The 22nd Century has begun.
The prior century was one of enormous change, pain, progress.
Politically, due to social and economic upheaval in the middle of the century, many smaller nations united into at least economic blocs to be on even level with the other supranational unions and powers - this unity being spurred on by the ever increasing problem of a smaller nation even keeping up to support itself. Oil ran out around the 2040s and 2050s, causing Oil regions to become economically and socially defunct. Technology had been advanced concurrent to it to supplement it - the first fusion reactors broke even in the 2020s, and then became vastly efficient in the 2040s and 2060s, thus allowing nations who could support such infrastructure to be well off. Automation pushed many out of work, and socialism became extreme welfare states, even when niche industries would form, they would finish up quickly. Outsourcing of companies soon stopped using human labour, causing problems in "sweat shop" nations such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, and others. Along side, quick access to world wide communication networks by phone and computer spread ideas and "subversion" amongst lower, disenfranchised classes, causing states to loosen up archaic Authoritarian and undemocratic rule. In the case of China, which "broke" in the 2070s, and endured 20 years of chaos, has only recently become united under law and concurrent technology levels.
The main questions of the 21st century, and at least partial answers, was thus.
The first question, at the beginning, was energy. This became apparent due to late century energy crises, starting in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The emergent technologies and refinement of Water, Wind, Solar, biofuel, Nuclear fission and finally Nuclear fusion power would finally come to efficiency around 2040 and 2050, allowing many states who could support such infrastructure keep a semblance of political and economic stability.
The second question was the flow of information. The rise of computers, along with networks, and then smartphones and then brain-to-brain communication, brought extreme questions into play. Nations such as North Korea, Communist China, various Islamic states, the United States of America, and Russia tried to keep government secrets secure and the population away from expository elements. These attempts all roughly failed. Groups and individuals wielded power against them, and cyber warfare constantly broke down even the most ardent protections. Information gradually was not strained through a drainer, so to speak, though governments keep projects and plans as secret as they deem possible.
The third question was the rise of automation technology and the unemployment of millions. Roughly around 2020, and continuing, many corporations replaced blue and white collar workers with automation. Paperless corporations, automated personnel, and computerization meant corporations could be smaller and more efficient. With millions unemployed, an economic crisis occurred in most modern nations in a time span of 2020-2040. Laws were enacted to keep people employed, and the federal governments of the world would employ millions in infrastructure work and energy, but even then automation would push workers out. It was a question the world still struggles with even today. Generally, however, states would increase welfare and social security, and some smaller republics in larger unions became "utopia zones" where the average citizen did not had to work. Such "utopia" zones, where a citizen is given a list of belongings and then an allowance from the government thereof, usually in the form of resources to be molded by 3d printers and assemblers, are still criticized as making citizens dependent and lazy. However, the zones increase, and most people in the zone do not complain, and even, are envied by nations whose populace are still mostly employed.
The forth question was, in relation to the third, the worth of the individual human being. Totalitarian and authoritarian states were generally tolerated in cases, but eventually destroyed. However, with the rise of automation and then bigger governments, the rights of individuals were at stake. Eventually, populist and class movements urged, around 2050-2070, to ratify a modified Human Rights charter to protect rights of citizenry and people. Even in 2101, many tenets are debated and criticized, from gun control to supplanting of religions cultures. However, to not be a signatory of the charter meant intervention from bigger parties, so all nations abide, and try to change it, for their own ends.
The fifth question was the environment. While energy production switched to "green" around 2030 and 2050, the damage had been done. By 2101, the water levels had risen a meter, causing population movement. Alongside this, desertification of lower Europe, Sahel Africa, middle America, and interior Asia had also caused population movement and at times food crises. Humidity, even in green cities, approaches lethal levels at times, this is seen more in newer, less technological supranations. A current world wide effort - sometimes, half assed - is trying to rectify, or, at least, hold back further damage.
The sixth question was the rise of an aging, and then, immortal population. In the most advanced nations, immortality became an option around 2050. People born in the 50s and 60s of the 1900s are still alive today, and along with advanced cyborgnetic and virtual technology, allows those individuals to live full, active lives. More and more advances as well follow, increasing natural and artificial lifespan. This question is thus ultimately tied to the forth and third. Birth rates have decreased to near 0 in most of the more technological unions - only Brazil has a noticeable one. The question, being newer than the rest, still needs answering. Some nations tried to outlaw immortality and such - those laws were no where near popular.
The world of 2101 is one where a citizen could be 100 years old in the body of a 20 year old, with amenities provided for by the state and community. To an observer of the 21st century, it is almost a pipe dream. But answering questions and solving problems of the 2000s only brings new problems to the 2100s. A person can still die, still be poor, still be in danger. The rise of supranational states and automation only just barely did not squash the civilian and individual, and many argue it does, still. Populations of the continents of America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania stall while African and regional populations, whose access to technology might even just be up to the standards of the 2010s, still increase. Thus, cultural, social, and political conflict still occur, even away from the eyes of the unions and supranations.
