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American Stabilities& Disruptions 2024

2024 has the potential to be a very disruptive year.

As part of our effort to provide leaders with tools for developing foresight with their teams, we have put together a list of relevant trends, emerging issues, and other relevant information for the next eighteen months.  These are useful additions to the other content and tools we are creating for leaders to level up their strategic conversations through the coming year.

Blue Surface

What are the futures of American political and social stability over the next 18 months?


Recent Changes Relevant for Stability and Disruption

Trends are probably the most familiar type of foresight building block.  They are descriptions of history – they describe how something has been changing up until the present.  While trends do not actually tell us what the future will be (they only describe history, after all), they do imply something about it.  Keep in mind: all trends bend or break at some point.


Below are ten trends that have been taking place in the US.  Each trend describes a potentially important shift in American society.  The list is certainly not exhaustive.  It is provided to jumpstart your team’s thinking about the recent shifts in America that might continue to be important in the next eighteen months.

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Diversifying Population

The American population is getting more ethnically diverse.  This has long-term implications for identity, culture, and values.

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Noisier, Shallower Information Environment

Decades of news media consolidation and evolution of the internet have resulted in a “news” landscape filled with vastly more words and video than ever before.  At the same time, however, the insight behind those proliferating words and images has become increasingly superficial.  The trend has been toward much more noise and much less understanding and factual sense-making.

Learn more:

Can Anything Stop the News-Industry Meltdown? - The Atlantic

More Americans are getting news on TikTok - Pew Research Center

Increasing Number and Cost of Cyber Events

The number and cost of data breaches and other cyberattacks are growing across the globe, despite more spending on cybersecurity.

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More Immersive, and Disconnecting, Life

Since the confluence of social media and smart phones, individuals in the US have been drawn into an increasingly immersive digital life.  Counterintuitively, this has had the effect of drawing individuals into increasingly siloed information environments and decreasing the amount of healthy, face-to-face social interaction.  This has had – and will likely continue to have – broad implications for everything from mental health to political partisanship to trust in information.

Learn more:

Jonathan Haidt on Adjusting to Smartphones and Social Media - Conversations with Tyler

Rising Wealth Gap

The distribution of wealth in the United States continues to skew towards the wealthiest quintiles.


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Rapid Overturning of Assumptions in Education, Career, and Work Life

Events of the past several years have accelerated trends and pressures regarding things such as the value of a college education and where and how (some) people get to work.  At present, we seem to be living through a fairly turbulent time in which work life norms and the effective patterns of work are being stressed and redefined.

Learn More:

Remote Work Statistics & Trends In (2024) – Forbes Advisor

Report: 40 Percent of Managers Hope to Replace Some Workers With AI This Year

Rising Cost of Natural Disasters

The number of disasters inflicting more than $1 billion in damage has been gradually increasing over time.


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Growing Climate Fatalism

Recent years have revealed that more and more Americans seem to believe that there is an existential climate crisis.  This vision of the future is framing a growing number of conversations, ranging from economic policy to the ethics of having children.

Learn More:

More people not having children due to climate breakdown fears, finds research - The Guardian

Now Is Not the Time To Give in to Climate Fatalism - TIME

US Shift Away from Democratic Governance

Political indicators show a recent turn away from strong democratic norms.


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Declining Faith in Institutions

Citizens in the US, along with citizens in countries around the world, have shown a decreasing faith in institutions, such as government, for over two decades now.  This has implications for politics, shared identities, and mass mobilization of action.

Learn More:

Historically Low Faith in U.S. Institutions Continues

How To Use This Content


Consider the trajectory of a trend and discuss the various downstream impacts if it continues at its present rate.  What will that look like? 

What emerging issues might arise if the trend continues on its course?


What happens if and when one or more of these trends interact? Will they amplify each other? Would they produce an all-new trend?  What types of emerging issues become possible if some of these trends strongly interact with one another?


Like Newton’s Third Law, trends in society have a tendency to provoke counter trends. Consider the logical counter trends that may arise – and may already have started – as stakeholders and basic system dynamics respond to the trends listed here.

What trends should your leadership team be following? What trends are other C-Suites discussing? Start your Foresight journey today.

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