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Twenty-five years ago when Mathew Burrows went to work for the CIA as an intelligence analyst, the world seemed frozen. Then came the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the Soviet Union; suddenly, unpredictability became a universal theme and foresight was critical. For the past decade, Burrows has overseen the creation of the Global Trends report—the key futuris Twenty-five years ago when Mathew Burrows went to work for the CIA as an intelligence analyst, the world seemed frozen. Then came the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the Soviet Union; suddenly, unpredictability became a universal theme and foresight was critical. For the past decade, Burrows has overseen the creation of the Global Trends report—the key futurist guide for the White House, Departments of State and Defense, and Homeland Security. Global Trends has a history of making bold predictions and being right: * In 2004, it argued that al-Qaeda's centralized operations would dissolve and be replaced by groups, cells, and individuals—the very model of the 2012 Boston bombings. * In 2008, it included a scenario dubbed October Surprise, imagining a devastating late-season hurricane hitting an unprepared New York City. In The Future, Declassified, Burrows—for the first time—has expanded the most recent Global Trends report into a full-length narrative, forecasting the tectonic shifts that will drive us to 2030. A staggering amount of wholesale change is happening—from unprecedented and widespread aging to rampant urbanization and growth in a global middle class to an eastward shift in economic power and a growing number of disruptive technologies. Even our physical geography is changing as sea levels rise and faster commercial shipping routes open up through a warming Arctic region. The book concludes with its most provocative section: four fictional paths to 2030 with imagined storylines and characters based on analysis by the most authoritative figures in the intelligence community. As Burrows argues, we are living through some of the greatest and most momentous developments in history. Either we take charge and direct those or we are at their mercy. The stakes are particularly high for America's standing in the world and for ordinary Americans who want to maintain their quality of life. Running the gamut from scary to reassuring, this riveting book is essential reading.


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Twenty-five years ago when Mathew Burrows went to work for the CIA as an intelligence analyst, the world seemed frozen. Then came the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the Soviet Union; suddenly, unpredictability became a universal theme and foresight was critical. For the past decade, Burrows has overseen the creation of the Global Trends report—the key futuris Twenty-five years ago when Mathew Burrows went to work for the CIA as an intelligence analyst, the world seemed frozen. Then came the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the Soviet Union; suddenly, unpredictability became a universal theme and foresight was critical. For the past decade, Burrows has overseen the creation of the Global Trends report—the key futurist guide for the White House, Departments of State and Defense, and Homeland Security. Global Trends has a history of making bold predictions and being right: * In 2004, it argued that al-Qaeda's centralized operations would dissolve and be replaced by groups, cells, and individuals—the very model of the 2012 Boston bombings. * In 2008, it included a scenario dubbed October Surprise, imagining a devastating late-season hurricane hitting an unprepared New York City. In The Future, Declassified, Burrows—for the first time—has expanded the most recent Global Trends report into a full-length narrative, forecasting the tectonic shifts that will drive us to 2030. A staggering amount of wholesale change is happening—from unprecedented and widespread aging to rampant urbanization and growth in a global middle class to an eastward shift in economic power and a growing number of disruptive technologies. Even our physical geography is changing as sea levels rise and faster commercial shipping routes open up through a warming Arctic region. The book concludes with its most provocative section: four fictional paths to 2030 with imagined storylines and characters based on analysis by the most authoritative figures in the intelligence community. As Burrows argues, we are living through some of the greatest and most momentous developments in history. Either we take charge and direct those or we are at their mercy. The stakes are particularly high for America's standing in the world and for ordinary Americans who want to maintain their quality of life. Running the gamut from scary to reassuring, this riveting book is essential reading.

