From the fate of Russia to the state of the climate, a new Atlantic Council survey previews the decade ahead as part of the Council’s flagship Global Foresight project 

WASHINGTON D.C. – JANUARY 10 2023 – Today the Atlantic Council is releasing its forecast of what the world will look like in 2033—how today’s crises will resolve, what new ones will crop up, and which trends are set to reshape international affairs. It’s the latest installment in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s flagship Global Foresight project, which previously predicted the top risks and opportunities to watch out for in 2023.

The 2033 forecast draws on a survey fielded in late 2022 of 167 leading foresight experts and geostrategists around the world.

The survey participants assess geopolitics, economics, and the future of global affairs for a living, and were evenly distributed across academia, the private sector, nonprofits, and government. They answered some of the most pressing questions occupying policymakers and political leaders around the world, including the future of American power, disruptive technologies, the global economy, and the world’s security architecture.  

Survey participants tell us:

  • Russia as we know it may not survive the coming decade
  • More countries are poised to acquire nuclear weapons within the next ten years
  • A Chinese military offensive against Taiwan is very likely
  • We’re unlikely to hit peak greenhouse-gas emissions by 2033—contrary to the International Energy Agency’s estimates
  • Democracies have a difficult decade ahead of them, with autocrats and populist-nationalist movements likely gaining some strength and social media increasingly acting as an anti-democratic force

For more from the Global Foresight project, check out the full survey results and our top risks and opportunities for 2023.

In the coming days watch out for the final installment of the Global Foresight project, which complements today’s ten-year outlook: a roundup of “snow leopards,” underappreciated trends and phenomena that may become far more influential than we now expect. (Think attempts to rein in social-media algorithms, gig and platform workers joining the global labor-rights resurgence, and revolutionary new electric-car batteries.)