Welcome, thanks to MKC for letting me do this talk. I’ve a lot to cover in 15 minutes so lots of
skimming and not much depth.
predicting the future has never been easy:
“Man will not ﬂy for 50 years” First successful ﬂight by man
Wilbur Wright, 1901 Wilbur & Orville Wright, 1903
Wright Brothers deserve their place in aviation history. This is a statement wilber wright made
in 1901. The Kitty Hawk ﬂew 4 successful ﬂights as this telegraph shows 2 years after Wilbur
said it would take 50.
speed - our world is moving into overdrive
economy - transition to a new world and challenges for the workforce with new sorts of jobs
cities - transport in 2030, hitting our sweet spot
learning - the move from 20th century to 21st century
this is Manchester a century ago. Look carefully. The world was very different then.
why am I showing you this? we’re supposed to be looking at 20 years in the future.
many people believe in the next 20 years the world will change as much as the last 100.
“The World will advance 100
years in the next 20 ” *
* Ray Kurzweil Theory of Singularity 2008
Ray Kurzweil a renowned Futurologist and author of the singularity is near has proven his
theory of singularity which shows the planet evolving at a logarithmic pace. So the next 100
years on earth will evolve like the last 22,000.
1950 10 years 50 years 10 days
1980 6 years 20 years 5 days
2010 2 years 2 years 24 hours
2030 50 days 300 days instantly
We can all see this in the pace of change of things around us.
Cars now take 2 years from design to appearing in the showroom
A new city the size of Manchester was built in China and populated in 2 years - shifting and
growing populations will need us all to be that adept.
Banking and transactions are nearly instant and solely digital money is a blink away.
4221 2250 1476 830 630
Like the seven ages of man, technology is evolving at a faster and faster speed.
Here are some well known technology brands: Google, Facebook, Twitter,BBC Iplayer and
Apple IPhone App store.
Can anyone guess what the numbers are appearing under each logo? The number of days
each has existed. The iplayer is less than 3 years old yet 70 million progammes are watched
this way each month. The Iphone App store is yet to reach its second birthday yet as you will
see is disrupting business models in so many ways.
1,000 more a day
The App store has over 100,00 apps and in feb the number of new apps submitted grew to
1,500 a day. That marketplace is worth 2.7 billion and see no sign of it waining. Growth is so
dramatic the app store could easily top a million apps by then end of 2011 and generate
$32billion which puts it at the same level of sales as coca cola worldwide.
However we won’t have an iphone by 2030. Experts predict phones will be replaced with web
enabled contact lenses that overlay digital information on top what we see. You will literally
walk into a room of strangers and know their names and what their facebook proﬁle says
before even talking to them.
Lets quickly look at how our economy will develop. I haven’t time to go into speciﬁc sectors
but want to explore some important issues.
2005 General Election 2010 18+ users
24 million voted *
21.1 million *
*www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2005/RP05-033.pdf *Facebook stats Feb 2010
2010 will bring us the next general election. 2005 was a decidedly analogue affair but 2010
is already shaping up to to be different. Just look at the way in which President Obama
employed one of facebook’s founders as his communications director and how important the
web was to his victory - and the voices of ordinary Americans.
The number of UK facebook users over 18 is over 21 million. The jury’s out on how important
they (or online) will be in this election but it will become the main battleground in future
elections through the end of this decade and beyond.
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030
Ian Pearson Futurizon 2008
Technology and computers will do lots more for us and force us to concentrate on
what makes us human. Empathy and emotions will play a big part and human contact
will dominate the economy. In this new care economy advances in AI take the
economic value of intelligence and force people to focus on their human side -
something AI will not manage for another couple of decades.
We will always place a higher value on human made artifacts even though machines
can make to higher provision and tolerances than we can. A new age of art will
dominate in the 2020’s before AI itself becomes creative and designs stuff better than
humans. We begin to enter the machine age shortly afterwards.
born 1961 -1981
post baby boomers long form readers
born 1980 - 1999
net generation short form readers
born 1999 -
digital natives incredible multi-tasking
The past 30 years have delivered 3 distinct generations of people. Generation X, the post
baby boomers who share most in common with the generation before. Often lovers of long
form (books) and familiar with the world we are leaving.