30 review for The Future, Declassified: Megatrends That Will Undo the World Unless We Take Action

  1. 5 out of 5

    Grady

    This is exactly the book you might expect from its cover copy: a long time US intelligence analyst retires after serving as the primary author for three rounds of the National Intelligence Council's Global Trends report, hangs out his shingle at a high-powered think tank, and publishes his own assessment of the future. That is to say: Matthew Burrows names a number of trends that are obvious - the rise of China; the likely relative economic decline or the United States and Europe; a panoply of t This is exactly the book you might expect from its cover copy: a long time US intelligence analyst retires after serving as the primary author for three rounds of the National Intelligence Council's Global Trends report, hangs out his shingle at a high-powered think tank, and publishes his own assessment of the future. That is to say: Matthew Burrows names a number of trends that are obvious - the rise of China; the likely relative economic decline or the United States and Europe; a panoply of technological advances; and the challenges of adaptation to climate change - and calls for the US to do better at building analysis of trends into high-level decision making. The data in the central chapters is helpful, and anchors Burrows' range of plausible futures. The analytical packaging around the data is the worldview of a moderate internationalist - maybe more left than right, but basically centrist, at least on a global spectrum - who believes the future can be great if the United States will just engage thoughtfully with the rest of the world. I share that anti-isolationist view, though I'm much more skeptical of both free trade and the 'shale gas revolution' and think Burrows should be a lot more concerned about free-market resistance to sustainability than he appears to be. Four late chapters read like narratives from a scenario planning exercise. They are presumably are supposed to make various current trends Burrows describes more tangible to concrete thinkers, but are dispensable. What's not in the book? Any critique of the outsize role of money in American politics, which shapes domestic and foreign policy for the worse; any real consideration of potential environmental phase changes; any discussion of whether demographic changes in the US will drive meaningful changes in political culture or the policy spectrum in domestic politics. One can see why that's not part of this book, but it makes it a lot less interesting than it otherwise could be, never mind the overwrought subtitle. Ultimately, the book delivers a vision of the future that one could probably absorb equally well by reading the Economist and the New York Times on an ongoing basis. I'm grateful to have received an advance reader's copy of this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ilya

    В целом, книга не понравилась. Она отражает типичное американоцентричное высокомерное мировоззрение автора. Автор рассуждает о неких идеалах, к которым стоит стремиться всему миру, и в то же время о том, как сохранить нынешнее положение Штатов как государства с наибольшей властью в мире. Получается, идеалы справедливости у него разные для разных стран и обществ. И он стремится не к всеобщей справедливости, а к доминированию своей страны над другими. Думаю, похожие настроения свойственны многим ам В целом, книга не понравилась. Она отражает типичное американоцентричное высокомерное мировоззрение автора. Автор рассуждает о неких идеалах, к которым стоит стремиться всему миру, и в то же время о том, как сохранить нынешнее положение Штатов как государства с наибольшей властью в мире. Получается, идеалы справедливости у него разные для разных стран и обществ. И он стремится не к всеобщей справедливости, а к доминированию своей страны над другими. Думаю, похожие настроения свойственны многим американским и даже европейским общественным деятелям, считающих себя мыслителями. Социальные и технологические тенденции, отмеченные в книге, конечно, сами по себе стоят того, чтобы принять их во внимание. Однако автор интерперетирует их с той же позиции достижения превосходства над другими, что абсолютно расходится с моей точкой зрения.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nils

