My Predictions: Societal Change over the next ~100 years #52 #cong20

Synopsis:

 Good news: Humanity will survive and get become more self-aware and consious.

Bad news: We will need to endure a lot of pain and suffering to get there.

Total Words

1,067

Reading Time in Minutes

4

Key Takeaways:

  1. Global Equality: We will get real about solving them
  2. Environmental Challenges: Lots of pain, a lot of engineered mitigation solutions.
  3. Rehumanisation to bring us back to whats important
  4. Democratisation of knowledge

About Pat Kennedy:

I studied engineering and worked in water and energy resource management for many years. I also have a fascination with societal infrastructure and how it relates to development. I own an Irish tech company called eTownz and we have spent much of the past 10 years chipping away at a problem: how can we help communities make the most from local development?.

Contacting Pat Kennedy:

You can connect with Pat on LinkedIn, see his work on eTownz or send him an email.

By Pat Kennedy

It almost goes without saying that the world is changing at an ever-increasing pace … COVID, big data, IoT, AI, climate change, K-pop… the list goes on.

In this blog, I attempt to outline what I think will happen in the next 100 years with respect to 3 key aspects of our life on Earth.

By way of context, I studied engineering and worked in water and energy resource management for many years. I also have a fascination with societal infrastructure and how it relates to development. I own an Irish tech company called eTownz and we have spent much of the past 10 years chipping away at a problem: how can we help communities make the most from local development?

So for this year’s Congregation, I’ve decided to get very loose with my virtual pencil and see what type of bold, general statements I can muster on what I think “Society 3.0” will mean let’s say over the next 15-20 years.

Global Objectives

1) Global Equality
It will not be as easy for the super-rich to hide their money in the future, and society will firstly understand and then take action against humanity’s greatest embarrassment, its inequality. It will ask, “Do we have the society we want when one person can be worth 200+ billion while billions of others don’t have the financial means for food and a basic existence?” I think society will not accept this and will (if perhaps slowly) chip away at this so there is not so much disparity.

COVID has taught humanity one thing, if we face an existential crisis, we have the capacity to somewhat work together to address big problems, put the power, money and systems in places to address the effects and find solutions.

I think rich society will realise it’s not in their interest to have a sizable portion of the world languishing in abject poverty. The US implemented the 4yr “Marshall Plan” to rebuild Europe post World War 2. It simply set aside about ~2% of its GDP (equivalent to ~E200 billion in today’s money) and implemented a very successful investment plan. Society will implement a grand plan to help lift much of Africa, Asia and South America out of the circle of poverty it finds itself. Why would the western world do this? I have a few reasons:

Climate change will cause unprecedented forced mass migration, force migration issue has a common goal, migrants don’t want to leave and they are often unwanted in the richer countries they flee to. Walls and oceans will not be able to stop the influx of people and society will realise there is one solution to this problem, to lift the poor out of extreme poverty.
Advances in technology will make it easier to lift regions out of poverty. Digitisation of education, flexible economies/workforces and efficiency in building new infrastructure just make this easier than it was for the past 100 years, so why not?
It makes economic sense to convert poor regions into markets where people can buy things.
Data leads to transparency and the wrongs of the world will be more fully exposed and will not be tolerated (e.g. resource exploitation of developing countries, misinformation)

2) Environmental Challenge:

Little doubt, climate change will have unimaginable negative effects on humanity and life on earth. Engineers will engineer endless small solutions when combined will make things tolerable. We will move cities, replace our outdated energy systems, build mammoth climate mitigation infrastructure, who knows, maybe even learn to control the weather, rebuild rainforest, savannahs or clean our seas (hopefully while there is still something to save). While millions may die while we learn this truth, in the next 100 years we will learn to stop our rapid degradation of the planet and begin to reverse the impacts we are inflicting on Mother N.

3) Re-humanisation: So the wealthy portion of humanity has become educated, created more complex jobs for more complex graduates and now we have less time for family, friends, community, music, art the building blocks of Society 1.0 …. I think in society 3.0 there will be a pervasive change in societal mindsets. Robotics, AI and other technologies will mean we don’t need to work 100hrs/week, maybe 30 hrs/week will suffice. This creates the headspace for humanity to look at itself and rekindle our appreciation for family, friends, community and society. This will mean people will become more active in their communities and do so for personal and collective reward, perhaps not a monetary reward but social rewards of simply living a happier life.

4) The democratisation of knowledge
As the old saying goes, “knowledge is power” is still very true today but there are a lot more caveats now. Online education, AI along with many other tools mean that it is not as easy as it was to own knowledge and keep it just for yourself. This has many benefits for developing countries as they often have cheaper cost base and knowledge is sometimes a factor which excludes them from development. These walls will start to crumble allowing a more even world.

So that’s it, my “back of an envelope” predictions for society 3.0 which can be summarised as:

Good news: Humanity will survive and get become more self-aware and conscious.
Bad news: We will need to endure a lot of pain and suffering to get there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *