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Through the megacrisis: the passage to global maturity

William Halal (Professor Emeritus of Management, Technology & Innovation at School of Business, George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 16 September 2013




The paper aims to give an evolutionary perspective and “collective intelligence” methods to help understand how the world could make the passage through today's “global megacrisis” – the intersection of climate change, peak oil, financial instability, and other threats – reaching a critical point as industrialization doubles over the next decade.


An online survey is used to assess attitudes toward four scenarios defining the range of possible outcomes of the global megacrisis, and an improved Delphi method estimates when emerging technologies are likely to enter mainstream use.


The survey shows that people think there is a strong likelihood these trends will cause major global disasters or a collapse of civilization in large parts of the globe. Macro-forecasts of the Technology Revolution suggest that the rise of e-commerce, green business, climate control, alternative energy, artificial intelligence, and other technological advances are likely to move the world to a more sophisticated level of development about 2020.

Research limitations/implications

Trend analysis and “collective intelligence” methods, such as attitude surveys and Delphi studies, involve some degree of uncertainty

Practical implications

Results clarify how that today's global threats are part of a broader evolutionary passage to an advanced global order.


The evolutionary perspective is an original approach to global affairs, and the forecasts are from what may possibly be the best forecasting system available.



Received 10 May 2012. Revised 11 June 2012. Accepted 7 January 2013.


Halal, W. (2013), "Through the megacrisis: the passage to global maturity", Foresight, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 392-404.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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