Luminae Group

Political and economic stability will continue to be tested in 2021 as governments come under increasing pressure from the disruptive power of technology, terrorism, climate change, and other risks, all layered upon persistent upheaval from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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People wear face masks while visiting a temple on the seventh day of Lunar New Year celebration on January 31, 2020 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The W.H.O. declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency on the same day. (Linh Pham/ Getty Images)

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a level of volatility into the global economy reminiscent of the economic struggle of the Great Depression and political disruption of WWII. That such unprecedented upheaval was completely foreign to and unanticipated by almost all people alive today is a testament to the relative stability of previous decades, but also a revealing indicator of the challenges governments will…


Rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions represent the most urgent global risks, and in 2020, pressure on governments and markets will only escalate.

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More than 130,000 protesters gathered for a rally in Central District, Hong Kong on October 14, 2019.

The world is facing an ever-growing number of interconnected geopolitical threats. US sanctions policy, stalled revolutions, protectionism, digital disruption, climate change, political violence, and other forces of disruption have introduced unprecedented levels of volatility for businesses to navigate. Some of the worst business disruptions in 2020 will come not from trade wars or terrorist attacks alone, but from the intersection of multiple geopolitical risks.

To a large degree, the risk inherent in the trends that are shaping the world today comes from the inability of governments to effectively anticipate and manage the coming changes in ways that preserve or create…


As 2020 approaches, the ground conditions in a number of Middle Eastern conflicts have shifted in ways that are forcing Iran’s hand strategically, exposing the extent to which its proxies are shaping the regional landscape.

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Major General Qassem Soleimani, Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Quds Force and architect of Iran’s proxy forces.

Despite ongoing economic diversification efforts and acknowledgement of the challenges posed by climate change, as long as oil continues to dominate the Middle East’s economy, and the rest of the world continues to depend on it, Iran’s actions, but more truthfully its proxies, will have an outsized influence on geopolitical stability.

Though the attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure at Abqaiq and Khurais have faded from the headlines, the incidents will not be the last high profile hostile act attributable to Iran in the coming months. In fact, they should serve as a harbinger of what is likely to transpire in…


“In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time — literally — substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.”

- Peter Drucker, father of modern management consulting

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In 2020, the development of new technologies will continue to accelerate at an…


The geopolitical risks inherent in migration come not necessarily from the existence of migrant or refugee populations within national borders, but rather, from the inability of governments to effectively anticipate and manage the coming changes in ways that preserve or create security and prosperity for their own citizens.

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Atmeh Refugee Camp near Idlib, Syria on the border with Turkey. (File photo)

Whether it’s due to lack of political will or lack of an existing mechanism by which to address the issue, governments, businesses, and the international community have yet to adequately recognize that large and sudden migrant flows — any situation which existing relief systems are not designed to absorb — are problematic…


In 2020, Russia will reach new milestones in laying the foundation for a durable, long term presence in the Middle East.

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While the next year is unlikely to usher in major changes in Putin’s grand strategy or positioning, it is likely to be a time during which Russia reaches new milestones in laying the foundation for a durable, long term presence in the Middle East. (File photo: Vladimir Putin)

As 2020 approaches, Russia is continuing the push to solidify its strategic presence in the Middle East. This campaign is a well-known but critical portion of Putin’s now decades-old and increasingly blatant mission to extend Moscow’s realm of influence and restore the near hegemonic status his country enjoyed at earlier times in recent history. …


Some of the worst business disruptions in 2020 will come not from trade wars or terrorist attacks, but from the consequences of climate change as they intersect with other geopolitical risks.

People queueing in front of a government water truck waiting for their turn in Delhi, India. File photo. March 2019.
People queueing in front of a government water truck waiting for their turn in Delhi, India. File photo. March 2019.
People queueing in front of a government water truck waiting for their turn in Delhi, India. File photo. March 2019.

The effects that climate change is having on natural resources must be factored in to any analysis of global geopolitical risks. Rising sea levels, increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and temperature changes invariably place added stress on the very resources that play critical roles in the security and stability of states — water, food, transportation, and energy systems, to name a few. …

Luminae Group

Luminae Group is a global advisory firm specializing in geopolitics and risk forecasting. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2lQednN

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