Futurecast: How Superpowers, Populations, and Globalization Will Change the Way You Live and Work. Robert J. Shapiro. St. Martin’s Press.

Futurecast: How Superpowers, Populations, and Globalization Will Change the Way You Live and Work Book Cover Futurecast: How Superpowers, Populations, and Globalization Will Change the Way You Live and Work
Robert J. Shapiro
St. Martin's Press
April 1, 2008

What will life be like in America, Europe, Japan, or China in the year 2020? As our lives are increasingly interconnected, the answer to that question depends on the fate of nations. In Futurecast, Robert Schapiro, former U.S. under secretary of commerce, tells us what our world will look like in the year 2020. Though that year seems close at hand, Schapiro foresees monumental changes caused by three forces – globalization, aging societies, and the rise of America as a sole superpower. What jobs will they be for you and your children? What will happen to your health care? How safe will you be? The answers will depend, even more than today, on where you live.

  • Even as China expands its military and its economy, America will be the world’s sole superpower for at least the next generation and continue to lead efforts to preserve global security and stability.
  • The United States and China will be the world’s two indispensable economies, dominating the course of globalization.
  • Globalization will continue to shift most heavy manufacturing and billions of high-end service jobs from advanced countries like the United States to China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Romania, Turkey, and other developing nations.
  • Europe’s major nations in Japan will face the prospect of genuine economic decline and critical problems in their retirement pension systems, moving further toward the periphery of global economic and geopolitical power.
  • Every major country – the United States, Europe, Japan , and China – will face critical problems with their health-care systems, and the entire world will face a crisis over energy and climate change.

If one ends the wildcard of possible catastrophic terrorist attacks to this mix, the period between now and 2020 will be as challenging as any in modern times. Taking these deep global developments into account when planning for the future is a necessity. Robert Schapiro’s clear-eyed Futurecast is the knowledge portfolio you need to prepare for the years to come.

Robert J. Schapiro is cofounder and chairman of Sonecon, LLC, a private firm that advises U.S. and foreign businesses, governments, and nonprofit organizations. He served as under secretary of commerce from 1998 to 2001. He also was the cofounder and vice president of the Progressive Policy Institute, Bill Clinton’s principal economic advisor during the 1992 campaign, a senior economic advisor to Al Gore and John Kerry in their campaigns, the legislative director for Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and associate editor of U.S. News & World Report, and an economics columnist for Slate. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and lives in Washington, D.C.