Imagining 2030

‘Imagining Britain in 2030’

What will Britain look like by 2030? How will Brexit have played out or will the process be still ongoing? Will Great Britain’s map have changed or will greater devolution have resulted in a tweaking of borders? What kind of government might be in power?

A panel of experts gathered to discuss these questions and more at Juju’s Bar and Stage. The discussion, titled ‘Imagining Britain in 2030’ was moderated by Peter Apps, Reuters Global Affairs Columnist.

Paul Swinney, Head of Policy and Research at the Centre for Cities started off the discussion speaking on the reality of future changes to the world of work, such as the rise of the robots, will play out across the country.…  Seguir leyendo »

The future of warfare may be coming faster than we think.

That, at least, felt like the conclusion of Tuesday’s panel on “Imagining War in 2030”, organized by the Project for the Study of the 21st Century and the British Army Intrapreneurs’ Network [BrAIN]. With dozens of military and civilian attendees packed into a relatively airless conference room in Whitehall, a panel of leading experts sketched out what looks to be a period of massive technical, geopolitical and deeply unpredictable change.

Royal United Services Institute Futures and Technology fellow Elizabeth Quintana sketched out some of the technical breakthroughs coming down the line as nations invest in new cyber, electromagnetic and growing technologies as well as hypersonic and other weaponry.…  Seguir leyendo »

While the ideological appeal of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) remains high as exemplified by the recent attacks throughout the United Kingdom, the group’s territorial base is constantly shrinking. It is too early to proclaim the end of the caliphate or the defeat of ISIS. After all, Al-Qaeda was believed to have vanished into nothing more than a ghost of the past, yet it continues to operate, albeit with changed organizational character. ISIS, just like Al-Qaeda, will not just vanish even if all territory held by the group was liberated. One does not simply defeat terrorism by physical force. ISIS as an idea and an ideal will continue to live on far beyond its physical manifestation.…  Seguir leyendo »

As Lord Nigel Farage does the round of life-streaming chat shows in the run up to the fifteenth anniversary of the Brexit vote, it is hard to believe that the 67-year-old is still almost 4 years younger than Donald Trump was when he won the US presidential election that same year.

Both Brexit and the Trump victory were seen at the time very much as the revenge of an older generation that, younger liberals clearly hoped, would soon be gone again. That hasn’t quite happened – or at least, it hasn’t happened yet. Like so much else in politics, however, all sides of the political spectrum may well be reluctantly concluding that both defendants were both not quite as good and not quite as bad as they might initially have feared.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

In an unknown spot somewhere in the deserts of Arabia far away from any capital stood the tiny village of Ar-Rashid on a plateau surrounded by dunes. It was night and the village was covered in a type of darkness only found in remote places. The sky was vaguely lit up with all possible stars large and small. Seen from space, not even a minuscule light was visible to pinpoint the village in the grand, dark sea the desert formed.

On a plateau, a few houses had been built of cheap bricks and covered with thin metal roofing.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

“That’s it, right there,” said Ashik. Through beat-up VR goggles he saw an over-the-shoulder view of one unmanned underwater vehicle approaching another, larger, unmanned underwater tender. What he saw was only a simulated rendering based on inertial navigation data, but he knew that if he could see them, both machines would be visibly in need of overhauls – or retirement. The words “Operator – Take Manual Control” flashing across his lower field of vision piqued his curiosity.

“Uh, Rima…you still awake?” he called out through the goggles’ integrated microphone as an indicator ticked down the distance to the tender.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

The year is 2030. 10 years have passed since the third Gulf War, and the spectre of conflict again appears on the horizon. The cause of the war between a US-Saudi Coalition and an Iranian nuclear state, with surprisingly little Israeli involvement, is now well known. President Trump’s bellicose rhetoric in the lead up to his presidential nomination in 2016 was not all bluster. Thankfully, it was his only “serious” foreign policy venture.

The weak Jus ad bellum for the 2020 conflict – Iran’s “imminent” use of their nuclear arsenal on Israel – proved unfounded.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

It is the year 2030 and Latin America is hungover.  Not from too many Pisco sours but from binge drinking on a lethal cocktail of home-grown terrorism, drug trafficking, gang violence and total economic collapse. It has now awoken, and its “hair of the dog” is beginning to take effect.

History has been made in Colombia! With a 50-year-war with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) over, Colombia is now a major player on the world stage participating in international organisations such as NATO (having recently become a Partnership for Peace member) and, at the United Nations, where Colombia has a number of UN peacekeeping and training missions in Africa under its command.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

It’s 2030, the Arctic landscape has changed significantly both geographically and ecologically over the last few decades. The transition from ice and snow to open water has increased the availability and access to natural resources and shipping routes. However, the increased economic activity in the Arctic has not been linear and has suffered various setbacks.

To begin, the North Sea Route has seen increased navigation. This route currently allows ships from North East Asia to transport cargo to Europe and even the Canadian and American East coast.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

Meine Damen und Herren, today’s lecture is on Syria.”