    The problem with any book written by the former head of the National Intelligence Council is that it is, virtually by definition, conventional wisdom. To be clear, this does not mean that it is not wise - there is much wisdom in this book - but it does mean that it is conventional, that is, that it contains no surprises to anyone who is professionally interested in the medium-term global-scale forecasting it offers. This is a direct product of its mode of construction, which involved Burrows on The problem with any book written by the former head of the National Intelligence Council is that it is, virtually by definition, conventional wisdom. To be clear, this does not mean that it is not wise - there is much wisdom in this book - but it does mean that it is conventional, that is, that it contains no surprises to anyone who is professionally interested in the medium-term global-scale forecasting it offers. This is a direct product of its mode of construction, which involved Burrows on the one hand, sitting in Washington and listening to the fears, hopes and dreams of American imperialists (I use this term technically, not pejoratively), and, on the other, traveling the world and talking to other people who have the same interest in medium-term, global-scale forecasting as Burrows himself. The result is actually a telling document about he conventional fears and hopes of security-focused global cosmopolitans in the early 21st century, and it will date itself to those particular concerns. So what are those concerns? Above all: Fragmentation of power and loss of authority leading to decision-making paralysis and strife. Needless to say, this way of framing the "problem" is strictly that of someone who is an incumbent to power. Burrows delivers the "relative US decline" and the arrival of "multi polarity" more in sorrow than in anger or fear, but he clearly regards it as a problem, rather than a boon. Burrows is usefully skeptical of the wild-eyed predictions about biotechnological nightmares, total losses of privacy, societal collapse, and other Romantic-fiction-inspired nightmares. Things will neither turn out as well or as badly as the most extreme forecasts claim, he believes, and in this he is almost certainly right. There will continue to be great reductions in poverty, for example, but we will never "eradicate" poverty, and indeed hundreds of millions of people will remain in extreme poverty. There will be gradual extensions of longevity, but no one will ever live to 1000. Computers will gain spooky forecasting abilities concerning our personal desires and habits, but "the singularity" will never arrive. And so on and on: always Burrows takes the "moderate" view of the future, and clearly he is a most reasonable man in this respect. The problem with all this is that we know that in fact some of the most extreme predictions and forecasts ARE likely to come to pass — we just don't know which ones. This is merely stochastics: even though the average throw of the dice is a seven, if you toss enough dice, you do turn up snake eyes about 2.8% of the time. And the analytic result is a curious one: for example, we know that buying lottery tickets is a money loser on average, but we also do know that some people do win the lottery, and to only focus for analytic purposes on the average rather than the outliers creates a certain analytic blindness, particularly given that the extreme events are the ones we may be most concerned with. Burrows always considers the extreme possibilities, but focuses on the fat part of the bell curve. Alas, the REAL problem that policy makers face is to know WHICH of the many possible extreme outcomes -- at least a few of which will come to pass -- she really needs to worry about. And for that question, this book is entirely unhelpful—an exercise, as I say, in conventional futurist wisdom. Burrows is an eminently reasonable man; alas, we may not live in reasonable times.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    I received an advance copy of this book from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Based on the back cover description, I was very enthused about reading this book. It has taken me over a month to finish and I'm a fast reader. This is not a "sit down and read 50 pages at a time" book. I was hoping it would be informative, but also entertaining and extremely readable, along the lines of Thomas Friedman's best seller "The World Is Flat". Unfortunately, while "The Future Declassified" is highly informat I received an advance copy of this book from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Based on the back cover description, I was very enthused about reading this book. It has taken me over a month to finish and I'm a fast reader. This is not a "sit down and read 50 pages at a time" book. I was hoping it would be informative, but also entertaining and extremely readable, along the lines of Thomas Friedman's best seller "The World Is Flat". Unfortunately, while "The Future Declassified" is highly informative, it is does not have the accessibility and ease in presentation of vast, complex ideas Friedman was able to achieve. Please understand, I'm not saying Mr. Burrows isn't a good writer or he doesn't know what he's talking about. I absolutely believe he does know and he writes well, however, it's very "policy wonk" in style and presentation. Understandable given his background, but it made for a very sluggish read at times. The scenarios in the last third of the book were disappointing as well. I was not expecting mini fictional vignettes with possible global events used to move the plot along. For me, it would have been much more effective for Burrows to have laid out possibilities from his own perspective as an observer of global trends, drawing on the trends he identified in the previous chapters to make the "if... , then..." connection for the reader. I'm not sorry that I spent time with this book, but I'm wistful for how much more impactful and memorable it could have been with a dollop of word crafting and literary style, perhaps from a contributing co-writer.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kay-cee

