Life in the year 2020

2020 is only four years away and yet it’s a nice round number to use as a milestone from which to judge the progress of technology in the 21st Century. Some visions on 2020:

  • Guaranteed minimum incomes in one country after another as machines displace most of the human job market… Although a few very rich men continue to own most of the world’s money, women’s employment and spending power surpasses men’s.
  • There will be more robots used as therapists, companions, assistants, and even friends to help people in their every day. People will be able to purchase their robots through Amazon-type vendors, they will customize them according to their needs through bots sold in digital marketplaces similar to Spotify.
  • Once the hype around smart cities subsides, and we realize that even the most advanced technology has limits (and that packing vast numbers of people in the same space and relying on bits and bytes for it all to work is not the future), focus will shift towards smart villages, and how we build a distributed network of smaller, sustainable population centers.
  • There will be a blending of traditional thinking – community building, local production and consumption, integrated rural transport systems, local currencies and an equal focus on quality of life and quality of environment – all promoted, supported and maintained by the use of traditional, appropriate technologies and the latest digital networks and devices
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