Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Futurology and the end of Digifest

Final talk was from a Futurologist - Ray Hammond. Accepting that "Futurology" was an odd name, Ray began by postulating that we have no language for future technologies. This causes problems with adopting new technology. Some good examples:

What we now know as the projector, was originally called a magic lantern
The train - an iron horse
A fridge - an ice box
The car - a horseless carriage

Currently we have something called a mobile phone.  The language  "mobile phone" is as much use to describe its future as "horseless carriage" was to describe the future of the car

A recent report has estimated that 47% of jobs that exist today won't exist in 20 years time. So, how do we prepare students for jobs that don't yet exist? We need to ensure that they have instilled in them a love of constant learning and adapting to change

There are 6 drivers for the huge changes we are going to see over the next 20 years:

Asymmetric population growth.  The population will rise in sub-saharan Africa, in SE Asia, and in other parts of the developing world.  In 20 years time 50% more people will need fresh water, food and energy. Can we find it on this planet? Big technology driver.

Continuing climate change

Energy. We will need cleaner energy supplies at a time when demand is rising

Continuing modern globalisation. When done ethically and sustainably, this is the greatest force for good. Brings a future to the poorest people. Offers opportunity for growth and development.

Medical revolutions in:
DNA decoding
Stem cell treatments
Nanoscale medicine
Will mean that we will all live longer

Accelerating and exponential technology development

He then gave a scenario about what the world might be like in 30 years - where an implant called Maria is behind his left ear.....


Great talk, and an appropriate end to what has been an excellent two days. I think the format - a mixture of plenary sessions, workshops, panel discussions and expert speakers worked well. And the slightly wacky festival atmosphere was very appealing.

There was a groovy booth where you could have photos taken

a digital dream wall, where some great artists illustrated our suggestions on the future of education

and some of us got to take the table decorations home from the Digifeast!


andypowe11 said...

"A recent report has estimated that 47% of jobs that exist today won't exist in 20 years time."

I mean... seriously... who comes up with this rubbish!?

chris sexton said...

This is the report he was referring to, but I haven't read it :-)