Understanding and preparing for the future is key to our success in life. Humanity’s rapid progress in the past fifty years is the cumulative outcome of collaboration, invention, and social awareness that put transformative forces at the center of our global agenda. Quantum leaps in technology propel economic and social development, keeping us interconnected while changing our daily habits. Proliferation and democratization of data bring possibilities that were unimaginable only a decade ago. Ahead of us are opportunities and risks from healthcare to security, to education and humanitarian aid, that necessitate a holistic, strategic approach to tackling the most pressing challenges. Under constant change, fierce competition, and scarce resources, time is shorter than ever. Research centers, institutions, and agencies around the globe strive to make sense out of this rich yet complex context, raising their situational awareness and providing high-quality advice for decision makers at all levels.
We believe that curiosities around the future require expert response. Following on with the global agenda, and with a keen eye for evolving priorities in the Middle East, Trends Research & Advisory is proud to present its edited volume on global trends in the coming decades, titled “Future Trends: The World in the Next 50 Years.” This publication brings together a series of papers presented during the Future Trends Forum organized by TRENDS Research & Advisory in 2021, which discussed key policy-related issues for the future. The variety of topics, richness of scientific evidence, and clarity of the narrative in this exclusive volume takes the reader through a journey of some of the most critical issues of geopolitical, economic, and social significance. The forum took place in 2021, and since then, while many situations remain the same, new circumstances have also emerged. The war in Ukraine, the economic slowdown, and the energy crisis have revealed the fragilities of an interconnected, global economic order. Yet, our overarching priority to increase our resilience against sudden, unpredictable challenges is eternal. Afterall, it is our adaptive capacity, flexibility, and robust response to circumstances beyond our control that ensure our survival.