Strategic Foresight Initiative Director Mathew Burrows writes for the Swedish Institute on International Affairs on what kind of world we can expect in the future:
Every new or re-elected US President receives a special unclassified study from the US National Intelligence Council (NIC) projecting global trends out fifteen to twenty years. It’s published to help him (or possibly her in the future) understand the world he faces and the many complex forces at work. Five such studies have been produced since the mid-1990s (1). I was the author of the last three, starting with President George Bush’s second term and including President Barack Obama’s two terms.
A lot changed over the short time space of eight years, particularly the shape of the international system and nature of US power. I began work on the 2004 edition when US unipolar power was at its height. The year before, the US had invaded Iraq despite almost universal condemnation. But by 2012 when I completed my last edition, China was well on the way to becoming the world’s largest economic power with a number of other so-called developing states catching up to the West. We had graduated from the G-7 to the G-20.