A bold vision of the future with big-picture, ambitious ideas —a vision of a better society for us all—is what’s needed. From there, the steps to get to this vision can be mapped out in a strategy.
Predicting 2024 trends is too narrowly focused. By looking to the longer-term horizon, you can put plans into place to create the reality that our planet needs. Architect BIG exemplified this approach with their concept of Masterplanet to "prove that a sustainable human presence on planet Earth is attainable with existing technologies".
Here are some big-picture ideas for what the world might look like in 2050 if all goes according to plan:
Environmental Regeneration - AI will create the business case, demonstrating the financial benefits (near and long term), and design a strategy towards a net-positive built environment and industry. It will include principles of the circular economy and efficiency improvements.
Autonomous Transport Systems - Operating via swarm robotics, the transportation system on land, sea, and air will be coordinated and optimized. This will lead to fewer collisions, less traffic, optimized routes, and less pollution.
Elevated Longevity - People everywhere will live better, healthier, and longer lives. 'Old age' will no longer be associated with declining mental and physical abilities but with a different perspective formed by experiences from another era - and highly valued. Medical advancements and robotics will facilitate longevity.
Robot Helpers - Robots will walk among us and perform physical tasks that are ill-suited to people in a more efficient, safer, and healthier way, such as moving heavy parcels. Jobs today that are physical in nature will transform to be more greatly assisted by robots, such as using robotic exoskeletons, or as robot operators.
Fulfilled Workforce - This is perhaps the most novel concept— but let's contemplate it (and perhaps debate it in a future article).
"The only thing we know for sure about the future is that it will be different from our predictions." John Maynard Keynes, Economist
I don't disagree with Keynes, and suspect that I may be disastrously wrong in my predictions. However, if we don't aim for a better society or consider ways of operating that break the mold of how things are done, we will not be able to put into place actions today that are needed to create a better future.