Predicting the Next Decade 2020-2030

Feb 2011
13,548
Perambulating in St James' Park
#1
It comes with some alarm that I realise I joined this forum in 2011, I have now been posting for 8 years and we're entering the twilight of the 2010s with the new year in 2020. Over that time frame we have seen the rise and fall of the Islamic State, the killing of Osama Bin Laden and Gaddafi and the election of the first black President. We have also seen the potential for another US led war in Syria in 2013 and then it being called off due to the UK Parliament veto. We have also seen the political backlash against mass immigration and globilisation with the unexpected rise of Trump and Brexit. We have seen the rise of mobile technology and the increase use of the internet around the world to enhance communication. Worryingly, we also see the decline of individual freedom in some parts of the world. A more powerful conservative Russia invaded the Ukraine, communist China owns America's debt and continues to build around the Scarborough shoal and Brunei has recently banned homosexuality. There have also been several deadly terrorist attacks in the West and many more around the world.

What can we expect to see in the next decade? As Historians we can presumably reflect upon the past to try and make decisions about the future because human nature never changes. The problem is we also have new technology to contend with, it would be folly to suggest that new tech could change us, but it might present us with new problems.

What can we look forward to, and fear, in the next decade leading up to 2030?

~Rochester
 
Likes: Futurist

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,846
US
#2
History proves that things tend to cycle. With that said, I don't foresee any major wars. I believe The U.S., Russia and China will continue to be the major global players in the next decade. Who might be an up and comer? I can't say, although India is often mentioned. Technology will still provide innovations, but I don't know if they will be at the breakneck pace we have seen in the past. That is, I don't foresee us flying in saucers as opposed to driving in autos, although self driving autos may be the norm.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,920
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#3
A couple of things come to my mind.

UK will see a new referendum to join again the European Union. Yes will win, but after 3 years there will be a never-ending negotiation about how to join again the European Union ... I'm not sure the process will end in next decade.

China will become the new Superpower, overall conquering the African market [they are already doing this].
 
Likes: Futurist

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,053
Welsh Marches
#4
Nah, no one knows what will happen with regard to the EU, logic has nothing to do with the matter! It really ought to fall apart before there could even be such a vote but probably won't. :) And remember when everyone was saying that there was no chance whatever that the British would ever vote to leave it?
 
Likes: Futurist

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,053
Welsh Marches
#5
History proves that things tend to cycle. With that said, I don't foresee any major wars. I believe The U.S., Russia and China will continue to be the major global players in the next decade. Who might be an up and comer? I can't say, although India is often mentioned. Technology will still provide innovations, but I don't know if they will be at the breakneck pace we have seen in the past. That is, I don't foresee us flying in saucers as opposed to driving in autos, although self driving autos may be the norm.
If Russia is really a 'global player', then the value of being so is immensely overrated!
 
Aug 2012
1,554
#8
Here are some predictions, based on my observations of news trends in the last few years:

Life is found on Mars
Considering we have found ancient sources of water, I am truly convinced that we will eventually discover some form of life there. And when I say "life" I mean miniscule, barely sentient life. We'd be lucky to find anything even insectoid. Still, it will be a momentous discovery, perhaps one of the greatest scientific discoveries in the history of man, but it won't be appreciated, because the life we find will be so unimpressive.

Robotics marches on
Self-driving cars come and go. At first an expensive novelty, then a dangerous liability as they cause numerous accidents and spook people from ever trusting them. Google releases a new text-to-speech program which accurately mimics human emotion and, unnervingly, is able to mimic the speech of any human after being given samples of them speaking. This of course terrifies advocates for personal privacy. To make matters worse, robotic sex dolls continue to become more human. Still creepy, but far more widely used, until legal brothels begin opening where people use them. Feminist activists decry this, and it becomes a hot button issue within the media.

The rise of Eco Terrorism
The late 2010's assertion that the planet had only 12 years before catastrophic, irreversible climate change began occurring radicalized various environmentalists. Protests evolve, from mass sit-ins on roadways, to streaking naked through government buildings, to paint attacks on politicians. Small cells develop which take this further, descending into arson and letter-bombs. But no dramatic change on the issue is forthcoming from any government. In America, Doomsday cults re-emerge, spurred on by these events.

The United Kingdom dissolves
England, in the wake of a messy and protracted divorce from the European Union, suffers an internal degrading of her politics. Members of Parliament fear for their safety, there is a rise in far-right terrorism, actively justified by certain news publications. Under this, the international humiliation of the Brexit negotiations, and a succession of far-Left, unsuccessful Labour leaders, the United Kingdom slowly dissolves. With constituent nations demanding independence, and slowly drifting away, leaving the British Isles a very different place.

Segregationist politics go mainstream
America, long conflicted on the issue of race, begins actively discussing the merits of racial segregation. Far left white liberals, along with black nationalist and supremacist movements, gradually shift from discussion of reparations to openly criticising interracial marriage, and the post Civil Rights policy of integration. This has the side effect of creating a resurgence of the KKK, who undergo a major image change to appear more moderate, who use these sentiments to push their own segregationist agenda. There is no armed conflict, and no dramatic race war, but these ideas trickle into mainstream news, until there is open hostility expressed for different racial groups.
 
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AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,920
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#9
A couple of great surprises could be India and Brazil. In next decade India, it's still a bit early for Brazil, actually. But India could impose itself as a regional power.

I expect something from Africa [finally!]. Senegal is doing very well and surrounding countries are imitating it. This could mean the beginning of something new.
 
Apr 2018
970
Upland, Sweden
#10
Here are a few more general predictions:

I think there is a great risk for a general economic downturn across the West, and therefore much of the rest of the world. Our economies are incredibly in debt - all of them, and they are all dependent on absurdly low interest rates. If the Chinese manage to replace the US dollar (or at least threaten its status) as the world's dominant currency then the US might be in trouble, as they will have trouble borrowing money indefinitely to pay for whatever it is their doing (as they are doing right now).

The economy as a whole is going to become increasingly digitized and financialized, a process that might reinforce each other with a "winner take all" kind of logic. Companies like Amazon will risk end up with marketshares that are humongous, much like Google and Facebook already have practical market monopoly in their sectors. What does this mean? Great question. I don't know. Maybe the US will try to break up these companies... that would create trouble for them, as the Chinese would then have an advantage in developing all sorts of data-heavy AI related things (I imagine).

We might see the first moves towards a world divided into regional blocs, each with their own digital infrastructure and financial infrastructure (much like China today have their own versions of the US tech-companies and Russia too). I also think free movement of capital across borders is going to be infringed. Not in the next ten years perhaps, but without so clear American dominance I just don't see the current system remaining.

One interesting question is what will happen to Europe. Right now Europe is essentially an extension of the US in many ways (defence, Internet infrastructure, finance). Will Europe strive to separate itself and do so succesfully? Maybe. I don't know.

I also think there is a chance that we will see a new kind of totalitarianism emerging, with the current "liberals" syncing with the environmental movement and explicitly advocating a one world government. This is unlikely to catch on anywhere outside of the West. We will also see the current "conservatives" get increasingly angry (and also perhaps increasingly radical). Social tensions between ethnic groups will probably increase, and politics will become increasngly unpredictable and fickle. Democracy might be abolished in practice in some places. Ironically, I also imagine that people might well become more homogenous in practice, consuming even more of the same products, having more similar and similar behaviours etc. with less local varieties than we do today.

----

Best case scenario: I am completely wrong about everything.
 

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