    The first half of the book especially those involving technological advances is quite interesting though there is too much reliance on small amounts of data. For instance, Burrows points that the bigger the youth bulge in a society the more likely it is to go to war. Now whilst this is true, Burrows over=relies on this as a factor. Whilst, one of the factors in Middle Eastern, and Sub-Saharan African conflict is the youth bulge it is not the only or even the deciding factor as events in the very The first half of the book especially those involving technological advances is quite interesting though there is too much reliance on small amounts of data. For instance, Burrows points that the bigger the youth bulge in a society the more likely it is to go to war. Now whilst this is true, Burrows over=relies on this as a factor. Whilst, one of the factors in Middle Eastern, and Sub-Saharan African conflict is the youth bulge it is not the only or even the deciding factor as events in the very elderly society of Ukraine show. The second half uses the idea of fictional vignettes to try and express the different ways the world may change. The problem is that they are unevenly written mixing detailed geopolitical events with average creative fiction writing leading to an uneven and uninteresting mess. I much preferred Burrow's former colleague in american government forecasting, Andrew F. Krepinevich's '7 deadly scenarios' which although dated now, expressed well written fictional "game-changer" scenarios whilst exploring more general topics.

  6. 5 out of 5

    wade

    A futurist's look at whats ahead for the future of the world. The author was the Director of a think tank with the goal of developing strategic foresight initiatives. The book is very thought provoking tackling the pros and cons of advanced technology, what to do about China, instability in third world nations and the breakdown of the nation state in many areas of the world. The downside for me is that about two thirds through the book the author begins to tell fictional stories about people li A futurist's look at whats ahead for the future of the world. The author was the Director of a think tank with the goal of developing strategic foresight initiatives. The book is very thought provoking tackling the pros and cons of advanced technology, what to do about China, instability in third world nations and the breakdown of the nation state in many areas of the world. The downside for me is that about two thirds through the book the author begins to tell fictional stories about people living in the future world he predicts. My feeling was the book should be all fiction or all fact.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cem Yüksel

    Global trendler konusundaki rapor çalışmalarında bulunmuş ve yönetmiş emekli bir NIC çalışanının kaleminden gelecekle ilgili başlıkları okumak ilginç olmakla beraber, birinci kısımda bahsedilen başlıkların , alanla ilgili olanların vakıf olduğu konulardan bahsediyor olması , kitabın kapağındaki iddialı megatrends that will undo world söylemini desteklemiyor. Belki trendlerin hızı yeni normal haline geldiği için. İkinci kısımdaki trendlere bağlı senaryolar-belki hikayeler demek daha uygun- futuri Global trendler konusundaki rapor çalışmalarında bulunmuş ve yönetmiş emekli bir NIC çalışanının kaleminden gelecekle ilgili başlıkları okumak ilginç olmakla beraber, birinci kısımda bahsedilen başlıkların , alanla ilgili olanların vakıf olduğu konulardan bahsediyor olması , kitabın kapağındaki iddialı megatrends that will undo world söylemini desteklemiyor. Belki trendlerin hızı yeni normal haline geldiği için. İkinci kısımdaki trendlere bağlı senaryolar-belki hikayeler demek daha uygun- futuristik olmaktan ziyade birinci bölüm üzerine fiction tanımına daha uygun gibi. İlginç olabilecek yanı , trendleri Amerikan yönetiminin çevresindeki kurumlarda uzun zaman geçirmiş birisi açısından, biraz Amerikan gözlüğünden okuyor olmak. Bu durumda immigration, sosyal güvenlik, inovasyon konularına o gözle de bakma fırsatı. Gelecekle ilgili okumalara yeni başlayanlar için ilginç olabilir.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Burrows worked for the CIA, predicting future trends as an intelligence analyst. At his retirement he is decided to write for a larger audience. Why I started this book: Eye-catching title on my professional reading list. Why I finished it: Writing about the future can be hard, because one major change can shift things in new directions. I feel that Trump's presidency is one of those things. Plus the scenario chapters just irked me... to much pretend to make the non-fiction of the first chapters Burrows worked for the CIA, predicting future trends as an intelligence analyst. At his retirement he is decided to write for a larger audience. Why I started this book: Eye-catching title on my professional reading list. Why I finished it: Writing about the future can be hard, because one major change can shift things in new directions. I feel that Trump's presidency is one of those things. Plus the scenario chapters just irked me... to much pretend to make the non-fiction of the first chapters easier to swallow.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Mcdermott

    Good book Good book that covers a lot of the same ground as similar books on this topic but the forward looking fictional chapters are also quite interesting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Razvan Zamfirescu

