By: National Intelligence Council
Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds is the fifth installment in the National Intelligence
Council’s series aimed at providing a framework for thinking about the future. As with previous
editions, this report will stimulate strategic thinking by identifying critical trends and
potential discontinuities. It distinguishes between megatrends, those factors that will likely occur
under any scenario, and game-changers, critical variables whose trajectories are far less certain.
As the diversity and complexity of various factors has grown, there is
increased attention to scenarios or alternative worlds.
At a critical juncture in human history, which could lead to widely contrasting futures.
the contention is presented that the future is not set in stone, but is malleable, the result of an interplay
among megatrends, game-changers and, above all, human agency. The ultimate goal is to encourage
decisionmakers—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. - Summary by Patrick McHaffie