January 18, 2016

Tomorrow is created today

What kind of world awaits us in the future, when digitalization has become something you read about in history books and modernization is the stuff of urban legend? Let's imagine life at the next turn of the century…

Scenario 1: Most of the professions of today will no longer exist in 2100. Many of the tasks currently being performed by humans will be performed automatically by machines. We will no longer receive anything by post, which means there will be no need for postal workers. Cooks, hairdressers, bus drivers, nurses, programmers — will they still exist? All of these are jobs that are hard to imagine being performed today in an automated way. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could cut your hair yourself and treat most of your illnesses with the help of a robot that you can program yourself?

Scenario 2: Work and leisure will become increasingly intertwined. Not because this will be compulsory, but because a larger proportion of tasks requiring human labour will involve lifestyle tasks, with people creating experiences for themselves and others. Leisure and our health will be our most valuable currencies in the future. Wellbeing and energy at work will mean something completely different from today. Your value as an employee will be measured on the basis of your health. You will be able to put a price on your competence according to how well you are able to perform your preferred tasks based on your health and ability to last. Possessing good genes and taking care of yourself will make you a more valuable employee than your actual technical skills. It goes without saying that you will not be making plans for your retirement. Life will be lived right here right now, and the primary evidence of people being better off will be the fact that they will be able to work, and will be capable of doing so, even in their old age. Pension security will be a relic dating back a few decades and will provide some small financial assistance for those who, for various reasons, have dropped out of the system.

Scenario 3: We will be constantly subconsciously aware of our financial situation, the value of our health and the amount of leisure time we have. This will be how we assess our own lives and those of others. However, this will not feel oppressive, but obvious and natural. A range of different devices and services will give us additional information and supplement our understanding of our financial situation, which at the same time will serve as our health index. The right to use a service or product at a time that is convenient to us will also amount to ownership. A summer cottage by Lake Saimaa in Finland, which stands empty for most of the year, will no longer be a sign of wealth.

Scenario 4: We will no longer have wallets because cash and various plastic cards will be a thing of the past. Payments have long been performed primarily with the touch of a fingertip. Identifying people using their fingerprint will trigger a series of actions that will lead to money changing hands in situations where money is still being used — it will be a largely self-service economy. Tills and cashiers will not be needed in shops because there will be no money, and goods will be collected from automated collection points, having been ordered in advance. Customers will have tried on clothes and shoes using the possibilities offered by augmented reality.

Does this seem frightening? Don't worry. Most of us who are able to read this text right now will no longer be around to witness such a time. Technically, it would already be possible to implement many of these things, and some have already been implemented… We have a huge opportunity to witness the birth of the future and to see which of today's innovations will evolve over time into everyday things that are taken for granted. Every disruption of today could be tomorrow's refrigerator, antibiotic or mobile phone — commonplace, self-evident things that leave us free to fulfil our potential and live healthier lives. Get on board!

Stay up-to-date

Get all the latest blogs sent you now!