Envisioning 2030: US strategy for the coming technology revolution

The Atlantic Council’s 2012 report Envisioning 2030: US Strategy in a Post-Western World, written as a companion piece with the US National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, stated, “the keystone of national power remains US economic strength and innovation.”

Building upon this statement, this year’s Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for the Coming Technology Revolution, edited by Strategic Foresight Initiative Director Mathew J. Burrows, explores the consequences of major disruptions that will be caused by emerging technologies and recommends that the United States must prepare now if it wants to remain competitive on the global stage.

This report was launched at the two day Strategic Foresight Forum

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“We are not prepared for the negative consequences of many new technologies or as well-positioned as we should be to take full advantage of the benefits. These emerging technologies are likely to be more beneficial than detrimental, but the opposite could be true if we are not careful,” writes Burrows.

This report examines emerging technologies in three broad areas—energy, urban planning, and manufacturing—that are playing critical yet disruptive roles. The report argues that each emerging technology presents an opportunity for the United States and its partners, if we can navigate the huge challenges and risks.  

The report’s main arguments are:

  • The United States needs to establish a bipartisan national commission comprised of scientists and engineers, energy companies, state regulators, and environmental groups to develop proposals for minimizing risks and harmonizing regulations for shale oil extraction.
  • Building smart grids should be a national priority.
  • The United States should create a national green building code with world-class energy and water efficiency performance standards thus giving the United States a huge opportunity to export these urban technologies to the developing world.
  • Immigration laws must be reformed to enable US-trained scientists and engineers to remain in the United States after they graduate.
  • The US government should increase R&D funding to maintain leadership in science and technology and strengthen the foundation for US economic competitiveness and growth, as well as to marshal science and technology to address global challenges.

Related Experts: Mathew Burrows