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The world in 2030: artificial intelligence, robots, geoengineering, insect protein – and kindness

For decades futurologists have been observing the increased pace of change in society, technology, the economy and geopolitics, and there are indications that this may be particularly true of the 10 years between now and 2030. What trends and developments are on course to shape the lives of the world’s people over the next decade, for better or for worse?



The future of the legal industry

"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” the legendary New York Yankees baseball player and coiner of homespun philosopher, Yogi Berra, is reported to have once said. It’s a sentiment shared by Gideon Moore, worldwide managing partner of Linklaters, who observes: “Personally, I have trouble telling people what is going to happen in the next 10 minutes."

Read more The future of the legal industry

Tectonic geopolitical shifts

The Grand Duchy’s future will also depend upon the geopolitical environment in which the country, its people and businesses operate – which may be very different in 10 years from that today, cautions Meghan O’Sullivan. A professor in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and member of the Linklaters International Advisory Group as well as a former US deputy national security advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan under President George W. Bush.

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Climate conundrum

Last November the United Nations Environment Programme reported that to keep global warming to less than 2ºC, global carbon emissions needed to fall by 7.6% each year between now and 2030 – at the end of a year in which emissions actually rose by 1.5%. On current trends, the UNEP says, the world is on track for a 3.9ºC rise by 2100. 

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Technological perspective

The evolution of technology and its disruptive impact will play a key role in how these trends play out. But Joshua Klayman, one of the world’s leading blockchain and crypto-currency lawyers and Linklaters US head of financial technology, notes: “When we talk about disruption, remember that technology develops incrementally, so the tech of the future is something we already have today.”

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Open field

The creation of bitcoin in 2009 was born out of a mistrust of government and banks, and a desire for anonymity or at least pseudonymity, but today as authorities examine the digitisation of national currencies, it could lead to the opposite of what the crypto-currency pioneers sought, if governments can track all payments and completely cut off swathes of the population if they so wish.

Read more Open field

Fertility and growth

These trends can mean, for instance, that globally inequality has diminished – principally down to increasing prosperity in China – while it is growing within countries like the US, where inequality is at a level last seen a century ago as a result of the globalisation of the financial services industry that began in the 1980s and 1990s and allowed money to be moved across the globe.

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The politics of food

No element of the future is more fundamental to human society than what people eat, argues food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye: “Food connects not just us as people, but everything in and about our world. What we are eating influences our behaviour, from how we socialise to everything in between. And every day we are voting with our wallets with what we buy.”

Read more The politics of food

The value of kindness

Another element of the food of the future is air – already used for filling out packets to make them look bigger, we can expect to see air used for making foods crispy which currently might have a slimy texture such as avocado or okra. From oxygenating water to specialist pure air facilities, air is a future ingredient.

Read more The value of kindness

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The world in 2030: artificial intelligence, robots, geoengineering, insect protein – and kindness

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Magenta Horizons

10th Annual Magenta Horizons Event 

At our 10th edition of the Magenta Horizons Conference a panel of experts examined some of the mega trends set to transform our lives and challenge our established thinking. From geopolitics and technology disruptors to artificial intelligence and sustainable living, this dynamic debate has changed our vision of the future.

Have a look at our image gallery for some pictures of the evening

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