What can we expect over the next ninety years? If we track expected progress in today’s science and technologies, we can create a plausible scenario of how our twenty-first century could unfold.
The following timeline reveals achievements and events that could become reality as we move through this high-tech twenty-first century future.
The September-October issue of The Futurist magazine had and article about what life could be like form now to the year 2100.
2015: Next Economic Cycle
Our timeline begins around the year 2015, when the following technological advancements are expected to start the next 35 year cycle
* E-Commerce. Internet use explodes worldwide, producing trillions of dollars in revenue.
* Global Access. About 50% of the world population will have internet access
* Globalization. At today’s rate, we’ll halve poverty by 2015.
* Green Business. 30% of corporations are likely to practice environmental management, leading to a $10 trillion-$20 trillions of dollars in revenue.
* Telemedicine. Online records, video conferences with your doctor, and other electronic practices will improve medical care and reduce escalating coasts.
* Telework. Globally, 1 billion people in 2010 were mobile workers, That number should increase to 1.3 billion.
* Spacetourism/Commercialism. Spacetrips for tourists and visits to low-Earth orbit are likely to produce a boom commercial space.
2015-2020: Global Mega-crisis
From 2015 through 2020, a doubling of global GDP will cause the Global Mega-crisis to become intolerable, with the planet teetering on environmental collapse (see The Futurist, May-June 2011). Here are TechCast’s four Scenarios:
* Decline to Disaster (25% probability): World fails to react, resulting in catastrophic natural and economic calamities. Possible loss of civilization.
* Muddling Down (35% probability): World reacts only partially, so ecological damage, increased poverty, and conflict create major declines in life.
* Muddling up (25% probability): World reacts in time out of need and high-tech capabilities; widespread disaster averted, although many problems remain.
* Rise to Maturity (15% probability): World transitions to a possible global order.
2020: High-Tech Era
Assuming the world survives reasonably well (Muddling up), major breakthroughs are likely to introduce a high-tech Era:
Smart & Green transportation : e.g. intelligent cars, high speed trains.
* Climate Control, Alternative Energy
* Mastery of life. e.g. personal medication, organ replacement cancer cure.
* Second-Generation Information Technology, e.g, “good” artificial intelligence, automated routine knowledge, robots, infinite computing power.
2030-2050: Mature World Order
A mature world order evolves beyond knowledge to an age of global consciousness:
* Space: exploration & colonization of the Moon and Mars
* Advanced Energy: Fusion energy becomes viable.
* Life extension: Average life span reaches 100 years
* Expanded consciousness: e.g., generation AI, thought power, neurotechnology, Humans become almost godlike
2070-2100: Beyond Earth
* Deep Space: Contact is made: star travel becomes possible.
*Unified World Systems: Humanity achieves type I Civilization (mastery over most forms of planetary energy).