A lot has been written about Generation Y, the oldest of which are just leaving university.
This group are wired and consummate surfers who prefer to gain knowledge in bursts online,
than through books. They are highly capable with the technology and freely give their opinion
online and value blogging and chats.
Generation Z are just coming getting into education and are re-shaping it by their multi-
tasking and natively digital approach. They are a new breed which will challenge to the core
the values of Generation X and probably out perform online those from Generation Y.
What is most interesting is the fact that for the next two decades Generation X,Y and Z will all
make up our workforce - and the challenge is for a business to take the skills of each and
make the most powerful teams the world has known.
new sectors, new jobs
‣Old Age Wellness Manager / Consultant
‣Climate Change Reversal Specialist
‣New Scientists Ethicist
Taken from “The shape of jobs to come” by Fast Futures Jan 2010
Each Energy Server provides 100kw of green power
Bloom energy is already in trials with Ebay, Google and Amazon with 100kw fuel cell servers.
An ex NASA scientist has raised $400 million to form this company offering power servers -
the size of a car park space - enough to power 100 homes and costing $800k each. They
expect a home server that powers an entire home for $3000 by 2020.
transport : cars
rented by the hour
MIT Stackable Cars Media Lab 2007-
Stackable cars were shown to me at MIT media lab 2 years ago. Computer controlled with
motors on each wheel, this is how most manufacturers are developing electric vehicles. Ask
yourself about what this will disrupt. Who needs insurance if their are no accidents? If car
parts can be digitally printed on demand what will happen to part manufacturers and garages
when servicing could be done by machines.
Smart highways and roads will create efficient commutes where the only vehicles allowed on
are computer controlled and stackable cars travel within mm of the next - and the roads
could be embedded with wi-tricity - wireless electricity and never need to carry batteries.
The airline industry will continue to clean up its act. Ironically it is computers that cause more
carbon pollution than planes.
Whether its solar power or energy cells like the technology we saw from bloom energy a zero
emission commercial aircraft will happen.. eventually.
We cannot rule out technologies’ march of disruption and may ﬁnd we are teleporting around
the place by 2030!
‣digital mesh over the cityscape
‣areas of fun and gaming
‣green and pollution free
‣destination beyond business and retail
MIT Technology Review / Futurizon research
This futuristic walkthrough illustrates what many people expect the city of the future to look
However we have to think about the type of city we want for the future not just what it is built
Firstly any successful city will have a free to access high speed digital mesh that will
encourage the merging of online and real worlds.
Cities have to become places for fun and excitement - and technology can provide enormous
screens for interactive games - imagine playing tetris on the side of tower block in
Future citizens will not have respiratory complications due to fossil fuel pollution - we may
have urban farming and all need to breathe pure air. None of us would tolerate victorian
smog now so will the next generation tolerate our polluting ways?
Future cities need excellent community care. In a care society no-one can be excluded and
human life will always be valued above machines - however smart they get.
We need to plan now for two possible changes to our city - that cities become too costly for
business or retail to ﬂourish as they do now. For cities to be relevant in a future world we
need to think about offering new reasons of work and habitation and take nothing for
sweet spot planning
less cost more
learning and work
The ‘20th century’ model
Got Game, Harvard Press
‣knowledge delivery is still fact heavy
‣the linear system is inﬂexible and not inclusive
‣informal social interaction is often not recognised as learning
‣linear long form model out of sync with ‘short form’ learners
‣teaching is based on a model our parents experienced
learning and work
The 21st century model
Got Game, Harvard Press
‣computers know facts people just need to interpret them
‣relationships and understanding people key to work
‣ability to interact with AI machines a vital skill
‣multi-tasking encouraged and many jobs are freelance based
‣learning is often ad-hoc, life long and inclusive
‣ measure change in days not years
‣ prepare for the care economy
‣ how will Gen. X,Y and Z working together?
‣ cities should embrace (and build) the digital mesh
‣ how will we succeed in educating Generation Z?
MIT Technology Review www.technologyreview.com
The shape of jobs to come, Fast Futures Report 2009
2009-2012 Strategic Report, AGMA and the Commission
Got Game, how the gamers will rule the world, Harvard 2007
Ian Pearson, Futurizon firstname.lastname@example.org
David Crowther, www.melandra.com