    Spicuiri din recenzia finala care se gaseste pe blogul meu .......................................... Volumul este destul de interesant, recunosc, ai impresia că stai cu Burrows la gura sobei și acesta îți spune povestiri de ale lui din tinerețe. Observațiile finale cu privire la ceea ce urmează să se întâmple în 2030 sunt ținute sub control și toate au legătură cu poziția de conducător mondial pe care America trebuie în continuare să și-o asume. Burrows nu concepe lumea fără ca America să nu j Spicuiri din recenzia finala care se gaseste pe blogul meu .......................................... Volumul este destul de interesant, recunosc, ai impresia că stai cu Burrows la gura sobei și acesta îți spune povestiri de ale lui din tinerețe. Observațiile finale cu privire la ceea ce urmează să se întâmple în 2030 sunt ținute sub control și toate au legătură cu poziția de conducător mondial pe care America trebuie în continuare să și-o asume. Burrows nu concepe lumea fără ca America să nu joace un rol de lider. Indifirent de situație, America trebuie să fie acolo. Chiar dacă tot el spune că în ziua de astăzi nu se mai poate vorbi de jucători decisivi și impunători datorită tehnologiei extrem de avansate și a telecomunicațiilor la care orice stat are în ziua de astăzi acces, America este pentru Burrows unicul și cel mai îndreptățit jucător care poate lua poziție în gestionarea megatendințelor care pot schimba lumea. Ocazional mai dă importanță și Rusiei, dar principalul adversar rămâne China. Deosebit de interesant e modul de prezentare a cursei între marile puteri care când sunt, când nu sunt, când mai pot să fie, când pot să nu mai fie. Burrows vorbește și despre relațiile dintre China și America cu privire la dezvoltarea unor proiecte în domeniul biotehnologiei, despre cât de posibilă este o revoluție a clasei de mijloc la nivel mondial, despre cât de greu este de gestionat de către America sistemul complex și dinamic pe care-l reprezintă lumea de azi. .......................................

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Classic case of a great idea with poor execution. If you follow current events, you won't learn anything new here beyond some additional trivia and stats. His conclusions are the same ones you already know -- China, BRIC, cyberwarfare, U.S. economy, etc. These are ideas that were once cutting-edge but now just given. So don't expect the analysis to shock you. Where the book tanks is with the actual writing. This is a book written by someone who specializes in research reports and who just isn't a Classic case of a great idea with poor execution. If you follow current events, you won't learn anything new here beyond some additional trivia and stats. His conclusions are the same ones you already know -- China, BRIC, cyberwarfare, U.S. economy, etc. These are ideas that were once cutting-edge but now just given. So don't expect the analysis to shock you. Where the book tanks is with the actual writing. This is a book written by someone who specializes in research reports and who just isn't able to translate the technical writing into something more appropriate for a general audience. It's readable, but not enjoyable. It's overloaded with too many examples and stats. He loses control at points and needs an editor to pull him back in a touch. I kept thinking of the professor who is too intelligent to skillfully bring the level of her ideas down for the students, so she either goes too far or not far enough over and over. I can't imagine anyone not already familiar with the material making it through this book without feeling overwhelmed, and yet I can't imagine anyone familiar with the material wanting to read it. There's one very simple change that would have improved the book, and that's the sectional ratio. The first 75% of the book is factual setup and the last quarter is where he gives his predictions. They should have flipped that -- the first quarter as general intro and setup, and then much more in-depth projections written in a more engaging fashion, with some (not all!) of the culled trivia bits and supporting examples weaved in more naturally within the four scenarios he suggests. It's not an awful book, but it's a disappointing one. Read it if you're a wonk, but get it from your library instead of paying for it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Well written overview from a Global Trends report point of view. Not much had changed between 2014 when it was released and 2019 when I read it. A couple of the more interesting concepts were; Individual empowerment is part of a broader trend of diffusion of power. We are heading into a multi polar global system.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This is a summary of the forecasts of the "Global trends" report issued by an intelligence agency to various governmental offices. It has a lot of interesting predictions, along with general recommendations about how to prevent some of them coming to pass. Unfortunately it is an "information dump" with a series of facts & statistics given to support the claims in a mind-numbing avalanche. I read an "advanced readers copy" and maybe the final version will have charts, graphs, maps, and other grap This is a summary of the forecasts of the "Global trends" report issued by an intelligence agency to various governmental offices. It has a lot of interesting predictions, along with general recommendations about how to prevent some of them coming to pass. Unfortunately it is an "information dump" with a series of facts & statistics given to support the claims in a mind-numbing avalanche. I read an "advanced readers copy" and maybe the final version will have charts, graphs, maps, and other graphical presentations to help make the statistics more digestible or at least put the isolated factoids in context. Nothing about the book made me think the author has a hidden agenda, but the tendency to lay out a barrage of statistics in different formats made it hard to figure out what the numbers really mean. You'll to have a world almanac or the CIA World Factbook handy to determine if isolated numbers represent a trend, or for how the percentage of Japan's population that is engaged in the workforce compares to a raw number of people in a another country. It would really have helped to just state the quantities in like terms rather than leave it to the reader to verify they mean what the author thinks they mean. Still, as glimpse of what a "Global trends" intelligence report might look like, it is fascinating. *Full disclosure -- I won a copy of this book through the GoodReads "first reads" giveaway and they requested a rating/review*

