55 Jobs of the Future

55 Jobs of the Future

 

"There is no future in any job. The future lies in
the person who holds the job." - George W. Crane

One of my primary complaints with higher education is that they tend to prepare students for jobs of the past. The way a Midwesterner would phrase it, “they are constantly shooting behind the duck.”

Similarly, whenever a column is written about the best paying jobs of the future, jobs like civil engineers, registered nurses, and computer system analysts, they are all jobs that currently exist today.

Yes, many of these jobs will still exist in the future, but every one of them will morph and change as technology and communication systems make their impact.

As an example, technology research firm IDC predicts the amount of data businesses will have access to will grow 50-fold over the next decade. As data becomes cheaper, faster, and more pervasive, the nature of our work begins to change as well.

The first wave of baby boomers has now turned 65. As this generation greys, their needs will change. Their growing numbers and increasing medical needs will require a different kind of health care professionals to take care of them.

As a rule of thumb, 60% of the jobs 10 years from now haven’t been invented yet. With that in mind, I’ve decided to pull together a list of 55 jobs that will be in high demand in the future.

Jobs Before 2020

Many of the changes we see today will cause new jobs to materialize quickly. This first section deals will new positions that will likely be spawned within the next 10 years.

1. Augmented Reality Architects – Much like the paint we put on houses and the flavorings we add to food, the future will seem boring if our reality hasn’t been augmented in some way.

2. Alternative Currency Bankers – According to Javelin Strategies, 20% of all online trades are already being done with alternative currencies. The stage is being set for next-gen alt-currency banks.

3. Seed Capitalists – In the startup business world there is a huge gulf between initial concept and fundable prototypes. This dearth of funding options will require an entirely new profession. Seed capitalists will specialize in high-risk startups. Counter to todays investment-world thinking, if they get more than 100% return on their investments, they will be docked for not taking enough risk.

4. Global System Architects – Our systems are transitioning from national systems into global systems. Architects of these new global systems will play a crucial role in future global politics. More details here.

5. Locationists – People who specialize in adding the relevance of “place” to our global online communities.

6. Waste Data Managers – To insure data integrity in today’s fast evolving information storage industry, multiple redundancies have been built into the system. Achieving more streamline data storage in the future will require de-duplication specialists who can rid our data centers of needless copies and frivolous clutter.

7. Urban Agriculturalists – Why ship food all the way around the world when it can be grown next door. Next generation produce-growing operations will be located underground, often below the grocery stores where the produce will be sold directly to customers. More details here.

8. Business Colony Managers - The average person that turns 30 years old in the U.S. today has worked 11 different jobs. In just 10 years, the average person who turns 30 will have worked 200-300 different projects. Business colonies are an evolving new kind of organizational structure designed around matching talent with pending work projects. The operation will revolve around some combination of resident people based in a physical facility and a non-resident virtual workforce, with some opting to forgo the cost of the physical facility entirely. People who can effectively manage this type of operation will be in high demand. More details here.

9. Competition Producers – One of the hottest new trends will be to design incentive-based competitions to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. Paving the way has been X-Prize Foundation’s Pete Diamandis and the success of the Ansari X-Prize. In the future, every major corporation will have their name on a major prize competition. Similar to buying the naming rights to a stadium, a well-orchestrated competition has far-reaching branding potential.

10. Avatar Designers – Next generation avatars will become indistinguishable from humans on a two-dimensional screen. However, avatars will only live in the computer world for a short time longer. It is only a matter of time before they emerge from the computer and appear as visual beings, walking around among us. Once an avatar goes through the radical metamorphosis from an image that we see on a screen to a three dimensional being that joins us for dinner, carries on conversations with our friends, and serves as a stand-in for us at meetings, we will see work start on an even more realistic avatar, one that we can touch. More details here.

11. Avatar Relationship Managers – As the foibles of humanity enter the realm of autonomous, freethinking avatars, people will find it necessary to both manage and limit the often dangerous relationships that avatars get themselves into.

12. 3D Printing Engineers – Classes in 3D printing are already being introduced into high schools and the demand for printer-produced products will skyrocket. The trend will be for these worker-less workshops to enter virtually every field of manufacturing, stemming the tide of outsourcing, at the same time, driving the need for competent technicians and engineers to design and maintain the next wave of this technology.

