional "three R’s." They take too much time, are better done by machines or have little value as mass entertainment and therefore no business in education. No, their platform will be the "three Ms:" Multi-Tasking, Materialistic, and Mind Management. In time, these new principles produces workers with the skills to support emerging technology-driven corporation needs.
2020 Scenarios: Five Nations Emerge as Economic Powers.
Author: Kohei Murayama, September 9, 1997, Kyodo
According to the World Bank, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Russia will emerge as major economic powers in the next 25 years to fundamentally change the global trade and economic landscape. Today, these five countries account for half of the world's labor force but only 8-10% of its output and trade. But the figures could double by 2020, given continued policy reforms and the strengthening of the open world trade and investment regime. The World Bank provides 2020 scenarios of these five nations: The current share of world trade is barely one-third that of the European Union (EU), but it could surge to 50% higher than of the EU by 2020. Although there will be transition costs, there is little evidence to justify two of the most common fears, namely downward pressure on unskilled wages in industrial and other developing countries and higher prices for food and energy. The developing nations as a whole could grow between 5 and 6% per year through 2020 to help double their share of world output from around one-sixth to nearly a third over the same period. Industrialized nations also enjoys the benefits of the five powers' emergence, with their exports to developing nations likely to account for 40% of their global exports in 2020, up from 25% in 1992.
Islamic Ummah 2025: A Review of Models, Approaches and Alternative Futures.
Author: Dr. Sohail Inayatullah. Communication Centre Queensland University of Technology. Box 2434, Brisbane 4001, Australia. S. Inayatullah@qut.edu.au.
This paper is both a critique of ways of approaching the future as well as a presentation of scenarios of the Islamic world a generation ahead. The critique covers various global models, including the Club of Rome’s classic Limits to Growth, Mankind at the turning Point, as well as World 2000 and other approaches to understanding the future. Throughout this paper, recommendations are presented on making the Islamic Ummal more future-oriented. Global models are one way of approaching or understanding the future. There are other ways of approaching the study of the future from which can be derived specific assertions about issues, trends and scenarios. Four scenarios of the future of Islam are presented.
Scenario 1. Ummah as an Interpretive Community. “Sarder’s efforts have been to begin to shape what the Islamic world could look like in the next century. In an outstanding essay by Anwar Ibrahim in a special issue of Futures on Islam and the Future, Ibrahim argues that we need to go beyond the three world thinking of first, second and third worlds and begin to think of the future in terms of an Islamic Ummah. He spells out what this means. 1) the Ummah is a synamic concept, reinterpreting the past, meeting new challenges and 2) the Ummah must meet global problems such as the environmental problem. 3) The Ummah should be seen a critical tool, as a process of reasoning itself and 4) equity and justice are prerequisites and imperatives of the Ummah. This means commitment to eradicating poverty. It means going beyond the development debate since that framework merely framed the issue in apolitical, oral, acritical language. To begin this means of rethinking trade, developing south-south trade as well as “new Instruments of financial accounting and transacting... and the financing of new routes and transportation infrastructure.” 6) But perhaps most significant is a commitment to literacy for all. As Ibrahim writes: Only with access to appropriate education can Ummah consciousness take room and make possible the Ummah of tomorrow as a personification of the pristine morality of Islamic endowed with creative, constructive, critical thought.”
Scenario 2. The Future Without a Name. “ In the same issue of Futures, Gulzar Haider takes us to an Islamic future with no name. In his effort to imagine such an Ummah, he discovers that he cannot. After falling asleep and waking in 2020, he sees many men talking to each other. But each quotes the “rulings of his own masters and guides and though they address one another as brothers, they were in apparent frustration.” He concludes with the following vision. “I have seen a landscape of Muslim Futures and it looks fragmented, bounded, a controlled city of discrete tents. There are some that are awake but are cast out of the city. They continue their search for the Mqadinah, and till then they keep reading, writing and speaking without fear except of their God and His Prophet. But none of them has a name.” While we can hope that Haider’s vision does not come about that a true Islamic Ummah in the context of a global community emerges, however, it could be that there is a future worse than Haider’s vision.”
Scenario 3. End of Islam. “The most likely future is the cannibalization of Islam internally and externally. Internally, largely due to external pressures, but still nonetheless from sectarian infighting, from deep Sunni/Shia divisions and from different models of what is means to be Muslim. Many of these battles are issues of revenge of cursed histories instead of the imagination of desired futures. External forces are such that changes in technology, globalism, and world politics question whether Islam can meet the changing needs of Muslims. There might thus be Muslims in the future but there will be no Islam. Even if one is horrified at such a future, this scenario remains an important what - if question. What-if Islam no longer exited. What would you and I do then?”
Scenario 4. Islam as the Difference. “Conversely, through human action, Islam could become the difference in world science and politics. Sardar writes that Islam cannot be overlooked. “Whether it is seen as a force for liberation or as an authoritarian step back to the middle ages, Islam cannot be ignored. “ For Sardar Islam is the difference, the attractors that will create the next century. Galtung, for example, has argued that Islam and the West are in a expansion/contraction relationship with each other, as one contracts, the other expands. As the West loses its ability to maintain hyper-expansion, exploitation of nature and other, Islam will come in and either continue the project, as the Japanese have done, Islam--colonized, defeated, stagnant---could have easily been written off from history and the future. At the dawn of the 21st century, Islam--resurgent, confident, militant fundamentalist -- is very much alive.”
Women of the Future: Alternative Scenarios.
Author:Christopher B. Jones. The Futurist May-June 1996.
The author is a futures researcher and political scientist examining five potential scenarios for women. Jones suggests that there are at least three mini-trends stemming from radical feminism that could result in dramatically different futures for women and men. One is a tendency for some women to reject male-influenced values and sometimes, rejecting men entirely as some sort of evolutionary mistake. Another mini-trend, at virtually the opposite end of the spectrum, is male hatred of women, manifesting itself as a widespread male backlash. A third mini-trend that has roots in radical feminism is the push toward a partnership model of relations between men and women rather than the dominance of either.”
Scenario 1: Continued Patriarchy. “ In this scenario, women continue to obtain their rights but at the cost of playing “Supermom” and/or becoming more like men. Women are increasingly accepted in the work force in industrialized countries, but are slow to achieve equal pay for equal work and to break the glass ceiling into management positions. Women in the developing world continue to be exploited and violated more than their sisters in industrialized countries. The family model in this scenario is still that of the Industrial Age: a mother, father, and two or three children. Levels of spouse and child abuse remain high.”
Scenario 2: High-Tech Androgyny. “ In this scenario, work is something one does because one is good at it or because it gives one personal satisfaction. Gender divisions of labor no longer exist. Leisure “work” allows all people to engage in whatever sport, artistic form, handicraft, hobby, or activity they wish. Politics is something women are more equitably involved in due to shifts in child rearing, domestic work, and work outside the home. Children are “designed” from the best genetic material, gestated in either natural or artificial wombs, and raised in age-cohort groups by robot (and human) nannies. Children are also expected to experiment with sex before puberty. Rites of passage often include gender changes. Family roles are totally blurred or nonexistent. Gene and other molecular therapies have markedly increased human longevity.”
