Global strategic trends - Out to 2045

This fifth edition of Global Strategic Trends (GST 5) aims to describe possible futures to provide a strategic context for policy- and decision-makers across Government. Thirteen broad thematic areas have been identified, with eight geographic regions and a section on space. Some trends (most notably those relating to economics, religion, technology and globalisation) are so important that they run through all of the subject areas, and are discussed as they arise rather than in their own sections, to bring them to life more clearly. In the process of identifying threats, challenges and defence and security implications for policy- and decision-makers, there may be a tendency for the document to seem rather negative in its outlook. This is an inevitable consequence of its purpose. There is of course scope for human ingenuity to have a significant impact on the future, and hence there are considerable grounds for optimism.