We all ought to take some time to consider what the world in which we live will look like in 2050 and beyond. I know I do, since my kids, grandkids, and great grandkids will hopefully be around then and well into the 22nd century.
The following is a brief collection of predictions about Business, Manufacturing, and Global Trade by 2050 that you might find interesting. These predictions were extracted from multiple reports and studies by groups around the world focused on the future of America and this planet.
So here goes! Expect the following predictions and/or future scenarios to become a reality over the next few decades:
- Collaboration, 'Open' Solutions, Sharing, and a focus on continuous Innovation will be the key business strategies pursued by most industries.
- Global standards will be in place for almost all industries, e.g. technology, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, telecommunications...
- Use of Smart 3D Printers and Advanced Manufacturing Techniques will transform manufacturing and become the norm. Visit the COSI 'Open' Manufacturing web portal.
- Many new materials for housing, clothing, technology ... will be developed and used, e.g. carbon nano-materials, self-healing concrete, wear-resistant alloys...
- Hi-tech, intelligent buildings powered by alternative energy sources will be used by most growing and forward-thinking companies.
- The market for the Internet of Things (IoT) will be huge, consisting of trillions of interconnected devices of all sorts.
- The telecommuting workforce across the U.S. and around the world will continue to grow.
- 'Smart Factories' using Industry 4.0 technologies will dramatically change manufacturing as we currently know it.
- The U.S. dollar will lose its global dominance by 2025 as the Euro and China's currency become co-equals in a "multi-currency" global monetary system.
- India's economy will finally rival that of China and the U.S. by 2050. In addition, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia will begin to rival the economies of the U.K. and France by 2030, while Nigeria and Vietnam could become the fastest growing economies through 2050.
- New financial systems, economic development, business models and tools will have emerged, e.g. Bitcoin, Micro-financing, Electronic Wallets.
- Many countries will continue to move from commodity-based to service-based economies. Read the World Business Council Vision 2050 report
- The official end of the 'Oil Age' and use of fossil fuels on Earth will occur by 2050. Renewable energy will provide up to 80% of U.S. needs and both the high cost and scarcity of energy on Earth will be a thing of the past.
- Average global temperatures will have risen by more than 4°F by 2050 making storms far more intense, e.g. hurricanes, tornados, cyclones.
- Sea levels across the globe will rise by a little over 3 feet, flooding large swaths of low lying coastal areas in the U.S. around the world
- Approximately 5 billion of the world's projected 10 billion people will live in water-stressed and food-scarce areas leading to the potential of mass migrations and regional conflicts.
- There will be another 1,000-fold increase in computer power, data transmission rates, storage, ...
- There will be widespread use of drone technology by many industries, e.g. agriculture, military, government, transportation.
- Mobile solutions will rapidly evolve as the world embraces a wide range of wearable technologies. In addition, implantable technologies will start to gain widespread acceptance for use in many industries, e.g. healthcare, defense, transportation, ...
- Hi-tech, self-driving electric cars will largely dominate the automobile industry by 2050.
- High-speed rail routes between major cities across the U.S. and around the world will largely be in place.
- Many other new technological breakthroughs will be developed just in time to boost economic productivity and solve many of the challenges and problems caused by a growing world population, rapid urbanization, climate change, space travel, ...
*Check out more detailed projections documented in 'Our Changing World by 2050'.