Section 2: Global Trends 2030
Strategic Foresight Initiative, Brent Scowcroft Center on
International Security, Atlantic Council
US National Intelligence Council
Colonel Chew Lock Pin,
Director, Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning (RAHS) Programme Office, National Security Coordination Secretariat, Office of the Prime Minister,
Republic of Singapore
Director, Institute of World Economics and International Relations,
Russian Academy of Sciences
Swissôtel, The Bosphorus
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Federal News Service
BANNING GARRETT: Welcome to this session on “Global Trends 2030.” I’m Banning Garrett, of the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative. And I’ve had the great privilege of working with Mat Burrows and the National Intelligence Council now for about six or seven years in helping to produce these “Global Trends” reports and to – especially to go around the world for meetings in somewhere about 20 countries, I think, over the last seven years – many of them several times – and to get views, global views, on global trends and game changers and scenarios which are worked into this report. So I’m very, very pleased to be here today as the moderator of this.
I’d just like to, before I go into introducing the panelists, make a couple comments off of – Dr. Brzezinski’s comments earlier, I thought, were quite appropriate for this session. He made a number of points. One of the points was that none of the major powers can any longer be a hegemon dominating the world but all of the major powers have great internal challenges and weaknesses that they face, and that globally we face common challenges that really require accommodation and, beyond that, cooperation. And I thought that was very to the point. And this session, I think, will get to those common challenges and the need to cooperate.
And I would just add one other point. I thought that Deputy Prime Minister Babacan’s comment was quite telling, that the United States in the past – if you recall, in 2005 Deputy Secretary of State Bob Zoellick called on China to be a responsible stakeholder. And I think that we heard today the deputy prime minister calling on the United States, among other major powers, to be a responsible stakeholder in how it handles its own economy, to not go over the fiscal cliff. Because there is a lot more at stake than just the American people’s economic fate. It’s the global fate of the global economy and how we handle our economy.
So I think this is a very interesting example of how the world has changed so dramatically – and in my view, very positively – where the – whatever term we want to use, emerging powers, re-emerging powers – the non-Western countries that have become far more powerful and successful economically. They have a message to the Western powers, to those who created the Bretton Woods systems, et cetera, that they too have to be responsible in how they handle their affairs and not just lecture to the developing world how it needs to be responsible stakeholders. We all have a huge stake in how the global economy is managed, how we deal with the long-term global trends we’ll talk about here today. So I think that it’s a very different world forward.
And I would just add my own personal comment, is that we are seeing the fruits of success of what the West said it wanted. And as the West has put hundreds of billions of dollars into development aid, assistance into foreign direct investment in developing countries – China, India, Brazil – saying that we want to see development. We want to see these – we don’t want poverty, for all kinds of reasons – strategic, humanitarian, economic. We’ve put a great deal of resources into development and now we’re seeing the fruits of that.
And sometimes it makes the West rather nervous to see a rising China, a rising India, Brazil. Suddenly, you have to deal with a new reality, that a – I wouldn’t just say it is so much the economic wealth has shifted to the East and the South, but more that the South and the East have risen economically and produced great wealth. And this changes the global geopolitical, geoeconomic situation, and to some degree it becomes uncomfortable for the West that it’s not – longer in same position of strength vis-à-vis the rest of the world.
But I think it’s also a sign of huge success of what we have wanted to see, was a reconvergence of the global economy to where the part of the world that had – has been in poverty or has stagnated for two centuries is now coming back to reconverge with the rest of the – or, the Western global economies. And this is a very – in my mind, a very positive development that presents real challenges for adjusting. We have to adjust to a world that is not going to be passive, but really wants to have a big say in how the world system works and how the – social justice, economic justice is achieved, et cetera.
So I’d – that’s just a – some initial comments here on why I think this session is especially interesting and important to look at these long-term trends and the challenges of us as a global community cooperating to deal with some of these major challenges that cannot be dealt with by any one country. And if we can’t cooperate, we’re going to have a very difficult future forward, climate change being an obvious example of that kind of challenge.
Well, with that, I’m very pleased to be able to moderate this session. I’d like to just briefly introduce our presenters here. First of all Mat Burrows, who will lead off with a presentation on “Global Trends 2030.” Mat, who I’ve had the great privilege of traveling around the world with now for six or seven years and on these global trends trips, he’s been – he was the author of “Global Trends 2020,” “Mapping the Global Future,” “Global Trends 2025,” and then “Global Governance 2025.” And now we’ve been working on 2030, and I think Mat probably wants to explain the sort of – how this – these reports fit in with the work of the National Intelligence Council. He’s been a counselor of the NIC, the National – we call it the NIC, the National Intelligence Council – now for – since 2007. He founded the Long-Range Analysis Unit. He served as a special assistant to Richard Holbrooke when he was U.N. ambassador, and as a deputy national security adviser to Treasury secretary Paul O’Neill.
And Mat received his Ph.D. from Cambridge in history. I think it’s not only historians that can write about the future, but I think historians are very well positioned – because we have an economist next to us, so I’ve got to be careful and not say it’s only historians. But I think having been trained as an historian gives Mat an especially good perch from which to look at the future.
So Aleksandr Dynkin is the director of IMEMO, Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and he’s been the chief author and coordinator of the IMEMO “Global Outlook: 2030.”
And I want to do an advertisement – oh, I forgot to do the advertisement for “Global Trends 2030.” I hope everybody picked up “Le Menu,” which is available in the back, if you didn’t get a copy of it. “Le Menu” for the “Global Trends 2030” report was – I’ll steal Mat’s thunder here. He was asked to give a briefing over lunch to Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister, I think back in February. And he didn’t want to do a PowerPoint over lunch, so he came up with “Le Menu,” where the starters are “Megatrends,” the main courses are the “Critical Game Changers” and the dessert is “Scenarios,” although I think Mat would be the first to say there’s only one of those desserts you want to – would want to order.
