Meet the futurist with 2020 vision – Sydney Morning Herald

Posted: January 18, 2020 at 9:56 am

Will wages finally pick up in 2020? Will politicians across the Liberal-Labor divide come to a bipartisan agreement that climate change is a real and future danger? Will the influence of our ageing Baby Boomers begin to wane in the wake of Generation Zs withering catchphrase of 2019, OK, Boomer? Can the #MeToo movement maintain its momentum? Which will be the top box office film franchise release this year: James Bonds No Time to Die in April or Fast & Furious 9 in May? Has the avocado smash had its day?

Futurology is a fascinating, if inexact, science.Credit:Tanya Cooper/illustrationroom.com.au

Answering these questions is invigorating stuff. But its all in a days work for futurist Ross Dawson, chairman of the Future Exploration Network, who compares the trajectory of major social movements to a tiny crystal spreading out across an entire frozen block. Take climate change. The anger and frustration among those who accept the science of climate change is growing, while the position of the deniers is becoming more deeply entrenched, he says. This will lead to even greater polarisation. I find it impossible to imagine a scenario in which climate activism will reduce.

Wage growth is likely to remain tepid in 2020, with an expansion in low-wage jobs resulting in a widening wealth divide. If anything, Baby Boomers economic and political clout will increase because asset wealth will continue to outstrip income wealth, with Australia boasting one of the worlds most unaffordable housing markets, Dawson says.

The #MeToo movement sparked a wider debate, not just about sexual harassment but the sexual abuse of power. While there is the inevitable pushback against social movements like #MeToo, its larger implications the balance of power between the genders still has a long way to play out, says Dawson. The recent election of a young, female prime minister in Finland showed whats possible.

While Dawson baulks when I ask him about the likely box-office hits of 2020 and shifting tastes in brunches (Thats not what I do), he predicts the era of peak entertainment content will only intensify in 2020. I read that more than $US100 billion is currently being spent in TV and film production across the Western world. With all our current existential worries, were looking for escapism.

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Meet the futurist with 2020 vision - Sydney Morning Herald

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