Reshaping the World

We believe that the world is currently in the midst of a dramatic transformation, driven by four fundamental disruptive trends. Each of these disruptions, in itself, could be considered among the greatest economic forces the global economy has ever witnessed, including the industrial revolutions in advanced economies. — Richard Dobbs (2015).

In 2015, McKinsey Institute directors warned of the emergence of some of the most intense forces the world has ever seen—forces that would transform the 21st century. These forces include globalization, global inequality, seismic shifts in world demographics, a paradigmatic shift in new technology, global warming, global pandemics, and the existential future of humanity and the planet.

Additionally, there are tectonic geopolitical shifts among the great powers, the rise of major tech companies, social media, terrorism, cybercrime, identity politics, populism, and the quest for truth.

The 21st-century world is changing at a rate and in ways far beyond our previous experiences. It operates within a global economy that now spans both the developed and developing worlds. This represents a multifaceted crisis, where individual crises interact and compound one another.

This can be described as the new global disruption, centered around economic divisions about the future of capitalism. Capitalism is viewed as the economic system responsible for creating an existential environmental crisis and an international chasm. People are increasingly turning to authoritarianism, nationalism, and closed borders as defenses against global forces and international migration.

It is clear that the global economy is being reshaped and merged into a global capitalist system beyond any governmental control. This process has created a new breed of “superpowers,” the giant corporations of the 21st century, and a new generation of global entrepreneurs with ambitions to dominate the world through economic and technological power. This power is based on the internet, control of global markets, and global finance.

In the 21st century, tech giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google view the world as a local network they control. They are in the process of creating their own small states and power centers.

Behind them are waves of new competitors from developing countries like “Alibaba” in Asia. Soon, competitors from Africa and South America will follow. Meanwhile, competition to conquer space by private companies is heating up, causing deep geopolitical reverberations unimaginable in the recent past, indicating fundamental shifts in concepts of sovereignty, control, competition, and conflict.

A new world order is emerging; the Fourth Industrial Revolution, according to Klaus Schwab, director of the World Economic Forum (2017). The new global economy and a new generation of entrepreneurs from both developing and developed countries represent a challenge, change, and disruption to the global economy in battles to control upcoming markets—not just the real economy as in the past, but also the virtual economy. The digital economy, through algorithms and various forms of artificial intelligence, creates a new form of business intelligence. This form of intelligence and decision-making is increasingly rendered obsolete within modern businesses.

As modern computer systems increasingly communicate and make decisions independently of human labor, the implications of this shift from internal to external intelligence for the human race as a species are immense.

Independent intelligent systems are increasingly capable of controlling and managing vast areas of the global economy, from transportation and banking to warfare and healthcare—transforming them.

However, such hyper-globalization seems to create a world where humans feel increasingly insecure, isolated, and left behind. This world has sparked a backlash against globalization and an increase in distrust of national governments. Entire communities feel overwhelmed and powerless in the face of the pace and impact of global change and global migration on themselves and their societies.

As a result, they distrust the liberal elites in the capitals running their countries since 2008. They are instinctively nationalist in their outlook and highly skeptical of global change. The post-war structures of predominantly Western leadership are staggering and adopting a siege mentality in an attempt to deal with the new global forces knocking at their doors.

For world leadership, the results of the 2024 U.S. presidential elections and the ongoing war in Ukraine—and now in Gaza—could soon test Western leadership and unity to their limits, potentially allowing rising powers in the East to take the reins.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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