13. 3D Food-Printer Engineers – Pushing the envelope for 3D printer technology even further, will be the coming age of food printers. Converting 3D printers to work with cartridges containing food-stocks will prove difficult and demanding on a number of levels. Those who can solve this kind of problem will be in high demand. More details here.

14. Book-to-App Converters – Over the coming months we will begin to see a form of competition brewing between books and apps. With both being information products that we interface with differently, we will begin to see a large scale effort to convert existing books and literature into an interactive app, similar to the current effort to convert popular literature from print to audiobooks. More details here.

15. Social Education Specialists – We learn from each other. But what is it that we learn from others that is valuable? And how do we structure a circle of friends, as a highly influential group that we rely heavily on, to give us a constant stream of truly valuable information and advice.

16. Privacy Managers – If you think you have lost most of your privacy already, we’ve only scratched the surface. We are all terminally human, and as such, we do not always make good decisions. Striking the perfect privacy-transparency balance will require far more than amateur insights. It will require a privacy professional. More details here.

17. Wind Turbine Repair Techs – The proliferation of windmills around the world will dramatically drive the demand for repair techs who are not afraid of heights and can solve whatever new problems this fledgling new industry blows their way.

18. Data Hostage Specialists – Holding people as hostages is very messy. But holding data hostage is a less-risky crime that can be done remotely, and has the potential for far greater rewards. This is especially true if the country you’re living in condones your actions. This type of activity will give rise to the likes of data-hostage negotiators, data-retrieval specialists, and damage-control analysts.

19. Smart Dust Programmers – In it’s simplest form, smart dust consists of a sensor combined with a wireless transmitter and some kind of power source. Many are envisioning the power to come from wireless RF signals. The reason it is referred to as “smart dust” is because the technology is shrinking in size until it reaches the particle size of dust. Future designs for smart dust involve detecting everything from moisture content, to soil temperature, to chemical composition. More details here.

20. Personality Services – Talking back and forth to a computer that has a machine-like voice is boring. But being able to download specific “personality packages” will add an entirely new level of engagement for basement-dwellers everywhere. The hottest personalities to download will be offshoots of existing characters or celebrities such as being able to download a David Letterman personality, a Homer Simpson personality, or perhaps even a Darth Vader personality.

21. Smart Contact Developers - The idea of “smart” contact lenses, the kind that can superimpose information on the wearer’s field of view has been around for a while. But the first iteration of smart contact lenses is already on the market and industry execs are beginning to generate a wide array of possible applications. More details here.

22. Nano-Medics – The medical problems most people have can be traced to a single cell or a small group of them. Health professionals capable of working on the nano-level, both in designing diagnostics systems, remedies, and monitoring solutions will be in high demand.

23. New Science Philosopher-Ethicists – Every new technology creates its own set of unintended consequences, and people who can ask the tough questions and demand deeper introspection will be in high demand. Industry sages will serve as both a conscience and a guide for decision-makers everywhere.

24. Organ Agents – The demand for transplantable organs is exploding and people who can track down and deliver healthy organs will be in hot demand.

25. Octogenarian Service Providers – As the population continues the age we will have record numbers of people living into their 80s, 90s, and 100s. This mushrooming group of active oldsters will provide a demand for goods and services currently not being addressed in today’s marketplace.

26. Elevated Tube Transport Engineers – The next big infrastructure project on planet earth will be a human and cargo transport system designed around a network of vacuum tubes with maglev tracks. Operating at less than 2% of the cost of today’s car, truck, jet, ship, and train systems, this emerging tube transport system will be a massive undertaking that demands talented new-age thinkers for decades to come. More details here.

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The Dismantlers

Over the coming years will see a number of industries dismantled requiring a skilled workforce of talented people who can perform this task in the least disruptive way. Most of these industries have been built around aging facilities and infrastructure that will become unnecessary and unsustainable in the future. These will include:

27. Prison System Dismantlers - More details here.

28. Hospital and Healthcare Dismantlers - More details here.

29. Income Tax System Dismantlers - More details here and here.

30. Government Agency Dismantlers - More details here.

31. Education System Dismantlers - More details here and here and here.

32. College and University Dismantlers - More details here and here and here.

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Jobs in 2030 and Beyond

A number of technologies currently on the drawing board will require a bit longer lead time before the industry comes into its own. Here are a few examples of these kinds of jobs:

33. Drone Dispatchers – Drones will be used to deliver groceries and pizzas, deliver water, remove trash and sewage, monitor traffic and pollution, and change out the batteries on our homes. Skilled dispatchers for future drones will be high demand. More details here.

