Life in 2025 – some thoughts

Late last year I participated in some research that was undertaken by the Pew Research Center. Was looking back on my comments now, and it is interesting to review them from the distance of a year. I still stand by my comments and think that we have some real opportunities to make the world a better place. But the bifurcation of society that I mention is already accelerating and this seems to present the biggest challenge to all of our futures.

It is also worth checking out all the other comments on the article – Worries about life in 2025 – or even downloading the entire report – Experts Say the ‘New Normal’ in 2025 Will Be Far More Tech-Driven, Presenting More Big Challenges

“Unless we can come up with new solutions like universal basic income, life for many people will be worse. Post-COVID economic recovery will be challenging and many jobs and businesses will disappear. In the U.S. [and also in the U.K. now with Brexit] there seems to be a real risk of unemployment, food shortages and civil disturbances into 2025.”

Kate Carruthers | Pew Research CEnter | 18 Feb 2021

We need to explore new options. Unfettered capitalism has not been good for society, in particular with respect to the creation and maintenance of common goods, shared values, and communities. But I do anticipate that while many businesses will close their doors due to covid, we will also see new businesses emerging, along with new jobs.

“I expect to see a greater bifurcation of society – with those knowledge workers who remain employed consuming increasing amounts of digital services and online shopping – while those who are not part of the knowledge economy are increasingly gig workers in precarious employment. ”

Kate Carruthers | Pew Research CEnter | 18 Feb 2021

This bifurcation of society is only going to get worse. We have seen it already with the covid pandemic, when those who could work from home were safe, while those in service jobs had to risk their lives to earn a living.

“For knowledge workers, going to the office will become a choice and improvements in virtual meeting technologies will continue and make remote working even more possible. Privacy will increasingly be under threat unless specific jurisdictions regulate it. This includes facial recognition and other biometric data. Increasingly biometrics will become part of the authentication and access regime. ”

Kate Carruthers | Pew Research CEnter | 18 Feb 2021

The hybrid office is here to stay. Many of us have proven that we can work effectively as remote contributors. The really interesting question is how do we create value in the office rather than just continue with the old default.

“Digital government services will continue to expand – except in the U.S., where they seem to lag.”

Kate Carruthers | Pew Research CEnter | 18 Feb 2021

Digital government is coming to us, whether we like it or not. Covid has kick started this even for the laggard jurisdictions. The real issue is how engaged citizens are in the co-design of digital government.

Author: Kate Carruthers

Kate Carruthers is Chief Data & Insights Officer for UNSW Sydney, and is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science & Engineering. She is certified in information security and is currently undertaking postgraduate studies terrorism and security. Kate has extensive experience in senior roles in ICT, marketing, data and digital; and is a member of the NSW Government’s Data Analytics Centre Advisory Board. Kate is currently working at the intersection of data analytics, AI, ML, privacy, cyber security, and data protection.