MEGATRENDS: The 6 'Gamechangers' That Will Impact The Planet For Decades


The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is out with its annual forecast of what the world will look like in 2050.

The report focuses on six “gamechanging” trends and events that will shape the world in the coming years.

Some we were mostly aware of — like threats to global economies from developed countries’ deficits. 

But many others — like the prospect of new technology and the potential for increased conflict — surprised us.

Read on to see what the world will look like.

Gamechanger 1: The Crisis-Prone Global Economy

CRISIS ECONOMY: The global share of financial assets becomes much more evenly distributed.

CRISIS ECONOMY: Commodity instability will hit China and India, who remain import dependent.

CRISIS ECONOMY: Durations of business cycles will become significantly shorter and less smooth.

Megatrend 2: The Governance Gap

GOVERNANCE GAP: Growing middle classes in developing countries will increase demand for rule of law and government accountability.

GOVERNANCE GAP: And growth in the number of free countries has stalled in the past decade.

GOVERNANCE GAP: Climate stress, which will exacerbate water scarcity, could actually cause some governments to collapse.

Gamechanger 3: Potential For Increased Conflict

CONFLICT: Tensions have increased as the international system has become more fragmented and existing norms of cooperation fall out of favour.

CONFLICT: Resource competition will intensify.

CONFLICT: Cyber attacks have increased.

Gamechanger 4: Wider Spread Of Regional Instability

REGIONAL INSTABILITY: The Middle East's youth population is getting younger, and unemployment is rising.

REGIONAL INSTABILITY: defence spending in Asia is increasing.

REGIONAL INSTABILITY: Latin America's growing middle class will clash with countries' inherent populism.

REGIONAL INSTABILITY: Using a new global power index, China will still surpass the US, but by 2040 instead of earlier.

Gamechanger 5: The Impact Of New Technologies

TECH: Three key technology areas will see wide inovation: information, the ability to store which is getting increasingly cheaper

TECH: Robotics and manufacturing, which is already affecting unit labour costs worldwide...

TECH: And resource technology, which will have to increase to compensate for declining crop yields.

Gamechanger 6: The Role Of The United States

AMERICA: For now, the U.S. continues to dominate the world in a number of areas.

AMERICA: And the U.S.'s share of the oil market is only going to increase.

AMERICA: But by 2050, China will enjoy greater purchasing power parity than the U.S.

AMERICA: Our demographic prosperity window is closing fast, while others' have just opened.

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