The World in 2030
The world is changing at an unprecedented intensity and rate. Policy makers, institutions and nations all over the world are finding themselves responding to these outcomes associated with these changes. Advances in science and technology have had profound impacts on society, which have played a crucial role in changing nearly all aspects of human life including how people relate, health, education, crime, governance. Communication, transport, entertainment, and sport among others. One of the most notable inventions that have changed human life is the Internet, which has been considered one of the most influential inventions of the 20th century. Moreover, the lives of people are being influenced by developments that were imaginable about 10 years ago. For instance, mobile devices like tablets and smartphones have revolutionized communications. Emerging technologies such as 3D printing, nanotechnology, robotics, genetics and artificial intelligence are poised to have significant impacts on the lives of people. Such advancements are likely to affect various domains of life at individual, national and global level. The aim of this paper explores the world outlook in 2030. To this end, this paper explores how politics, cyber warfare, cross-culture, terrorism hegemony and Internet will be different in 2030 when compared to the present.
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Globalization together with the increase in interdependence among countries is poised to change the balance of political power, which will make it challenging to individual countries to influence the course of events. There is no doubt that power is gradually shifting from the West to other parts of the world as well as to non-state and individual actors. It has been projected that, by 2030, the increase in middle powers will affect the balance of global and regional politics. A rising interdependence will affect security, technology and economic problems. As a result, a crucial attribute of global attributes will be energy and climate challenges as well as resource security. In addition, global politics will be rife with considerable security and conflict risks such as nuclear war and cyber warfare and cybercrime, which will still be prevalent as of 2030. An international political gridlock is a likely observation by 2030.
Another notable trend is that global governance institutions are increasingly becoming weaker. In addition, they are becoming less equipped with respect to managing societal, political and economic revolutions. With the weakening of international governance institutions, more governance layers that do not adhere to international values and norms will be established. It has also been projected that the future of the market-oriented and conventional liberal democratic order is uncertain. Countries having autocratic governance structures will report an increase in political as well as economic influence when compared to countries that will still be using democratic governance mechanism.
The world will witness a radical transformation in terms of global politics by 2030. The magnitude of change in global politics has been likened to the change witnessed during the French Revolution and the beginning of the Industrial Age albeit occurring at a more drastic speed. By 2030, Asia will be nearly regaining its global powerhouse status that it had before the 16th century. In this respect, it has been predicted that Asian countries will outshine the Europe and the US combined in terms of military power, population economy, technological investment, and overall power index. In spite of Asia being a powerhouse, it is imperative to note the likelihood of the diffusion of the global political leadership in the sense that no single nation or coalition will play a dominating roles as is the current state with the US that is dominating. In other words, by 2030, the international political environment will be multipolar, whereby various non-state and state actors and subnational actors like cities are posed to play crucial governance roles.
In 2030, the threat level of cyber-attacks perpetrated by non-state actors will be higher than the current. In addition, the link between cyber warfare and weapons of mass destruction is likely to increase. It has been predicted that cyberspace will be characterized by an increase in non-state actors. This translates to an increase in access to disruptive and lethal technologies, which implies that people who are experts in technologies like cyber systems are likely to sell their systems to people who are willing to pay more including terrorists and competing state actors. The increase in cyber terrorism is a likely trend by 2030. Cyber terrorists will not focus on mass casualties; instead, they will place more emphasis on causing financial and economic disruptions. The vulnerabilities of cyber systems will also increase owing to the fact that only a few people will have an understanding of the crucial cyber systems. Three potential scenarios have been associated with cyber warfare by 2030s, which include causing mayhem, extensive financial and economic disruption, and using cyber systems for weapons of mass destruction. Causing mayhem already exists although it will be more prevalent in future. It is characterized by password theft, defacing of websites, and putting websites offline for a number of hours. Financial and economic disruptions are also being experienced currently. Their magnitude are expected to increase by 2030, whereby there will be frequent cases of theft of financial data such as the data belonging to largest securities exchange to an extent that it can trigger global financial crises.
Owing to the fact that the cyber economy is growing, disruptions in the Internet economy are poised to have significant impacts on the real economy. In addition, by 2030, cyber systems will be integrated in weapons of mass destruction. For instance, cyber terrorism will involve malfunctioning nuclear plants through the use cyber-attacks, disruptions of systems for air traffic control, and taking down the electricity grid among others. Currently, the level of these threats is low; however, the threat level is poised to increase with the societies increasing their dependence on software and the increase in the interconnected systems. The result is that the damage levels inflicted by cyber weapons will increase in magnitude and scope.
