Chief among the megatrends is the diffusion of power and individual empowerment. The West is set to take a back seat to Asia's economy as technology levels the playing field and other "non-Western or middle-tier states" begin to rise. The middle class is expected to expand in most countries, but won't feel secure due to the one billion workers from developing countries expected to flood the labor pool.
Global demographics are expected to shift as well. Life-expectancy rates are likely to soar, leading to an increase in global population from 7.1 billion today to around 8 billion in 2030. Much of this population will gravitate towards megacities as urbanization is set to grow by nearly 60 percent.
As population swells, so too will competition for resources. Demand for food is expected to rise 35 percent and energy 50 percent. Half the world will live in areas with severe water stress.
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You see where this is going. As the global population becomes more intelligent, more healthy and more prosperous due to positive technological developments in a wide range of fields, it's creating a promising, yet vulnerable future. That's to say nothing of game-changing scenarios like nuclear war, pandemics and bioterrorism.
"Our effort is to encourage decision-makers, whether in government or outside, to think and plan for the long term so that negative futures do not occur and positive ones have a better chance of unfolding," writes Kojm.
Who those decisions-makers will be and whether they'll lead the globe into chaos or order, feast or famine, is anyone's guess. What's crystal clear, though, is that 2030 will be beyond our wildest imagination.
"As replacement limb technology advances, people may choose to enhance their physical selves as they do with cosmetic surgery today," the report states. "Future retinal eye implants could enable night vision, and neuro-enhancements could provide superior memory recall or speed of thought."
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