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ESPAS Report 2019 : Global Trends to 2030

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For something as unknown as the future, it appears to have become surprisingly predictable. A Google search of ‘future 2030’ yields more than 97 million results, all more or less claiming similar things: that 2030 will see a more connected, yet fragmented world, with hazardous shifts in demography and energy, and dangerous changes in technology, environment, and politics.
The future, while overall negative, appears to be a rather certain place.
This illusion of definitiveness is created by two dynamics: first, the pessimistic tone that runs through the vast majority of foresight reports. This is a common feature when it comes to future thinking, with one study showing that all studies undertaken on the future over the last 70 years have one thing in common; pessimism. The reason for this is simple: although both optimism and pessimism are natural human dispositions, the latter is more prevalent by far. Humans are, genetically speaking, biased towards the negative – some studies even indicate that this is particularly the case for Europeans. Second, pessimism in foresight is encouraged by the grave air that surrounds it: in general, negative statements are given more attention than positive ones. That said, more pessimism in foresight does not equal greater accuracy, as one study shows.
Global Trends to 2030, ESPAS, EspasHome, Climate Change, Europe, Digital Economy, Economic Growth, Conflict, Cyber Risk, Cyber Security, Digital Technologies, Terrorism, Population Ageing, Democratic Governance, Resources (Food, Energy, Water, Biodiversity), Populisms, Europe and Migration
Country of publication: 
European Union
Publication date: 
Friday, April 5, 2019
Number of pages: