2051

A few weeks ago someone asked me to write an article on 2016 digital marketing trends. 

Flattered he'd think I'd have something unique to add to the cacophony (how many ways can we boldly predict 2016: the year of ubiquitous mobile commerce) I quickly (and politely) declined. I’ve done it before and am not interested in doing it again.

During our conversation I offhandedly mentioned I’d rather predict 10 years from now … I’d have more fun with it and no one could ever grade me. He chuckled (equally politely) and we went our separate ways.

But walking home from work that afternoon I started thinking about the future. Not 10 years out, but 36 to be exact. Because in 2051 my oldest son will be the age I am now (and the younger, 40). Specifically I thought about current-day institutions (i and I) we take for granted, and what would/wouldn’t exist in 2051.

On that 25 minute walk I captured these five thoughts. And then I stopped thinking about it, because that’s all the time it deserved. And because I wanted to get back to the new Bill Simmons podcast. And because as Nils Bohr famously said, "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future.”

Prediction: Airlines won’t be in the business of flying people from point A->B
Because this will be a real thing. And all you white-knucle

Though it has become irrevocably associated with Star Trek, "Beam me up, Scotty" was never actually spoken in any Star Trek television episode or film. -Wikipedia

Though it has become irrevocably associated with Star Trek, "Beam me up, Scotty" was never actually spoken in any Star Trek television episode or film. -Wikipedia

Prediction: Schools will look remarkably different, in a good way
In the delivery room newborns will be programmed with all the world's knowledge via a microchip (which will be updated in real time throughout their lives). You might think this leaves no need for schools. And it doesn't, if you think of school in a 2015 context. 

My hope is that school will be a place where kids are taught to think and apply all that factual knowledge implanted in their brain at birth. Basically Buckminster Fuller's wish come true ...  "The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

Full quote (via Nitch):  "We must do away with the...notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact...that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery...so we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

Full quote (via Nitch):  "We must do away with the...notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact...that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery...so we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

Prediction: The NFL will not exist
Because sadly, people are going to start dying from hits like this. It's happening far too often in highschool already. And there's only so much the public can take. Even those of us who love football.

Prediction: All physical diseases will be eradicated, but mental illness will not
Because medicine will eventually outpace disease, but won't catch up to the brain.

Prediction: We'll be on our 2nd openly gay President
Not including 2016 there will be eight Presidential elections by 2051. Assuming two single-term Presidents that means five Commanders-in-Chief.

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In 1924 The Society for Human Rights (based in Chicago) became the country's earliest known gay rights organization. 91 years later SCOTUS ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. I have to believe that in the next 36 years we'll send at least two openly gay humans to the White House. 

25 minutes of thinking. 20 minutes of writing. Five predictions. I'm out ...