Strategic Outlook 2023 is a global security and geopolitical estimate. Its primary focus is to provide an expansive set of assessments on geopolitical risks, crisis risks and instability, and security challenges in 2023 and beyond.

Our forecasts draw upon a mixture of data analysis and intelligence, political science, and threat and risk assessments. But the final call always rests on a qualitative estimative judgement. Our analysts are regional and thematic specialists; our approach is collaborative and emphasises creative thinking, rigorous peer review and red teaming.

Before writing the Strategic Outlook, we speak with our global source network, identify and reconsider our assumptions, look back at what we have previously forecast, and consider the questions or issues that our clients have been asking us about. We also draw on open-source research and conduct targeted intelligence-gathering. We aim to present our forecasts in plain English, using visualisations to add context and transparency.

The Strategic Outlook covers the coming year, but many of the issues, risks and trends we assess are liable to run into the longer term beyond 2023.

Forecasting Ranges

We use a scale of measured probabilistic terms to convey assessments. The strength of probability reflects our confidence in these assessments, based on the quality of information and other factors. Such terms do not indicate fact, certainty, proof or knowledge, but reasoned judgements. 

Probabilistic Terms

The impact/change effect metric indicates the degree of positive or negative impact that we anticipate a forecast will have on risks, and the degree to which the realised scenario would precipitate changes to the outlook.

Impact / Change Effects

Threat and Risk Levels

Dragonfly uses a six-point system for its threat, risk, hazard and vulnerability levels. Our levels range from negligible (1) to critical/extreme (6). We maintain more than 27,000 individual ratings across our risk typologies, covering more than 200 countries and territories, and more than 700 cities globally. The full range suite of risk levels, and comprehensive methodology for each risk typology and risk level, are available to SIAS users. 

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Strategic Outlook 2023

The Global Unravelling