In any case, it’s a – it’s a wonderful cheat sheet for the “Global Trends” report. This is a copy of the draft “Global Trends” report that we took around the world. It’s been revised very much in part from our – what we’ve learned in our global conversation about global trends. And that report will be released on December 10th in Washington by the ODNI, and then we’ll have – the Atlantic Council is organizing a day-and-a-half conference about the “Global Trends 2030” report, and it will be a – the report will be issued in hard copy, on websites of both the NIC and the Atlantic Council, and be an e-book that you can download and treat as an e-book. So that’s the advertisement for “Global Trends 2030.”
And then we have “Global Outlook 2030,” which has one of the great covers of all time, the Magritte painting where he’s looking at an egg and painting a – is that a raven, or – what is it? What’s the kind of bird –
ALEKSANDR DYNKIN: It’s the egg and the bird.
MR. GARRETT: It’s egg and bird. OK. It’s a bird. But he sees it – he looks at an egg and he sees what comes out of an egg. So this is an extraordinary report done by IMEMO. I think there was – like a 100 people were involved in producing this. And we – well, we had the great privilege of twice being hosted by IMEMO for global trends meetings. I think 2009 – or ’10 – and then again this last September. And Aleksandr brought together an extraordinary group of Russian scholars, experts and officials for what – we had a day of really extraordinary discussion of the “Global Trends 2030” draft of the NIC, and then bringing to bear the – your own work on that.
So just to finish on the – Aleksandr is a professor of economics and academic secretary of the Division of Global Problems and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He’s well known for elaboration and implementation of long-term economic and social forecast methodology in Russia, which I think is probably pretty unique, that this is something you created. And it’s certainly a very welcome development.
And I will just add parenthetically here, as we went around the world starting in 2006, our global trends discussions around at various think tanks and with various groups in countries on all continents, we encouraged people to do their own global trends work and analysis. And we’ve tried to therefore share these outcomes and these assessments around the world, and we were very pleased to see that IMEMO has been doing this. And we learn from them and they, hopefully, can learn from us.
So Aleksandr is also the – established the School of Innovation Policy Studies, which is a very interesting title in itself, at IMEMO, and received his Ph.D. in economics from the Moscow Aviation Institute and IMEMO, I guess a joint program. And so he was a wonderful host to us, and we’re so pleased to have him here with us.
Colonel Chew Lock Pin is the director of Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Program – that title itself is pretty impressive – at the Office of National Security Coordination Secretariat of the Office of the Prime Minister of Singapore. And I would just add here, they were – he and his colleagues were very gracious hosts for us in September – or, October, excuse me – for terrific meetings in Singapore on “Global Trends 2030.” And his office is a sort of center of expertise in strategy anticipation. I like that title, strategy anticipation for national security, with the aim of enhancing policy practices across the Singapore government. And we’ll get Lock Pin to talk about how they built strategic futures assessments into the structure of the Singapore government.
He’s a naval officer who has previously – was the office director and head of the Command Post for the Future – Command Post of the Future at the Future Systems Directorate in the defense ministry. And he’s also held other interesting posts, such as division manager with the Defense Science and Technology Agency, and he was the commander of the RSS Sea Lion, one of the first missile-armed craft of the Singapore Navy. He studied computer and physical sciences at the Imperial College in London, and also engineering at the National University of Singapore.
So with that, Mat, would you give us a presentation of the “Global Trends” report?
MATHEW BURROWS: OK. Well, thank you, Banning, and thanks to the Atlantic Council for hosting this session and for inviting me to participate. I thought I would talk a little bit first about the project itself, a little bit about the process, why we do it, and then get into two themes in the report – one of them that we actually start the report with which I think is very important. It’s on this concept of individual empowerment. And then, secondly, talk a little bit about the role of the U.S. and particularly relating it to the – really, the energy theme of this conference, so talking a little bit about U.S. energy independence, which we actually see as happening over the next 15, 20 years.
So as Banning said, the U.S. National Intelligence Council undertakes this report, “Global Trends,” every four years. It’s done during a presidential year. It’s prepared for the president and his senior foreign policy members of the Cabinet, senior officials. It’s published after the U.S. presidential election. As Banning said, there’s a release in Washington on the 10th of December. If you go to the NIC website and, actually, if you just Google in “Global Trends 2030,” on that date, it’ll take you to the website, and there it’s – you’ll have the whole document, plus you can upload it to your iPad. We’re putting it on – in an e-book format as well this time.
It is done – (audio break) – academics, think tanks, scientists and so on. But we also go increasingly overseas during that process, and we were in both Singapore and Russia as part of that to get their comments and critiques on the initial draft.
Now, Banning has pointed to “Le Menu,” which – this gives you an idea, if you open it up – and there is no drinks menu. (Laughter.) Everybody asks if there’s an accompanying drinks menu to this. If you open it up, you do see the structure and the spread of global trends. And as you can see, it’s quite comprehensive. We cover a lot of different issues. And I know we don’t want to have a long presentation here – that’s why I was going to concentrate on just a couple of themes – but obviously, during the question-and- answer session we can go wherever you would like on this menu and talk about all the topics.
There is – besides trying to shoehorn it into kind of a menu format, there is actually some rationale behind this, and that is the work is divided into three. It does look at what we call megatrends, or – those are in the starter column here – those factors, those trends that we see happening under any scenario. The main courses are those which are still very important factors; these are the critical variables, but ones in which it’s much harder to figure out exactly the trajectory. And the third column is the spread of the different scenarios that we see.
So one of the – the title is “Alternative Futures.” One of the key themes in this work really is the wide spectrum of future worlds that we could be looking at, beginning where we are today. And this wide spectrum goes from actually a pretty bad scenario to what is – at least some people see also as a rather overly optimistic one, but we see nevertheless as within our reach.
