A glimpse of where the 4th Industrial Revolution, with its robots and artificial intelligence, is taking us.
It could be argued that the world of Trump and May is about control, control of power, control of borders, control of wealth creation, control of oil. It might be seen as an extension of how our forefathers were successful as they conquered nations, created railways, took control of time itself, created empires, raped the land, built dams and built the superstructures that define what we see as the modern world.
The alternative world, and perhaps the world of the millennials, is not about what we own or how much power we have, but about experiences, about doing the right thing, about recognising the diversity of humans and celebrating what a fantastic planet we live on. It’s about our journey of today, our journey of tomorrow, and how we walk through life. How can we enjoy it if we know our neighbours and those who are less fortunate than us experience too many challenges? There are people who want to make a more inclusive, more collaborative world, and who will not revert to violence as the first response to any dispute. These people want renewable energy and they want to live in a symbiotic relationship with the planet. They believe that ‘more’ is not the only acceptable outcome in business, and that we should create a balanced eco-system which respects the world and all its inhabitants (animal and human) and even gives parts of the world the rights of humans, so that environmental rape no longer happens, and so that we create a sustainable planet.
On the political front we have the creation of an 1850’s society by the Tory Government, the 1950’s world of the Labour Party, the 2000 of the Liberal Democrats, or the 2030’s of the Greens. The choice is simple: under the Tories the differences between the wealthy and the poor will increase and perhaps cause a breakdown of society as we know it, and damage our democracy. This can be seen as the paradigm of the old. The others all fall into a second camp (some with the odd leg back in the first camp): the paradigm of the new, where there is a more positive, inclusive future.
Will our tomorrow be an emotionally intelligent and sustainable society? Or will it be as stable as the 1850’s, ruthlessly benefitting only the rich? What we have to remember with politicians is they all break their promises, so it’s probably best to choose carefully.
As a floating voter it is easy for me to choose: it will be a candidate from the second camp, because I think there can be a brighter future. The challenge is that no party really understands what a sustainable and inclusive future could look like, and no party is willing to take on the real task of envisioning it with an understanding of where it will all take us. Perhaps they are afraid that people will panic when they realise the future, with its 4th Industrial Revolution, means there will be a lot less work (for manual workers, white collar workers, and many professionals, such as lawyers and medics). With a lot of work being done by robots, there will be a lot less repetition in our lives and a lot more time to pursue the real interests we have.
My future will have a two-day working week with a universal guaranteed income, plus two days doing voluntary work of my own choice (expected of all able citizens). This will be an inclusive world with more free time for reading, painting, cycling, sailing, paragliding, fell-walking. I see the development of eco-communities (such as Braziers Park in Oxfordshire) and money-less towns where bartering and crypto-currencies will be the norm, and where everyone has equal rights. There will be free gyms, sports parks and arts centres in every village and town, and a lot more interaction within and between communities. Towns will by law have to have greenery, vegetation and food being grown everywhere. The only taxes will be carbon tax and taxes to incentivise local development. Energy will be free, due to renewables. There will be a big investment in infrastructure and education. Communities will get together to build homes for those that need them, possibly using totally different methods than we do today, using local wood and resources. Old people’s homes will have integrated nurseries with ‘older’ people adopted as ‘grandfriends’. It will be a post-apocalyptic world, but without the apocalypse.
We should be planning how we stabilise the world to ensure we do not destroy it, but at the same time should accelerate space exploration. We need countries like China to stop building super towns and we should invest in letting people live within self-sustaining communities, with the help of modern science, clever technologies and renewable energy. Blockchain technologies will help in this revolution of how our societies will operate. Innovation, education, renewable energies, new types of green transport, self-sustaining villages and communities, a Ministry of Values, a Ministry of Sustainability, a Ministry of Innovative Support to those In Need (ISIN), and a Ministry of Proactive Health will all be part of the this new visionary Utopian future.
Utopia is within our reach. The problem is that power is often corrupt and so people need to start to take control of their own destinies. We need to own our destiny and we need to be responsible for it. People need to work to ensure that unethical values, lies, discrimination and false promises do not take them to the 1850s or worse, to a real Armageddon.
(The sentiment and thoughts with the article are those of the author and do not represent the views of his company or the wider group he works for)