Here are some innovative examples – next up flying cars (air taxis are already in the works).
If you want to know the future just read (watch) science fiction.
Whenever I hear people say, “You can’t predict the future” it makes me bristle. Of course you can! Good storytellers have been doing it for generations.
In my line of work, I spend a lot of time figuring out which trends are likely to be the most impactful to the businesses I work with and how to front-run them. It turns out that it’s very easy to predict the future. What is hard is exactly HOW it will manifest and WHEN. But the WHAT is very predictable.
The Jetsons are a good example of this. It’s obvious that we want to create digital prosthetics for ourselves to remove geographical barriers to communication, so telecommunication is the most natural. Given the efficiencies from doing mission critical work without having to factor in travel makes teledoc and telesurgery and given. Most of this is pretty obvious. However, a pandemic being the catalyst for some of it was unforeseen although in hindsight it makes perfect sense.
Speaking of pandemics, I read an article on the Black Death recently that claimed it hastened the end of the feudal system because the social order had been so completely disrupted by the loss of 30-50% of the population of Europe that the aristocracy was desperate for workers that they ended up making concessions that led to a reduction in their power and more egalitarian, welfare systems.
Seems to me that WWII did the same for much of the world, as well. So many people were lost in the war and so much social change had occurred to get women into the workplace that we didn’t look back. For many Western nations the 50’s was boom time for welfare systems and economic prosperity for the masses.
Unfortunately, when times are good and stay good for too long the aristocracy manages to reassert itself and we end up kind of back where we started with a large imbalance of power and wealth inequalities. Instead of an aristocracy, we’ve created an elite ‘meritocracy’ which serves a similar purpose. They say that history rhymes…
I hope we don’t need another war or pestilence to reset the system.