Now, the first starter here is individual empowerment. And this is a different way of starting a study on future trends. We have in the past – and a lot of studies actually begin by looking at countries – which countries are on the rise, which countries are stagnating, which countries are declining, what’s happening to the international system. And we get into that in the second half. But underlying all of these other trends is what we think is the most important, this megatrend on individual empowerment.
So when we’re talking about individual empowerment, we’re thinking about four different underlying factors, and one of them is the rising middle class. So you have over the next 15, 20 years, even in a conservative estimate, you have a billion – some estimates are up to 2 billion – people joining the middle class. Now, this middle class is defined, and we’re using here actually a modeling, a program that we have worked with for some time. And as I said, this is conservative, so we’re looking at people ($)10 to $100 disposable income per day. Now, others have even – I think begin much more at the $5, and people barely getting out of poverty. But it’s the same trend line.
What is extraordinary about it is that it’s happening in all regions; it’s just not Asia. Certainly, the bulk of the new middle class is being formed in Asia, but all the other regions in the world, you’re seeing this. It is a dynamic, too, that is fueled just not by the increasing prosperity, but also by what you see in terms of education trends. You’re actually seeing gender gap closing on education – even in the Middle East, some areas where women’s education has traditionally lagged behind.
And the other factor here is on health, too, where you’re seeing actually that gap close between the sexes but also between regions. So during this period where Africa, in terms of health problems, it’s been about communicable disease, you’re actually switching over to the noncommunicables. So this is more like the Western world knows – the cancer, health (sic) disease – or, heart disease, and so on. Those are going to be the critical issues.
But the final one is a factor which we have not usually seen in earlier rises of middle class, and this is this technological factor. And it’s for me, anyways, drawn out particularly when we were on our Africa visit, where you’ve seen over the past five years really the mobile telephone or the smartphone revolution in Africa, so that you’re now – 70 percent population is connected. They’re connecting to the Internet that way. In many ways, this is to get around this, it was explained to us, inefficient governments. But it is having a huge impact in – first on the economic side, where you can do banking over – through your smartphone, but also where you’re connecting to the marketplace. And it’s a huge agent really, for change, but agent actually for this bigger concept of individual empowerment.
Now, when we have done these trips and talked about this concept, it has resonated with all the audiences. But when you start to talk – well, what does this really mean? This is when you have huge divergences. Because I think, in our telling of it, it’s more or less an optimistic story, because what we see over the long run is with growth of the middle class, with the individual empowerment, that actually you’re going to be moving towards one thing, a lot of the values that – traditionally anyways, Western values, these more rule-of-law; middle classes tend to want greater rule of law and more participation in the political process, more movement towards democracy.
But of course that’s – tends to be medium, long term. You can also, historically, look back at rise of middle classes. And there’s been a lot of detours into fascism, populism. The expectations are raised, they’re not always met. So you have – that’s a recipe for revolution, revolutionary change. We talk a little bit about, in ours, that in the shorter term this is going to reinforce religious, ethnic, national identities. So you can have these conflicts, particularly in countries where you have different ethnic, religious, national groups actually advancing at different speeds – enormous amount of tension building up because of this really increased prosperity and individual empowerment.
And then the other thing that I would say on individual empowerment is we’re also seeing – and we talk about this as another of the tectonic shifts – this individual empowerment meaning greater individual, small-group access to lethal and disruptive technologies. So again, when you’re thinking long term on insurgencies, on terrorism, on – you are actually – this concept of individual empowerment means you’re going to be facing much more lethal, much more destructive forces in terms of terrorism. We particularly – and this is in another section looking at bio and cyber and on precision, conventional – these trends really, also, are on the – I’d say the pessimistic, negative side of this ledger.
I would emphasize though, in closing on this concept, that overall, this for us is very optimistic. This is a trend line that is, in a historic sense – and we talked a little bit about this in the first session – really spectacular. No – you know, we have not seen this kind of rise in terms of the magnitude here anywhere else in history. So – and it is what’s underlying (the) rise of these new states, ones we again talked about in the morning – Asia, Turkey. Latin America would be another where you’re seeing spectacular changes.
I wanted to then segue into, since we are at an energy conference, looking at this U.S. energy independence theme that – I think we’ll have more on it from the IAEA today or tomorrow. It’s again something that has happened fairly quickly. In the last report we did not talk about this so much. It is, again – and technology is a big theme in this report – it comes out of the fracking technology, where we have really seen a revolution, shale revolution. It means the U.S. is now actually back to being the top natural gas producer. Over time – and this is where we’re talking in this report, looking also on the oil side. So I think it’s pretty well accepted on the gas side; what is a little bit more speculative is when you’re looking at oil production.
And we do have a couple of scenarios. One of them, the most optimistic scenario, would be that the U.S. and the IAEA is talking about it in their recent report, would be on the scale of a Middle East producer like Saudi Arabia. So you’re looking – in the 2020s, the U.S. would have excess production of 8 million barrels per day. You’re getting up there at a level in which that production begins to affect the global price and certainly OPEC’s role in setting prices.
There has been a lot of talk. You know, what does this mean geopolitically? And I think, actually, to be honest, we talk a little bit about this in the report, it – this is still very speculative. No one really knows how this – in a geopolitic sense, how this is going to work out. We do know, when we briefed in Nigeria, a little bit I think in Russia, concern about what this would mean to the global price. A lot of countries – Nigeria, Russia, others that depended on much higher level of oil prices than they have in the past in order to balance their state budget. So this can have an impact in that sense.
There’s another impact, economically, we talk a little bit more about in the U.S., and this is that it has – and this is already happening with the much lower natural gas prices – attracting back manufacturing to the U.S. This is going to be a boost in terms of employment, in terms of increasing GDP. As a bigger issue, what does this mean about the U.S. role in the Middle East? Will the U.S. public be interested in having a strong U.S. presence, role? And I think that the jury’s out. There are a lot of other interests; in my own mind, there are a lot of other interests there at play, that the U.S. is probably going to stay. But it does – it does favor over the longer term a much more optimistic economic trajectory for the U.S. And that is one of the issues – and it’s on your number six in your – on your menu, looking at the longer-term U.S. role, and why this is an important issue, because I think the economic story about the U.S. is very important.
