My journey with 200 people
Over June and July 2023, I took a journey with 200 people from around the world.
The pages here show what I heard from 200 people in the Future2043 survey. I asked people to answer 15 questions about their vision of the future 20 years from now and to share their comments.
The goal of the survey was to bring together ideas from around the world:
- How do they see the future?
- What specifically should we be thinking about?
- What should we be doing now?
Graded answers were given for 15 different subjects, allowing measured analysis: better vs worse, this direction versus that direction, etc. Respondents also shared their thoughts about each question.
All the text in the following pages, with the exception of a few summary sentences, comes from the over 1200 comments I got from the 200 people around the world.
People responded from 33 different countries on six continents.
To simplify, after studying the data, the overall highlights can be broken into three categories:
- A bright future
- A future with the lights half on … or half off
- A dark future
There are nuances, crossovers among topics and many qualified answers of “yes…but” as well as “no…and”.
My goal here is not to write a definitive summary but to entice you to go further into investigating what the 200 voices around the world said, and to compare to your own views.
The future will be bright
- New models of education will be focused on and controlled by learners, and not tied to the traditional places of education.
- Increased faith in scientists as sources of validated information will make them the agents of change for our societies.
- Job opportunities will not necessarily decrease, but will require new skills, some so radically different it will be hard for many people to keep up.
- New forms based on AI will actually increase our appreciation of humans. However access may be decreased by limited funding.
Lights half on
- Cities and urban areas will grow in size to mega cities or extend into suburbs or become collections of villages. In some cases urban society will break down because of wealth gaps, polarization or silo isolation.
- Healthcare will advance significantly thanks to AI and other innovations. It will not be available to everyone because of wealth gaps and privatization of health institutions.
- Our belief systems may be either irrelevant for our future or become more spiritual to satisfy new needs. They may either trigger conflict. or be necessary to reach global unity.
- Social media is already anti-social, polarizing and destructive in the eyes of many. This will continue over the next 20 years.
- Wealth will remain in the hands of the few, and most organizations will be focused on profits for shareholders rather than social good for all.
- Humans will consider themselves superior to other species with little motivation for building a sense of the “shared whole earth”.
- Human nature is such that it will be very difficult to overcome the problems underlying climate change.
- Global governance, attempting to balance the needs of many, has little chance of succeeding over self-interest-driven local governance.
Global upheaval, disaster
Many said that the only way change will happen is if there is a global upheaval or an earth-threatening disaster that forces change on us. The pandemic was not considered sufficient.
Respondents believe the youth of today will have a positive effect on many of our problems. They have different values and different visions of how they want to live.
Explore the results of my journey
Think about how you would answer these 15 questions and browse through the responses I have organized by question and theme.