Scenario 3: Separation. “The assumption in this scenario is that men fail to mend their ways, so women decide to do without them. Whether sent to space “on vacation” or otherwise disposed of (perhaps through a genetic epidemic in which only men are victims), men are no longer a problem. Cloning and artificial insemination are the primary means of procreation in this future. Family structures are extended and intergenerational, including sisters, daughters, aunts, and donors as well as surrogate mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers. Families are headed by the oldest matriarchs.”
Scenario 4: Backlash. “ This scenario suggest some men’s increasing frustration with the growing power of women, exemplified by the emergence of a men’s movement. While much of the men’s movement may be a reasonable exploration of men’s traditional and evolving gender roles, there is also a clear misogynist element to it. Other trends that suggest a reinvigorated hatred of women are the explosive growth of religious fundamentalism, efforts to end affirmative action, and growing violence against women.” This fits with the fact that in some countries amniocentesis results in up to 95% of all female fetuses being aborted. Men reclaim dominance over women, who are considered to be property.
Scenario 5: Partnership. “ The basic biological differences between the genders are maintained, but women share power with men equally. Gender differences are respected, but women and men are treated equally in all spheres of life. Women have extensive involvement, at all levels, equitably with men in the public sphere. In this scenario, there are fewer gender-based divisions of labor, and parenting is a shared responsibility. Family structures are extended and intergenerational, with tolerance for a wide range of family forms (including non blood related). Communities and eco-cities are built around extended family “estates.”
A Message to Us From Future Generations.
Author:Allen Tough, professor, University of Toronto.
Allen Tough, futurist, professor, writer, is an activist for the rights of future generations. In this scenario, Cordial Greetings, Tough conveys a strong message in the form of a letter written by a member of the “grandchildren’s generation,”; a generation echoing back a perspective from a future overshadowed by today’s critical uncertainties. In Cordial Greetings, future generations ask for prudent and just decision making to preserve the future, as it is in the self-interest of all humanity.
Cordial Greetings. “Cordial greetings from the people of the future! We represent your grandchildren’s generation, and the world of their grandchildren as well. We are delighted that you, the people of the 1990s, are willing to listen to us. Please take our needs as seriously as you take your own. Please care about our well-being as much as your own. This is our central plea to you.
In your major decisions and actions, please consider our perspective and welfare along with your own. Our needs and rights are not inferior to yours: please regard your generation and ours as equals. You might call this principle intergenerational equity -- equal opportunity across the generations. Even though we live in an era that is very different from yours, we too are people, vigorously engaged in a wide variety of activities and projects, just as you are.....Examine your personal values: is anything truly more important to you than the ongoing flow of human culture, the continuing flourishing of human civilization. If this is one of your central values, the key needs of future generations become part of your own self-interest rather than something separate or opposing. Efforts toward something transcendent, something bigger and longer-term than everyday life, can provide meaning and purpose to a whole society as well as to individuals....
On a more personal level, we hope you will feel caring, love, and even a spiritual connection toward those of us who are members of future generations....1.) Peace and Security. We will all be much safer if you eliminate most of your nuclear and biological weapons, and any other weapons capable of destroying human civilizations. 2.) Environment. We people of the future obviously require a planet capable of supporting life. Please move toward a sustainable relationship with the planet in agriculture, forestry, fish, wildlife, water, and energy very soon. 3.) Catastrophes. Please detect and study any other potential catastrophes or trends that might permanently end or severely harm human civilization. 4.) Governance. With your present governance arrangements, neither you nor we can successfully cope with global problems. Please build an effective foundation for public priority-setting and decision-making at the local, regional, and global level. 5.) Knowledge. Conserve, enlarge, and widely disseminate your most significant knowledge, insights, and ideas. 6.) Children. Please reduce the amount of child poverty, hunger, neglect, and abuse in order to stop physically, intellectually, and emotionally stunting children’s growth and development. 7.) Learning. From early childhood to late adulthood, learning opportunities should be widespread.”
Millennium Scenarios - People Making the Difference.
A research project at the Institute of Personnel and Development Exhibition, Harrogate 1995. Center for Management Creativity.
Scenario Model developed by over 200 participants at the Institute of Personnel and Development. National Conference & Exhibition, October 1995. The scenarios developed in this exercise used MagNotes methodology as a means of collecting and sharing thoughts. Magnotes are particularly useful in group situations - teams meetings, community workshops, management conferences - in which exploration is taking place and ideas are developing.
Scenario 1. A Ghetto Society. “The first scenario assumes that we will not change our habits or reverse the trends of the last two decades. There is a tendency to stick to the need for proof that we are despoiling the planet and while we await the proof, environmental rape and pillage are seen to be perfectly reasonable. The West clings to its power and refuses to relinquish its privileges or face its real responsibilities. The rising economic power of the Pacific Rim and the military might of China create new power blocs that justify extreme behaviors in old countries. Our aging population becomes more alienated from the young while in third world countries ever younger, expanding and better educated populations clamor for a share of the planet’s swindling wealth, pursuing their perceived right to progress as exemplified by the West.
In this scenario humanizing concerns become marginalized as we move towards macro-militarism and micro-crime in pursuit of isolated peace and fragmentary happiness. Organizations become a way of ring fencing and defending shareholder interests from terrorists and criminals. A new barbarism prevails.”
Scenario 2. A Common World. “The other scenario pre-supposes that personal challenge and responsibility rise to the occasion. Learning from the debate over Bosnia, the degeneration of the former USSR, the ghastly aftermath of ill considered 20th century interventions both military and economic, a new egalitarianism emerges. Around the world, statutory curbs on trading in currencies, in futures, commodities and derivatives erode the unearned gains of self centered short term investors. The wealth possessing reluctantly begin to make sacrifices as it becomes increasingly apparent that one earth has to sustain us all - that rich and poor sink or swim together.
Technology is harnessed to improve harmonization. Conspicuous consumption is no longer seen as virtuous or desirable. Organizations become responsible as citizens and foster whole people who are self-developing and responsible. At every level people willingly abstain from indulgence and unnecessary consumption for the good of others. Loss of freedom to travel and to possess is embraced along with the loss of lifetime security in a single career.”
Three Detection Scenarios.
Author:Allen Tough, professor, University of Toronto, Canada.
Allen Tough presents three different detection scenarios of extraterrestrial intelligence currently being pursued.
Scenario 1.) “Detect radio, optical, or other evidence of distant ETI (astroengineering projects, for instance, or unusually high consumption or discharge of energy by advanced technological civilization). Current methods that could potentially achieve such a detection include radio SETI, optical SETI, and routine on going astronomy. Additional methods, such as remote viewing and astral (consciousness) travel, fall outside of today’s scientific understanding, as does the possibility of faster-than-light communication.”
Scenario 2.) “Detect a tiny nearby probe containing a highly advanced computer. Current methods include routine astronomy and space exploration, routine military/security monitoring, and a web page invitation.”
