Thinking about the future of Europe without considering what is happening in the world at large is a useless exercise. Europe is not an island; it is part of the world. This chapter therefore provides a global context for the scenarios and visions we present in this book [1]. It is not intended to be a comprehensive assessment. Rather, the aim is to identify major global trends that provide a starting point for exploring pathways into the future. We refer to these trends as flows. Some of them are already taking place, while others are anticipated. In this chapter we highlight a variety of these flows and their interactions, especially those between socio-cultural, economic and environmental flows. Where appropriate, we demonstrate links to other developments.