Well, this is certainly interesting. The National Intelligence Council, one of those enigmatic-sounding-yet-mostly-harmless-(well-probably) US government agencies, has recently released a report called Global Trends 2030. This is interesting because it projects 4 plausible scenarios, or “Alternative Worlds”, for the future state of the world in the year 2030, covering the subjects of politics, populations, science, technology, economics, and global conflicts. The various projected game changers, black swans, and potential breakthroughs all come together to create the 4 hypothetical worlds: some good and some not-so good.
For writers of science fiction (at least science fiction taking place within in the next 20 years or so), this could be most enlightening indeed.
You can get the full PDF of the Global Trends 2030 report here.