Scanning our Future

Scanning our Future is an all-round report on the possible state of the world around 2050, emerging in 2018 on this website and in printable PDF format.

The present is already so intense and demanding that most of us don’t want to consider the future. But surely the changes and pressures we face now are likely to continue, and increase?  Where is all this leading to?

The aim of Scanning Our Future is to gather insights from diverse experts around the world on the outlook for the next 15-35 years – the period 2030 to 2050.

The project rests on three basic assumptions:

  • we cannot actually predict the future, and we do not know whether the perspectives and knowledge we currently have will remain consistent over the years ahead;
  • whatever evolves globally will be the result of a plurality of actions and responses in which everyone plays a part, big or small – even if they don’t do much about it; and…
  • the tectonic plates in our now-multipolar world are shifting and, by 2050, things will be very different, in the world around us and in our own lives.

Our aim is not specifically to advocate beliefs, policy options or scenarios that we ourselves would prefer, though some may be included. Every commentator on this subject has their perception and viewpoint.

We aim to assess realistic possibilities based on the state of the world today, on likely situations that can arise in coming decades, on the range of options before us, the direction of travel, the potential complications, and the world’s available assets.

Whereas many existing assessments derive from scientific, governmental, think-tank, business and NGO sources, our approach is less formal, and wider and deeper in scope. It seeks to serve ordinary thinking people, progressive change-makers, decision-makers and anyone who feels they have a part to play.

Our aim is to provide a whole picture, to help readers envision possibilities and grapple with an enormous, multiplex and also rather indigestible outlook.

NEXT: Project overview