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Griswold

    I received an advanced copy through Goodreads FirstReads program. As a political science student who has read several of these look at the future books, I can say without reservation that many of them suffer from this perverse mix of doomsday thinking and Chicken Little syndrome- “the sky is falling…the sky is falling. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised by Matthew Burrows book “The Future Declassified.” Burrows worked on the last three Global Trends reports which are given to our most senior p I received an advanced copy through Goodreads FirstReads program. As a political science student who has read several of these look at the future books, I can say without reservation that many of them suffer from this perverse mix of doomsday thinking and Chicken Little syndrome- “the sky is falling…the sky is falling. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised by Matthew Burrows book “The Future Declassified.” Burrows worked on the last three Global Trends reports which are given to our most senior political leaders, so his analysis carries credibility. But there’s no fear mongering or were doomed common with some political analysts and Sunday morning televangelists. I would call Burrows analysis a blended cocktail of optimism tempered by the unavoidable reality that todays world is a potentially dangerous place. Burrows is quick to mention that we have not reached an endgame and we can still deal with all of the problems that will face the world in the decades to come. The only thing that I would change is the scenarios that appear towards the end of the book because I did not think that they added much to the analysis itself. Burrows analysis of the major issues from Asia to the Middle East and a resurgent Russia was masterfully refreshing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Roseborough

    Mr. Burrows has very impressive credentials having worked for the CIA as well as with the National Intelligence Counsel deciphering what will be the megatrends of the future. Mr. Burrows describes our future as a multipolar world. A world which is influenced by many strong countries interacting together to ensure growth and prosperity. He believes this international prosperity would be our best bet for the increase of domestic jobs and the continued growth of our middle class. In a future that h Mr. Burrows has very impressive credentials having worked for the CIA as well as with the National Intelligence Counsel deciphering what will be the megatrends of the future. Mr. Burrows describes our future as a multipolar world. A world which is influenced by many strong countries interacting together to ensure growth and prosperity. He believes this international prosperity would be our best bet for the increase of domestic jobs and the continued growth of our middle class. In a future that has the potential to be very bleak or very bright, Mr. Burrows says it is time for the United States to realize that we cannot solve all of the world's problems by ourselves. We need to face the fact that we have to work with the rest of the world to solve it's problems. Though still a leader, we are not the sole dominant power we once were. Technological advances have made the world a much smaller place. The actions of a nation or even a few individuals can change the world view more rapidly than previously imagined. The U.S. can still be a major power, but we must endeavor to actively work with other nations to shape the future to insure continued prosperity and safety. Book provided for review by Palgrave Mcmillan.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sean Sherman

