10 ways the world will have changed by 2031 / live on Hong Kong 3, ABC WA, ABC FNQ

Gen A’s (born 2002 – 2025) beginning Prep this week, will finish high school in 2031 and emerge into a world that will be so different to today’s that they might as well be living on Mars (and they might be).

In this weeks on air segments I chatted about 10 significant ways the world will have changed by 2031, and what we can do now to get them, ourselves and our businesses ready for the very near world ahead:

  1. Gen A won’t use technology, they will BE technology – tech will be so ordinary, ubiquitous and built into every surface and object that we will speak to it, play with it, and engage with it as if it were another human being and just like today where we pay no attention to the miracles of electricity and gas, tech will be the same just there with us more interested in what it can it do for us, then what it is.
  2. Gen A’s mission will be to create seamless lives – moving between one activity, action, adventure, purchaser or activity will soon be barrier free. Discovery,  Selection, Purchase / Engagement / Use and interaction all occur effortlessly across a myriad of spaces and places as all barriers, hurdles and hiccups seemingly melt away.
  3. Gen A’s will hold employers to ransom as they negotiate for their worth – working 9-5 will have all but disappeared, instead task oriented activities will abound, each paying / costing different amounts, each contributing to a person’s overall income, each requiring negotiation, agreement and sequencing, much of it done by AI.
  4. Gen A’s won’t buy, they’ll shop – routine purchases will be exactly that, routine, completed in the background without any human interaction, but the thrill of the chase, the finding of the unusual and the sport of human shopping will not disappear, so for all things unusual or just for a fun few hours with friends, we’ll still head off to visit our favourite bricks and mortar shop or mall.
  5. Gen A won’t pay for things, they will pay for what things dothe days of owning things as the only way of getting to use them will have long gone, instead we will pay for the end experience through digital contracts that monitor our usage and charge accordingly
  6. Gen A’s won’t own homes, but will have ready access to multiple houses– long-term house leases, new breeds of timeshare and crowd-shared short-term accommodation will be the norm as we grapple to find enough space to cram in our growing population.
  7. Gen A’s won’t own cars, but will be extremely mobile – car ownership is set to fall over the next decade and even the lure of driverless cars won’t be enough to entice many to own a car, instead we will apply a mobility approach, where transport ,appropriate to our immediate needs, self assembles, delivering cars to our doorstep, bikes to our paths, buses to our journey and walking routes for the last metres, all seamlessly orchestrated for us by our technology and the intimate unique knowledge of where we need to be and when and how we prefer to do it.
  8. Gen A’s won’t die of diseases of the body, but rather of the mind – many of today’s incurable diseases of the body will be tamed or better managed over the next few decades, allowing our body to live on to 100 and beyond, but the lesser researched and explored medical areas effecting the brain – dementia, Parkinson’s and others – will become more prevalent and it will take more research, effort and time to understand and manage these.
  9. Gen A’s will live to see the 22nd century – wonder what they’ll see and do and how antiquated what we do today will seem in 2118.
  10. Gen A’s will, by proportion, be the smallest cohort generation we have ever seen – world birth rates will begin to decline over the next decades and Gen A will be the first cohort whose parents don’t need to or want to have multiple children to ensure survival of the family, by the end of the 21st century it is believed that 80% of the world population will be considered “middle class’ and have readier access to work, food, water, sanitation and ongoing education.

It’s a fascinating world ahead and Gen A will need to create it much of it, as they re-imagine what living, being, having, owning, loving and thinking is in the latter 2/3 of the 21st century.

Take a listen now to and then I’d love to hear about your dreams, foresight’s and fears of 2031 and beyond.

ABC Far North Qld – 22nd January 2018 (7 mins 46 secs)

Hong Kong Radio 3 – 16th January 2018 (15 mins 50 secs)

ABC WA Drive – 15th January 2018 (6 mins 50 secs)

Future of Mobility / ABC Nightlife

Humans are all about mobility, it’s hard-wired into our DNA and soft wired into our hearts and souls. We gaze longingly at the horizon, travel treacherous oceans and uncharted solar systems all in the hope of extending our grasp on reality and possibility.

