Ci'Num 2030 scenario characteristics

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  • Collapse: Local
  • Long war(s): Historical and singular
  • New Enlightenment: Guilds (structured, hierarchic, chosen communities – includes some corporations or industries), multiple
  • Hundred Flowers: Fluid, fractal, plural


  • Collapse: Re-use, re-appropriate, repurpose; "Salvation army" style
  • Long war(s): Global military style + Fashion invented upon ethnic traditions; Mecca-Cola; Transparent "Search me!" bags; Safety-oriented smart materials; Provocative counter-cultural fashion
  • New Enlightenment: Natural, quality, long-lasting, low impact materials; "English countryside" style; Badges of good behaviour; Guild insignia; Comfort and carbon footprint-oriented smart materials
  • Hundred Flowers: Creative, individualized, customizable, low-impact smart materials; "Cool" style with a personal touch; Individual expression; "The brand: Me"


  • Collapse: Local currencies; Local exchange/barter systems; Microcredit; Private and local currencies ecologically designed (e.g. "Berliner" ,whose value goes down with time)
  • Long war(s): National currencies with 1-2 dominant currencies; High inflation, high savings; Short-term options and predictions markets; The Dow Jones and commodities markets
  • New Enlightenment: The Euro is the major international currency; "Green bonds" backed by UN, guilds or cities, financing huge projects; Carbon-offset markets; Tax-based internalization of external effects, with strong cost-control mechanisms
  • Hundred Flowers: The Dollar remains the major international currency; P2P microcredit; Creation of private moneys (Linden dollar, "Berliner" from alternative germans...); Very sophisticated short and long-term options markets; Small caps markets; Internalization of externalities through prices, transparency, labels, consumer behaviours, individual carbon-footprint calculators...

Growth and economic dynamics

  • Collapse: Negative; Sharp reduction in international trade; Few very large firms with localized activities survive
  • Long war(s): War economy and economic war over access to resources; Protectionism; Crises; The Industrial-military complex rules; Strong IPR enforcement
  • New Enlightenment: "De-growth" and new measurement of growth (well-being, human development); Public interventionism; Active and conscious development of public-domain knowledge and generics
  • Hundred Flowers: GDP growth no longer significant measure; Immaterial economy; Markets are key; Continuous tension between IPR and open-source/generics; Nick Szabo’s smart contracts.

North-South relations

  • Collapse: North evolves towards South; Reverse migrations; Unpaid developing countries debts
  • Long war(s): Spheres of influence and new protectorates; Reinforcement of agricultural subsidies; "Narrow door" for economic development (Africa and other Least Developed Nations left aside); Political requirements on trade; World economic forum vs. World social forum
  • New Enlightenment: Conscious and shared effort towards (sustainable) development, based on each region's traditional and ex-colonial relationships, aiming at fast leapfrog towards post-industrial economies; Debt cancelled; Common agricultural policy removed; Acceptance of offshoring as a way to ensure economic development without environmental consequences; Social requirements on trade; World economic and ecological forum
  • Hundred Flowers: Priority effort towards total connectivity, education and autonomy; Inclusion through networks; Doha cycle finalized; Debt cancelled

Conflict and diplomacy

  • Collapse: Constant local wars and constant threat of major conflicts; Shifting alliances; Diplomacy centred on complementarities
  • Long war(s): Terrorism; Encouraging on side wars and wars on opponents' backyards; Diplomacy centred on access to resources and enforcing sustainability on others; Corporate diplomacy dominant
  • New Enlightenment: Coalitions vs. rogue states; Terrorism and mafias merge; Diplomacy centred on multilateralism; Strong UN
  • Hundred Flowers: Civil wars and revolutions; Armies reduced in size; Diplomacy centred on co-operation and market efficiencies; Broad access to (new, small-scale, low-cost) WMD; Netwar, swarming techniques; Private security agencies even on political matters: private anti-terrorist groups or even private intelligence; Collusion between organized crime (mafia, triads, yakuza) and private law agencies.


