Op-eds

Six Questions to 2025: Op-Ed by Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti

Huffington Post

Bhaskar Chakravorti is a Senior Associate Dean at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Imagine you are back at the dawn of the century in January 2000, perhaps celebrating the non-event of the past year: the Y2K bug that fizzled.

Now consider some of the real game-changers from 1999: the first human chromosome successfully sequenced; a mobile device called the BlackBerry arriving on the scene; the dorm room innovation of the year, Napster, forever changing the music business.

Today, in the warm glow of hindsight, we have a very different view of how any of those events changed our world. Back in January 2000, the words "Al Qaeda," "iPhone," "Barack Obama," "Wikipedia," "Arab Spring," or "Twitter" would have drawn blank stares. All our tomorrows do, indeed, have a way of taking us by surprise. And as for the yesterdays? As Macbeth discovered, they have a nasty habit of having "lighted fools the way to dusty death."

Now we've crossed into 2013. That means we are now officially a dozen years into the century and it has proven to be a tumultuous period from the very first year on. As we head toward the global crossroads of 2025, it's time to imagine some scenarios for the next 12 years. The reasoning is simple -- if leaders do not have the courage to imagine the future, they won't play a part in shaping it. But if the future is so elusive, where do we start?

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