We heard a lot of talk this morning – and Banning mentioned this, about people looking to the U.S. to see if the U.S. is going to get its economic and financial house in order. I think that is very important for the world as well as also, obviously, for the U.S. But I would reinforce what Dr. Brzezinski said earlier, is that we are in a totally different world. And even if the U.S. gets its financial house in order, we are dealing with a non-hegemonic world. And in fact, we talk a lot in this work about the unipolar moment has definitively ended, U.S. nor anybody else are hegemons, and that the context for U.S. power, certainly the context that was established post-1945 has dramatically changed.
You really are in a world of G-20 – you’re not in the world of G-7 anymore – and a G-20 that’s really expanding in terms of the number of mid-level, middle-tier powers that are gaining in regional and even in global importance. And then for the U.S., you know, in terms of its role, we would talk about it being a necessary but not sufficient power. So that means that if it is going to play this – and again, we talk about a kind of first-among-equals role – it means that it will have to have partners to do it, and that that kind of politics where basically you exercise power through developing coalitions, also dealing with the global challenges facing others, is really the name of the game for international politics now, and I think even more so in 2030.
So I want to conclude just with those topics, emphasizing that there’s obviously a lot more in the work. I would also emphasize, and this is really something that we have emphasized as we do each of these works, just how, I’d say, fluid circumstances are, how variable you can – you can think about the future, and how important actually human agency and leadership is to whether we get – land in some of the worst scenarios that we talk about here, or whether we end up in the – in the much more positive column.
So with that, I’ll end, and thank again the organizers for the meeting – for holding the meeting and for inviting me.
MR. GARRETT: Aleksandr, would you care to comment on – (inaudible) – and on your report, and take it forward?
MR. DYNKIN: OK, Banning, thank you. Thank you for invitation, and a good morning to everybody.
As Banning already explained, for recent couple years we have rather good working relations with Atlantic Council and NIC. We presented our draft before publishing this book in Washington, D.C., and we have the daylong discussions there. Also we hosted our American colleagues in Moscow, in our premises, this August and discussing their report. So we try to work parallel and to make some cross-fertilization, if possible, to say about our two outlooks.
Methodologically, we are very much different. Our American colleagues, they do believe in scenarios, which they shaped during numerous seminars, meeting around the globe. We are more conservative. We still more believe in numbers and statistics and figures, so our starting point is to make some economic and social predictions based on U.N. demographic statistics. Those who are involved in long-term forecasting, they do understand that demography is the most reliable source for the future statistics because you have knowledge about the future labor force, knowing the quantity of babies today.
So based on these, let’s say, economic statistical structures, we calculated GDP for more than 150 countries. And after those calculations we came back to the scenarios, added to it according to different key global players, key markers, key segments of the social spheres. We also pay, in our work, big attention to the ideology. We pay attention to the security issues as well as international relations. So this is our methodology, which is, as you understand, pretty far different from the methodology of our colleagues.
In terms of outcomes, there are plenty of similarities and plenty of disagreements. We share the assessments of our colleagues in terms of the role of the middle class, both positive and both negative. Positive in terms that supposed to be more demand for democracy, more prosperity, but at the same time this is, let’s say, biggest variety of the wishes, options, different comparisons with the future of this generation, which before was struggling just for survival. Nowadays, they’re struggling for some ideas. This is the reason why we pay attention for the ideology.
Regarding the, let’s say, international order, our American colleagues, they do believe that that would be a no-polar world. We have slightly different view. We do believe that this world could not be one; it could be shared – maybe unequally, but shared. So in our perceptions, we are less affected by so-called declining theory of United States. We still do believe that it would be a polycentric world with some sort of hierarchy inside this world. And we do believe that after the year 2030, despite of the growing of China, the United States will still possess substantial military technological power, and they have some advances in social engineering.
What is important here to emphasize, that during these next two decades the critical issues for United States and their role in the globe, the question: Would be United States the security provider or insecurity provider? And during this morning’s session, a lot of people talking about this fiscal cliff and what does it mean in terms of financial security or insecurity. The same story, if you look at the region where we are presenting. For example, in case of Afghanistan, after withdraw the troops, what scenario would be valuable for this country? Karzai-2 or Karzai-minus? What it would be in terms of security in the region?
We in Moscow are very much concerned with the consequences of the U.S. and NATO troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. I could mention some other regions where it’s unclear what kind of U.S. roles would be for the coming decade, and this is – this is very, very important.
In general, I agree with what was said by the previous speaker that the whole world is in transition. Let’s say five years ago we are talking about transition in Central and Eastern Europe. Nowadays, during the lifetime for one generation, we make a transition from non-digital world to a digital world. We face the tremendous energy revolution. Five years ago the people believed that the renewables, green growth and so on, would be the future of energy markets. We see the tremendous revolution in the classical hydrocarbon energy supply – I mean LNG, I mean shale revolution and so on and so forth.
Let’s say 10 years ago, we do not spoke so intensively about the rise of China. Today, we faces that the China is shaping the value-added chain in the whole global economy and so on and so forth. So of course, to make this outlooks, I guess it’s very important because this attempt they have to diminish the unpredictability. And let me say that parallel reading of those two reports is a messy job to do. This is like, you know – (chuckles) – magic glasses when you three-dimension picture of the future.
MR. GARRETT: Thank you very much, Aleksandr. I think that really helps set up the discussion. And Lock Pin, you want to comment on the reports, but also on the way that Singapore tries to do this kind of future – look at the future and then build the strategic futures into policy making and considerations.