  • Collapse: Local survival
  • Long war(s): State of emergency
  • New Enlightenment: Strong world governance + guilds governance
  • Hundred Flowers: Procedural, systemic, folded into the system; Private laws (see David Friedman);

Mobility and urbanization

  • Collapse: Significant difference between developed and developing world.
All: Reduced intercity and international travel; Urban currencies; Purchase and operation of cars becomes very expensive and strongly discouraged (as well as a social marker); Insufficient public transport pushes telework, teleservices and local activities/relationships; A small number of wealthy, weel-managed global metropolis become more autonomous, form strict borders and all but secede; Internal borders and passports
Developed world: Archipelagos of cities, strong internal links and weak intercity links; Social segregation, gates communities; Urban sprawl replaces by denser, almost self-sufficient urban units; Cities or communities very social internally, but control strangers; Peer-to-peer social pressure
Developing world: Accelerated urbanization due to poverty and environmental problems; Huge, disorganized, violent metropolis
  • Long war(s): Very strong difference between developed and developing world.
All: Reduced international travel, slow growth of inner-city and inter-city mobility;
Developed world: A network of very modern global cities forms the locus of global political and economic powers (Manuel Castell's "Space of Flows"); Fast inner-city modernization towards sustainability; Cars remain dominant but become smarter; New forms of public transport; Corporations arrange public transport for their employees; Managed sprawl (telework, car-sharing, local amenities...); "Smart cities" provide very personalized, localized services; Pervasive surveillance
Developing world: Most 3rd world cities plunge into anarchy yet keep growing; Crisis in China's new cities which quickly degrade and fall into disrepair; A few cities slow down immigration and develop original sustainability dynamics and rules; Curitiba heads the network of such cities
  • New Enlightenment: Major, concerted, global effort towards urban sustainability; Denser inner cities and more autonomous peripheral urban units; Development of mid-sized cities (1-2 M) to alleviate pressure on major urban areas; Investment effort on suburbs, with mixed results; Strong city planning imposes constraints on all space-using or mobility-generating innovations; Free-drive cars and air travel strongly discouraged; Automatic electric cars, shared vehicles, on-demand transports; Low-cost airlines banned; Ultrafast trains; Flexible multipurpose urban locations; Synchronized services; Infrastructure and financial incentives for low-energy transports including biking, walking, teleacting; "Mobility account" and billing of eco-costs; Strong social control on mobility, emissions, crime and compliance with all local rules; Ever-larger protected natural space; Mixed physical-virtual agoras; Permanent participative urban democracy
  • Hundred Flowers: Cities as innovation platforms; Public space, infrastructure (esp. networks) and information considered open-source; Cities, neighbourhoods (sometimes gated) compete to be "greenest" and/or most fun, productive, creative, cultural, quiet, etc.; Urban services (private or privatized) corporations provide highly personalized services, on-the-minute goods or transportation, etc.; Many goods dematerialized as services, possession changed into access; Shared rather than public transport, with financial incentives for sharing; Densification of inner-cities fed by social innovation; Most urban privatized or transfered to communities, with strong - and not always respected - ecological constraints; De facto segregation against poorer/less dense areas; Non-privatized public spaces and services fall into disrepair, sometimes to be replaced by innovative commercial or grassroots substitutes, sometimes not.

