What awaits our children? In future, will they only be able to go out on the streets with face masks, after having disclosed their health data? Are globalisation and liberal democracy obsolete models? Will there still be jobs for everyone? And would it be a bad thing if there weren’t?
The future currently seems more uncertain than ever before. Parents and the education system, which aims to make children and young people "fit for the future", are facing particular challenges. While for decades we expected more prosperity, progress and freedom, the era of linear development seems to finally be over.
The new GDI study "Future skills" outlines four scenarios for the year 2050 and identifies the skills needed for these futures:
- Collapse: local communities are cut off from international trade and have to reorganise amidst the ruins of a globalised and industrialised world.
- Gig Economy Precariat: as technology renders their former professions obsolete, people fight for rare jobs in a thoroughly commercialised world as digital day labourers.
- Net Zero: society has to impose severe personal restrictions. The goal with the highest priority is reducing CO2 emissions to zero.
- Fully Automated AI Luxury: machines have taken over many jobs previously done by humans. People can do anything, but they do not have to. This gives rise to the challenge of generating purpose in their lives and maintaining their individual autonomy when faced with the superiority of artificial intelligence.
For each of these worlds, the GDI study identifies the abilities and characteristics it will take to survive and thrive. And it discusses how one could learn to shape the future.