The university lecture hall is packed. I sit up. I can see the professor clearly from my spot in the back of the room. This lecture hits home, a little too close.

Almost two decades of fighting has left this region traumatized. Over 50% of the population who used to live in the area of former Syria have either fled or been killed in the conflict…”

Syria was unravelling as my family fled 14 years ago.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

It’s 2030, and I’m reflecting on compelling predictions that the U.S. National Security Strategy made in early 2015:

“A struggle for power is underway among and within many states of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  This is a generational struggle in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq war and 2011 Arab uprisings, which will redefine the region as well as relationships among communities and between citizens and their governments.  This process will continue to be combustible, especially in societies where religious extremists take root, or rulers reject democratic reforms, exploit their economies, and crush civil society” – U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

Caramba, I forget how to turn this on again,” I said aloud to no one in particular.

Sitting next to me, a smirking Pablo said, “click the button by your right ear… sí, that one.”

After the Great Unification War, China promptly rewarded countries that recognized its regained sovereignty over Taiwan. For Peru, this meant not only some fancy trade deals, but also free security and defense equipment, including training aircraft for the Air Force, tanks and trucks for the Army and smart-armored uniforms and smart-helmets for us, the Policía Nacional del Peru (PNP – Peruvian National Police).…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

Meiyan’s smartwatch vibrated, and she winced. Lately, most of her messages had been from her parents – and they had all been variations on a theme. She looked down, and sure enough, it was from her mother: “Still alone?!”

In their last exchange, her mother had not-so-subtly asked if Meiyan was bringing someone home to meet the family at Spring Festival this year. Meiyan’s answer had been curt (“No”) but not curt enough to dissuade some light paternal nagging.

It wasn’t enough that she had her parents clamoring for her to marry – she also got bombarded with the targeted government messages that filled her social media pages.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that time flies faster as you get older. Even now in 2030, however, it’s hard to comprehend that it’s already more than a decade since President Donald Trump — by far the most idiosyncratic president in recent American history — left the White House following his first, only and still phenomenally divisive term in office.

With hindsight, historians and political scientists say his narrow victory in 2016 should not have been as unexpected as it seemed at the time.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

The Trans-Siberian Express isn’t just a train, it’s a metaphor. Once, a metaphor for the Tsarist empire’s determination to claim Siberia and the Russian Far East. And now? The double-headed eagle proudly glitters on the bullet-nose of the new, high-speed trains, and the conductors on the Moskovskaya strelka, the ‘Moscow Arrow,’ wear uniforms derived from those of their imperial forebears. But the CRH-49 locomotives are a Chinese design, built in the now Chinese-owned Uralvagonzavod works with a loan from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, running along a new track built by a Russo-Chinese consortium, and largely by Uighur labourers.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

Captain Hutchinson first appeared in the Imagining 2030 piece Deportations and Terror. He has returned again for part two of his Imagining 2030 story.

Hutchinson got home just over three weeks after sailing north from the Falklands. After a quick handover to the oncoming Master, he was picked up at the dockside by his wife’s Amazon LiOn, a self driving electric car that she had dispatched to meet him. 45 minutes later he arrived at their house,  which sat on the edge of one of the many villages around the edge of Dartmoor in southwest England. …  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

Date of first infection?” asks the nurse, not looking up from his electronic chart.

May 2026” I answer, and he taps the screen. He rummages through his trolley, finds a pack of pills with a green cover and hands it to me without saying a word: he can tell from my chart I know what to do — I’ve taken AniFlu before.

While I swallow the pills, the nurse pulls an iTrack from his hip holster and holds the device against my shoulder.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

3.12pm: hey. college buddy of mine might join us this evening if that’s ok.

3.16pm: more the merrier

3.17pm: great. you’ll like her.

**

Sophie blew out the office door, anxiously surveying the road, left ring finger pressing her PalmPad to call a cab. She should have done this before she left but she got caught up and now it was rush hour and they’d all be taken – ah, no, thank god. Here was one now, sleek, almost silent, driving up the office park’s driveway.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 New Forms of Protest

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

A doorway opens to my left and with the certainty that comes in the state of flow, I take it, catching a barely perceptible smile from the man who held it open and begins sliding it closed as I tear through. I feel the shift, like the sensation of breaking through a curtain of water as the flock coalesces around my initiative. I am now in the lead.

To follow is easy, the confidence to take the initiative when danger looms comes with experience.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

‘Stop both engines.’

With a visible sigh of relief, Captain Hutchinson returned the conning microphone to its waterproofed box on the starboard bridge wing and took a moment to study the scenery around him. The last hour of the three week passage down the Atlantic had been quite tense as he had conned the converted livestock carrier ‘Marine Manger 1’, now renamed, with some irony, ‘Friendship’, after one of the original first fleet that sailed to Australia more than 200 years before, into the shallow natural harbour of Bright Island, on the western extremity of the Falklands.…  Seguir leyendo »