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Indiana University Faculty Contribute to Forecast of Global Trends

December 18, 2012
Bloomington, Indiana --

A new forecast from the U.S. intelligence community that incorporates analysis from several Indiana University professors paints a mixed view of the world in 2030.

The National Intelligence Council released the report Global Trends 2030 based in part on workshops held at IU Bloomington and other universities. The report concludes the U.S. will see its standing as a superpower erode over the next two decades and predicts the rise of Asian economies. But it also predicts the U.S. will be energy independent and will have a larger middle class living in cities and connected by advanced technology.

The IU Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) hosted one of those university sessions and is credited in the report. IU’s Center for the Study of the Middle East (CSME) was a co-sponsor.

“I think the biggest contribution that IUB made to the report came from the sheer diversity of perspectives that we were able to bring to bear on it,” said Dr. Sumit Ganguly, an adjunct professor at SPEA and the organizer of the conference on the Bloomington campus. “We had individuals from the physical sciences, from law, from public affairs and from other social science disciplines.” In addition to his work at SPEA, Ganguly is a professor political science at IU and the Rabindranath Tagore Chair, Indian Cultures and Civilizations.

SPEA faculty member Dr. Jennifer Brass was another contributor to the workshop at SPEA. “The report predicts the economic rise of China and the rest of the emerging world and you could find the seeds of that conclusion in the analysis offered by the experts here,” Brass said. She is an assistant professor at SPEA and her research focuses on Africa and its governments and non-government organizations.

Other contributors to the workshop and the final report include SPEA assistant professor Sameeksha Desai and Feisal Istrabadi. Desai is an expert in the relationship between entrepreneurship, political instability and development as well as associate director of the Institute for Development Strategies. Istrabadi is a professor at IU’s Maurer School of Law, a professor by courtesy at SPEA and the founding director of CSME. He served as Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations from 2004-2007. “At the IU workshop, we had native and non-native specialists from the Middle East, Indian sub-continent, sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia,” Brass noted, saying that range of voices will serve the intelligence community well as it reviews the Global Trends report.

Other universities participating in the process included the University of Texas, University of Notre Dame, Stanford University, University of New Mexico, University of Virginia, Princeton University, the Naval Postgraduate School and Penn State University.

The National Intelligence Council produces the Global Trends report every four years for the U.S. Director of National Intelligence. You can see the full report here: www.dni.gov/nic/globaltrends.