I would like to make some predictions about what the world will be like in 100 years. Just for fun. There are no experts on the future: your guess is as good as mine. But this is my guess: time will tell if I am right. I'll be dead by then anyways, and so will you.
First, concerning globalization. Currently, there are 6,000+ languages in the world, but most of them are dying. I predict that by 2100, only 80 or so languages will survive as living languages, outside of Africa, and there, only two or three hundred will survive. (By 'living language', I mean spoken by the youngest generation- under-20s- in everyday conversation.) All the Aboriginal languages of North and South America (except Quechua, Guarani and perhaps Quiche) will disappear. So will the Aboriginal or minority languages of Australia, New Zealand, Russia, the Phillipines and China. India's hundreds of languages will be reduced to half a dozen, and Indonesia's to a tiny few.
English will become the 'lingua franca' of the world. But not English as we know it: it will be a simplified creole, with many regional variations.
The European Union will continue to expand, to include all of Europe- and North America. And possibly Russia. This might be called the 'Arctic Union'. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, a Muslim civil war (similar to the wars of the Christian Reformation in the 16th Century) will sweep the region, between Sunnis and Shiites. This has already begun in Iraq. In Africa, a 'green curtain' will be drawn between the Muslim north and the Christian south (as we have already seen in Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, etc.). New federations will emerge north and south of this line. All of North Africa might be united- if only briefly- in an Islamic fundamentalist superstate.
Several plagues will sweep the world- caused by scientific experimentation and failed immunization programs, and spread by global transportation. (Mad cow, avian flu, sars, etc. are signs of the future, unfortunately. But scientists, politicians and businesspeople are so incredibly short-sighted that they will continue to make the same mistakes, with ever-worsening results.)
In developed countries, vaccines against addiction to illicit drugs will be developed, and become compulsory. This will lead to new illicit drugs being developed.
China and India- in fact, much of Asia- will become increasingly wealthy, with a few financial hiccups along the way. But many Asians will remain very poor. Both China and India face huge problems of energy and water supply, as well as pollution. This will lead to social and political problems, rebellions and possibly civil war. To survive, some autocratic regimes will create a more complete totalitarianism than is possible with our current technology. Every movement of individuals will be monitored, and all communication recorded.
Around mid-century, the worst will pass- as world population peaks and Asian countries catch up to Western countries in economic terms. Also, the religious wars (Sunni vs. Shiite, Christian vs. Muslim) of the next few decades will have fizzled out. The second half of the 21st Century will
be less eventful. If civilization survives the plagues and wars of the first half, that is.
However, in the latter half of the 21st century, the effects of global warming will begin to become apparent. Climate will change throughout the world, with some areas getting wetter (Mexico, Saharan Africa?) while some areas get drier (Western Europe, Eastern North America?). Sealevels will not rise as much as expected, however, as increased rainfall in the Arctic will actually increase the size of the polar ice cap.
What about technology?
The most important new technologies will be biological. All injuries or birth defects which are not fatal will be reversible, and no-one will be blind, deaf or confined to a wheelchair. Doctors will go beyond merely repairing the body, however, to create new and controversial 'improvements', such as eyes with eagle-like vision, hearing beyond the normal human range, gills for underwater breathing, even wings for flight. Instead of colouring her hair, a teenage girl of the 2080s will change the colour of her skin (perhaps green or purple). Instead of getting a tattoo, a young man might grow horns, or a prehensile tail.
Sometime in this century, doctors will discover something which will change humanity forever: how to increasing human memory and intelligence. As our species is termed 'homo sapiens' ('man who thinks'), so the human of the future will need a new name: perhaps 'homo ultra sapiens' ('man who thinks extremely well').
Another possible technology of the near future: telepathy. Imagine a machine that can read the thoughts of one person and transmit those thoughts directly to the brain of another person, whose thoughts are transmitted back to the first person. Just another form of communication? No, telepathy is much more than that. If it is efficient enough, it could become a way of merging minds. Two minds, or maybe many more. I imagine a world where the 'Bride' and the 'Beast' of the Book of Revelations are two massive, global collectives of billions of minds, dividing humanity between them.
Even more farfetched, what if scientists discover the secret of reanimation? Imagine if death was not a permanent state...
And space? Who knows? I would like to see humanity travel to the stars, but I don't see it happening in this century. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if space is all but forgotten for the next few decades, as other problems distract us.
None of this might happen. Or all of it. Perhaps our Lord will come again, before humanity has the chance to completely mess things up. I hope so.