COLONEL CHEW LOCK PIN: Just a quick comment about the middle class, the middle class group. We did a recent survey, and we find that the people who are the happiest – the people who are the most unhappy, I guess, is the middle class people. It’s not the poor. It’s of course not the rich –
MR. : The most unhappy?
COL. LOCK PIN: The most unhappy. And it’s a situation of the 99 percent who tries to – wants to be the 1 percent, and they will never be. But – and so the result is that whatever policies we implement, we find that we cannot please people. So that is a conundrum we get ourself in.
So I’ll take a different approach; we do not have a document like the “Global Trends 2030.” So – but we have done scenario planning for many years, since the 1980s, early 1990s. And scenario planning was something that we do to chart what a scenario is that will be pertinent to Singapore. We are a small nation, so those are done in the context of Singapore. But what I would like to do is to share of our scenario planning, what we have done due to the fast-changing world to be able to see and to be able – and to be – and to see a future better.
So I would like to just share a bit about our process of risk assessment horizon scanning, and also to give some examples as to how we translate from the scenarios to such risk assessment and horizon scanning to some implementation, to some policy. And the good thing about Singapore, the smallest country amongst the panel here, we are small and we have the advantage of small size of being able to implement things faster. And is of course less costly.
So the risk assessment horizon scanning idea came about because I think we find that scenario planning wasn’t adequate enough for Singapore. Like I say, we have been doing it since the 1990s, but we were not able to prevent an event such as – or foresee an event such as 9/11 – or for us, Singapore, there was the (SAS ?) in 2001, and also the Asia financial crisis. And we were all taken by surprise. And you could to ask that there’s something missing in our approach, in the whole-of-government, to be able to look in the future better. So from after those events, the government has gone on to – led by our permanent secretary, Mr. Peter Ho, we have gone onto a path to search for methods and search for ways to look at how to deal with the future better.
And along the way we discovered truth. Mr. Dave Snowden – and I’m not sure whether you know him – he taught us – he had the model called a cynefin framework. It’s Welsh. And the model talks about four quadrants, and in these four quadrants there are the known space, the knowable space, the complex space and a chaotic space. And we soon found out that we were operating on very much the so-called right-hand side, which is the known space and the knowable space. In the known space, you know what to do. In the knowable space, you can consult experts and can look at past patterns, and you know how to handle those. They’re complicated, but they’re not complex.
But in the complex space, we realized that there are no past patterns we can follow. And in fact, it may be dangerous to follow past patterns. Experts are irrelevant, actually; experts may give you the wrong ideas, because they operate on the known space. And of course, in a chaotic space, there’s very much – very little they can do except to perhaps impose your strategy in to that situation. So understanding where the problem spaces lie help us to think about new ways to do things.
We also realized we need to look at things differently. We cannot just look at the things which are in the mainstream, but we need to look at things which are hanging around in the horizon. You know, a while ago treaty printing was probably not a subject that’s of any interest at all, but in just the last few months it has become a big topic. So are we able to look at some of these things, analyze them, assess them and see whether you can do something that – you know, spend some resources, whatever we should invest in some resources to look at these areas and see whether there’s any policy implications?
So with that, we set up the Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Center; I was just over at – it was set up in 2005. And the center goes out to look at some of these methods and then, after that, proliferate(s) these methods to the whole government. It’s very important to approach this from the whole government, because we do not know where the issue, the new emerging issue may arise. It can come from any corner. So the whole government must embrace this.
So the RAHS was set up as a sort of a catalyst to try to spend the time to learn this – know this – learn this method, develop a system, and then to proliferate to the whole government and then the government will be self-taught, and they will do their own strategic anticipation in their own domain area. So that was the idea. And so from that point onwards, we have developed methods, ways of doing things that tries to look beyond the obvious. And we have conducted workshops and tried to get the whole government to have the capacity, the competency to do strategic anticipation better.
So we also developed in the way a system to – called the RAHS 2.0 system, a technical system to help that. So this system brings together different data and it tries to help to model and in a way start to, based on the data that we are collecting, be able to chart out in – (inaudible). So the system was developed, and now we are at version 2.0. And we have also created think tanks across the government that will look at the future and publish some of these emerging issues. The treaty printing, for example, is one of those. And for security, energy security, we are looking in all the domains. So with the three pieces, we try to bring the RAHS system and try to bring a whole-government approach into strategic anticipation.
So perhaps just we share some of the initiatives and outcomes of all these things. And of course, Singapore being small, we are able to sometimes bring some of these ideas and into implementation. So through all this scanning and through this analysis, what we have done is to go deeper into policy. If some issues are pertinent, we will work on the policy, work on the idea, and carry it out to fruition.
So for example, in the area of food security. So we are all familiar with the area of food security, and I’ll maybe just share what we have done. And Singapore, being such a small country, we are very dependent on food imports. And so based on our analysis of food security and realizing the danger of food scarcity hitting Singapore, Singapore went on a project with China to develop a super farm. And we are building a super farm that is twice the size of Singapore – about 1,400 square kilometers in size. It’s a joint project with China, and it’s about ($)30 billion worth of funding. And – ($)30 billion – of 20 (billion dollars) to ($)30 billion. Actually, we are not exactly clear how much that – it’s about 30 billion U.S. dollars.
MR. : Dollars?
COL. LOCK PIN: U.S. dollars. And the farm is to develop all kinds of food, from pork to vegetables, that will be exported to Singapore and also to the rest of China and to the world. So this is a collaboration project with China.
We have also dealt with water. And water is a big problem for Singapore because we have no – we are – our size as small and is difficult to capture water in our reservoirs. We don’t have space for enough reservoirs, and so we went onto water recycling. And so we created a closed system within Singapore. We sealed off our rivers and each – whatever rivers that we have within the land has become a reservoir so that whatever rainwater comes in, we try to capture that and we are going through water recycling to recycle some of the water so they be used for industrial use and also consumption. And that’s water.
