Since 2010, many events that seemed to be improbable at the time have actually come to fruition! We have experienced events such as the creation and collapse of the Islamic Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, the election of a real estate developer to the presidency of the United States, the election of a largely unknown figure to the presidency of the French Republic, astounding progress in the field of artificial intelligence, the creation of a worldwide environmental movement led by a 14-year-old young lady, the exit of Great Britain from the European Union, mass shootings in the streets of Paris, fires in Brazil and Australia, and uprisings in Hong Kong, Santiago, Quito, and Algiers. And so many others.
And, to take another reference, we are once again entering the “twenties” which, in the previous century, were known as the fantastic “roaring twenties”, nestled between two immense tragedies.
Here are twelve extreme events, which are unlikely, but not at all impossible, some negative, others positive, that may happen before 2030 and for which it is high time to start preparing.
1. The collapse of the global financial system, by way of a great financial crisis during which the uncontrolled crash of stock markets and financial ruin of non-listed firms leads to the bankruptcy of banks and investment funds, as well as the enactment of protectionist measures and a major recession in the United States, China and Europe.
2. A nuclear-armed ballistic missile launch from North Korea towards Tokyo, or Washington; causing enormous damage and hundreds of thousands of deaths.
3. The disintegration of the Catholic Church, as the Soviet Union collapsed, under the influence of leaders who had become particularly liberal.
4. Russia invading one of the Baltic States, followed by no reaction from the United States, which would mark the end of European illusions about the credibility of the Atlantic Alliance.
5. The creation of a new Islamic caliphate in certain parts of the territory of Libya, Niger, Mali and Nigeria, supported by Turkey, without France or the African states being able to provide a response.
6. The election in France of a, male or female, President from the extreme right-wing elements of the Republic, joining forces with his Italian friends to stop the functioning of the European Union.
7. Victory in the American presidential election by a woman, a social-democrat and ecologist, who renews the Paris agreement and puts an end to the free movement of weapons in the United States.
8. Major discoveries that allow for a cure for the most resistant forms of cancer and reducing the risks linked to obesity.
9. An environmental awakening on a global scale, resulting in the setting of a world price for carbon at 100 dollars per ton, the implementation of a global force to recycle all the waste that devours the oceans and a real plan for reforestation and safeguarding the Sahel.
10. A binding charter, issued by the 50 largest public and private investment funds in the world, committing themselves to invest only in socially and environmentally sustainable, positive businesses.
11. Successful democratic revolutions, in countries apparently least prepared for it, such as Russia, Turkey and China. Accompanied by democratic use of artificial intelligence technologies.
12. Truly original works of art, new artistic currents changing the way we look at the world.
We must prepare ourselves for all of this. Further, we must keep an eye out, avoid, or accelerate them. While knowing that reality will undoubtedly be much more imaginative than the most daring novelist of today could be.