    I received an advanced copy through Goodreads FirstReads program. An interesting book based off the National Intelligence Council's Global Trends reports. It covers a number of projections about shifts in global power and technology in the next couple decades. It covers some of the basics that many people may have a clue about and also delves into situations and events around the world that may not be as well known. Technological advancement can be tricky to predict. There are things that we know I received an advanced copy through Goodreads FirstReads program. An interesting book based off the National Intelligence Council's Global Trends reports. It covers a number of projections about shifts in global power and technology in the next couple decades. It covers some of the basics that many people may have a clue about and also delves into situations and events around the world that may not be as well known. Technological advancement can be tricky to predict. There are things that we know are coming, but have no idea how innovative people will use these new technologies. Added with the coming of a probable multi-polar world and the future can look intimidating. Burrows tries to keep his optimism even with some treacherous waters for the world ahead. Overall it is a good book for those who want to learn more about some of the challenges we face. There are a number of fictional scenarios towards the end that give examples of possible futures. They were a little short and I wish they were a bit more developed, but they did illustrate some of the author's points.

  17. 5 out of 5

    P.S. Carrillo

    Mr. Burrows has written a brilliant book that speculates what the world may look like by 2030. It covers trends such as military conflicts, advances in technology, energy development and food and water scarcity. I was surprised that the issue of global mass migration (to mostly northern nations) due to famines, water shortages and escalating violence in the southern hemisphere was not directly addressed. The biggest omission was the growing dominance of the drug cartels in Central and South Amer Mr. Burrows has written a brilliant book that speculates what the world may look like by 2030. It covers trends such as military conflicts, advances in technology, energy development and food and water scarcity. I was surprised that the issue of global mass migration (to mostly northern nations) due to famines, water shortages and escalating violence in the southern hemisphere was not directly addressed. The biggest omission was the growing dominance of the drug cartels in Central and South America, namely Mexico. Mexico can be described as a failed state and as it is our closest neighbor and our biggest trading partner, it is our most critical and urgent foreign policy issue. Of course I realize that any discussion regarding immigration and the drug trade is politically dangerous, no matter how scientifically the subject is approached. I highly recommend this book for a comprehensive look at our world and the short term challenges we face. Mr. Burrows is to be congratulated on his unflinching narratives and his honest appraisal of where the United States stands in view of a rapidly changing world.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Skeetor

    I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. 3.5 I found the book to be interesting and well-written for the most part. However, just a warning for those looking for an easy read, most of the information is presented in a format closer to an intelligence briefing, than a narrative. The author provides a lot of interesting technological breakthrough information, as well as insights for trends in societal behavior. Also presented are many of the author’s predictions of probable futu I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. 3.5 I found the book to be interesting and well-written for the most part. However, just a warning for those looking for an easy read, most of the information is presented in a format closer to an intelligence briefing, than a narrative. The author provides a lot of interesting technological breakthrough information, as well as insights for trends in societal behavior. Also presented are many of the author’s predictions of probable future global scenarios. You may not agree with his reasoning or his predictions, but this book is definitely thought provoking and I am glad I read it. I am not sure why the short stories were added at the end of the book, to me they really didn’t fit well and it was rather an abrupt change in writing style. I feel his goal of bringing attention to possible scenarios would have been better served by his own explanations of the possible scenarios, minus the shallow plots and characters.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matt Heavner

    This book did not live up to its promise but I can't put my finger on why. As a catalyst for provoking strategic thinking, this is a worthwhile read. I think it was a good read in conjunction with the more formal Global Futures 2030 report - probably no surprise that if you read this book you might be into the full report. Although there were footnotes in this book, many of the claims made by this book were too lightly supported (of course, to make this more readable and less academic, that was This book did not live up to its promise but I can't put my finger on why. As a catalyst for provoking strategic thinking, this is a worthwhile read. I think it was a good read in conjunction with the more formal Global Futures 2030 report - probably no surprise that if you read this book you might be into the full report. Although there were footnotes in this book, many of the claims made by this book were too lightly supported (of course, to make this more readable and less academic, that was probably the editor's advice and the documentation is in the more formal report). The last four chapters were fictional "imaginings" that were a quicker read, somewhat captivating, somewhat formulaic, but also thought provoking. Overall, this book was thought provoking and a worthwhile read, so still gets the four stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Berlinsd