Scenario 3.) “Detect a nearby staffed spacecraft or live aliens. Current methods include routine military/security monitoring, routine ongoing astronomy and space exploration, and ufology. Methods in the 1980s also included visual inspection of the Lagrange points and a search through infrared data from the asteroid belt. Additional methods, such as channeling and the psychic aspects of ufology, fall outside today’s scientific understanding, as does faster-than-light travel.”
Strategies for Lunar Economic Development Authority: Futures Scenario for Utilization of the Moon’s Resources.
Authors:Declan J. O’Donnell and Philip R. Harris. Futures Research Quarterly, Fall 1996.
The authors present a near-term strategy for development of the moon’s resources for the benefit of planet earth’s inhabitants by establishment of a Lunar Economic Development Authority (LEDA). The article covers trends that lead to this as a plausible possibility and describe various scenarios as to how LEDA might come into being within the decade.
Scenario 1.)“The US Congress provides legislation constituting a LEDA, essentially to conserve national interests and promote development of the moon and its resources for the benefit of our citizenry and to cooperate with other nations in this goal. The charter might be similar to that of TVA and possibly some existing space assets might be transferred from NASA or DOD to the new Authority to provide security for the lunar bonds to be sold for investments on the moon…
Scenario 2.)A consortium of spacefaring nations interested in lunar development could also enter into an international agreement to form a LEDA to mutually act on their behalf in financing and macromanaging resources on the moon. The precedent for this already also exists in such agreements as Intesat which established a global satellite communication system signed by governments or their designated public or private telecommunications entities.
Scenario 3.)Private transnational enterprise might also act synergistically to legally incorporate a LEDA in one or more states or nations. Thus, both profit and/or non-profit organizations might combine their strengths to undertake together macroprojects on the moon. There is ample precedent for this among world corporations and foundations seeking to protect the global commons.
Scenario 4.) Although any of these solutions would precipitate desired action toward near-term lunar development, we would prefer the strategy whereby spacefaring nations work through the United Nations to found a space Metanation under the Trusteeship Council for New Territories. Then under the latter auspices a LEDA might be constituted by the 21st Century to the advantage of all humanity using our “interplanetary commons.”
The 2025 Report: A Concise History of the Future, 1975-2025.
Author:Norman Macrae, NY: Macmillan, Dec 1984/255p. A global scenario to 2025.
A scenario of global society in the year 2025. The world is upbeat and well off as a result of high technology - telecommunications, biotechnology and genetic engineering - that solves the problems of global communications, food and energy shortages, and human health. The political systems of the 20th century have withered away and are replaced by a decentralized, community‑based democracy. Economic interaction is the primary governing force ‑ health maintenance organizations are paid to keep people healthy, competitive crime prevention corporations are paid on the basis of their performance in keeping convicted criminals from committing further offenses, and international taxation keeps the rich from fleeing to tax havens.
Worlds Apart: Technology and North-South Relations in the Global Economy. Sam Cole and Ian Miles, Brighton UK: Harvester Press/Wheatsheaf Books and Totown NJ: Rowman & Allanheld, Oct. 1984/283p. Three global scenarios to 2000.
Cole and Miles in their study of North-South relations in the global economy, included three scenarios of the world in the year 2000.
Scenario 1.) Liberal Economic Order: a few hundred multinational corporations will dominate most major sectors of the world’s economy, while individual nation states have lost control of transnational corporations.
Scenario 2.) Reformed Economic Order: a significant transfer of economic power to the Third World occurs. The result is rapid industrial growth in the Third World and changing patterns of consumption in developed countries.
Scenario 3.) Collective Self‑Reliance: a number of developing nations decide to work together and throw off the existing structure of economic and international relations, resulting in greater self‑reliance.
Art of the Longview.
Author:Peter Schwartz, president, Global Business Network. Doubleday Publications 1991. Three global scenarios to 2005.
Peter Schwartz describes the scenario planning technique and it’s value to organizational or personal planning. The author describes three scenarios of the world in the year 2005. Trends that drive the scenarios are: shuffling political alignments since the end of the Cold War; technology explosion; global pragmatism - that is, “whatever works” transcends old attitudes about left verses right, or capitalism verses socialism; demographics - aging and immigration; energy; environment.
Scenario 1.) New Empires: “in this world, most nations decide to protect their threatened cultural identities and to take control of the pace of change by regionalizing their interests. The tensions between isolationism and the global economy create ‘fateful alliances’: multinational power blocs. These are “New Empires” because they take on the qualities of empires. Federated and all-powerful, bureaucratic but decentralized, these superpower-style blocs of countries and corporations grow to dominate the world.”
Scenario 2.) Market World: “In this scenario, the markets won. This world is entrepreneurial, multicultural, full of hope and harshness. It’s as purely capitalistic as an open market, but it’s a smart form of capitalism. The major international institutions are not government alliances, but associations: international rule making, standard-setting, conflict resolution and system management groups that collectively form an informal “global commons.” Economic intelligence is the organizing principle.”
Scenario 3.) Change Without Progress: “The dark side of Market World. This is a future of chaos and crisis, in which people see themselves as the Lone Ranger, fighting the system, and the system falls apart. It’s a future similar to the world of the movie Blade Runner. Here is a world with fast-paced economic activity, but in which ruthless self-interest and corruption run rampant. Social conflict, a widening gap between those who have made it and those who are permanently locked out, and environmental decay are all commonplace. Economic volatility and a disdain for the welfare of average people color public policy and corporate practice.”
Encyclopedia of the Future.
Edited by George Thomas Kurian and Graham T.T. Molitor. Macmillan Publishing, 1996. World scenario from 1995 to the Gigafuture: after AD 1 billion. Useful to scenario work.
The Encyclopedia of the Future is devoted to articles about the future, spanning a very comprehensive list of subjects. At the end of the Encyclopedia, a Chronology of Futurism and the Future deals with the past and present of futurism by categorizing entries in chronology from 47,000 B.C. - AD 1995. (Futurism is a term that covers the study and practice of the future, also termed futurology, futuristics, or futures studies.) Part two contains a chronology of dates and events beginning in 1996 to AD 1 billion. This chronology is a future history, covering a broad span of events in the economic, ecological, environmental, political, and technological spheres from 1996 to AD 1 billion. For instance, in 2015, “Small termitelike robots with nanomachine components lay fiber-optics cables connecting every house and office on Earth, linking everyone together into a vast planetary network for sharing information and doing advanced processing.” Another entry for 2020: “The worlds 10 largest cities are: Mexico City 33 million, Sao Paulo 31 million, Bombay 24 million, Calcutta 23 million, Tokyo/Yokohama 22 million, Teheran 21 million, Delhi 21 million, Jakarta 19 million, Dacca 19 million, Karachi 18 million.” In the gigafuture, after AD 1 billion, there takes place the emergence of a “Seventh or Final Level of Evolution: cosmic mind.”
Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s.
Author:Herman Kahn, NY: Simon and Schuster, July 1984/250p. Five outbreak scenarios of nuclear war.