Primary matter

  • Collapse: Re-use; Pillaging of easy-to-access natural resources
  • Long war(s): Reduce; Little change on basic raw material economic and industrial base
  • New Enlightenment: Reduce and recycle through large-scale projects and facilities; Nanotech
  • Hundred Flowers: Recycle through design ("cradle to cradle"), repurpose; Nanotech


  • Collapse: Episodic and lasting shortages start the scenario and pervade through it; Permanent energy crises, unreliable supplies and prices; Thermic insulation; Focus on coal and cheap, locally produced energies because of lacks of funds; Each for his own
  • Long war(s): Emphasis of demand-reduction and energy efficiency, but with low intensity because of reluctance of energy-producing industries; Efforts towards extraction of coal and oil, as well as carbon sequestration; Nuclear energy developments (current and next-generations)
  • New Enlightenment: Strong effort towards demand-reduction through tax incentives, public initiatives, deliberate moves from products to services; Large global projects for wind and solar plants, as well as carbon sequestration in China and India; Next-generation nuclear energy
  • Hundred Flowers: Many distributed sources of energy, decentralized production and distribution, local storage and load-bearing; Green design; Synthetic biology-based production of ethanol and other fuels; Efforts towards "Hydrogen economy"


  • Collapse: Crisis in public education; Growth of competing educational enterprises; Frugality a major value taught at school.
  • Long war(s): Competing education systems – between nations, between public and private; Education as a way to produce national unity and competitiveness; Rise of professional education at the expense of academic education.
  • New Enlightenment: Major projects towards education in the developing world, led by UN and guilds in somewhat competing ways; Education as means to produce "sound behaviours" and good citizens; Mass-standardized initial education and more personalized lifelong learning using common IT tools and information systems; World competition among universities for academic excellence.
  • Hundred Flowers: "De-schooling" through networks and technology, co-operation, "learning by doing", with much help from IT tools; Blurred separation between work, leisure and learning; Public and private education systems compete; Alternative schooling, home schooling, sometimes (but not always) with fundamentalist (e.g., creationist) content.


  • Collapse: Life expectancy almost ceases to grow, decreases in some areas; Longer life no longer a priority research goal; Malthusianism and authoritarian birth control in several countries and communities; Avatars replace children; Millions of environmental refugees battle tough immigration laws in less affected countries; Longer work lives because of pension problems; Population reaches plateau around 8.5 billions in 2030.
  • Long war(s): Life expectancy continues sharp rise in the North, not in the South; China gives up birth control to reach superpower status, while less advanced countries implement "One child" policies; Embryo selection and human enhancement technologies become available to the rich; Generational conflicts between young South and greying North, as well as within North societies; Economic migrants face tough, selective border controls, resulting in riots and in the strengthening of a "globalized class" in developing countries – those who were given a chance to study and work in the North for a while; Population reaches 8.5 billions in 2030 and keeps growing, although at a slower and slower pace.
  • New Enlightenment: General and largely shared effort towards increasing life expectancy and using science in order to prevent diseases and increase human capacities in "responsible" ways; Strong birth control drive in the developing world, financed by developed countries; Co-development reduces migrations; Immigration quotas, non-permanent migrations; Longer and longer work lives: "Active aging" as a priority goal and value; As the generation that has pulled the world out of its troubles seems set to remain in place, the younger generation becomes restless. Population stabilized at 8 billions since 2027.
  • Hundred Flowers: Life expectancy rises in most places, due to better living standards; Fertility decreases in less advanced countries, however China gives up its "One child" policy; Constant, mostly non-permanent migratory flows in all directions (not just South to North); A "global class" with no national attachment rises; Work-life boundaries blur, especially at old age; Low pensions, decreased family and local solidarities, give birth to generational tensions. Population reaches 8.7 billions in 2030 and keeps growing, causing alarm with some economists.

