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Table 2 Six areas for emerging discontinuities described in a Futures Clinique, with summarising narratives

From: Surprise as the new normal – implications for energy security

New risks Converging technologies Value changes Environmental economy Transforming large companies Geopolitical changes
As the world changes, new risks emerge, and oftentimes we do not know how to deal with them. Old identities are contested, new kinds of inequalities are emerging. Amidst turmoil, we seek for sources of trust – from ‘the new’ and ‘the old’. Human-machine interface with “biochemical robots” in our bodies prevails. There is a world of “Internet of Everything” (IoE) with AI, electric vehicles, 3D printing, and autonomous transportation in a circular economy. The rupture of hierarchies may change the world, make cultures more pluralistic, and more prone to change. Value changes are also connected to identities and how we perceive our place in the world, and where we seek meaning. Running an economy sustainably as an immensely complex task is also an enormous opportunity. Emerging economies – including in Africa – could prosper in unprecedented ways, with new energy technologies, harvesting energy everywhere. When the vast resources of companies are put to good use, this may drive positive change. But the concentration of corporate power is always risky. Can private sector benevolence be guaranteed, and if not – what then to be transformed? If ‘the West’ decreases in significance in world politics, and China and emerging economies gain power, what would be the guiding values of a post-Western world? And, what types of broader, cultural changes would this imply?