The pandemic, coronavirus, global self-isolation of countries, the economic crisis, everything that is happening now is described with astonishing accuracy in the report of the Rockefeller Foundation published in May 2010. This report was entitled: “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development.”
It is interesting in the first place, as a predicted version of the further development of events. In the report, 2012 was taken as the reference point for the beginning of the epidemic, but it began in 2020, so all forecasted events should also be shifted by a difference of 8 years.
The document was prepared by the experts of the fund together with one of the leading consulting companies in the world, Global Business Network. The report describes 4 scenarios for the development of world events in the near future. Of these 4 scenarios of the near future, one incredibly accurately describes what is happening in the world now. This scenario described the hypothetical likelihood of a global pandemic.
“Scenarios for the future of technology and international development”
In 2012, a pandemic broke out that the world had been expecting for years. Unlike the 2009 H1N1 virus, this new strain of flu has become extremely contagious and deadly. Even in the countries most prepared for a pandemic, the virus spread quickly, affecting nearly 20 percent of the world’s population and killing 8 million people in just seven months …
The pandemic has also had a fatal impact on the economy: international mobility of people and goods has fallen to near zero, which has weakened industries such as tourism and disrupted global supply chains. Even within countries, usually noisy shops and office buildings were empty and remained so for months – without employees and customers.
A pandemic swept the planet, although a disproportionate number of people died primarily in Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America, where the virus spread like a forest fire due to the lack of formal containment protocols.
But even in developed countries, stopping the spread of the virus has become a problem. The initial policy of the United States to simply recommend that citizens do not fly at first turned out to be deadly, since they did not follow the recommendations and accelerated the spread of the virus not only in the United States, but also beyond.
Nevertheless, there were countries where things were much better. It is primarily about China. The fast and tough strict quarantine for all citizens imposed by the Chinese government, as well as the almost instant and hermetic closure of borders, saved millions of lives by stopping the spread of the virus much faster and earlier than in other countries, and afterwards contributed to a faster recovery of the country after a pandemic.
The Chinese government was not the only one who took extreme measures to protect its citizens from the risk of infection. During the pandemic, national leaders around the world strengthened their authority by introducing a host of restrictions and new rules – from the obligatory wearing of face masks to checking body temperature at the entrances to public places, such as train stations and supermarkets.
Even after the pandemic began to decline, such authoritarian control and supervision of citizens and their activities did not soften and even intensified. The reason for the widespread increase in control by the authorities was protection from impending troubles and global problems – from viral pandemics and transnational terrorism to environmental crises and growing poverty and inequality.
At first, such a model of a more controlled world was widely recognized and even approved. Citizens willingly gave up part of their sovereignty and the right to privacy to the more paternalistic states in exchange for greater security and stability for themselves.
Moreover, citizens turned out to be more tolerant and even impatient in terms of strengthening control and supervision, and national leaders had more opportunities to put things in order by the methods and the way they considered it necessary.
In developed countries, enhanced supervision took various forms: for example, biometric identifiers for all citizens and tighter regulation of key industries, the stability of which was considered vital to national interests.
In many developed countries, forced consent and the approval of a set of new rules and agreements slowly but steadily restored both order and, more importantly, economic growth.
However, in developing countries, the story turned out to be much more variable. Strengthening the authority of power here took various forms in various countries and depended on the capabilities and charisma of their leaders.
In countries with strong and thoughtful leaders, the economic status of citizens and the quality of life have improved. But in countries where the leadership sought exclusively to increase their own power, and the elites were irresponsible and used the available opportunities and increased power to realize their own interests at the expense of the rest of the citizens, the situation worsened, or even ended in tragedy.
In addition to the above, other problems arose, including a sharp increase in nationalism. A strict system of technology regulation, in fact, impeded innovation, on the one hand, keeping up the already high costs, and on the other, holding back the introduction of new inventions. As a result, a situation arose where developing countries began to receive from developed only those technologies that were considered “best” for them. Meanwhile, countries with more resources and more opportunities began to innovate within their own countries in order to fill in the gaps on their own.
Meanwhile, in developed countries, increased control and supervision by the authorities has led to a slowdown in business. Partly because governments began to intervene in the development and recommend to scientists and business the areas of research that need to be carried out. At the same time, the main selection criteria were either profitable (for example, developing the product that the market needed) or the so-called right rates (for example, basic research). More risky or innovative studies were in an unenviable position and were mostly stopped. Moreover, the research itself was carried out either at the expense of states, where budgets allowed it, or at the expense of world corporations, which made it possible to achieve significant success, but all the fruits of labor are intellectual property, resulting in
Russia and India have introduced extremely stringent internal standards for the control and certification of encryption products and their suppliers – a category that actually meant all IT innovations. The United States and the EU, in turn, fought back by introducing their national standards, disrupting the development and diffusion of technology around the world.
In developing countries, acting in the name of their own national interests has often come to mean finding practical alliances that are consistent with those interests, whether it be gaining access to the right resources or joining together to achieve economic growth. In South America and Africa, regional and subregional alliances have become more structured. Kenya doubled its trade volume with South and East Africa, as partnership agreements were concluded with the countries there. China’s investment in Africa has grown even more: agreements were reached with local authorities, which seemed to be profitable to get new jobs and infrastructure in exchange for access to basic mineral resources or food exports. Interstate relations boiled down mainly to security cooperation.
By 2025, people seemed to be tired of such powerful control from above and the fact that they allowed leaders and authorities to make choices for them. Everywhere where national interests clashed with the interests of individual citizens, conflicts began to arise. At first, a single rebuff to pressure from above became more organized and coordinated, because discontented youth and people who saw how their social status and opportunities eluded them (this applied to developing countries to a greater extent) provoked civil unrest.
In 2026, protesters in Nigeria overthrew the government, fed up with entrenched power and nepotism. Even those who liked the great stability and predictability of this world began to feel awkward and constrained due to the many restrictions, strict rules and the strictness of national standards. It was felt that sooner or later something would inevitably disrupt the order that the governments of most countries of the world so eagerly established …