And to deal with some of the issues of our domestic – the youth problems, as well as preparing for the future. I think that the Singapore government works very hard on education and also on innovation. And we recently developed – you know, we are a university town – a center called CREATE, which stands for Campus for Research Excellence and Technology Enterprise. And this center brings together scientists from all across the world, from different universities such as MIT, such as Beijing University, to bring it to Singapore and to innovate and to develop a new ideas and new products that could be used to drive the future Singapore economy. So these are some of the things we do. Thank you.
MR. GARRETT: Thank you very much, Lock Pin. I’d just like to add a comment here that underlies this, is that if you look at trends, there seems to be a kind of an inevitability of certain trends like demography, as Aleksandr said; that’s – you know how many 18-year-olds you’re going to have in Russia in 2020 right now, because they’ve already been born. So you can make some – but the other piece of this is what you might call disruptive change, discontinuity. I have a personal slogan that things stay the same, until they don’t. And you can pretty much count on that they won’t. And if you look at the trends and the game changers, you can see that really, we’re living in a world of actually increasing disruptive change, discontinuities in technology, in the climate, in how these different trends will interact with each other.
The Arab Spring itself was a clear discontinuity from the past, and yet you can see various trends building such that can lead to a tipping point where you get a very big discontinuity. So as we look forward, we have to look at trends, but also how they can produce discontinuities. And the game changers themselves are separated out by the NIC report because they are especially uncertain, how they will play out, whether it’s global economy, global governance.
But technology is a really critical factor here, and I want to just personally emphasize that the pace of technological change is accelerating. There’ll be more change in the next 15 or 20 years than in the past 15 or 20 years. And all you have to do is look at the Internet to think about how much that set of technologies around the Internet and the enabling technologies and information technology have altered our world just profoundly. Everybody’s personal world, from their emails and Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts to how governments work, how business works, how the entire world communicates and understands each other.
We have Facebook, with 1 billion members – something inconceivable 15 years ago. Nobody would even have thought of a Google brain that all human knowledge at your fingertips and your iPhone – just about all knowledge. So we – the world has changed dramatically in 15 years, and to think it won’t change probably more dramatically based on technology over the next 15 or 20 years would be, I think, quite naïve. And I would just add that foreign policy communities tend to not – foreign policy makers and people who analyze foreign policy tend to know very little about technology, so they discount it. They don’t factor it in, into how they think about the future.
And I would – I’ll say about – urbanization, I think, is the other huge factor that going to shape our future, and yet it’s not known about so it’s, like, kind of discounted. But you discount these things at your peril. And 3-D printing is a perfect example of how manufacturing’s going to be transformed dramatically with huge implications for supply chains, for geo-economics, for so many factors of life. And we need to be looking at these as part of our understanding of the world we’re going to face, our global operating environment going forward for everybody in business, in government and think tanks.
So with that, I’d just like to suggest maybe – I’ll ask a question. We do want to go to the rest of the participants out here in this – in this project today, but maybe I should just – go up to one area that I think that we would like to discuss, and that is – it was raised by Dr. Brzezinski about, well, we could have a very different Iran. Maybe we’ll have an Iran that’s a Turkey, rather than a Turkey that becomes an Iran. How – and when we look at these global trends and we try to look out, how do – how would you, any of the three of you, want to look at how these assessments of the future? And adding here that the point that Mat made, that the very uncertain, very different possible outcomes – how might these trends shape the future of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region?
MR. BURROWS: When you’re talking about the Middle East, I think it reinforces your point about contingencies and fluidity in the system. So I think his point, which I would agree with, is that if you did have an Iran which, you know, becomes more democratic, becomes more interested in its own development and in which – I think that presupposes that there is some sort of agreement between Iran and now the P5 plus one and others on the nuclear side that they would be much more joining this game which the others are involved in of economic development. And there, I think, Iran has a lot of ingredients to make it a real powerhouse, and that would change basically in the Middle East – I think also increase the sense of security, stability. There still would be some tensions, I think, there – because you have now several powers that would be operating in a fairly small space. So you’d still have some of the geopolitic tensions. But I think the whole environment would be turned much more towards how do you get countries economically –development, how do you satisfy these rising middle class expectations so that they are less unhappy than they otherwise would be?
But there are other fissures in the Middle East, the rest of the world, that even with economic development – and we have one of our optimistic scenarios there has prosperity growing – that you get into a lot of these issues on water and food. And actually, North Africa particularly is very dependent on imports of food, very dependent on harvests being good in Russia, Ukraine particularly, but also elsewhere in the world in terms of the wheat that they import. They’re in the belt where you have a lot of issues, growing issues on water. You – it’s also the area where you’re seeing climate change hit. So – yeah. You know, the Middle East wouldn’t be out of the woods. I think it would be a confidence-building, a stabilizing element, if it were to happen.
MR. GARRETT: Aleksandr, do you want to –
MR. DYNKIN: Well, in my perception, this is the most unpredictable region in the globe; maybe only the Central Asia could be comparable to the Middle East. I’m certain – several ideas of what is shaping this region.
I guess that Turkey is of course the anchor of stability in the region. And in our outlook, we do believe that Turkey would double the GDP through the year 2030, and it would definitely outperform such European economy as Spain.
Regarding the Iran, I guess I wouldn’t like to make any speculations about those countries because this is very special 5,000 years-long civilization and is a Russian neighbor, and we have rather complicated relations with this country. Maybe some of you remember that the first ambassador who was killed in Tehran was Russian Ambassador – (inaudible) – Griboyedov. So I guess – (inaudible) – would be reasonable policy to that. But again, changing the Iraq from, let’s say, Sunni to Shia is of course change the power equilibrium in this region, and what would be the outcome, again, is how to say?
