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Time travelling to year 2050
Published : 22.04.2024

In September 2023, I was invited to join as a futurist to “Reunite for tomorrow” think tank session, hosted by BMW in Germany, to collectively envision what the future may look like. The objective was to travel in time all the way to 2050 and envisage the future world by defining possible concerns and opportunities.

With my background as a future tourism researcher (specializing in space tourism), I was particularly able to contribute to the discourse of the future mobility, such the Earth´s future operations being supported by the developments of the New Space industry.

For example, in the future, Earth´s transportation related mobility could be structured into several layers, with all the traditional traffic located underground and nature and life above ground. There could be satellite supported e-mobility sub surface hubs serving as connection points between the various layers of transportation and only the last part of the journey needed to be completed above ground, resulting in more pollution free and greener city.

Future Circularity

Another topic discussed was the role of circularity in shaping our future. From the evolving perception of mobility, there was a case study presented by the board member of BMW, including the car industries current and future practises to raw material sourcing and replacing unsustainable materials with more eco-friendly alternatives.

The discourse of circularity also involved the future emotionally intelligent cities, inspired by planetary systems. Such cities could consist of three circles, the inner circle representing an emotional centre where people meet, interact, and go shopping. The second circle would be a suburban belt where people live in decentralized housing. The third circle would consist of so-called islands as places that are designed around more specific interests and needs such work or farm islands. The emotionally intelligent city would have an ability to capable to predict resident’s emotions and needs (through systems based on artificial intelligence) giving the local business an opportunity to provide their services in more sustainable way.

Social & Environmental Responsibility Tax

In the future public authorities, private companies and individuals need all increase their efforts to maintain environmentally healthy and socially peaceful planet Earth. Therefore, there should be new global regulations introduced to serve as steering mechanisms.

For example, a globally binding social and environmental responsibility tax could drive a mindset shift by reinforcing socially and ecologically responsible behaviour. Such tax would encourage to a change of a behaviour at the individual level and encourage private companies to act more responsibly through incentives (such through tax reductions) if demonstrating enough measured contribution to the environment and/or the local or global scale societal wellbeing.

The creation of these futuristic visions mentioned was accomplished by exchanging perspectives and expertise consisting of futurists from various academic backgrounds and communities. As the main result of the think tank session, there was a mutual recognition that technology is now advancing at an unprecedented pace hence now is the time for us to think pre-emptively and shape the future.

It was especially pointed out that in the future we need to try to preserve our humanity more than ever, the future statement slogan for the year 2050 simply concluded as “be human”.

Picture: Shutterstock