In this classic book, Herman Kahn “burst upon the national scene when he said we had to think seriously about nuclear war and its consequences.” It was he, in a sense, who popularized the national nuclear debate. Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s includes five categories of “not implausible” outbreak scenarios provided by order of increasing probability of occurrence:
Scenario 1.) Surprise Nuclear Attack, deliberate or inadvertent;
Scenario 2.) Early Eruption to nuclear war from an intense crisis, such as an East European crisis, a Persian Gulf disaster, Sino-Soviet war (or crisis), an East Asian crisis, or Soviet Nuclear strike;
Scenario 3.) “Classic” U.S. Type II Deterrence: in which the US makes a first strike to defend Western Europe;
Scenario 4.) A “Protracted Crisis” that does not get settled but eventually escalates to central nuclear war because of an inadvertent crisis, an erosion of the capabilities of military forces on alert, or escalation to nuclear war from a protracted crisis;
Scenario 5.) “Mobilization War” following a crisis or other triggering event, a U.S. mobilization is touched off. Mobilization escalating to full blown nuclear war is examined in one year, two years, three years, and four year intervals.
An International Planning Dialogue to Help Shape the New Global System.
Author:William E. Halal Futures Jan-Feb. 1993 v25 n1 p5-17. An advanced approach to examining the global problematic. A ‘central scenario’ of the world to the 21st century.
World 2000 is a project of the World Future Society that is intended to define the emerging global system and to help shape its information. It accomplishes these goals by attempting to synthesize a number of overviews and insights from many individuals and organizations, and to present them as a ‘collaborative planning dialogue’ that brings together the rich diversity of views to form a global consensus on how the world may realize a commonly shared vision of the future. Key trends are used to create a composite scenario in which the “ Earth appears to be moving along a fairly well prescribed path of development, which is also seen as akin to a ‘natural process’ of maturation.” This “central scenario” is taken as a standard future from which other scenarios are defined. The most critical issues cover geopolitics, economics, environmental limits, complexity, and North/South disparities. These critical issues, including disparities, “are exacerbated by one of the most pervasive problems of our time – a collapse of faith in the familiar old world system which guided humans through the past epoch with good success. So the key ‘meta-issue’ is that of how to respond to the breakdown of the old order, lack of leadership and other social malfunctions. An explicit case is made for a new paradigm, model, story, or belief system that must somehow be formed to allow people to make sense of today’s radically different global realities.”
Building a Win-Win World: Life Beyond Global Economic Warfare.
Author:Hazel Henderson, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, c1996/398p. Useful to scenario work.
Surveys progress towards sustainable forms of development at seven levels: individual, local, governmental, corporate, national, international, and global. Rise of cultural anthropological approaches to studying economies as “sets of rules” derived from the various “cultural DNA codes” of each country. Illustrates how cooperation is balancing competition, and that “rule-making” is as fundamental as “market making” behavior. Shows how economies focused on “win-lose” market competition while game theorists embraced “win-win” cooperative strategies, collective rules, standards now needed to address global problems.
Some chapters from this remarkable book: Chapter 9: “Information: The World’s Real Currency Isn’t Scarce,” describes how money became mistaken for wealth and was cartelized in the global casino, and how the new, pure information currencies (which have always been the world’s real currency) are now emerging at the global and local levels. Chapter 10, “Redefining Wealth and Progress: The New Indicators,” takes a look behind the statistical veils of economics. It describes how old indicators of economic growth—for example, the gross national product (GNP) – are being overhauled, and how new indicators of quality of life are slowly replacing economic indicators as new scorecards of human development. Chapter 11, “Perfecting Democracy’s Tools” describes the importance of the spread of democracies around the world and the urgent need to perfect this still imperfect system of collective decision making and governance, including social and technological innovations waiting in the wings. Chapter 12, “New Markets and New Commons: The Cooperative Advantage”: compares and contrasts the strategies of cooperation and competition, of markets and rules/agreements, of public, private, and civil sectors , and how they can all be rebalanced to build a win-win future. Chapter 13, “ Agreeing on Rules and Social Innovations for Our Common Future” reviews efforts during the 1990s to forge new international agreements and institutions to create a social architecture suitable for a truly human 21st century.
A Utopian World.
Author:Morton A. Kaplan. Article from The World of 2044 - Technological Development and the Future of Society edited by Charles Sheffield, Marceto Alonso, and Morton A. Kaplan. Paragon House St. Paul, Minnesota. A world scenario to 2044.
“The world of 2044 turned out to be the utopia that cynics thought was an impossible dream.” In this scenario, medical advances had extended life expectancy to 150 years. Gene therapy had eliminated hereditary diseases. Fetuses were carried to term in artificial wombs, which played tapes of the parent’s physical and emotional patterns. Brain and cognition research could detect failures during post-partum development of the brain circuits responsible for empathy and ethical behavior. These defects could be corrected before the child reached the age of two, with drugs and social responsiveness that helped the child contribute to its own emotional and ethical maturation. Chemicals were available to aid memory and to facilitate learning. Computer games enhance learning. This is a world where children learn philosophical wisdom through expanded and realistic role playing. Government in 2044 is far different. A few problems such as trade or postal exchanges that involve the entire planet required world governments. This supra-governmental unit also had primary responsibility for monitoring and ensuring human and political rights in the smaller units of government.
A Condensed Version of the Next Century.
Author:Jeannie Peterson, Ambio, 13:3, 1984, 202-205. Scenario of the world environment in the 21st century.
Collection of essays discussing the need to avoid environmental decline. These essays point out the consequences of the continuation of current trends. These trends are described very vividly and include: population growth leading to a doubling of population within the next century and a growing number of elderly, increasing global warming, uneven food distribution, scarcity of water, mass extinction of plants and animals, increasing environmental damage. This scenario advocates changes in attitude towards environmental issues and different technological choices and energy alternatives.
The Third Millennium. A History of the World: AD 2000-3000.
Author:Brian Stableford and David Langford. NY: Knoft, Sept. 1985/224p. A world scenario to 3000.
Two British science fiction writers offer an illustrated history of the future looking back from AD 3000, organized into four time periods - all scenarios. This is an all encompassing book about the history of the world from the year 2000-3000. The authors pose as future historians writing in the year 3000, looking back on the past century. It is a future history in scenario form, replete with photographs and illustrations. The book is divided into four eras. The authors describe the driving forces and dramatic shifts that change the world within each of the four eras. The first era describes a world of War and Peace between 2000-2180; the second era is a world of recovery between 2180-2400, in which there is a functional global economy, control of population, and exploitation of space; the third era is a transformational world between 2400-2650 in which man makes a major leap into space and artificial worlds, and finally, to the creation of a new world between 2650-3000 in which man can prolong a lifetime into seven generations. Interestingly, the authors projected that the world would still be dominated by a bi-polar force, dominated by the Soviet Union and the US in the year 2000, but that the first quarter of the 21st Century would see the end of the arms race between the two superpowers, and ultimately, peace between east and west.
Forced Options: Social Decisions for the 21st Century. (Second Edition).
Author:Roger Lincoln Shinn, The Pilgrim Press, NY, Oct. 1985/283p. Four global scenarios to 2015.
Four scenarios illustrate our “forced options,” meaning, decisions that allow no escape and efforts to avoid them, are themselves decisions.
