‘The Future, Declassified: Megatrends That Will Undo The World Unless We Take Action’


SPEAKER: Mathew J. Burrows

Director of the Strategic Foresight Initiative at the Atlantic Council

TIME: 6 – 7pm, Wednesday 3rd September 2014

VENUE: Committee Room 11, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Click here to view the event summary

With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the Soviet Union, the world entered a new stage of unpredictability. From multipolarity to global interconnectedness, from the adoption of new technologies to rapid demographic changes, the world around us is transforming fast and foresight is more critical than ever. At the same time, accurate forecasting of key future trends and events is a skill that few possess.

Since 1997, the US National Intelligence Council has been releasing a series of Global Trends reports. Fastidiously researched, the reports seek to sketch out possible global trajectories for the coming years and have become renowned for their bold but correct predictions. The reports are the favoured reading for officials in the White House and the US Departments of State, Defense and Homeland Security, as well as the larger think tank and policy community. The person behind the creation of the reports is Mathew J. Burrows, a former CIA intelligence analyst who has now for the first time expanded the findings of the latest Global Trends report into a full-length narrative, forecasting the tectonic shifts that will drive us to 2030 under the title The Future, Declassified: Megatrends That Will Undo The World Unless We Take Action.

By kind invitation of Henry Smith MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a discussion with Mathew J. Burrows, Director of the Strategic Foresight Initiative at the Atlantic Council. As one of the world’s leading futurists, Burrows will offer compelling analysis of the new realities that we will be facing in the coming years and decades. He will argue that as we are living through some of the greatest and most momentous developments in history, we will need to either take charge and direct those or resign to being at their mercy.


Dr. Mathew J. Burrows serves as director of the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. He was appointed counselor to the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in 2007 and director of the Analysis and Production Staff (APS) in 2010. As director of APS, Burrows was responsible for managing a staff of senior analysts and production technicians who guide and shepherd all NIC products from inception to dissemination. He was the principal drafter for the NIC publication Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, which received widespread recognition and praise in the international media and among academics and think tanks. In 2005, he was asked to set up and direct the NIC’s new Long Range Analysis Unit, which is now known as the Strategic Futures Group.

Burrows joined the CIA in 1986, where he served as analyst for the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), covering Western Europe, including the development of European institutions such as the European Union. From 1998 to 1999 he was the first holder of the intelligence community fellowship and served at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Other previous positions included assignments as special assistant to the US UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke (1999-2001) and deputy national security advisor to US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill (2001-02). He is a member of the DI’s Senior Analyst Service.

Burrow’s new book, The Future, Declassified: Megatrends That Will Undo The World Unless We Take Action, will be released in the UK and the US on 9th September 2014.


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