The most reliable way to predict the future is to create it. Right now, it feels as if we are at a significant crossroads and that we need to make important choices for the future. Especially regarding how to battle climate change and global heating, about the threats to biodiversity, poverty and inequality in the world, as well as, which became frighteningly obvious during the spring of 2020, increased risk for pandemic outbreaks.
If we can foresee these challenges facing our future societies, we ought to trust that we can find the solutions to meet them. Times of crisis sometimes bring out mankind’s most positive attributes – empathy, solidarity, creativity, and innovation.
Behind the work with Urban Trends & Innovations lies a deep belief in the power of innovation. This study has revealed so many inspiring new cases around the world - showing new ways of transporting people and goods without damaging the environment, AI-tools that can predict and track infectious diseases and an increasing use of renewable energies. Just to mention a few.
If we try to visualize the future, we can hopefully identify what tactical decisions we need to make today to reach a sustainable future society. So, we started out by creating a peek into the future.
We created eleven future narratives about Emma and Oliver. Two people living in the year of 2030. We provide stories of the future through their eyes; their experiences, dreams, their happiness and fears. How they live and work, travel and associate with others. To avoid presenting a too optimistic perspective, we let Emma live in a utopian society and Oliver in a dystopian one.
The stories of Emma and Oliver are based on societal and technological trends we believe will have a significant influence on the future. We admitted 45 of the most influential societal- and tech trends to affect their lives.
We hope that these stories together create a vision of the future that will help us think about what can be done today to prevent some of the major challenges ahead.
If you are interested in the stories about Emma and Oliver, we will be releasing bits and pieces of their stories, e.g. on our different social media platforms.
The trends also supported our identification of innovative cases from around the world. Cases with an innovative approach that contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.