Scenario 1.) Technotopia: after the world’s near breakdown, the collaboration of the US, Soviet Union, and China imposes a world dictatorship without elimination of the traditional structures of nations, dismantling national armies, stabilizing population at 10 billion people, moderating the economic disparities between rich and poor regions, and using super technology to solve any problems.
Scenario 2.) After the Nuclear Holocaust: after a nuclear war in 2015, Europe and the Americas become desolate regions. With low technology and resources, people who survived, mainly on the continent of Africa, become self- sufficient, live in a small society, and go back to the agrarian life, sharing wealth and poverty.
Scenario 3.) The Age of Plutonium: in spite of debate over the use of nuclear energy, energy shortage forced the world to go all-out for the nuclear option, with energy produced by some 3000 nuclear parks. Although there is a world wide system in terms of safety, transportation and waste disposal, the fear that the system will become unmanageable is increasing. The new technology has not been able to solve these problems.
Scenario 4.) After the Refrev: a combination of reformation and revolution modifies human values and aspirations on an amazing scale at the turn of the century; the human race has reached a peaceful world by large-scale social planning combined with radical decentralization. Different groups of people work together successfully and the world is organized in smaller and relatively self-sufficient units, with less international trade and travel. Energy shortage, renewable energy, moderate consumption, and recycling prevail. The past is considered as miserable, compared with the present.
The New World Disorder.
Author:Peter Schwartz, president Global Business Network. WIRED Special Edition 1.01 December 1995. Internet: http://www.gbn.org/Main/Disorder.html. A world scenario to 2015.
As the world enters the second decade of the 21st century, it is divided and in turmoil because of
ethnic conflict and the fragmentation of political structures. The European Union, which includes most of Eastern Europe and Russia, is the world’s dominant trading bloc in 2012. A second bloc includes most of East Asia, China, North America, and much of Latin America. But in 2013 the U.S. and Japan are expelled from the bloc because of continued political differences with China. A perpetual series of civil wars rage in Central America, but the rest of Latin America is strong economically, socially and politically. A third trading bloc is centered on the Indian Ocean, with its key members being India, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Overall, the region is doing well economically. Regional conflicts, however, occur around the globe as ethnic and religious groups fight each other.
1997 State of the Future: Implications for Actions Today. Millennium Project Scenarios
Authors: Ted Gordon, Jerome Glenn, Susan Jette, Peter Kennedy, Charles Thomas, Pat Maron, The Futures Group International. Three global scenarios to 2025.
The Millennium Project scenarios were originally structured through a series of meetings with The Futures Group International at Glastonbury, CT. See this appendix for a more complete version of the scenarios.
Scenario 1.) Cybertopia: The explosive growth of Internet accelerated globalization in all forms. Cyberspace became the medium of human activity, as the city had for the industrial transition. With individual access to world education and markets, individuals acted like holding companies investing their time into diverse activities, inventing their careers, and granting access to others as nations used to grant visas. Individuals easily switch loyalty from one company to another. Most people had a sense of what they wanted to do and what they had to do to achieve it. Developing countries made remarkable progress via tele-education, tele-medicine, tele-business partners, and tele-citizens in richer areas that assisted their poorer homelands. The division between people is not as much by north-south, but by those who act globally though technology and those who don't. Unfortunately, unemployment- particularly in the cities- is still a problem. The knowledge economy has left some people behind; most of these people are poor. Entitlements seem an archaic concept and the safety nets, such as they are, are thin almost everywhere.
Scenario 2.) The Aftermath: While there was still some uncertainty as to the exact cause, most analysts believed that, the fiscal crisis of 1999 was triggered by the siphoning of capital from the international financial flow of funds, deliberately and systematically over a period of ten years. The criminals/terrorists that caused the debacle used the scorched earth policy and destroyed the international databases that could have been used to reconstruct the history of their activities. With that base gone, markets tumbled, trust evaporated, banks failed, fortunes on paper evaporated, the credit industry collapsed, bankruptcies proliferated, and the world endured the deepest and longest depression on record. As we look at the scene today, we see signs of revival. Growth is sporadic. It is the risk takers and the wealthy- people, as well as corporations and nations- that best survived. Working together- that’s the slogan. Rules of trading, standards of computer and network security, accounting principles, police oversight, and settlement rules- all of these have become the subjects of international standards. Criminal behavior is harshly dealt with.
Scenario 3.) Jobs are the problem: population growth has outpaced the rate of job creation almost everywhere over the past decade. Most technology doesn’t help. In general, technology improves productivity- more output per hour worked- but with jobs scarce most countries need a magic technology that increases output but also increases the number of jobs. This is a mean world because the economic pie has been discovered to be zero sum. Massive unfounded pensions create dangerous liabilities. As a result, protectionism abounds. People are tired and dis-spirited. Crime and corruption are increasing. Attempts to convince people they’re better off are greeted with appropriate cynicism world wide. Yet against this background rises the belief in belief. Faith in community, in religion, in the sanctity of the group. But it’s largely every group for itself, serving its self-focused interests.
The World in 2010: A Moral and Political Portrait.
Author:Michael Novak Vital Speeches of the Day, 51:17, 15 June 1985, 538-542. Three global scenarios to 2010.
From the perspective of 1985, three moral and political portraits of the world, whose shape will depend on its geopolitical shape in 2010, are sketched. These scenarios so not fully describe the demise of the Soviet Union, but the Best Hope scenario comes very close to matching the reality of events that occurred only several years later!
Scenario 1.) A Worst Fear: the universal submission to Pox Sovietica. The strategic balance shifts to the USSR . The Soviets have many client states and strong control over lands, air, and sea. Western Europe becomes neutralized. The U.S. becomes defensive. China enters into an unfavorable non-aggression pact with the USSR. The internal USSR becomes more repressive without constraints from Europe and the US, and the morale of its officers corps is very high, although its economy is still inefficient and stagnant. People in the world get used to a loss of liberty.
Scenario 2.) Best Hope: the great liberalization of the USSR. The USSR moves away from totalitarianism. Free speech in politics, in economics, in individual inventiveness and in culture, is improved with communications technologies. On the overall, this improves the world. A global communications network discards central Soviet government control. The triumph of liberal economics over Marxist economics is achieved as the former is more efficient and brings more human satisfaction.
Scenario 3.) A Reasoned Guess: the greatest expansion of Soviet power in the next five years. This attempt is made by inspiring and supporting local revolutionaries, destroying key people, and establishing puppet governments, which offer the market for Soviet arms. The moral confusion, intellectual bafflement, and the failure of public unity in the life of the U.S. are some of the driving factors. In this world, U.S. political elites are more responsible for the world’s destiny than the USSR “Strategic ideas have strategic consequences.”
Five Scenarios for the Year 2000.
Author:Franco Ferrarotti, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT. Aug. 1986/136p. Five global scenarios to 2000.
In this book, the future of society is hypothesized according to possible “landscapes” corresponding to historical decisions. These scenarios are driven by the following key trends: the crisis of the individual; bureaucracy flourishing; technology spinning out of control; ideologies failing; and the stagnation of society.
