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Comparing 1950 and 2040

Comparing 1950 and 2040

Gill Ringland CEO SAMI consulting
Gordon A Ringland

Introduction

Introduction

It is often said that the pace of change is increasing: this note accepts this hypothesis and looks first at 1950 – 60 years ago – in order to scope the potential change by 2040.

In describing both 1950 and 2040 we use the Ethnographic Futures Framework, which takes a culturally neutral set of headings to organize a description of people and their environment. The five main headings are:

Define – the social values, culture, economic systems, politics and public policy which shape the world around us.

Relate – the social and organizational structures which link people, influenced by demographics, lifestyles, work and the economy, habitat and ecosystems, business models, government, crime and education.

Connect – the technologies used to connect people, places and things including information technology, the media, visual arts, language and the use of space e.g. the natural environment

Create – how goods and services are produced, including innovation, engineering, manufacturing, energy generation, life sciences, material sciences, nanotechnology

Consume – how we acquire and use goods and services, such as consumer goods, energy, food and agriculture, house and home, entertainment and leisure, healthcare, natural resources, environment.

These headings allow the formulation of a coherent set of scenarios which can be compared factor by factor as well as describing different worlds in a holistic fashion. The use of separate factors is important for teasing out and understanding the levers which can be used to change people’s attitude and behaviour.

Before starting a more detailed view of either 1950 or 2040, we needed to define the geography considered: based on the Table below, and views of cultural fault lines, we took the headings of: India, Pakistan/Afghanistan/Bangladesh, China, Japan/Korea, SE Asia, Latin America (Brazil/Argentina), US/Mexico, Europe, and for 1950, UK separately, Africa, and the Middle East.

What the Table below emphasises is:

World historical and predicted populations (in millions) [Source]
Region
1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 1999 2008 2050 2150
World
791 978 1,262 1,650 2,521 5,978 6,707 8,909 9,746
Africa
106 107 111 133 221 767 973 1,766 2,308
Asia
502 635 809 947 1,402 3,634 4,054 5,268 5,561
Europe
163 203 276 408 547 729 732 628 517
Latin America & Caribbean *
16 24 38 74 167 511 577 809 912
Northern America *
2 7 26 82 172 307 337 392 398
Oceania
2 2 2 6 13 30 34 46 51
India
        358   1103 1593  
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh
        89   340 645  
China
        555   1352 1392  
SE Asia
        147   454 605  
Japan & Korea
        84/27   127/73 110/76  
Russia
        103   143 118  
Brazil & Argentina
        54/17   187/39 253/54  
US & Mexico
        158/28   298/107 395/139  
Europe & UK
        547/50   732/60 628/67  
Middle East*
        ~60   ~214 ~342  
Africa
        221   973 1766  

* Middle East: Iran + Egypt + others estd
* SE Asia = Indonesia + Philippines + Vietnam +Thailand

The world as it was in 1950

Globally, in 1950 the world was emerging from the damage from and living with the aftermath of World War II. Family focus was important.

1950 - Define: values

Region/Country Characteristics
India Separated from Pakistan, withdrawal of British. Major concern: enough food. Gandhi-ism.
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh Withdrawal of British. Major concern: enough food
China End of Long March. Major concern: enough food.
SE Asia Withdrawal of US, Netherlands. Major concern: enough food.
Japan, Korea Traditional vs US values
Russia Getting a nuclear bomb. Before space flights (Sputnik)
Latin America - Argentina Major UK market, supplier of meat to US & Europe
USA & Mexico Start of consumerism and suburbs
Europe Major concern no more war, Divesting colonies (France, Netherlands, Belgium)
UK Still assumptions of world role. Divesting colonies.
Middle East Oil’s increasing role in post war economy
Africa Near end of colonial era

1950 - Relate: organizational structure

Region/Country Characteristics
India Stalinist philosophy & emphasis on heavy industry, agrarian economy
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh Chaotic, role of miltary
China Communist party establishing itself, no functioning central government. Agrarian economy.
SE Asia Agrarian economy
Japan, Korea Rebuild in US model, Korean War
Russia Communist Party dominates, missing a generation (war, Stalin).
Latin America - Argentina Peronism
USA & Mexico Big government, GI Bill, US freeways designed to support military role,
Europe As pre=war except for Germany and Eastern Europe (Iron Curtain), major WWI displacements completed
UK Nationalisations and rationing
Middle East Feudal governments
Africa Colonial governments

