Bangladesh – 10/15 years from now

I was recently asked to predict how our society is going to change 10/15 years from now…..following are my thoughts, based on the technology that are already out there or in the verge of being introduced in next one/two years:

1. Everyone above the age of 15 will be connected — My prediction is all Bangladeshi above 15 years of age will be connected to internet via smartphone within next ten years. Why? Because, first, rapid decrease of cost of processing power as well as manufacturing cost(of smartphone) will make it affordable to everyone and second, data costs will fall dramatically driven by the advance of technology and comperition between telco networks and players like Google/Facebook.

2. Elderly care homes will be an integral part of society — Two demographic trends will emerge — people will be living longer and percentage of younger population as part of the whole population will start declining for the first time in decades. Bangladesh society will embrace elderly care homes, hospice at a rapid pace…

3. There will be no traffic! — Most of the workforce will be freelancers, working from home reducing the need for office space and vehicles on the road. Autonomous cars will be introduced which will connect with each other (and with traffic signal) for better traffic management and we will not have much of traffic congestion…at least, the way we know it today. Ok…let us put it in 15+ years bucket…

4. Society will be polarised, in a larger scale! — Since most of the adult population will be connected, and families will be nuclear, we will form groups based on ideology and reinforcing the thinking/values within the group. This will result to extreme polarisation in a larger scale.

5. We will have more playgrounds! — We will need less agricultural lands, crop production will be very efficient, alternative sources of food will emerge, less office spaces will be required and these changes will open up many free spaces for playgrounds.

6. No water! Drinking water will be one of the most expensive items because of global warming and urbanization. No technological solution here, yet!

7. Banks, Insurance companies will collapse! — Blockchain will be embraced in a massive scale resulting to a disintermediation of most of the functions of banks and insurance companies. Our financial sector will not exist in its current form.

8. We will be taller! Average height in Bangladesh will go up by 2~3 inches. Children across society/income group will have better and affordable access to nutrition…

9. Primary care facilities will shut down!- Algorithm based prescription, better data connectivity, sensors for identifying most of the primary care needs will be in place making the need for physical facilities for primary care obsolete.

And….here is the last one to make the list to 10 and to end on a positive note…

10. No flying cars!- But there will be drones….used to deliver goods bought at ecommerce shops or to deliver medicine when someone needs it at the remotest corner of the country. No need of pharmacy or courier companies!

The predictions might sound a bit provocative.….however, the reality is, as far away as we might think, these changes are going to sweep in like a tsunami…..already happening in some parts of the world and will be here sooner than we expect!