Nowadays, we’re probably living in the most uncertain and rapidly changing times after World War II. We lived through a two-year global pandemic; now, we’re dealing with a financial crisis, a war in Europe, and a potential shift in the way the world looks as a whole. With that said, there are a ton of changes we should be on the lookout for, as they’re likely to impact the way we live, do business, and interact with one another for the next few decades.
It’s hard to be prepared for the unknown; however, based on the information we already have, there are some future trends that we’re able to predict (even if not perfectly). In this article, we will be discussing five future trends that are likely to happen and what we can do to be prepared for them.
The Future Trends We Need to Know More About
Before we head on to the list, let’s first state that we cannot predict the future. It’s highly possible that these trends never happen or that they don’t end up impacting us in the way we imagine now. However, even though predictions are never perfect, they still give us some sense of control over the future and of our destiny. Our advice is to keep that in mind while you’re reading and to try and determine the likelihood of our predictions through your own perception of the world.
The End of Globalization
The so-called “decoupling” of economies began in pre-pandemic times, with some indicators appearing five to ten years ago. However, the COVID-19 outbreak and what followed have certainly made it clearer how our dependence on the globalized world can make us vulnerable. Some countries such as the UK, Brazil, and India have already started to favor nationalism again. Additionally, China’s dominance of the world’s manufacturing has started to get questioned even more as supply chains ground to a halt during the pandemic. The difference between the Chinese government and western countries became even harder to ignore.
As all nations look forward to building a new future, it looks like globalization might not be the answer to all our questions. Instead, we’re likely to live in a world where three or four regions have their distinct economies, laws, and cultures. These different poles will be able to operate from a similar position when it comes to data privacy, trade agreements, standards, and more, whereas with globalization, the mission to align everyone to the same standard looks impossible.
The Shock That Comes with Transitions
Right now, almost every industry is going through massive changes. That applies to areas such as education, transportation, energy, food, and healthcare, which are all in the midst of a revolution. Thanks in large part to the climate change issue and the ongoing political and economic crisis, these industries are finding new ways to reinvent themselves. Now that we know livestock production is one of the biggest polluters, more and more people are looking to start a vegetarian or vegan diet, which has led to the food industry trying to develop “meat replacement” foods that can help make the transition easier and satisfy some of the cravings for meat.
It looks like e-cars and autonomous vehicles will become the transportation industry’s future. In the energy sector, everyone is trying to come up with ways to lower carbon emissions and start producing energy in a safer and “greener” way. All of these transitions and the technological advancement that comes with them will shake up and change a lot of industries, along with our daily lives.
Reimagining the Social Contract
The pandemic, the war, and the economic crisis have all served as reminders that we probably need to reconsider what we expect from our governments and companies. Under such intense pressure, the traditional contract is no longer working. Societies are becoming more and more divided, and any differences, be it economic, social, or religious, start to create chasms rather than common ground in the echo chamber that is social media. As the human experience becomes more digitized, workforces will start to feel threatened by the looming threat of automation. They won’t feel protected or valued by their government or the companies they work for. That’s how discussions about basic universal income began and why many started to consider those possible ideas and solutions for the future.
The Emergence of Artificial Intelligence
While the ‘70s and ‘80s were characterized as AI (artificial intelligence) winters, the decades that followed went through a profound learning revolution that largely democratized artificial intelligence developments. Today, when we talk about AI, we know that there are a lot of challenges that need to be dealt with, such as the cost of development, regulatory obstacles, and more; however, it seems like artificial intelligence is advancing faster than ever before, and it looks like it might cause a significant change in the world.
We already know that AI could both disrupt and add value to our world, and it’s pretty evident that as big data analytics becomes more relevant, we will see a lot more automation in the upcoming years. How we deal with the AI influx is key to our world’s future in 50 years.
A Hybrid World
Deep hybridity – a combination of the biological, physical, and digital worlds – is one of the most widely discussed future trends. This idea of the “new normal” that will be a place where all of these worlds mix together and combine in our daily experience is very popular amongst young people. That’s why every company needs to consider how it offers digital and physical experiences that work well for those who need to interact with them. Every business needs to be able to provide products and services that combine both the physical and digital world, as the demand for hybrid offerings will only increase in the future.
Preparing for the future is never easy. It requires a bit of creative thinking, a lot of knowledge, and the ability to think outside of the box. That’s why reading articles on what future trends are expected will give you key insight into areas that you know nothing about and which might affect your life in the upcoming years.