Globalization is having significant impacts on the families. It has a played a crucial role in increasing the number of multiracial families across the globe owing to the fact that it facilitates the global movement of people as well as interaction. With an increase in immigration, the rates of intermarriages are on the increase. As of 1960, only 1 percent of families in the US were interracial; however, as of 2008, 7.6 percent of American families were interracial. This trend has been increasing, not only in the US, but also across the globe. During 2010, about 3 percent of Americans identified themselves as multiracial. It has been predicted that the multiracial population in the US and across the world will continue to increase such that, by 2030, 20 percent of Americans will have a multiracial background. By 2030, the significance of race will have declined significantly. This will plays a crucial role in blurring the ethnic and racial lines because of the increase in people identifying themselves as multiracial. In addition, it has been predicted that the social stigma associated with being multiracial is posed to decline significantly by 2030s. By 2030, it is expected that the world will experience significant changes with respect to the ethnic and racial landscape, which can be attributed to increasing immigration across the globe facilitated by the interconnected nature of the world. It emphasizing the global multi-racial society that will be experienced by 2030, it is worth noting that, by the same time, the whites will no longer constitute the majority in the US. The world is increasingly becoming more diverse with the increase in the number of intermarriages. In the US alone, it is projected that the population of interracial individuals will increase threefold, which will render race labelling inapt.
Notable predictions have been regarding the state of terrorism by 2030. The first remarkable prediction is that the current trend of Islamic terrorism is expected to end by 2030. This will be attributed to the increase in political upheavals in the Muslim world and the emergence of new generation of Muslims who are less interested in the differences in fundamental aspects of the religion. Just as other terrorist waves reported in history such as the Anarchists (1880-1890s), anti-colonial terrorist movements that emerged after the Second World War, and New Left terrorists (1970s) ended, the current wave of religious terrorism is predicted to end as of 2030. The Arab Springs have helped in highlighting the moral legitimacy associated with a non-violent movement owing to fact that protesters in the spring championed for democracy and refrained from associating the protest with religion. Irrespective of the projected culmination of Islam-related terrorism, it is imperative to note that terrorism will not be eliminated altogether since other forms of terrorism such as cyber terrorism are likely to increase. Moreover, terrorism could emerge from other religions. Moreover, terrorist tactics is likely to change owing to the fact that terrorism will not focus on inflicting mass casualties; instead, emphasis will be on causing mayhem and disruption by going after important cyber systems.
It has also been projected that, as of 2030, majority of countries will have realized the tactical importance of Muslim terrorism, as is currently the case with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other Muslim nations. Many countries will acknowledge that the only way of reversing the strategic liability associated with Islam terrorism into a strategic asset is through funding it and targeting their enemies with it. This is not a completely new strategy; however, it will be happening on a whole new scale, which is likely to result in an increase in the number of Islamic militias having vast resources, experience, weapons and training. In other words, there is the possibility of state-managed terrorism, whereby countries are likely to make use of terrorist movements because of apparent insecurity. As a result, terrorist movements are likely to be used as a means of deterring attacks. Nevertheless, it is imperative to note that state-funded terrorism is on the decline amidst an increasing international disapproval. Moreover, the costs of a state funding terrorist movement is increasing significantly with an increase in global cooperation against terrorism.
Projections indicate that the current US hegemony is poised to end by 2030; however, no any other country will have hegemonic power. As mentioned earlier, the global political environment will be multipolar, characterized by power distributed among states and non-state actors. There is the possibility that, after the US hegemony ends, Asia is likely to regain its global power. In a multipolar environment, the influence of the US will be same as the influence of other emerging countries that would have achieved a “great power” status. The influence of the US has stemmed from its economic weight, as well as its hard and soft power. However, with the emergence of other nations, the unipolar environment is coming to end, which marks the end of dominant role that the US played in various domains including political, economic and cultural hegemony. The underlying observation is that, despite the fact that US will remain powerful, the world is ultimately changing, and by 2030, power will be distributed to various state as well as non-state actors like corporations.
Internet remains one of the most disruptive technologies that change a faster pace. The Internet is increasingly becoming more integrated to human lives with the increase in inanimate devised connected to the Internet. Projections indicate that internet users across the globe will reach 5 billion by 2020. As of 2025, the internet penetration rate is expected to be 47.13 percent. Amidst the increasing number of internet users, more than 26 billion devices will be connected to the internet. Moreover, technological development will make internet speeds faster than the current speeds. Current fiber optic connections support a maximum of 1 Gigabytes per second (Gbps). This speed is expected to increase to about 100Gbps by 2030. With such developments in speed, it has been projected that the Internet TV will replace the conventional television broadcast as of 2030.
From the discussion, it is evident that world would be different in 2030 when compared to present on various aspects including politics, cyber warfare, cross-culture, terrorism, hegemony and the Internet. Energy and climate challenges, resource security, nuclear conflicts and cyber warfare are likely to be a common feature of global politics. Moreover, international institutions will be weaker than they are now resulting in governance layers not established in accordance to international laws. Cyber warfare by 2030 will be on a higher magnitude than it is now because of the vulnerabilities associated with increasingly interconnected systems. In addition, the number of multiracial individuals will also increase significantly by 2030 to an extent where racial labelling will be irrelevant. It has been foreseen that Islam-related terrorism will come an end by 2030. In addition, terrorists will focus on causing disruptions rather than mass casualties. No country will have hegemonic power. Moreover, there will be a significant upsurge in the speed and usage of the Internet.