1950 - Connect: how people communicate

Region/Country Characteristics
India Definition of English as standard
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh Fragmented local societies
China Definition of Mandarin as standard and drive for universal literacy
SE Asia Fragmented local societies
Japan, Korea  
Russia The novel and samisdat
Latin America - Argentina  
USA & Mexico National TV, movies, English
Europe National languages re-asserted, newspapers
UK Film, newspapers, English
Middle East  
Africa Fragmented local societies

1950 - Create:  how goods and services are produced

Region/Country Characteristics
India Agrarian & heavy industry
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh Agrarian
China Definition of Mandarin as standard and drive for universal literacy
SE Asia Agrarian
Japan, Korea Rebuild on US model, Deming in Japan
Russia Agrarian & heavy industry
Latin America - Argentina Going backwards
USA & Mexico Innovation from WWII, US firms go multinational (GE, IBM, ---); US big science – GI Bills, research labs
Europe Rebuilding old companies
UK New industries – aerospace, computers (Leo), nationalization of rail, energy
Middle East  
Africa Agrarian, minerals

1950 - Consume: how people acquire and use goods and services

Region/Country Characteristics
India For most, only food
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh For most, only food
China For most, only food
SE Asia For most, only food
Japan, Korea For most, only food, some consumer goods
Russia For most, only food, some clothes
Latin America - Argentina For most, only beef
USA & Mexico Expenditure linked to savings, not credit. Health care linked to jobs. Eating out. Sears catalog
Europe Social eating/drinking. Local suppliers of goods except car industry.
UK Rationing. NHS set up. Council housing building programmes.
Middle East For most, only food
Africa For most, only food

The world as it may be in 2040

Taking into account projections above on populations and demographics,  two types of region/country: those with young & growing population, those with ageing and static/declining population.

Assumptions:

We began this scenario process by "thinking aloud" about 2040,doing so by means of what we called "snippets". These are short paragraphs that seemed to capture some aspect of the world of 2040. These can be found here. In the Tables below, these same snippets have been sorted, and they are labeled with the originating paragraph number.

2040 - Define: values

Region/Country Characteristics
India Consumerist, % agrarian (? Check forecasts), young & growing population
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh Islamicisit, % agrarian (? Check forecasts), young & growing population.
China Consumerist, % agrarian (? Check forecasts), young & growing population. Ethos as “Chinese”.
5a. China breaks into two in 2020, a commercial coastal fringe and an agricultural interior
5b. China in 2040 consists of four coastal entities linked into a very loose political federation that includes Greater Korea and Viet Nam, whilst the interior pursues a poverty-stricken version of communism
41a. the age of the prestige project: in big science, in sport, in entertainment.
SE Asia Consumerist, % agrarian (? Check forecasts), young & growing population
Japan, Korea Consumerist, ageing declining/static population - conservatism
Russia Consumerist, % agrarian (? Check forecasts), declining population, “strong Russia” based on oil, gas, mineral, increased food production.
Latin America - Brazil Consumerist, % agrarian (? Check forecasts), young & growing population, leading in Latin America
USA & Mexico ?? reduced living standards. Regenerated by immigration.
7a. US defined by geography
19a. Religion frames scientific research.
36b. Animals found to be our ethical equals.
41a. the age of the prestige project: in big science, in sport, in entertainment.
Europe & UK Reduced living standards, declining population, not regenerated by immigration. Dependence on Russia for energy?
19a. Religion frames scientific research.
26a. Compulsory political involvement
36b. Animals found to be our ethical equals
41a, the age of the prestige project: in big science, in sport, in entertainment.
Middle East Islamicist, consumerist, % agrarian (? Check forecasts), young & growing population
Africa  
All 4a. Children born in 2040 have vastly superior genomes
16a. People’s attitudes shift towards simplicity and pacifism.
30a. Global welfare state..
33a. Nuclear war leads to great power enforced global cohesion.
34b. Impact of pandemic is less short term thinking
37b. Crime detection is 100%.
40a. Organisations measure value add.

2040 - Relate: social and organisational structures

Region/Country Characteristics
India Effect of urbanization on caste, family, education, government: continues as messy democracy
35a. Distributed intelligence drives organisations
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh  
China Effect of urbanization on caste, family, education, government. Central control has weakened, increased freedoms, increased state provision of public services
35a. Distributed intelligence drives organizations
SE Asia Effect of urbanization on family, education, government: continues as messy democracy
35a. Distributed intelligence drives organisations
Japan, Korea As now
35a. Distributed intelligence drives organisations
Russia Tension state vs private sector (?use airlines as probe)
35a. Distributed intelligence drives organisations
Latin America - Brazil Effect of urbanization on family, education, government: continues as messy democracy
US & Mexico As now
29a. US Federal government looses grip on hisoanophone south.
35a. Distributed intelligence drives organisations
Europe & UK EU paralysis unless Turkey joins.
35a. Distributed intelligence drives organisations
Middle East  
Africa 1a. Africa emerges as centre of criminal interests.
All 2a. Armed intervention shifts to prevention.
6a. A tidal wave of issues therefore crashed upon the world's economic system in the 2030 period
8b. Governments are unpopular and populations fractious.
12b. People are mobile
17a. Current political-economic paradigms break by 2030 and the world fragments.
33b. common standards in commerce and security
33c, Five people provide world governance
37a. Cities are redesigned to be nice to live in