This week I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Ford tribe gazing into the future of mobility and what transport might be, look like and offer us in the next 50 years and last night ABC’s Nightlife Phil Clarke and I carried on this conversation with our audience and special guest Sheryl Connelly Ford’s Global Consumer Trends and Futuring Manager.

Listen in as we explore the future of transport, chat about why cars as we know it are dinosaurs waiting for extinction and what the next great modes and uses of transport might be and also what our listeners thought of these bold predictions.

Spoiler alert Warren and many others listeners were not having any of it and I’ve got a side bet going with host Phil Clarke that in 15 years from now I’d be happy to put my kids in a driverless car, cos he says I won’t (pretty confident that wine will have aged beautifully by the time I drink it in 2033).

Listen now and then add your voice to the Future of Mobility debate (50 mins 21 secs)



Getting around in 2030 – #FutureTransport \ Keynote, 4BC, ABC WideBay,

8For centuries we grew up, worked, learnt, dated, married, lived, and grew old within 25 miles of where we were born. Then came the wheel and we moved ourselves a little further, the steam engine a little further, the automobile a lot further, the airplane a hell of a lot further, but then came the internet and the necessity to travel out to see the world ceased, because for the first time ever in our existence the world now comes to us anywhere anytime on any device and we can live, see, play, work, date, learn and anything else – anywhere at any time.

This new digital space, has opened up new distribution models, new learning models, new food production models, new work models and the list goes on.

In my keynote last week to Intelligent Transport Systems Australia I posited that our need for transportation has irrevocably changed and is currently, and for the foreseeable future, going to continue to be challenged, reshaped and re-imagined.

To view my keynote click on the central Prezi symbol wait for it to load and
then use the arrow keys at the bottom of the box to move around.

The first of these influences is the internet itself, but other change agents abound and some of them include:

Big Data which will increasingly allow us to understand what’s happening on our roads, rails,seas and skies and to make swift purposeful decisions based on up to the minute data and predictive artificial intelligence inputs, we’ve already seen Qantas and other transport companies switch over to technology intermediaries to assist their staff in making timely and “perfect” decisions.

Internet of things and connected smart cities will over the next years virtually connect all of our vehicles, traffic and cityscape objects allowing each to share with the other information about driving intent, road conditions and what’s ahead. In the very near future buses may not work to a strict timetable and set of stops, but instead you’ll be able to virtually hail it to come to get you, rather than you going to get it.

Autonomous cars within 10 years will be a serious road contender with an expectation that in 2025 1 in 4 new cars sold will be capable of being put into auto pilot, when you don’t wish to drive yourself. We’re already seeing this used in the mining industry with huge trucks being driven remotely through the outback of Australia to and from the mines and depots. Daimler announced last week their soon to be released platooning auto pilot trucks capable of  finding other trucks going in the same direction and joining them in an aerodynamic, sleek and safe convoy.

3D printers will bespoke produce goods, spare parts, clothing, food and lots more in our homes, in our retail outlets and wherever we are, leading to an eventual downturn in the need to transport goods to warehouses, distributors and retailers for storage for later hopeful consumer purchase.

The Sharing Economy and changing consumer demands is also altering the need for transportation. Car ownership is being disrupted by car sharing and car ride schemes. The growing cultural desire of having use of products, homes, offices, clothes, pets, furniture, cars, and other objects rather than owning them has spawned entirely new industries connecting those that have with those that want and in doing so is slowly taking some of the need away from transporting multiple goods along our transportation corridors.

Project and task-work is re-framing the 9-5 commute and as we increasingly change where and when we work the traditional road congestion and traffic will reshape itself.

Transport’s where, when, how, why and what are all changing, but of course we will continue to travel and in fact travel more than we ever have before, but for very different reasons and in very different ways.

But my concern is that every decision being made about our roads, highways, parking, airports, train stations, ports and transport routes are being made on yesterday’s usage, transposed onto tomorrow’s world.

