Who says I can't make an optimistic scenario?
The PoD is 1914, when a certain would-be assassin decides to get lunch somewhere else. He misses his target, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and while Europe tumbles from one crisis to another, the great powers never get into a great war. Indeed, in this world, global war is a hypothetical dreamed of by novelists. In this world, Adolf Hitler was an obscure painter, Mao Zedong a university librarian, and Josef Stalin an alcoholic factory worker. This world has never known the iron fist of totalitarianism, the brutality of genocide or the fear of nuclear war. In this world, the twentieth century was an age of progress, not an age of terror.
This is not to say that the world hasn't had its share of misfortune. The dissolution of Austria-Hungary was a dirty affair, which saw the old Habsburg Empire reduced to a small German puppet. The Russian constitutional crisis of the 1920s forced the Tsar to abdicate and, for a while, it seemed that the Russian government would dissolve entirely were it not for the quick cooperation of Russia's liberals and military leaders. Poland only gained its independence after a string of protests and terror attacks in the 1930s forced the weak Russian government to let it go. In the East, the new Chinese republic and the Japanese Empire got into several small engagements, and when a Japanese-backed warlord attempted to create his own state in Manchuria war was almost assured. However, a joint Anglo-American mission prevented the two countries from going to war, and a Russo-Chinese defense pact dissuaded the Japanese from trying to make gains by the sword.
Decolonization was a period of intense soul-searching for the European powers, as the issue became a domestic one as left-leaning parties argued that the cost of maintaining the colonies outweighed the gain. Most of Europe’s colonies were granted independence peacefully, although the British were ousted in Egypt by a popular revolution. Exceptions to this rule were Italy, Spain and Portugal, who instead granted the locals of their colonies greater rights, representation and autonomy. Many of the old colonizers left leaders which they could trust and various concessions such as alliance treaties and the maintenance of old military bases. In exchange, the old colonial powers assisted their now-independent colonies in infrastructure development.
By 2014, the world is a quiet, if not entirely peaceful, place. The two greatest blocs are the British and the German-led European Community, and while both compete with one another on the global stage they more often than not work together against threats to world peace. Asia has been on the rise, although the formerly-dominant Japanese are being overtaken by the Chinese. The two countries have cooperated with one another against the Europeans during the late 20th century, although some fear that the growing rivalry may lead to war. The United States is the world’s single largest economy, but its military is restricted to operations in the Western Hemisphere; they would rather let the British and Germans be the policemen of the world. The Russians have recovered from their brief crisis in the 1930s and are doing much better than the Russia of our world, and their petroleum exports to Europe have helped fund Russia’s industrialization. The Ottomans, also unstable during the early 20th century, found their salvation in oil, and the Middle East is prosperous and peaceful. Indeed, the new skyscrapers growing out of the desert have become the envy of the world, and Baghdad even has an artificial ski resort.
The only real problem is Egypt, which has been under the rule of military dictators since its revolution in the 1960s. The Egyptians have tried to usurp European domination of the African continent, and have funded organizations devoted to the independence of Africa or wanton worldwide destruction, depending on who you ask. The Germans and British have debated an invasion of Egypt, but they have not done anything yet out of fear that they will start a war they cannot finish.
Technology is somewhat behind, resembling the 1990s of OTL. This is most apparent in aviation and electronics; portable computers are unheard of. Nuclear weapons have been developed, but have never been used in anger and no large nuclear arsenals exist. Indeed, the idea of having enough nuclear weapons to bring humanity to the brink of extinction is seen as absurd. Similarly, chemical and biological weapons exist, but nobody even thinks of using them. The population is about eight billion, and pollution is a big problem.