Another changes in this part of the globe is of course that this has become very important a source of energy and there are some competitive projects of energy supply – in South Stream and Nabucco. But I guess it is normal: When we have a bipolar world, it would be enough one pipeline connecting two poles; in the polycentric world, you have to have competition of the infrastructure projects. Another driver that would be shaping this region I guess would be the Chinese move to the West, where Chinese have real national interest, first of all – (inaudible) – their energy supply. So I guess I’ll stop here.
COL. LOCK PIN: I suppose the issue of Middle East is – my quick and simple analysis is that it looks like it is running out of options, you know, things that you can do. But if you consider the various flashpoints across the world that could be of impact, there could be certain mechanisms that can be done that could help to alleviate and bring perhaps peace. So I will comment on the – on China and Spratlys and closer to my home.
And I think the mechanisms that are being tried out in Spratlys is the dialogue. This is dialogue, getting some of the established forums that is in place, such as the ASEAN, the ASEAN grouping. We have a regular ASEAN meeting, ASEAN, you know, defense minister meeting, which tries to always bring China onto discussions with the rest of the other members and also all these mechanisms. Of course the Spratly issue is a different issue. It has got many parties involved and (it’s not Iran ?) and the rest of the world.
But so there’s a lot of bilateral discussions and bilateral cooperation between the various nations and China become very important as ways and means to mitigate the conflict.
MR. GARRETT: Perhaps before we go to the audience questions – but I think that raises the issue of global governance or regional governance. Many people will be very critical of East Asia because we’ve had ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum and all these, but the real issues are not even addressed.
I mean, ASEAN has done nothing to address the Spratlys, or, you know, the East Asian Summit can’t really resolve the Senkaku-Diaoyu issue between China and Japan or the Dokdo issue between Japan and South Korea, but all these have become more – I don’t want to use the term “explosive;” I don’t think we’re going to have wars over them – but more and more contentious. These are the leftover history issues; they’re leftover territorial issues.
But the real issues that are driving security concerns in Asia are not being addressed by any kind of global governance or regional governance forum, and this is a big question going forward. If you look at the challenges outlined in the “Global Trends” report, I mean, whether it’s climate change or it’s energy security, whether it’s food, water, all the things that are going to shape the context for each nation’s future, do we have in place or do we see on the horizon the creation of global governance mechanisms? I mean, obviously the G-20 is the – is the current hope to really – are they going to be outstripped – is the global governance going to keep up with the challenges and the threats that require global cooperation and problem-solving, or are we going to have these problems way outstrip our ability to deal with them as a common humanity?
And that’s what certainly is in the – drives the different scenarios in the NIC report, whether or not we are actually cooperating to deal with the problems, or are we getting overwhelmed by them? So I don’t know if any – who would like to come up – Mat, would you like to comment on that?
MR. BURROWS: Negative here. But I think it is going to be outstripped. I mean – and this is part of this problem with speed and just how rapid some of these changes are. I guess in the work that we look at, I mean, it’s how big a gap there is going to be. I mean, you know, we think there’s going to be some kind of gap, but you’re – could see on certain issues, you could see in certain regions, you know, some of that gap narrow.
But I think given just the number of countries that are rising – I mean, we must have talked about a score here already in this conference – the problems that each of them face internally, and so – and this includes with China and India, so that their energies are focused, their political energies are focused much more inward and makes it hard to develop some of these mechanisms. And then I think you have issue at the global level of the institutions just are not, you know, moving fast enough in most cases really to pull in these rising states but also to deal with these bigger issues.
You know, on the food side, I mean, there’s really no global mechanism really which can – which can really deal with these bigger challenges. And as we’ve seen on climate change, it’s very, very difficult to get consensus.
MR. GARRETT: Aleksandr? I know it’s an issue of great concern to you.
MR. DYNKIN: Well, I guess that everybody today is a bit more pessimistic about global governance than we were, let’s say, five years ago. And the reason of this pessimism is very much connected with the developments in the European Union. What would be the outcome of this tremendous crisis, I should say, that would of course shape the attitude toward the global governance?
Look at the Pacific Region. There are plenty of international organizations, but I agree that there is not something like Organization for Economic Cooperation and Security in Europe, OSCE. We do not expect it in the coming years. They are still dealing on let’s say bilateral basis.
I do believe that in the coming decade maybe the role of some regional organizations such as Trans-Pacific Partnership, maybe Eurasian Economic Union, would solve some matters on the regional basis. And I do not see there any contradiction in between the regional governance and the global governance. Some issues could be solved on the regional level which we could not solve on the global level. But several issues is of course necessary – the climate change, the Arctics. These issues have to be the subjects for the global cooperation and global governance.
And of course I do believe that there would be no free rider in providing security. If you look at the defense budget of European Union, it’s demonstrate that those countries are still free rider in security providing.
MR. GARRETT: Did you want to comment on that?
COL. LOCK PIN: So in the point of the global governance, perhaps the new, to me – the new situation is that you have multiple centers and that may be a good thing, because you have got much more dialogue, more interactions and therefore more resolution of issues. Again, on Spratlys, it may – it may appear that China may not be cooperating, but I – you know, we are disagree with many of your comments. And if you look at what happened over the past decade, and it has been a long-term issue. And in the ’90s there were issues of the Chinese killing – (inaudible) – Vietnamese fishermen, and there were spats with the Philippines. And in the early 2000s, I think the nations decided that no more violence and let’s talk. And in fact, the same folks who had been fighting got together.
So China had got with Vietnam. They established some bilateral agreements on land as well as demarcation of the South China Sea. And China went with Philippines. They were having problems in the 1990s, but they started to cooperate on doing some drilling in the Spratly Islands for oil. And, in fact, Vietnam joined Philippines in that project to cooperate. Unfortunately, the outcomes were not good, but the process of the dialogue, the process of the bilateral relationship helps to – you know, you won’t be pushed to a point where there are no more options and that makes the only other thing you can do is to fight and to go on a military-to-military option of settling the issue.