2040 - Connect: how people communicate

Region/Country Characteristics
India 18a Virtual connections increase the value of reputation.
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh  
China 18a. Virtual connections increase the value of reputation.
SE Asia  
Japan, Korea  
Russia  
Latin America - Brazil  
USA & Mexico 18a. Virtual connections increase the value of reputation.
Europe & UK 18a. Virtual connections increase the value of reputation.
Middle East  
Africa  
All 28a. Revolution in low carbon transportation

2040 - Create: how gods and services are produced

Region/Country Characteristics
India 21a. The space-going powers have a near complete monopoly on energy,
24a. Anglosphere fails to harness innovation
27a. Europe lower cost wages than India in film industry.
31a. Race among manufacturing nations for technological high ground.
39a. Water wars lead to more efficient management of natural sources and crop use
39b. Water purification and recycling that uses solar power becomes very significant
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh 39a. Water wars lead to more efficient management of natural sources and crop use
39b. Water purification and recycling that uses solar power becomes very significant
China 21a. The space-going powers have a near complete monopoly on energy,
31a. Race among manufacturing nations for technological high ground
39a. Water wars lead to more efficient management of natural sources and crop use
39b. Water purification and recycling that uses solar power becomes very significant
SE Asia 21a. The space-going powers have a near complete monopoly on energy,
31a. Race among manufacturing nations for technological high ground
39a. Water wars lead to more efficient management of natural sources and crop use
39b. Water purification and recycling that uses solar power becomes very significant
Japan, Korea 21a. The space-going powers have a near complete monopoly on energy,
31a. Race among manufacturing nations for technological high ground
Russia 21a. The space-going powers have a near complete monopoly on energy,
Latin America - Brazil 21a. The space-going powers have a near complete monopoly on energy,
39b. Water purification and recycling that uses solar power becomes very significant
USA & Mexico 21a. The space-going powers have a near complete monopoly on energy,
22a. Companies & nations derailed by green investments.
24a. Anglosphere fails to harness innovation
31a. Race among manufacturing nations for technological high ground
39b. Water purification and recycling that uses solar power becomes very significant
Europe & UK 7b. European economies become focused on internationally competitive clusters
21a. The space-going powers have a near complete monopoly on energy,
22a. Companies & nations derailed by green investments.
24a. Anglosphere fails to harness innovation
27a. Europe lower cost wages than India in film industry.
31a. Race among manufacturing nations for technological high ground
Middle East 39a. Water wars lead to more efficient management of natural sources and crop use
39b. Water purification and recycling that uses solar power becomes very significant
Africa 39a. Water wars lead to more efficient management of natural sources and crop use
39b. Water purification and recycling that uses solar power becomes very significant
All 8a. Global warming affects everywhere.
10a. Fusion starts to deliver.
11a. India is the workshop of the world in 2040.
12a. Human capital is source of competitive advantage
12c. Virtual worlds and networks are key for business
13a. Rational application of best practice wins..
23a. We are dependent on technology and it may fail. 
25a. Global warming contained by space dust clouds.
32a. Remote self-assembly removes need for transportation and changes rules of trade
34a. Pandemic kills 20% of world population
36a. Revolution in food production.
38a. Intelligent clusters provide synergies from 2030.

2040 - Consume: how we acquire goods and services

Region/Country Characteristics
India 3a. Cosmetic & neuro-surgery an international consumer market
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh 15a. Poor countries develop commercial health business
China  
SE Asia 3a. Cosmetic & neuro-surgery an international consumer market
15a. Poor countries develop commercial health business
Japan, Korea  
Russia  
Latin America - Brazil 3a. Cosmetic & neuro-surgery an international consumer market
15a. Poor countries develop commercial health business
USA & Mexico  
Europe & UK 3a. Cosmetic & neuro-surgery an international consumer market
Middle East 3a. Cosmetic & neuro-surgery an international consumer market
15a. Poor countries develop commercial health business
Africa 1b. Africa as centre of leisure for global elites
15a. Poor countries develop commercial health business
All 14a, Severe competition for all resources, security and privacy.
20a. Rigid self-protection from terrorism kills tourism.