GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

The World 2040



The Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies had its 35th anniversary in January 2005. For that occasion, we look ahead rather than back and present a possible view of the World of 2040 A.D. with special attention paid to the Scandinavian countries. This scenario for 2040 is both explorative and normative. It is our proposal for a possible future, but it does not, of course, rule out other possible scenarios as long as they satisfy the demands for realism and internal consistency; across a span of 35 years, the uncertainty is considerable.

The scenario is based on existing megatrends and on the assumption that certain other trends that have just begun to germinate will expand over the next 35 years. The scenario also contains normative elements that hopefully will contribute to create a coherent, desirable portrayal of the year 2040, one that will encourage initiative and engagement. There is a need for realistic, yet positive and proactive, scenarios that evoke a desire for the future that we ourselves create. That is why our future scenario is bright and optimistic – set off by more pessimistic ‘jokers’ in boxes halfway through the report.