What does 2011 hold for the world?
What does 2011 hold for the world? It's a huge question, of course. You can look at it in so many ways too - whether it's the political, military, cultural, economic, or even sporting world.
It is interesting though how far these very different streams of life intersect, as global power moves east and the world becomes more "multi-polar".
If you head for Mumbai this April for example, you will find the Cricket World Cup taking place in a city that's also famous for its movie industry, where the memory of the 2008 terrorist attacks will trigger a massive security operation - and it's happening in a country that is set to overtake China in its economic growth during the coming year.
There are other places too where the different strands of international activity will intersect, underlining the growing influence of certain key players, all of which (with the possible exception of Brazil) lie to the east of London.
Turkey will play host to talks later this month aimed at solving the Iranian nuclear stand off. That's an indicator of how they seek increasing international influence, at the same time that their economy is growing well and patterns of regional influence are changing.
One of the most salient things to emerge from the Wikileaks cables was how far the Middle East is struggling to deal with burgeoning Iranian influence.
Not only did we discover that key Gulf allies wanted the US to bomb the Iranian nuclear programme, but we also learnt of the American's inability to stop long range missiles being transferred to Hezbollah, how worried the Lebanese government is by that militant movement setting up its own shadow state with Iranian help, and that the Saudi foreign minister suggested sending an Arab brigade to Lebanon (with Nato backing!) to confront Hezbollah.
What all of this underlines is that we need to add to our traditional, "will America bomb Iran this year?" type question, one about whether Iran will use its growing influence to provoke confrontation in its own national interest.
This is one consequence of a more multi-polar world in which new actors exert their influence.
I was surprised last summer in the West Bank when one rejectionist of the American-sponsored peace process who I was talking to declared there would be no reconciliation between Hamas in Gaza and the PLO leadership because Iran was using its power to prevent this.
The question of how far Iranian power can be contained through sanctions or other diplomatic means has become complicated in part because of that country's close relationship with China.
They are now major trading partners, and that limits the degree to which China will agree to any measures, for example in the United Nations Security Council, that are aimed at Iran.
It is of course the great power of the Chinese economy that provides the strongest eastwards force in world affairs.
One of the biggest questions of 2011 will be whether leaders in Beijing start to exert their influence more on the international stage.
The issue of whether their currency, the yuan, should be allowed to rise higher against the US dollar is of course primarily one of trade, but will tell us much about whether these two great nations are heading on the path to co-operation or confrontation.
China accepts in principle that the yuan needs to rise, but worries about the political as well as the economic effect of being seen to cave in to US pressure for a big alteration.
We've seen from the recent confrontation with Japan over the boarding of a fishing vessel, that China is increasingly sensitive about any kind of international humiliation.
Where does all this leave the "old powers" of the US and Europe?
Pushed out of the international driving seat more often, and, if they are not careful, surprised more often by world developments.
A more multi-polar world may seem fairer - particularly after a decade when the US was regarded as a sole "hyper-power" - but it will certainly be harder to read, and even to describe.