Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 3, 2009

Futures Tutorials Part 19: Most Likely World

It Gets Confusing

It Gets Confusing

Ultimately, a futures study, like Army 21: 2005-2015, has to answer the question, “What’s Going to Happen?”   The graphic shows what we saw in 2005-2015 from our perch at Ft. Monroe, VA in 1990-1992. 
The two big earth changing events are what drives the post-Cold War Era and post-Industrial Era – the Information Era.   The maps of the geo-political world and the economic world change at the same time.  Like the tectonic plates often used to described such global changes, they touch each other.  When one moves the other shifts too.   Yet, in the course of 20 years so many things, like countries and corporations, would be called by the same names – and change in evolutionary ways, that the pieces of the worlds of politics and economics might look the same – but they are different in significant ways. 
Look at NATO fighting, sort of, in Afghnistan.   NATO bombing Serbia to kill over 2300 civilians to protect a former terrorist organization – suddenly stepping up to be a revolutionary government in a failed Muslim state in Europe (Kosovo).  NATO expanding membership through the old Warsaw Pact nations, but the U.S. backing down on missile defense for a new key partner – Poland.   Its not the same NATO of 1990.  Or, even after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992. 
The same is true for many other political organizations, as well as nation states.   And, obviously for many corporations. 
The decade of uncertainty ended with 9-11-2001.  The long, long, long World War Against Islamists went from tinderboxes to global fire. 
Economic order exists, but it isn’t absolute.  The destruction of the U.S. economy – begun during the Bush administration and accelerated during the Obama administration puts world currency standards in question.   If China continues to develop, the U.S. can fail (not suddenly or now) and the world economic order can be kept – instead of having mayhem. 
The capital shortage refers to developing countries with burgeoning populations.   Except India and the Asian tigers have shown how capitalism can overcome huge challenges.
All in all, not bad.  Pretty good, actually.  Coming soon in these tutorials is how they can be used for decision makers.

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