The future of power: implications for global actors by 2040 (WP1294)

Realising the potential of the internet to deliver global development and prosperity (WP1255)Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

The 7th annual Wilton Park Futures meeting, in association with Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence, National Intelligence Council, considered what power means in the future, looking out to 2040. With a focus on future trends, challenges and opportunities, this high level, off the record meeting convened policy planners, horizon scanners/futurists and academics alongside industry and subject experts from a range of countries.

Through a mixture of plenary and breakout sessions, this meeting:

  • Assisted senior level officials to consider international perspectives on the implications and impact of the nature of power by 2040
  • Provided insights into how different countries, organisations and actors plan for the future
  • Contributed to work leading up to the HMG Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in 2015
  • Informed discussion towards the US National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends Report 2035
  • Assisted participants to reach a common understanding of long term trends and their implications for policy formulation and practical application
  • Supported national and international policy planning institutions in their contribution to global dialogue in the context of the challenges to existing thinking
  • Developed and deepen relationships with international partners, strengthening and consolidating the emerging networks of ‘futurists’

Key topics included:

  • How power will be manifested: levers and layers; north-south shifts, single states and  emerging alliances
  • Multi-lateral/regional institutions: longevity and relevance of existing bodies;
  • Norms and obligations
  • Non state actors: global corporates, citizens and cities
  • Drivers: including demographics, social media, shifting wealth


Conference report

Report annexe – Power in 2040

Further information

Conference: Resources: trends and future challenges for states and regions – towards 2030

Conference: School of International Futures

International news articles

Daily nation: KAGWANJA: Anarchic world order reshapes Africa’s fortunes by Peter Kagwanja

The International News: Power in a changing world by Dr Maleeha Lodhi

I have to tell you that this was one of the best conferences I’ve attended. You are amazing.  The cross-section of people you were able to bring in was phenomenal and you and your staff appeared to have successfully herded all the cats. You know how to run a conference!

Unattributable comment
Mon 13 - Wed 15 January, 2014

Wiston House

Wilton Park
Wiston House, Steyning
West Sussex
BN44 3DZ
+44 (0) 1903 815 020
For more information see Your stay at Wilton Park

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Event no:
Global economy, Sustainable development and the environment
futures, global trends, horizon scanning, trends

Published outputs







The nature of power (WP1294)

Published: 21 Jan 2014


Julia Purcell

Julia Purcell: Programme Director

Biography and other events


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