What the world could be like in 2050

World in 2050: Tech Breakthroughs and Lifestyle Revolutions
World in 2050: Tech Breakthroughs and Lifestyle Revolutions

Forum for the Future founder Jonathon Porritt is really excited about how upbeat and dynamic the world could be in 2050 -- if we play our cards right.

Porritt feels that a move away from a dependence on fossil fuels to renewable energy, efficiency and closed-loop production systems could bring us into a 'brave new world.'

When it comes to our economy, Porritt feels we will no longer have as many paper currencies. 'Everything is done electronically. We will have a global currency, national currencies, and then every community in the country has its own local currency, which most people deal purely in.'

Porritt says we could have a much better balance between work and play: imagine a 27-hour work week where overtime is strictly banned. 'Everybody mixes their life between the work they do in the formal economy, the work they do in the informal economy, and what they do by way of volunteering or community operations of that kind.'

So, do we have flying cars in the future? Maybe not ... but Porritt thinks we could move away from the concept of 'private' cars to a more shared form of transportation, where most people belongsto car clubs. In cities, 'people walk and cycle and use public transport as THE standard mix.'

We will still be flying in Porritt's version of the future, but our planes will be much more efficient.

There will be around 9 billion people on this planet by 2050, so Porritt says we'll simply have to live more environmentally-friendly lives. 'We'll have sorted out our waste problems, there won't be any waste -- everything we currently chuck away will be the feedstock for another industry.'

'One of the things we don't see very clearly is ... how we make society healthier,' Porritt says. He feels a new fleet of systems will be available in 2050 so that we can more closely monitor everything happening in and around our bodies.

'By and large, people will be much healthier in 2050. We will have cracked problems like diabetes and obesity, we will have sorted out diseases like malaria, we will have managed most of our concerns. That means people will live a lot longer.'

What do you think? Does Porritt's version of the future sound attainable or impossible?

Originally published