Scenario 1.) The Anthill Society: characterized by urbanization, overcrowding, widespread criminality, and a loss of meaning. Emergencies in underdeveloped countries are routine, with increasingly strained US granaries called to the rescue.
Scenario 2.) Polycentric Society: characterized by the death of the great industrial city and decentralizing to a globally conceived social structure of flexibility and freedom.
Scenario 3.) Differentiated Gigantism: in which a technology‑driven global tele‑village emerges, and leads to a high degree of automation, robotization, and information overload.
Scenario 4.) The Corporate Society: characterized as a dichotomous society in the shape of a flattened pyramid, in which a narrow summit prevails over a broad base. New technologically sophisticated elites are at the summit while overpopulation overwhelms those at the bottom (Malthus’ revenge).
Scenario 5.) Multivalent, Multidimensional Society: this society is decentralized and integrated, and, thanks to technology, homogeneous and communitarian, yet non-conformist. A new oral and group‑centered culture emerges alongside technological development.
One World, Many Worlds - Struggles for a Just World Peace.
Author: R.B. J. Walker. Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, Colo. 1988. Zed Books Limited. London, England. Three global scenarios to the 21st century.
Three emerging future scenarios are posited.
Scenario 1.) No World: global catastrophe from a general nuclear war or a general collapse of civilization. This comes about because of fundamental social forces that have ecologically destructive practices, or through the encouragement of militarization and institutionalized violence. It can be an authoritarian regime. The world is insecure for all people. This is an obliteration of a human life itself or a life as human on the earth.
Scenario 2.) Two Worlds: solution of present world problems for only a limited number of people. The established international order can be interpreted as inequity or just another kind of violence. Economic and technological miracles are only for the people who can participate at a certain level of world society. There is a huge gap between the haves and have-nots, with the complete disappearance of a middle class. Management of environment is limited for profitability and human rights are assured within narrow terms. Weaker people become invisible or ignored and this is worse than a slave who is at least needed by a master.
Scenario 3.) One World, Many Worlds: accommodating both unity and diversity
A Short History of the Future.
Author: W. Warren Wagar, Afterword by Immanuel Wallerstein. U of Chicago Press, Chicago Ill., Nov. 1989/323p. A world history of the future to 2200.
A memoir of post-modern times in the form of a history book written in 2200 by Peter Jensen as a gift to his granddaughter. “The book is divided into three time periods reflecting three different world regimes: a megacorporate global economy reigning until the “nuclear catastrophe of 2044,” the subsequent socialist world commonwealth of the World Party, and a decentralized order of autonomous societies from the 2150s on.” Future Survey Annual 1994 Of note is the chapter The Great Housecleaning that describes the Planetary Restoration Authority (PRA), created by Congress in 2073. The PRA is in charge of reclaiming the biosphere by setting in place a phased worldwide ban on fossil fuels, total reforestation, and the recovery of shores and lowlands. “A favorable report on the progress of the PRA by a panel of independent scientists was made public in 15 September 2099. It found the earth clean, green, and safe at last. Forests, oceans, and lakes were in excellent health. Congress commemorated the occasion by declaring 15 September a world holiday, popularly known as earth Festival Day, which we have celebrated ever since.”
The Great Turning: Personal Peace, Global Victory.
Authors: Craig Schindler and Gary Lapid Bear & Company Publishing, Santa Fe., NM, May 1989/258p. A world scenario to 2025.
In this profound book about personal peace and the shift to a better world, Schindler and Lapid describe a scenario looking back from the year 2025. Trends and events driving the scenario are: an evolutionary shift in human thinking takes root; dialogue results in national reconciliation of conflicting views; interactive TV enables national electronic “town meetings”; economic development of underdeveloped nations becomes a key focus. In the scenario, conflict between individuals, communities and nations is swept away as the new ethic of respect for life and creative conflict resolution develops during the first quarter of the 21st century. Destruction of the environment is also halted and restoration efforts blossom as a new respect for the natural world develops.
Alternative World Scenarios for Strategic Planning.
Author: Charles W. Taylor (Strategic Futurist, SSI). Carlisle Barracks PA: U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, Sept 1988/105p. World scenarios addressing two time periods – the years 2005 and 2025.
Taylor sketches four alternative world scenarios for strategic military planning. These scenarios were projected within a unique “cone of plausibility” aptly illustrated in the book. Trends driving the scenarios include: new international political order; rapid global population growth; increasing interdependence of nations; rapid scientific and technological change; proliferation of conventional and nuclear weapons; and unification of U.S. military forces into a smaller, elite, high‑tech force.
Scenario 1.) U.S. Isolationism: economic problems and a national focus on American social and environmental spending results in falling defense budgets early in the 21st century. At the same time, rising nationalism around the world reduces U.S. influence abroad. By 2020 most military bases abroad and many within the U.S. have been closed and the U.S. has adopted an isolationists approach to foreign affairs.
Scenario 2.) U.S. World Peacekeeper: a dynamic, fiercely competitive international economy results in significant external threats to U.S. interests. A strengthened U.S. military protects the peace and U.S. investments abroad. Russia, at the center of a new confederation, is again a threat.
Scenario 3.) Neo-nationalism: the rise of nationalism worldwide eliminates the U.S. political, economic and military presence abroad. External threats result in a smaller but well supported, high‑tech U.S. military at home.
Scenario 4.) Multipolar World: external threats to the U.S. are more economic than military. A resurgent Russian‑centered confederation is again a significant military threat. Reduced defense budgets have resulted in a smaller American military.
Global Outlook 2000: An Economic, Social, and Environmental Perspective.
The United Nations Publications. May 1990/ 340p. World scenarios to 2000.
This is a study undertaken for the UN General Assembly, drawing on research and projections prepared by many parts of the UN system and providing alternative scenarios of economic growth. Key trends driving the baseline scenario include: the risk of environmental deterioration increases; there is a geographic concentration of energy supply; food self‑sufficiency stabilizes; widening R&D and technology gaps threaten North‑South trade; high population growth in some developing countries. In the baseline scenario, economic performance throughout the 1990s changes little from the previous decade. The share of investment in GDP (an indicator of the formation of physical capital) is stable. Capital efficiency (a key for achieving sustainable economic growth) improves slightly. World GDP goes up from 1.6% to 1.8% annually, but the rich poor‑gap worsens slightly. World trade expands 4.5% annually. By 2000, the balance of trade for developed countries improve about 0.5% while developing countries have a 2% deficit (as % of GDP). Alternative scenarios to the baseline scenario explore the effects of four groups of potential policy changes: 1. Accelerated structural change in developed market economies raise annual GDP growth by one‑half percent. 2. Improved coordination of macroeconomic policies among major developed market economies lowers real interest rates and boosts growth in the world economy. 3. Political and economic reforms in former Soviet bloc lead to 4 to 5% growth in this region. 4. Developing countries implement a large agenda for economic improvement.
History of the Future: A Chronology.
Authors: Peter Lorie and Sidd Murphy, Doubleday Publishing, Clark, NY. 1989/224p. A world scenario to 3000.
