Three Possible Futures

The Millennial Project offers suggestions for improving life and work in 2050.
Three Possible Futures

JUST AS CONSULTING firm A.T. Kearney asked its analysts to imagine the future of digital technologies (see “Preparing for Digital Disorder”), The Millennium Project, a global think tank based in Washington, D.C., asked experts worldwide to imagine the future of work. In September, the organization released Work/Technology 2050: Scenarios and Actions, which describes the results of a three-year study. The think tank held 30 workshops in 20 countries, where it asked futurists to identify looming disasters and assess plans to address problems ranging from widening income gaps to the effects of AI and automation on employment.

The Millennium Project created three scenarios that might exist in 2050: a dark era of political and economic turmoil; a vibrant future in which humans pursue self-actualization; and a complicated future that includes elements of both. Experts from The Millennium Projects Nodes—groups of institutions and researchers—identified how their countries might address the issues raised by each possibility.

The think tank distilled hundreds of suggestions into 93 potential actions. These include establishing agencies to help governments forecast technology’s potential impacts, creating lifelong learning models, creating international standards for artificial intelligence, determining the feasibility of a universal basic income, and embedding memes in advertising to ease the transition to new forms of work.

Says Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project, “The more of these actions are implemented, the smoother our transition will be to the next age.”

Learn more about The Millennium Project.