The body / Health

  • Collapse: Climate change allows diseases to migrate and hit populations not immune to them; Environmental troubles produce health problems; Self-medication; Return to traditional medicine for economical reasons; However, forced relocalization results in lesser pandemics risks; Research focuses on cures and the overall resistance of the body; Embryo selection becomes widespread in affluent communities; Longevity-increasing and lifestyle drugs research no longer encouraged.
  • Long war(s): Military needs produce breakthroughs in combat-related enhancement drugs (attention, stamina, resistance to pain…), prosthetics, tissue-regeneration, etc., which slowly trickles towards civilian uses; Pro-active medicine (studying predispositions, preventing diseases, selecting the right embryos); Enhancement is defined in a precise, unidmensional way: an enhanced person is more economically/militarily productive; Organ traffic; Unintended consequences of drugs used on military before proper tests; Bioterror; Stress becomes a major disease.
  • New Enlightenment: Emphasis on healthy living, proactive medicine, mind enhancement and longevity: "Cure the cause, not the symptom"; "Methuselah Project"; Strongly enforced ethics and testing requirements before new drugs are put on the market; Return to traditional medicine and "holistic" therapies, for ideological reasons, but also because research on better "well-being" drugs (anti-aging, brain enhancement, etc.) is strongly regulated; Large GMO deployments cause unintended health consequences; Control over access to permanent enhancement techniques; Eugenics.
  • Hundred Flowers: Emphasis on enhancements that mix utility and pleasure; Lifestyle, non-permanent enhancements; Efficient cures able to compensate and repair the consequences of abuse; Self-medication because of slow decline of healthcare systems and ideology of "self-ownership"; Self-medication experts systems available online; Uncontrolled used of new products and mobility produce large-scale poisonings, "new plagues" and local catastrophes; Biocrime; Private or grassroots organisation for control of the quality of health products; "Morphological liberty" (see Anders Sandberg); multiple visions of "human enhancements", people being enhanced according to their favorite tribe or group; "enhanced religious fanatics", (their faith being constantly reactivated through drugs or Persinger’s magnetic transcranial stimulation system, for instance the God Helmet).

Culture and counterculture

  • Collapse: Local and sublocal cultures; Only those large cultural corporations with strong local presence survive; Craftsmanship considered an art; Emphasis on live cultural events, encounters, Do it yourself; Virtual worlds and adventure, role-playing games.
Counterculture: Nomadism; "Mad Max" communities; Cyberpunk esthetics, hacking, piracy of data, low tech. Hakim bey’s TAZ - not for ideological reasons, but for maximizing survival.
  • Long war(s): National cultures predominant and assertive, some reaching new "golden ages"; Censorship; Government and large corporations main patrons of the arts; Strongly enforced intellectual property; wargames.
Counterculture: Militant peace-artists; Peacegames; Alternative communities, neo-hippies (Burning Man).
  • New Enlightenment: Guild-based cultural identities mixed with a layer of global culture; Large world shows; Hollywood and Bollywood rule; Transhumanism; Educational videogames; All public entities, including the UN, have large cultural budgets; Eco-art; Wikipedia; Multilingual translating machines; Esperanto makes a comeback.
Counterculture: Roots Punk and Pop; Right-wing Death Metal rock; "Anti-boredom" movement; smokers; "Hundred flowers" culture (see scenario 4); Stirnerian anarchism; Extropianism-like transhumanism; Antidemocratic movements : laveyan satanism.
  • Hundred Flowers: P2P culture; Palimpsests and sampling; User-generated contents; Diverse and ever-evolving pop cultures; Intertwined cultural communities, local, ethnic, religious, philosophical, artistic, hobbyist…; Culture as a market and as flow; Tension between "free culture" and intellectual property; Bio-art; Videogames as 10th art.
Counterculture(s): Macho-Mafia culture; Culture of the last poor; Academic culture; New enlightenment’s culture (see scenario 3); Conspiracy theory (the more the world is decentralized, the more the need for simple explanations), fundamentalism, sects.