34. Brain Quants – Where the stock market manipulators of the past meet the brain manipulators of the future to usurp control of Madison Avenue.

35. Tree-Jackers – Plant and tree alteration specialists, who manipulate growth patterns, create grow-to-fit wood products, color-changing leaves, and personalized fruit. More details here.

36. Plant Psychologists – An entire profession dedicated to undo the damage caused by the Tree-Jackers

37. Extinction Revivalists – People who revive extinct animals.

38. Robotic Earthworm Drivers – The most valuable land on the planet will soon be the landfills because that is where we have buried our most valuable natural resources. In the future, robotic earthworms will be used to silently mine the landfills and replace whatever is extracted with high-grade soil.

39. Gravity Pullers – The first wave of people to unlock the code for influencing gravity.

40. Time Hackers – If we think cyber terrorists are a pain, it will seem like nothing compared to devious jerry-riggers who start manipulating the time fabric of our lives.

41. Clone Ranchers – Raising “blank” humans will be similar in many respects to cattle ranching. But once a clone is selected, and the personality download is complete, the former clone will instantly be elevated to “human status.”

42. Body Part & Limb Makers – The Organ Agents listed above will quickly find themselves out of work as soon as we figure out how to efficiently grow and mass produce our own organs from scratch.

43. Memory Augmentation Therapists – Entertainment is all about the great memories it creates. Creating a better grade of memories can dramatically change who we are and pave the way for an entirely new class of humans.

44. Time Brokers - Time Bank Traders – Where do you go when you run out of time? Naturally, to the time-bank, and take out a time-loan.

45. Space-Based Power System Designers – At some point, the burning of earth’s natural resources for power will become a thing of the past. Space-based systems will capture and transmit power far more efficiently than anything currently in existence.

46. Geoengineers – Weather Control Specialists – We are moving past the age of meteorology and climatology to one where the true power-brokers will wield the forces of nature.

47. Plant Educators – An intelligent plant will be capable of re-engineering itself to meet the demands of tomorrow’s marketplace. Plant educators will not work with lesson plans or PowerPoint presentations, but the learning process will be even more effective. More details here.

48. Nano-Weapons Specialists – Many of the weapons of the future will be too small to be seen by the human eye. And naturally, these will be the most dangerous. More details here.

49. Lip Designers – If you could have any lips in the world, what would they look like?

50. Mass Energy Storage Developers – As a society, we have become very good at generating electricity, but are still terrible at storing it from one day to the next. Once mass energy storage systems are developed and installed, our total energy needs will drop precipitously.

51. Earthquake Forecasters – Everything we know about the inside of the earth has been developed through indirect evidence. We have no maps of the center of the earth. We have no accurate diagrams, no understanding of motion, fluidity, or changes happening with any degree of accuracy. While scientists are developing skills to work with nanoscale precision on the earth’s surface, the best we can muster below the surface is blindfolded guesswork done with 100-mile precision. What we don’t know is literally killing us – over 226,000 killed in 2010 alone. But that will change over time as we begin to understand the inner working of the earth and accurately forecast when the next big quakes are about to hit. More details here.

52. “Heavy Air” Engineers – Compressed air is useful in a wide variety of ways. However, we have yet to figure out how to compress streams of air as they pass through our existing atmosphere. Once we do, it will create untold opportunity for non-surface based housing and transportation system, weather control, and other kinds of experimentation.

53. Robot Polishers – If we are going to have robots, they will invariably need to be polished.

54. Amnesia Surgeons – Doctors who are skilled in removing bad memories or destructive behavior.

55. Executioners for Virus-Builders – In the future, virus-builders who get caught will have a choice. They can either go to the electric chair, or spend some quality time with the Amnesia Surgeon.

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Final Thoughts

The jobs and occupations listed above are just scratching the surface. This list is intended to help stretch your imagination and start you down a path of imagining your own future.

But I’d love to hear your thoughts. What am I missing? Where have I gone off the reservation and missed the big picture entirely? Are there better names for these professions? And most importantly, how can someone today prepare himself or herself for the changes to come?

Yes, this column includes far more questions than answers. But when it comes to understanding the future, it all begins with asking the right questions.

By Futurist Thomas Frey

Author of “Communicating with the Future“ – the book that changes everything

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25 Responses

  1. Sue Hessmann

    Actually the transport that will come before the vacuum tube transport is the POD, a car-like vehicle (sans wheels) that will hover above ground, use the bubble technology that we now have to parallel park and signal us when another car gets too close, and add a sophisticated GPS system. We will get rid of concrete roads and free up traffic and “park” our PODs on PADs.

