GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

Global Scenarios to 2025


Section 2: Executive Summary

Since 2002, despite high oil and commodity prices, the world has experienced schizophrenic growth. This growth has even surprised the most bullish economists and questions have arisen about its sustainability.

This economic growth was mainly driven by a two-speed world economy in which populous emerging markets, such as China and India, were growing at more than 10% and 8%, respectively. As a result, an economic shift in gravity away from OECD countries to Asia is already on its way. This high economic growth has resulted in an unprecedented demand for ultimately depletable natural resources. With population levels rising from the current 6.6 billion people to an estimated 8.0 billion people by 2025, it is evident that change is inevitable and that many stress points are likely to emerge in the future global environment.

Given this background, when developing the scenarios the following two focal questions emerged:

− How can the world attain a high level of sustainable economic growth given the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape of the early 21st century?
− What will the balance of power look like in 2025 and to what degree might collaborative policies and frameworks shape the global context?

Based on an exploration of these central questions against the backdrop of the critical uncertainties, three scenarios emerge for Global Scenarios 2025. The different journeys the world takes to 2025 are represented below.