This book provides very illustrative chapters divided by centuries. The scenarios themselves are high-tech, and are on the leading edge or “fringe” of science and philosophy. Scenario 2000 - 2100 is a world that is radically transformed during the 21st century. In this world, artificial intelligence becomes a reality; science and religion become allies when old religious beliefs fall into disfavor; government shifts from democracy (one person, one vote) to meritocracy ( those with talent govern). This means that political leaders are selected based on eligibility examinations or academic qualifications. By 2100, there is greater harmony between our bodies and the environment, which enables us to better understand the causes of disease.
Future Mind: Artificial Intelligence.
Author: Jerome Glenn. Acropolis Books, Ltd. Washington, DC. 1989/307p. Three global scenarios to the 21st century.
Glenn writes about merging of the mystical and the technological into the 21st century. Concludes with three global scenarios.
1) High Tech-Low Mystic: an advanced technological society rejects the mystical aspects of human nature. Instead of being future shocked by technological change, people accept technological dominance of their lives.
2) Mystical Abuse—Technological Introversion: insecurity about technology leads to its rejection. People embrace old metaphysical views cloaked in the religious and occult authority. New Age optimism becomes mainstream, but slowing progress in science and engineering halts global economic growth and sets the stage for a decline of the human species.
3.) Oil and Water Truce: mystics and technocrats tolerate each other, but have not yet integrated their views. Plans for the serious development of space gets underway, including the creation of "aliens" via genetic engineering, bionics, and artificial intelligence to experiment with extraterrestrial communications.
The Road to 2015: Profiles of the Future.
Author: John L. Peterson, Corte Madera CA: Waite Group Press. Sept 1994/372p. Publishers Group West, Emeryville CA. Three global scenarios to 2015.
The seeds of three different worlds suggested by Global Business Network are introduced to elicit an idea of where specific “crosscuts” and “wild cards” (evolutionary events) might guide us into the future. Lots of leading edge ideas are included.
Scenario 1.) Market World: with amazing new technology and cooperation, the whole world becomes most desirable in terms of business, economics, politics, and society. After the Cold War, nations begin to solve their biggest problems in a positive way, leading to growth, development and innovation. Some of the topics in this scenario include - fuel cells that keep the air clean; a hydrogen economy evolves.
Scenario 2.) New Empires: somewhat closed societies where protectionism or regionalism prevails, with the possibility of a largely free-trade mode and more severe competition. Some of the topics include major fights over genetic information; the end of the Nation-state.
Scenario 3.) Global Incoherence: with the realization of all fears, it is a world of disaster. Even the technology gets out of hand. There is less hope and incentive for the better future and a lack of leadership. Increasing role of weapons for terrorism. See also “Art of the Longview” by Peter Schwartz.
The State of the World’s Children 1995.
Author: James P. Grant. Published for UNICEF. NY: Oxford U Press, March 1995/89p. Two world scenarios to 2050.
The World Summit for Children in 1990 set goals and strategies to enhance and protect the lives of children worldwide. Since this summit, more than 100 developing nations have made significant strides to that end. In this report on the state of the world’s children, UNICEF outlined two scenarios of the future of children to the year 2050. These scenarios are driven by the following global trends: international cooperation on children’s issues grows; malnutrition reduced; immunization levels maintained; and increasing economic exclusion and increasing social disintegration in some developing countries.
Scenario 1.) No new international effort to overcome poverty and underdevelopment. World population nears 12 billion. Environmental deterioration worsens. Economic marginalization continues and the rich‑poor gap widens. Traditional community structures and values break down. Increasing civil and international conflict.
Scenario 2.) A new international effort overcomes the worst of poverty and underdevelopment. Government expenditures and aid programs restructured to invest in jobs and basic social services. Population peaks at 8 billion. Environmental sustainability is adopted. Arms sales restricted. Economic inequalities lessen. States have drawn back from the brink of collapse.
Utopia Lost: The United Nations and World Order.
Author: Rosemary Righter. A Twentieth Century Fund Book. NY: TCF Press. Jan 1995/420p. World scenarios to 21st century.
After unsuccessful attempts at reform, the power and effectiveness of the UN has come into serious question. Strategies for strengthening the UN has become important to the success of the UN, particularly in an age of multilateralism where new forms of multilateral cooperation have been more successful than many UN organizations. Four possible options for the future of the UN are sketched.
Scenario 1.) Opting Out: major powers withdraw from the United Nations, resulting in smaller nations developing a new system of multilateral cooperation.
Scenario 2.) Structural Reform: the entire structure of the United Nations is reformed, resulting in more effective operation of the organization.
Scenario 3.) Facade Management: expectations of the United Nations are scaled down and the organization continues to muddle along.
Scenario 4.) Selective Action: a pragmatic approach that focuses on building upon the United Nations’ areas of strength and excellence makes the organization more effective in a limited number of areas.
Millennium - Toward Tomorow’s Society.
Author: Francis Kinsman. Wiley, NY. 1990. World scenarios to 2020.
In this book, Kinsman discusses key trends and the future of society, concluding with three scenarios.
Scenario 1.) Retrenchment Scenario: a world where a severe recession leads to the collapse of developed countries’ economies and there is a slump in commodity prices. A massive international crash results from the incapacity of the third world countries to pay their debts.
Scenario 2.) The Assertive Materialism: pictures a short economic crisis followed by a prolonged period of fairly rapid economic growth as it is generally believed that technology and science have brought forward important answers.
Scenario 3.) The Caring Autonomy: a substantial world with decentralized governments and interpersonal relationships.
The Next Two Hundred Years: A Scenario for America and the World.
Authors: Herman Kahn, William Brown, and Leon Martel, with the assistance of the staff of the Hudson Institute. Morrow, New York, 1976/241p. World scenario to 21st century.
In this classic work, the authors propose various world scenarios of the future. Some of the scenarios outlined in this book include:
Scenario 1.) The Optimistic Scenario: depicts a prosperous and plentiful world even though it has a high population. On the overall, the population is wealthy and controls nature. The world has reached this state through the use of existing living space and the Earth’s resources. Population has reached a stable number (7.5 to 30 billion people) at around 2180 and living standards have increased. The per capita product is $7000 to $6000, the Gross World Product is between $60 trillion and $1,500 trillion. There are two alternatives to this future: An earth centered world where there is little extraterrestrial activity, and a “Spacebound” world where colonies are established in space and humans mine the planets of the solar system.
Scenario 2.) Convinced Neo-Malthusian scenario: is a downside scenario in which the population has reached such a large number that it can no longer be fed. No successful decisions are made about the problems of the world. There have been no new discoveries, and technology and labor are counterproductive. The development of industry is decreasing and the quality of life ruined. It is a very sad long term future.
Scenario 3.) Guarded Pessimistic Scenario: in this scenario, the population and economy have grown exponentially. The poverty gap between rich and poor nations is threatening, especially since there has been no successful decision making about world problems. There are no innovations in this scenario, with diminishing returns in technology and labor; development of industry has gone a step backwards and there are several threats to quality of life as well as possibilities of environmental disasters.