Dark Purple : European Federation. A union formed in the 2040s, 100 years after the European Union's foundations were, the nations of Europe had been integrating for the last 40 years. The Federation, while immense, is not very powerful, and holds roughly half of the utopia zones. It has almost Integrated Canada, Australia, Russia, and the Horn Republic, and has immense conflicts with the Iranian and Turkic Unions.
Green: The Turkic Union. A new power, led by a council of technocrats who lifted the region from near chaos, it is relatively expansionist. With the fall of China and the weakning of Russia, turkic enclaves have been liberated and join the union for economic and technological prosperity. In so doing, it has made enemies of all it's neighbors, and negotiations have failed, and is in low key conflict with all neighbors.
Gold: The Pan Asian-Commonwealth. Formed from new Democracies, and industrial powers, it is relatively mediocre - along with Korea and Japan, China and Thailand hold economic power. The crises of the last 30 years, however, have not been forgotten, and are wounds that the Pan Asian Commonwealth is trying to heal. Irredentialism has taken a back seat to political and more importantly economic stability.
Teal : The Iranian union. A relatively old power, formed in the 30s and 40s after Brush wars in the region, the Iranian union tends to keep to itself, education and urbanization are the main keys in play.
Dark Green: The Arab Union: Forged from states barely surviving civil wars, waves of fundamentalist conflicts, religious conflict, and social upheaval, it is roughly what was dreamed in the 1960s - a pan arab, secular union. Education, along with economic strength, are the main focuses.
Blue: The United States of America. This nation is still juggling power between the state, the government, and the individual, caused of late by a transition to reactionary elements. Movements are forming to counter such elements, and the USA holds a quarter of Utopia zones.
Purple: The African Union. Another union forged by smaller states joining, being absorbed by, or uniting with each other, it is dealing with problems of stability, governmental power, and education, however, true to it's name, many African nations have joined it.
Light Blue: The Federation of the Americas. Before, it was simply the Andean federation, a union of South American states for economic stability. However, the war with Brazil, along with the general economic trend, pushed for a Pan-Hispanic union. It is in conflict with Brazil, which has occupied most of the Amazonian plains outside of it's borders, and in Paraguay, which it took ages ago for Biofuel.
Yellow: Brazil. An older power, it expanded rigorously after political turmoil in the first quarter of the past century. There, it expanded to form a sort of Autarky, and relatively, it is safer, freer, and more comfortable to live than other Southern Hemisphere nations. However, militancy and war are the focus of the government, and international wise, it has strained relations.
Brown: The Pacific union. The rise of sea levels, along with remoteness, urged most of these small islands to band together to at least save their territory. It is, however, more of an environmental and economic union than a governmental one.
Pink: India. Another old power, it is in direct opposition to Brazil. Along with the USA and Japan, it is a remnant of the older century - and thus, secure. For the first half of it, however, it was multifaced. Abroad, it was doing well, and economically, it was superb, and adapted quickly. However, social conflict and the lack of education were rampant, and the scars of an Communist along with an Islamic insurgency have left scars it is trying to heal.
Light green: The Eastern Muslim Union. A union of the, well, Eastern Muslim states who had vicious civil wars and turmoil in the 2050s, it is relatively neutral, but still struggling with stability and economy.
Gray: The Republic of Judea. Israel was hit hard to the crises of the 2040s, and indeed, lost the Negev and Golan and Gaza. For a while it became extremely religious and orthodox. While USA aid kept the nation alive, it struggles with democracy and tolerance, and the Arab Union proudly rinses their armies next to it.
Along these nations, there are holdings in Space. China landed a man on the moon in the 20s, while the USA landed a man on mars. Corporations have tried and tested many space policies, from a colony on mars (that was supposed to be one way, but after a rapid development of SSTO VTVL craft, it is very flourishing and connected to Earth) along with scientific bases on the moon, economic mining on inner system asteroids and the asteroid belt, and the main focus, a mining station triumvirate on Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus to provide fuel for the fusion reactors of earth. (Jupiter being undesirable due to radiation and gravity, and the moon being undesirable for the simple relative lack of fuel.)
A space elevator has been built at the equator and prime meridian, with another to be built in the pacific oceans. The colonies and mining outposts belong to their respective corporation or nation, but the United Nations has brought into force common law and interaction protocols.
A small terrafroming effort on Mars, via "Canyon walling" has shown positive results - should the world put their back into it, a terraformed mars could be as possible in 20 or 50 years, and the UN has added it to debate and to fund.