So I think mechanisms, as long as there’s space for discussion, some space for dialogue, space for ideas of resolution, it will help the situation. And perhaps those are the things that we need to think about.
MR. GARRETT: I think we have a half-full and half-empty view of the – of this kind of process in which I think I agree with Lock Pin. It’s been a very valuable process to understand each other and the codes of conduct, but we still have these unresolved problems which seem to have been – led to more antagonism and threats in the last year than in the past. And let’s hope we can get back on a track where some of this at least can be mitigated.
I think it’s time to – for people who have questions. Yes, please, right in the back. And then you’re next – (chuckles) – behind you. Yes. Identify yourself, please.
Q: Thank you. May I introduce myself? My name is Pierre Morel. I’m from a French and then European diplomat, and now creating Internet sites on religious and cultural pluralism. And I would like to take the point of religion.
In a way – I mean, it’s well-covered at the beginning of the menu, and this is good. But then it disappears in the rest of menu and my point is maybe because it’s in the context of drinks. I mean, less manageable, less identifiable. Drinks are necessary, but abuse of drinks is dangerous.
We are not far from energy, because if you try to create the link between religious and ethnic identity and so on, culture and energy, well, we have spoken about the revolution, which was a religious revolution. Iran. And we can see 30 years later how it goes on, and Shia problem is very much there and spreading. You can’t argue that democracy – Egypt, Tunisia, in fact, it’s Muslim Brother problem now. What do we do, not with democratic forces; what do we do with Muslim Brothers who are the really driving force in those countries? Look at Nigeria. Well, we have seen Libya. Look at Bahrain.
So my question is how to integrate this ethnic, religious, cultural identity factor in merging the very concrete forces we try to think in global trends. I see a good mention at the beginning of your menu, once again, and then it spreads away somewhat, when in fact we have to deal with it.
I see one mention when you speak about near instantaneous response. This is what we have seen with the California film, with the Florida pastor announcement – people killed. I think of Mazar-e-Sharif last year. Twelve U.N. people, because they were not in a base, they were unprotected and they were the target. And this was very much the – (inaudible) – story you referred to, 1830s, the Russian ambassador killed. So we have a problem here because religion is provoking the most instantaneous response – (inaudible) – ethnic dimension. In Central Asia I’ve seen, Kyrgyzstan – (inaudible) – how a small ethnic strife has put 400,000 refugees in a few days on the roads.
So how do we cope with these disruptive factors remains, I think, a rather disturbing question. Thank you.
MR. GARRETT: Mat, do you want to comment on that?
MR. BURROWS: Well, I think you brought up a, you know, very critical issue. And, you know, obviously we had a discussion, as I remember, in Moscow over this same issue of, you know, how much are these – say, they – you know, these ethnic, religious, national identities, you know, just sunk so deep that – and the kind of tensions between them that, you know, we are doomed to kind of a Sam Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” world? And I just don’t –
My answer to that would be much more in the first one on the, you know, looking more broadly on the individual empowerment is that I think, you know, it is a certain phase and that a – you know, no doubt, you know, this phase can be extended. I mean, in our own – in history in Europe, I mean, it’s a couple centuries in which religious ideas became the motivating force for – behind conflicts. But that I think over a longer period you look, that, you know, this middle-class rises we started with is actually leading much more to rule of law, to much more to stability than it is.
But I would say, again – emphasize this is going to be a long transition, and I would worry that besides these identities that you’re talking about, we also have – and this is in another section, when you’re looking at resources – that some of those tensions and divisions are going to be reinforced because of just how climate change is happening in some of these – in some of the ways in which different parts of countries – you see this in West Africa between the northern half and the southern half in terms of their natural endowments. And then you have these tensions, you know, being actually, as I said, reinforced and sparked by the scarcity on water, on food, on the immigration coming down from the Sahel.
So these issues feed into long-standing religious and ethnic tensions and reinforce those identities. And that’s what we have to – I think when you’re going back to the governance thing, you really have to be looking at this – we can see them coming and working on those issues.
MR. GARRETT: Aleksandr, do you want to comment as well?
MR. DYNKIN: I would mention that this region is the most fragile in terms of security. And I guess the answer is cooperation and no free-riding security providing. I guess the cooperation between NATO and security organization in this region shared by Moscow is necessary. Chinese participation also would be welcome.
This is rather complicated story. The two countries in this region, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, is about to become a failed state. This is the truth; this is the sad truth. We expected the power – transition of power in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, what would be this transition and – (inaudible) – you do understand that better than myself. So my answer is cooperation and no free-riding providing security.
MR. GARRETT: We’re running out of time –
COL. LOCK PIN: Yeah. Security; no compromise of security. I mean – (inaudible) – like me will – (inaudible) – away. The answer is make sure we build in the right defenses to make sure that there is deterrence against any attacks.
But actually understand, trying to understand the cultural basis and some of the reasons why radicalization, for example, happens. You know, for example, in my neighborhood, Indonesia, it is education, actually. We realize that a lot of madrassas were teaching the young and they were imbuing them with the wrong ideas of Islam. And that has got long-term implications as to how some of these groups are formed for a region.
So in longer term, being able to get into the – even the local schools, dealing with how religious – religion, culture is being taught may be the important solution for some of these issues.
MR. GARRETT: Well, I think we’ve come to the end where I’m being told that we need to end the session because another session’s going to begin in here in 15 minutes on Kurdistan in this room, and the extended session on Euro-Atlanticism will be in the Fuji Ballroom.
I want to thank our panelists, Lock Pin and Mat and Aleksandr, if you’d join me in thanking them for, I think, a really exciting session. And when we leave, we’re urged to kind of stay to the left as you exit, because there’s a press conference going on outside. But in any case, thank you all for the participation here. (Applause.)