MSFS-645 Forecasting Global Trends
Fall for 2015-2016
There is broad agreement that the next 15-20 years will see massive shifts at the country, regional and global levels – driven by demography, resource scarcity, communications and other technologies, conflict and governance challenges, and much more. There is also agreement that while broad trends may be clear, their force and direction will depend to a significant degree on the interaction among them – demographic trends and resource consumption patterns or state fragility and conflict to take two obvious examples.
This seminar is designed to give students the tools and analytical methodologies to think systematically about the future, though not to predict it. We will examine four “megatrends” identified in Global Trends 2030, a publication of the National Intelligence Council, and a number of variables – for example, the potential for increased conflict and the impact of new technologies – that will affect the trajectory of these trends. We will anticipate what the consequences will be of these trends converging for U.S. grand strategy. Students will be divided into teams and each team will apply the analytical tools and forecasting methodologies studied in the course to a particular country, producing a national intelligence estimate (NIE) that assesses the opportunities and risks that country will face in the next five years.
While this is not an intelligence course, methodologies utilized in the course are drawn from the U.S. Intelligence Community and the class will be briefed by representatives from the IC.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Course syllabi
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Fall '15: yostc (file download)
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