  • Collapse: return to traditional value for one part of the population. Neo-magical street magic practice (sometimes of various ethnic origins) able to give hope in a better material situation.
  • Long war(s): Religion is seen by authorities as a tool to avoid dissatisfaction (opium for the people); good acceptation and help of the traditional religion of the place, but distrust of religious minorities, seen as element of subversion or even as a fifth column of foreign origin
  • New Enlightenment: extension of new age, new synthesis,holisitic practice, but defiance toward traditional forms of religion. Buddhism rising.
  • Hundred Flowers: Extension of religious attitude favouring individualism and autonomy: psychedelia, neomagical movements, hoax religions (chaos magick, discordianism, “audience cults and neophilic irreligions”, ecological feminist cults such as wicca; "extreme" buddhism (dzogchen, "beat zen"...); personal religions created from a cocktail of diverse influences... But also, multiplication of sects and fundamentalist communities because of the increased autonomy of local groups. Transhumanism of Frank Tipler’s flavour; Singularitarianism; Chardinism. But decrease of traditional "moderate" forms of religion.

Research and innovation

  • Collapse: Fractured scientific communities, lower rate of information interchange; Short-term focus on social and corporate needs; Lack of funding leads to very high selectivity as well as inventiveness on new ways to produce "tinsel research"; Small firms and communities remain important source of innovation, but have difficulties in reaching large enough markets; Incremental innovation; Local interdisciplinary clusters.
  • Long war(s): Military-industrial complex defines research agenda and provides most of the funding; Top-down agenda; Access to funds highly competitive; Strong secrecy and industrial property requirements and enforcement; Civil market entry subject to stringent vetting process (security, safety, prior patents, energy requirements, recycling…); Mostly large industrial projects + very small exploratory projects; National, disciplinary or single-industry clusters; Public national universities become locus of resistance.
  • New Enlightenment: High public-private-NGO R&D effort, with a focus on large projects with significant expected effects; Most research results into public domain; Corporate R&D strongly subsidized; Bottom-up, grassroots innovation but with a strong validation from the state at the end and beginning of the process; Ethics and Sustainability committees; Constant evaluation of externalities and unintended systemic effects; International clusters; Very large international universities; Incremental and disruptive (but very controlled) innovation.
  • Hundred Flowers: Bottom-up, driven by small and large corporations; Most R&D is privately funded; Open-source and proprietary research in bitter competition; Project-based research with fast theory-experimentation cycles, modular projects, quick and incremental results; Users as innovators; Although the ideological emphasis is on little corporations, innovations frequently end up in the hands of big companies; Clusters a forgotten concept; Foundations, venture capital, "innovation angels".

ICT (information and communication technologies)

  • Collapse: Advanced modelling, warning, risk-management and recovery systems; Telepresence and telework; Advancement of virtual worlds as escapes from daily realities; Stress on Internet interconnectivity and neutrality; Grassroots co-operative, P2P, C2C tools and applications; Locally manufactured "generic" IT tools
  • Long war(s): Technologies of observation and control; Cyberwar; Secure networks and tools; DRM; Control of Internet communications; Optimization tools for resource planning and efficiency; Advanced virtual worlds as areas of peace; Quantum computing for encryption-decryption and military applications; Grassroots encrypted alternets spanning borders and surveillance-trumping tools; Rich communications and interfaces; R&D focused on military and law enforcement and on reduced resource-dependency
  • New Enlightenment: "Smart" objects, processes and logistics geared towards reduced consumption and lifecycle management; Disappearing technologies with rich interfaces, customizable within local and "guild" cultures; Open, neutral Internet; Rich collaborative environments at small and very large scales; Quantum computing for modelling; Public support of open-source; Transfer of repurposed, refurbished technologies to developing world
  • Hundred Flowers: Open, neutral and constantly evolving Internet; Mesh networks and P2P connectivity at the local level; Focus on "makeability", programmability, customization of technologies, components, software; Fablabs; Virtual worlds as working and trading spaces; Large public domain built outside of public institutions; Search for general-purpose quantum computers; Free software and open APIs; "IT generics"


