How do you imagine your future? Apart from, you know, the obvious Back to the Future stuff of travel by hover-board and time.
Is the future that thing you’d rather not waste your time stressing about? I mean, what are you going to do about it anyway? There are simply not enough cans of food in the grocery store to keep you safe should aliens decide to obliterate Earth to make way for an inter-galactic highway.
Science-fiction aside, Futurist Thomas Frey that there is actually a lot for you to consider about the future – job security for one. With the rate of technological advancement, he believes that 60% of the best jobs in the next 10 years haven’t been invented yet – a reality we should all be prepared for.
Some of the most advanced developments are forecasted for the agricultural sector, with something called “Smart Dust” – dust-sized sensors that can be planted into crop soil to transmit data back to trained analysts. Entire farms could even disappear – being built instead in vertical silos with computer-controlled climates.
The farming world will no longer be imagined as fuming tractors, dirty dungarees and straw hats, but rather as the forefront of science, health and technology. With our fertile land, South Africa could play a major role in the beginnings of these developments.
Health & Wellness
Fitness is going global, with The Africa Yoga Project spearheading the industry from Nairobi.
Body-implanted health trackers that measure heart rate, metabolism and nutrient absorption will soon be commonplace too. These trackers will feed information to the agricultural sector, which will engineer foods that are more readily absorbed by the human body.
3D printing is likely to welcome whole organisations that are dedicated to body-part and limb making. But it doesn’t stop there. In the future, you’ll even print your own dinner – making the services of food chemists and 3D food printing chefs a necessity too.
Medically, we’ll see our pill-popping culture morph into a culture based on wellness and prevention. You’ll no longer need to fly to Geneva for that complicated surgery either, as your surgeon will be able to operate via tele-surgery.
Educating the masses
Education is on the brink of revolution. Books are digital, online universities are offering free courseware and some teachers are becoming obsolete with the development of self-paced virtual education.
A university education is also expensive and it takes long to complete. Micro-colleges, on the other hand, will provide the minimum training needed to fulfil a specific profession (time-travel tourism, perhaps?) within two years.
Education today is no longer about retaining information (we carry all the information in the world in our back pockets) – it’s about developing the skills to foresee change and adapt to it. Constantly.
It is no surprise that the careers of the future have not even been contemplated yet. But online university founders, robotic earthworm drivers and climate change adaptability agents are no longer the stuff of science-fiction – they’re just one Flux Capacitor away. Buckle up!