If we have apps like Waze successfully using the collected wisdom of road users to redirect each car in real-time. If we have people commuting to work and elsewhere at different hours instead of within tight time-frames. If autonomous cars can pick and choose directions according to road conditions and personal preferences. If we have 3D printers printing requisites on demand and in-situ then our roads and transport decisions need to factor in these and so many other new horizon influences.

We must start to think about, set cultural rules around and legislate for autonomous cars, work though licencing and insurance needs. We need to factor in changing traffic flows and mass transportation needs, there are lots we need to do before we go to our default position of widening and expanding highways for traffic conditions that may not be present when the roads comes to reality.

We must be brave and truly factor in tomorrow’s needs and technologies before we merely default to replicating yesterdays solutions and infrastructure over and over again.

And because a futurist conversation is never complete without some science fiction transportation possibilities, here’s 3 of my favourites:

gravity train which could travel through the core of the earth and take you from anywhere to anywhere on the planet in 42 minutes and 12 seconds,

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop that will place you into a vacuum sealed tube and woosh you 6,500 kilometres in 45 minutes at the speed of 1,223 kilometres per hour.

and the space elevator a long desired piece of kit, that now has Obayashi Corp in Japan saying it may be possible from 2030 onwards as carbon fibre improves enough to allow them to set a thin vertical track that will allow us to hop in an elevator and spend 7 days travelling up to the nearest space station or space hotel.

These were just some of the questions I posed and future landscapes I explored with the worlds smartest transportation thinkers at their conference and with my regular audiences on 4BC and ABC radio WideBay, so have look at my keynote (above) and have a listen to the interviews and then share your thoughts on what you think, or want, in tomorrow’s transport system.

4BC Clare Brady – 19 May (21 mins 21 secs) and thanks to all the listeners who phoned in – great questions and let’s keep talking

ABC radio – WideBay –  David Dowsett – 18 May (7 minutes 9 seconds)

All things Future…

Sheridan StewartAll things future was the brief for my chat with Sheridan Stewart of New England ABC local radio and that’s pretty much where we took it, everywhere.

We chatted about the future of communication and journalists and dealt with the perennial question of would we need them moving forward. My answer, as always, is that we must get out of the habit of being adamant that the only way something can be done is how we are doing it now and instead look at what are the core and often innate needs and wants that this activity satisfies. Communication is a fundamental human need and  trait and if anything we are doing more of it now rather than less. What has changed is what we communicate on, what we communicate through, who can communicate and to whom and when we do it and for this we will need to re-skill and rethink how we do it, but the core skills of being a great communicator will still be necessary and in demand well into the future.

Our chat moved on to look at the overwhelming data that’s available on line and the senses of helplessness this may cause by trying to make sense of it all. This anxiety is a real one and is caused in part by our growing awareness of how much we don’t know as compared to how much appears to be available online and how easy it appears to be to find out the answer to the most inane question we would never have though to ask.

To me this is a kid in a candy store phenomenon when you’re overwhelmed by choices and just as you think you’ve made the best or yummiest decision, you spy another sweet and begin to have remorse at your first choice and concern about what you you will choose. The solution lies in our human ability to filter, to make informed sensible decision using the best information we have to hand at the moment and knowing that we can, in most circumstances, pick again another day when we know more or know different.

It also requires us to know that most of what’s available online (80% of which had only been put there in the last 2 years) is really just zeros and ones, that is data. This data in order to be useful needs to be converted into meaningful personalised solutions – knowledge and for this knowledge to be purposeful ongoing it has to become wisdom – wisdom is what we most of are yearning for and for anyone to truly succeeds in the future long-term they will have to sell wisdom – specialist purposeful appreciant insights – these items will become the must-haves we all will be willing to pay for in the future.

With the world currently living through the advent and ramifications of a third industrial revolution and changes everywhere the question of future careers and jobs is an important one and Sheridan and I explored some of the future careers and opportunities our kids may have and the reality that today’s children will be living and working in  a profoundly different world to the one that their parent built and lived in.

A great discussion, lots talked about and many topics issued and raised. I’d love you to listen to this unedited version of our interview and then share your future visions with me.