    I read this book because it was on a professional reading list. Burrows is a former intelligence analyst who worked on America's comprehensive strategic outlook report. This book is an adaptation of his government work without political oversight. He looks deep into trends that one day we will hear politicians say on headline news that they were surprised. Among these trends are the impact of technology on nation-states and movements, global warming (whether man-made or cyclical) impacts, the ri I read this book because it was on a professional reading list. Burrows is a former intelligence analyst who worked on America's comprehensive strategic outlook report. This book is an adaptation of his government work without political oversight. He looks deep into trends that one day we will hear politicians say on headline news that they were surprised. Among these trends are the impact of technology on nation-states and movements, global warming (whether man-made or cyclical) impacts, the rising global middle class, and the impacts of 3D printing and biotech. It is a good read if you are a deep thinker, long-term investor, or are thinking about what your kids and grandkids will face. It is a must-read strategists, sociologists, and those who work in international relations or national security.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    From the title and the cover, I was a little worried that this book would be a sensationalized, fear-tactic look at the future. It's actually a much more realistic look at some of the global challenges (i.e. threats and opportunities) that we'll face between now and roughly 2030. The first half of the book examines these in detail and the second half is a series of speculative short stories (fiction). I think they're intended to be more illustrative than entertaining, so don't expect to be blown From the title and the cover, I was a little worried that this book would be a sensationalized, fear-tactic look at the future. It's actually a much more realistic look at some of the global challenges (i.e. threats and opportunities) that we'll face between now and roughly 2030. The first half of the book examines these in detail and the second half is a series of speculative short stories (fiction). I think they're intended to be more illustrative than entertaining, so don't expect to be blown away by the narrative. That being said, they do add something to the book as a whole and it's not an approach I've seen done before. I'd recommend this book to anyone who finds themselves thinking about global issues and is interested in an insider's take. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Frank Kelly

    Burrows is one of the smartest out there in terms of analysis of future trends and issues. No, there are no Earth-shattering revelations here. But he makes a solid presentation backed by good research and critical thinking of many of the key issues of the day: the rise of China, the impact of technology on our lives and how we rule ourselves, natural resource challenges and opportunities, etc. Overall, a good resource to find other resources on what we know is coming our way in the next 25 to 50 Burrows is one of the smartest out there in terms of analysis of future trends and issues. No, there are no Earth-shattering revelations here. But he makes a solid presentation backed by good research and critical thinking of many of the key issues of the day: the rise of China, the impact of technology on our lives and how we rule ourselves, natural resource challenges and opportunities, etc. Overall, a good resource to find other resources on what we know is coming our way in the next 25 to 50 years.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    I received this book for review as part of the Goodreads first-reads giveaway. I have to say this was a difficult book for me to get through. It has some fascinating information in it, and some of it was actually a little scary, but it was like reading a textbook in college I would think. I realize it is a non-fiction selection, but I have read books about history, biographies of people, past and present. I like non-ficton. This was just a tough read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    ...This was a well written book, that was an interesting read, and I think that many people who are not exceptionally knowledgeable of world politics, and future trends would get a good synopsis of the subject in The Future, Declassified. Just don't expect any groundbreaking revelations. Read the full review in The Thugbrarian Review @ http://wp.me/p4pAFB-oK ...This was a well written book, that was an interesting read, and I think that many people who are not exceptionally knowledgeable of world politics, and future trends would get a good synopsis of the subject in The Future, Declassified. Just don't expect any groundbreaking revelations. Read the full review in The Thugbrarian Review @ http://wp.me/p4pAFB-oK

  25. 4 out of 5

    YYY

    Thank you First Reads for winning this free book. I will read and review soon.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Yevgeny

    Можно ознакомиться, книга неплоха. Сильных выводов из неё не сделаешь, но такой обзор мировых вещей имеется.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Илья Колчанов

    Нет большего бреда, чем данное творение

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    Plenty of great information; however, it is presented in a way that makes the book hard to read. Greater organization and a simpler writing style would have made this book much better.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mike

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