Tomorrow’s World: 2030

“What does tomorrow look like?” a question I frequently get asked. Admittedly this is a very tough question to answer, especially if you approach it with a conservative mindset. To help me better answer this question, I decided to step back and think differently. Rather than looking at the world today and attempting to map its evolution forward I wanted to look 13 years ahead (2030) and attempt to predict future scenarios where society could be impacted by exponential changes to technology, industry and human behaviours.

This quote from Ray Kurzweil, American Author, Computer Scientist and Futurist sums up perfectly why thinking in this way is so important:

“Our intuition about the future is linear. But the reality of information technology is exponential, and that makes a profound difference. If I take 30 steps linearly, I get to 30. If I take 30 steps exponentially, I get to a billion.”

I started this project by looking back 13 years (2004) to see what the world looked like for Technology and Digital and understand better the radical transformation we have witnessed over the last 13 years (2017). In 2004 we saw the launch of Facebook, GMAIL, Motorola RAZR mobile phone and a world with approximately 817 million internet users. In July, 2017 Facebook announced that it now has 2 billion monthly active users and GMAIL has over 1 billion. The iPhone has now sold over 1 billion devices in a world that now has over 3.6 billion internet users.

I will refrain from sharing the exact thought process and total output with you but I will share a sample of the future scenarios I have been focusing on between now and 2030.

Augmented health: Transhumanism is the belief that humanity can evolve beyond current physical and mental limitations by means of science and technology. I have learnt how scientists have been engineering genes using the CRISPR technology to insert Malaria blocking genes into mosquitoes and scientists attempting to freeze the ageing process in mice. Finally, there is neural bridging or Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have both recently announced activity in this space with Elon Musk being very open with his vision to bridge the gap between humans and AI to ensure we don’t get left behind by machines.

A world with no screens: With advances in Voice and machine intelligence there is a natural consumer expectation to optimise for speed. Gartner posted that by 2020 30% of web browsing will be done without a screen. If you then consider the average typing speed is approximately 20–50 words per minute (WPM) this stat makes sense, especially when a human can speak at approximately 120–150 WPM.

The Metaverse: We could see the convergence of all physical and virtual realities in a three dimensional persistent ecosystem that will fully utilise the potential of augmented reality beyond gaming, creating the next internet, The Metaverse. Improbable, a “British technology company that focuses on large-scale simulations in the cloud, enabling virtual worlds of unprecedented scale and complexity,” recently received $502m worth of investment and it is their Spatial.OS that could see the development of The Metaverse begin.

One thing is absolutely clear, this project has generated more questions than answers, questions that need debating. We are on the cusp of a transcending change and we all have a responsibility to ensure we are not surprised but anticipate the levels of change that are on their way.