Saturday, December 13, 2008

Global Trends 2025: Final Thoughts

I will summarize the main points that I have covered from this report in this post, as well as feature an interesting glimpse of optimism.

"Relative Certainties"

- A global multipolar system is emerging with the rise of China, India, and others. The relative power of nonstate actors—businesses, tribes, religious organizations, and even criminal networks—also will increase.
- Continued economic growth—coupled with 1.2 billion more people by 2025— will put pressure on energy, food, andwater resources.


- Whether an energy transition away from oil and gas—supported by improved energy storage, biofuels, and clean coal—is completed during the 2025 time frame.
- Whether mercantilism stages a comeback and global markets recede.
- Whether Europe and Japan overcome economic and social challenges caused or compounded by demography.

Without a doubt, we live in very interesting times. If we can predict anything, it is that the future will be unpredictable. I'll finish up with a portion of text that exudes optimism. Will it come true? Only time will tell.

A Non-nuclear Korea?

We see a unified Korea as likely by 2025—if not as a unitary state, then in some form of North-South confederation. While diplomacy working to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program continues, the final disposition of the North’s nuclear infrastructure and capabilities at the time of reunification remain uncertain. A new, reunified Korea struggling with the large financial burden of reconstruction will, however, be more likely to find international acceptance and economic assistance by ensuring the denuclearization of the Peninsula, perhaps in a manner similar to what occurred in Ukraine post-1991. A loosely confederated Korea might complicate
denuclearization efforts. Other strategic consequences are likely to flow from Korean unification, including prospects for new levels of major power cooperation to manage new and enduring challenges, such as denuclearization, demilitarization, refugee flows, and financing reconstruction.

Other Global Trends Posts:
Global Trends 2025
Global Trends Update
Global Trends Update II
Globalization and the Crash of '08
Demographics of Discord
Timing is Everything
Winners and Losers in a Post-Petroleum World
Scarcity in the Midst of Plenty
Final Thoughts


Global Patriot said...

Great summary of future trends. Most disturbing is the mention of criminal networks rising in power. We haven't heard enough on this topic lately, but this trend is most disturbing and will be prevalent in the developing world.

Chief said...

A recent example of this: piracy off the Somali coast. Failed states and other power voids will not only affect their own populaces and immediate neighbors, but the global community.