Scenario 4.) Guarded Optimistic Scenario: there has been a gradual increase of available resources (in sufficient number for every one), the transition of population and economic growth have reached a stable level. The standard of living of both developed and developing countries has increased and world decision making has been pretty successful. Technology and capital are playing a greater and greater role in leading to progress. Innovations and discoveries are usually effective; the industrial development is continuous and quality of life increases but the transition toward a prosperous post-industrial economy, although successful, is painful.
Scenario 5.) Technology and Growth Enthusiastic Scenario: the increase in available resources is rapid, solutions are found to solve resource problems. There is continuing growth; world decisionmaking is effective, technology and capital are solving almost all the contemporary problems, discoveries are numerous and industrial development is in continuity. The quality of life is good except for a few discounted people.
How to Build Scenarios.
Author: Lawrence Wilkerson Global Business Network. Scenarios: Special WIRED Edition. December, 1995. Four global scenarios to 2020.
Excellent primer on conceptualizing and creating strong scenarios. Defines and describes driving forces, scenario logics, axes of uncertainty, fleshing out scenarios, and examining implications of each. Example set of scenaros presented, with time frame to 2020. Critical uncertainties: individuality vs. community, stability vs. fragmentation.
Scenario 1.) I Will‑ individualism with marginal control by large organizations. “ The world fragments into a working pandemonium of individuals, organized by jobs rather than geography. Communication is pervasive and focuses on personal empowerment. The Net becomes the chief exchange medium for decentralized work, personal gratification, and global commerce. Physical infrastructure in North America stagnates, while personal spaces thrive. Art and attention are turned inward, as personal expression in the new media, and old public spaces crumble. Technology is the global culture. The have-nots become the have-lates. Ethnic or group differences give way to a homogenized patchwork of unbridled individual variety. Europe is racked with civil strife as its socialistic civilization unravels. Russia rebounds, Japan lags. China and the developing countries become huge flea markets where just about anything goes.”
Scenario 2.) Consumerland‑ individual desires meet corporate center. “The world is populated by consumers rather than citizens. Technology breeds unlimited customized choices. The consumer is served by highly evolved companies, aggressively nimble and conscientious of the market’s whims. Computers do increasing amounts of white-collar work. Manufactured products are heavily personalized, but do-it-yourself dies. Real leisure increases; dissent withers. Politics means electronic voting. Governments are virtual organizations, with their heavy lifting privatized to commercial ventures. The have-nots are given spending vouchers. Southeast Asia and the coast of China manufacture most of Consumerland’s goods, and consume almost half themselves. Latin America is their branch office. Japan gets richer and unhappier. Russia exports trouble in the form of neo-religious cultists and mafioso. The US and Europe become large theme parks.
Scenario 3.) Ecotopia‑ communalism with a strong social center. The world slows the growth of development. In reaction to earlier decades of high crime and chaos, communitarian values triumph over strictly individualistic ones. Slimmed down and digitized governments win the trust of people. Directed taxation funds public works, some of them large scale. Corporations adopt civic-responsibility programs out of long-term economic self-interest. Technology, such as online shopping, makes urban living very resource-friendly. Net access is a subsidized right. Dirty technologies are outlawed, forcing less developed countries to leapfrog to clean and light technologies, if they can. Initially, this widens the gap between rich and poor nations. Europe erupts into a second renaissance, becoming a moral beacon. Japan mobilizes not much later. The Islamic world awakens. Asia and Latin America become lifeboats for the young and restless of the developed world who find the environmentalism and communitarianism too dogmatic; they settle in “free economic zones,” where their migration and energy help to vitalize growth. North America stumbles as its cowboy individualism is tamed.”
Scenario 4.) New civics‑ values shared, but by many small competing groups. “ The world settles into small, powerful city-states. Rural areas of the world are second-class, but have widespread virtual hookups. Europe fractionalizes into 57 countries; China, Russia, Brazil, and India also devolve into black market ethnic states. Gangs in developing countries and old inner cities transform into political law-and-order machines. Citizens use networks and databases to watch over and protect each other. Average life spans increase dramatically; general health improves. Civic pride blossoms. Governments use advance technologies to create the largest public works yet, both citywide and global. Corporations are reigned in by civic regulations, although they increase in size - there’s the Fortune Global 5000. Conglomerates fund most of the UN-type activities.
The Future of Cultures.
Coordinated by Eleonora Masini (Gregorian U, Rome). Paris: UNESCO Future-oriented Studies, Dec 1994/167p. Five global scenarios of the future of cultures.
The Futures of Cultures project is a synthesis of the thinking of some of the greatest authors in diverse fields. Some include: Sohail Inayatullah on Asian cultures, Kazuo Mizuta on the Japanese culture, and Godwin Sogolo on Africa. Masini sums up the thinking in five scenarios. 1) Pessimistic Scenario: “in which all cultures become bastardized, or reduced to a harmless ‘museam’ role.” 2) Continuity-in-Change or Dual-Track Scenario: “where core elements of the culture remains strong.” 3) The Resistance Scenario: “where the many cultures fend off the dominant one.” 4) The Gaia Scenario: “where all cultures recognize that no culture is complete in itself.” 5) The Jungle/Babel Scenario: “fostered by communications technologies and biotechnologies.” In the future, it will be common for people to live among different cultures. Future Survey Annual 1994
Global Scenarios: Geopolitical and Economic Context to the Year 2000.
Authors: Michel Godet, Pierre Chapay, and Gerard Comyn, Futures, 26:3, April, 1994, 275-288. World scenarios to 2000.
An excellent study of global trends and futures. The authors conclude with three world economy scenarios to 21st century.
Scenario 1.) Black and Gray Scenarios: recessionary setback, regional wars, failed European integration, protectionism, and GNP growth of less than 0.5% (black) or 1.5% (gray).
Scenario 2.) Blue Scenario: limited conflict, unequal development, regional protectionism, GNP growth of less than 0.5% or 1.5%.
Scenario 3.) Pink Scenario: multi-polar and interdependent world, economic convergence of East and West Europe, extended free trade, intensive globalization, GNP growth of more than 3%.
Looking Back From the 21st Century.
Author: Hazel Henderson . Presented to Taking Nature into Account International Conference, The European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, May 31, 1995. Scenario of the world in 2010.
“The worlds center of gravity” had shifted in many ways due to the communications-led shift toward democracies. This had fueled the emerging global governance process: ‘mediocracy,’ i.e. media-driven policies and decisions.” In this scenario, Henderson shows how it is possible for the United Nations and other viable international institutions to work together with nations to govern the global economy, or a win-win financial system, to maintain the goal of a sustainable development path. See section 3.4 for a more detailed description of this normative scenario.
2025:Scenarios of US and Global Society Reshaped by Science and Technology.
Author: Joseph Coates, John Mahaffie, and Andy Hines, (Akron, OH: Oakhill Press, 1997) 800/322-6657.
Looking backward from the year 2025, fifteen scenarios present an integrated picture of what life will be like in the U.S. and around the world, with the powerful shaping role of science and technology emphasized. The environmental chapter, for example, highlights growing global support for sustainability and its implications for resource use and business practices.Top of the Page