2018 And The Clash of World Views
During 2017, a series of events have set up what has become a clash of world views, rather than a clash of civilisations. This year, the moves of the previous year will play out in potentially dramatic ways, ranging from military disruptions that threaten spiralling conflicts, to economic stand-offs between major nations and major shifts in the role of media and information in shaping our society.
The opening Sign of the Times for 2018 presents a list of key themes that during the next 12 months have the potential to be catalysts or triggers for changes that will shape our world, our markets and our lives. Last year, as a new president took office and set about implementing his agenda, the implications overshadowed every other theme and turned accepted wisdom on what might happen in 2017 on its head. One year later, the world has indeed seen significant change, with the US withdrawing from the TPP, increasing instability in the Middle East, India’s economic reforms working their way through the economy, and ongoing political challenges across the EU. With the benefit of a tumultuous year’s events to consider, this month’s Leader will again attempt to identify the key political, military, economic, social and technological themes playing out in 2018 (and beyond), along with counter-pointed scenarios and a briefing on their potential impact on the world in the years to come. While recognizing the considerable uncertainty in the world today, 2018 has the makings of the year in which we may be forced to reconcile booming markets on the one hand with the prospect of dangerous political games on the other hand, potentially triggering further discord and conflict.