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Futurescapes: What will the world be like in 2025?

We've been wondering how technology will change the world by 2025?  What will the world be like?  What will financial advice or wealth management be like?  What will you and I be like?

FutureScapes is a collaborative project launched by Sony and not-for-profit sustainability organisation, Forum for the Future. It’s asking people like you and I to get involved in predicting how the world might look and feel in 2025.

 As a starting point, Sony and Forum for the Future have drawn up four potential ‘scenarios’ that describe how life might be like, how we’ll be working, shopping, travelling and doing business with each other.  Each one is captured within a video that lets you watch the future unfold before your eyes. 

You can watch them for yourself over at the FutureScapes Facebook page, but in case you’re pushed for time, here’s a quick whizz through the four scenarios they’ve come up plus our own take on what each one might mean for the world of financial services.


Scenario 1 - Hyper innovation

This is a world of non stop innovation and technological advance.  Shopping, food preparation and cleaning have all been automated whilst those about to have kids hire an auto-nanny.  If things go badly, there’s a virtual therapist to tap into via your tablet or you could always cheer yourself up with some tech couture – clothes designed to specifically complement your body.  If so, you needn’t worry about paying over the odds, algorithms will search out the best products at the best prices.  Infact, algorithms will optimise your entire life.

Kurtosys' prediction for the financial world.... In a highly digital, highly customised world, clients will demand financial advice that is 100% tailored to their individual situations.  Face to face meetings with IFAs will be virtual and fund choice and allocation will be transparent and managed via algorithms. It won’t just be hedge funds employing the quants, we’ll all be at it.


Scenario 2 – Centralised Survival

Environmental disaster and widespread social unrest has led to a world in which many industries have been nationalised and energy consumption is everyone’s number one concern.  Energy companies have produced devices that let you ‘report’ how much power your neighbours are consuming and once you’ve grassed them up to the powers that be you’ll be expected to join them in the community garden where everyone is forced to meet government targets for sustainable food production.  Those who feel fed up with working for national bodies dream of a freer future... trading carbon.

Kurtosys’ prediction for the financial world.... Economic collapse followed environmental catastrophe and people have radically re-assessed the way they view their finances.  Communities create their own peer to peer lending associations and nobody is allowed to get too rich, too quickly, after all, the government is monitoring everything we do.


Scenario 3 – Shared Ownership

Carbon credits rule and global warming has changed the game when it comes to everyday life, not to mention travel.  ‘Blow out’ trips now take the form of a holiday in Austria and saving carbon credits is the way to get ahead.  Rent a wardrobe took off after importing from China stopped being a viable option and everything and everyone is checked out on ‘rep-net’ the one stop shop online for reputation management.

Kurtosys’ prediction for the financial world.... Property prices will have crashed and everyone will be happy to rent or live in shared accommodation.  Providing for the future will be about investing in sustainable technologies and financial advice will be delivered virtually to reduce carbon footprints. IFAs will live or die by their score on ‘rep-net’ and we’ll only take financial advice from those we know and trust most.


Scenario 4 – Prosperity Redefined

10 years of recession has made everyone re-evaluate their attitude to wealth.  Priorities have changed for the better, family and friends now take centre stage and a shared effort to build communities, grow food, design better lifestyles and be creative has re-energised the world.  Generations of one family now live together and many people prefer volunteering to mainstream employment.  Technology allows constant connection and monitoring of loved ones but it’s used to enhance human contact rather than entirely replace it.

Kurtosys’ prediction for the financial world.... Mortgages are a distant memory and pension funds no longer guarantee a retirement income.  Communities and families pool income for the greater good and GDP is no longer seen as a mark of progress.  Happiness is prioritised over wealth and IFAs begin advising on how to maximise your charitable giving rather than ride the markets.


You can read more about the FutureScapes project in Wired and The Economist or get involved by posting your thoughts about 2025 on Facebook or Twitter and how about some questions or predictions about banking and financial services.  After all, we’ll still need an effective way to transfer money and manage our wealth. 

In 2025, will money still make the world go round or will financial technology have evolved so much that the industry becomes unrecognisable?  Why not let us know what you think?

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Author: Hazel  McHugh
Posted: Friday, March 09, 2012 | 3:42:45 PM


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