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Three “unthinkable disasters” that may be coming up in 2016, according to Salesforce’s Peter Schwartz

08 February 2016


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Every ‘tsunami’ event is foreseeable claimed Peter Schwartz, Futurist & Senior VP of Strategic Planning at Salesforce. Unthinkable events he listed, included a financial crisis, wars and chaos, and the possibility of Donald Trump becoming President of the US.

Addressing the World Government Summit he advised governments to see turbulence and surprises coming. 

“Government are regularly hit by surprises and turbulence, but truth is we can anticipate change, and do something about it,” he said, citing that the end of the USSR was no surprise, neither was the 2008 financial crisis.

According to Schwartz, wars and chaos from Pakistan to Nigeria will remain with us over the next 20 to 30 years, if we didn’t figure out how to restore peace and order to that region.

“I am deeply troubled by the chances of a spill over, resolving these conflicts is one of the greatest challenges of this century,” he says.

Equally, a financial crisis was not a ‘maybe’, but a certainty, he said, pointing out the last one could have been averted.

“Maybe it is even unfolding already in China, although I’ve been impressed how they’ve been handling it up to now,” Schwartz remarked.

He also alerted to the fact that a Trump US presidency with him leading the polls was not unimaginable either.

“It would be a nightmare not a dream, although I think it’s unlikely it is not impossible. It seems crazy but he’s one of the surprises lying out there,” he said.

Other ‘unthinkable disasters’ ahead, includes climate change becoming more violent, according to Schwartz.