National Intelligence Council, “Global Trends: Paradox of Progress,” January 9, 2017.
Rise of Populism on the Right and Left
Discontent with the economic system will increase as more people are educated and searching for jobs in a global economy that shrunk after the recession of 2008, while automation artificial intelligence, and robots replace human workers. The world population is expected to grow to about 8.8.billion people by 2035, with high fertility rates in Africa and Asia where governments will need to provide jobs for young workers hindered by low education levels. This leads the 2017 NIC report titled “Paradox of Progress” to predict chaos in “a dark and difficult near future.”[i] Ageing populations in developed countries exacerbate economic problems with fewer young workers and a shrinking middle-class, while an increasing number of youth seek jobs in developing countries that face slow growth add to discontent. In addition more young males than females due to sex-selection add volatility to the youth bulge in countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Populist politicians emphasize nationalism With ICT, small groups, including terrorists and other “destructive forces,” can disrupt global cooperation on crucial issues like nuclear disarmament or climate change. The “gray zone” between cold war and hot war will expand as countries like China and Russia aim to exert more control as the US emphasized “America first” under nationalist President Donald Trump. Cyber weapons in the hands of a small group can wreck havoc. As governments weaken, the influence of religious groups, NOGS, corporations and others increase their power. Climate change is another disruptive influence as sea levels rise harming low-lying cities, the ocean acidifies, glaciers melt, food and water scarcities increase, along with pollution, as two-thirds of the people will live in cities by 2050. NIC concludes that the most resilient societies will utilize the talents of all their people, including women and minorities. A McKinsey Global institute study reported that global GDP could increase by more than 10% ($12 trillion) by 2025 if more women enter the paid workforce.[ii]
[i] National Intelligence Council, “Global Trends: Paradox of Progress,” January 9, 2017.
[ii] Jonathan Woetzel et al., “How Advancing Women’s Equality Can Add $13 trillion to Global Growth,” McKinsey Global Institute, September 2015.