  • Collapse: Focus on adapting to new conditions; Resistant and frugal GMOs, unsuccessfully combated by bio-farmers; Synthetic biology driven toward production of energy and food; Diagnosis and cures for human diseases; Global distrust towards "promethean" biotech, sometimes leading to backlash on research; Cloning forbidden in most places
  • Long war(s): Focus on low resource consumption, high yield for crops and livestock; Synthetic biology driven toward production of energy; Biotechnological WMD; Human enhancement driven by military applications; Advances diagnosis; Proprietary research, emphasis on secrecy and intellectual property, with a level of state control; Prior authorization required for marketing of most new techniques, based on safety and bioterror risks.
  • New Enlightenment: Focus on solving global problems: 2nd Green Revolution (GMO-based), CO2 absorbent algae fields, biofuel…; Biodiversity a secondary objective; Proactive and preventative medicine, including anti-aging; Fast gene sequencing, embryo selection and editing; Controlled cloning; Open-source knowledge, but controlled experimentation (alternative wording: "strongly regulated, but transparent and open source when authorised"); Prior authorization required for marketing of most new techniques, based on ethics and impact assessments.
  • Hundred Flowers: Focus on diversity, trial-and-error; Do-it-yourself sequencing and gene-editing based on open-source programs and machines; Cloning a commercial option for reproduction; Large market for fancy vegetables and pets, as well as personal enhancements, funds research on all areas of biotech; Proactive and curative medicine; Lack of prior controls create significant unintended effects; Risks of ecological catastrophe, hoping that precisely open source will help to prevent them (see Rob Carlson).


  • Collapse: Europe as a mediator, a solidarity mechanism between members and a crisis-management specialist; Tries to maintain free trade between members; Funds some R&D policy; UK, Spain and Scandinavian countries leave to pursue other alliances; Weak and constantly challenged governance, Nation-states and Regions in control; Common foreign policy and defence disbanded.
  • Long war(s): Europe as a political force, after several Eastern countries have left to join Russia's sphere of influence; Common defence and border control; Focus on securing energy supplies; Friendly with Russian block despite human rights worries; Interventionist industrial and trade policy; ECB no longer independent; Strong governance with European government, qualified majorities; Foreign policy, defence, trade and energy mostly decided in Brussels; Large European projects on energy and research; Common agricultural policy maintained; European mergers and acquisitions encouraged; Corporations take large role in EU governance.
  • New Enlightenment: Europe as a free trade and a cultural entity rather than a political force; Caught between global governance and Guilds; Russia and Turkey join; Focus on R&D, environmental and health recognition, culture and values; Co-development policy with ex-colonies, which become included in Common agricultural policy; Europe-wide ethics committees and sanitary authorities; The Euro becomes the major international currency; ECB remains independent but with a new goal, stable and sustainable growth and world responsibility; Little change in governance rules but many circles of "reinforced cooperation".
  • Hundred Flowers: Europe as one layer of networked governance among others, with no clear boundaries; Focus on open markets and trade as well as communications and other infrastructures; Multiple layers of membership allow entry of Norway, Ukraine, most of Maghreb, Argentina and India; Europe as a brand for humanistic values; Provides for a for negotiations and consensus-building, as well as evaluation expertise; Courts of justice gain importance relative to the Commission, Parliament and Council; Foreign policy limited to promoting brand and values, as well as taking pat in international for a; Common agricultural policy disbanded; Common defence focused on cyberwar and cybercrime.

Neuroscience and cognitive science (not completed)

  • Collapse:
  • Long war(s):
  • New Enlightenment:
  • Hundred Flowers:

What we have not done (not completed)

What technological possibilities or scientific breakthroughs have we deliberately refrained from developing?

  • Collapse:
  • Long war(s):
  • New Enlightenment:
  • Hundred Flowers:

What is lost or forgotten?

  • Collapse: Isolation; Hope; Biodiversity
  • Long war(s): Light-mindedness; Open-source; Participation
  • New Enlightenment: Tobacco; SUVs; Fun; Biodiversity; Local languages
  • Hundred Flowers: Solidarity; Tradition