50 trends that will define the next ten years, from a civil society perspective


Useful round-up from Civil Society Futures from one of their recent Birmingham brainstorms, on 50 trends that will define the next decade. A selection below - and they're asking to you let them know what they've missed, in comments below their post:

31) Automation

Ever since the first axe meant fewer people were needed to cut down a tree, humans have invented labour saving machinery.

But today, we are in the midst of a rapid wave of automation, sometimes described as the fourth industrial revolution. What will driverless cars mean for cabbies and truckers? What does increasingly sophisticated business management software mean for administration staff? What do more and more sophisticated robots mean for people in factories? From Oscar Wilde’s The soul of man under socialism to John Maynard Keynes’ essay Economic possibilities for our grandchildren, the question of what to do with the time liberated by labour saving technology has been asked before, but it’s only going to become more pertinent.

32) New forms of protest/dissent

New times bring with them new ways of organising dissent.

Just as the factories of the first revolution brought the rise of trades unions and the possibility of strike action, just as global communication allowed the boycott of Barclays over their involvement in apartheid South Africa, new technologies will bring with them new ways for citizens to mobilise against those with power.

33) Atomisation

Almost three quarters of older people now say that they are lonely, with Britain being named the loneliness capital of Europe. We don’t know our neighbours. As social institutions have been sold off, and people have been required to move more than ever for work or to find a home, communities have broken down. The role of civil society in patching back together a lonely country will become ever more vital.

34) Less violence

Across the Western world, violent crime rates are collapsing. Whether you put this down to cultural change, unleaded petrol, computer games, or something else, it’s a remarkable shift, and one of the great trends of our age. Whilst there has been a small bump this year, the long term trend still seems to go in the same direction.

35) More hate crime and online attacks

There has been a steady increase in reported hate crime in recent years, followed by what seems to be a jump in the last few months. In 2011/12, there were 42,968 reported hate crimes in England and Wales. This figure increased steadily each year to 65,500 in 2015/16. Early indications are that hate crimes have increased dramatically so far in 2016/17.

Likewise, the last decade has seen the emergence of online attacks and ‘trolling’ as increasingly standard phenomena in public debate. How this will shape the national conversation over the next decade will depend on how it’s dealt with.

36) Further financialisation…

The power and influence of a small number of large financial institutions over Britain’s economy and politics has grown vastly in recent years. More than half of the Conservative party’s election campaign in 2010 was paid forby the City of London, and financial services now make up a huge portion of our economic activity. How will the re-growing power of the city to dominate British politics shape the next ten years?

37) … and another financial collapse

British people are borrowing at a rate not seen since just before the banks collapsed in 2007/8. Little has been done to prevent another crash, and so there is little reason to believe that there won’t be one in the next decade. Will the government have the cash to bail the banks out this time? Will civil society be left to pick up the pieces?

38) The rise of China

The Chinese state has already bought up significant pieces of British infrastructure, such as the Hinkley C power station. It seems likely that the next decade will see a significant rise in China’s global power, and, as Britain leaves the EU, a rise its stake in Britain’s domestic political economy too.

More here.



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