  2. This may be some of your best work…and the links are priceless…thanks for all you do…great stuff.
    Rich
    President-Elect
    National Career Development Association
    Professor
    Colorado State University

  3. Kiko Suarez

    Dear Tom-
    I also believe that some sort of “cross sector interpreters” and “fluency coaches” will be necessary in multi-sector partnerships. It’s just fascinating how different sectors talk about things (non profits, businesses, academia, government…). In connection with that, I see a growing market to solve “meta-problems”: inequality, education, aging, poverty, crime… Not a single sector can fix them alone. Meta-problem engineers, meta-organizations, etc will be examples of that. Thank you!
    Kiko

  4. Louis Baudry

    Excellent article, Mr. Frey.
    Louis, a fan from France

  5. Thomas,

    This future robot-polisher thanks you, as always, for your helpful insight. Tomorrow seems very promising.

    Jim

  6. Great mind stretching list! Multiple movies could be made about any one profession on your list. (Of course i especially like #26 ;-D)

    One profession i have doubts about though is “robot polishers”. The first commercial robots are designed to preform mundane, repetitive, or boring tasks (e.g. lawn mowing robots, and floor vacuuming robots). Would not some of the most useful future robots be polishing robots? How useful is a future robot incapable of self polishing?

    This opens a whole new area to explore: How many of the jobs on your list will be performed by robots? What jobs of the future will only be able to be performed by humans?

  7. Thank you Tom, so interesting! Apparently, I am already a Business Colony Manager as that is how we run our agency. I can’t wait to dig into all of the links and read more.
    Kim

  8. There will always be a need for bed testers…. I will now volunteer my services in that area….

  9. […] too. In a recent post on his blog, Thomas Frey, Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute, listed 55 jobs of the future. Credit: Justus Hayes […]

  10. Karina

    Thank you very much for the list! I even found my aspired career in your list – New Science Philosophers – Ethitists! Very needed and urgent!
    I was missing in your list more on the education side – the type of educators we will be needing in the next 10 years? Perhaps something on the “lateral” thinking side? Cannot think of a name of this vocation though.
    Great work!

  11. Good article! Many people these days are making their money online from micro jobs. If you have a product, website or service you would like to sell online, Gigs20.com for example is the place for people to sell things online. Gigs20.com website is a micro-payment marketplace where people with unique talents and resources advertise to take your message and promote it in unique ways. You can promote your services or buy other people services for $5, $10, $15, or $20…

  12. Gene Munson

    Just to much to process at once! Maybe this could be a second career for me. I’ve been asking “What could be?” for most of my life.

    An area that I feel was missed is the communications of social language, its multiple meanings and influences fuel the actions for most of the countries; other socially engineered opportunities include cultural re-engineering and organization to accomplish future expectations, wants, needs, etc. Societal exchanges or contributions for the greater good globally.

    Another worldly consideration: our existence needs water and oxygen; focused efforts on how we increase the availability of these and how they will assist inhabitants to engage our geography in the future; more than just survival.

    Nothing about the majority of our planet being under water; how can we address this marine expansion with incredible opportunities. Between marine manifest destiny and re-establishment of rain forest equities–our future may only exist alternatively–is that possible?

  13. Doug

    Nice list. But when portable free energy arrives, the present RV paradigm will morph into a large proportion of humans in nomad mode. Consider an extension of simple existing technologies, including marine grade ones, by simply adding unlimited electricity. Water is easily extracted from air already – with electricity. Sewage is easily incinerated today – with electricity. Hydroponics are supremely portable and can provide huge food yields in small areas – with electricity. Better RVs already are comfortable in most climate extremes – with electricity. Cooking, Internet, TV, laundry, dish washing, refrigeration, lighting, power tools, 3-D printers, phones, radio, remote education, telecommuting, and shopping are ALL perfectly practical today, if one has perhaps 30-50 amps of house current and a largish RV. If the power source could also drive the RV or tow vehicles, the practicality of a nomadic lifestyle would be, as one seasoned RV owner told me, ” cheaper than staying home.”

    Who benefits? Wal Mart, for one. They are already allowing overnight RV parking. And they sell almost anything an RVer could need, from food to tires. RV parks that cater to the self powered RV crowd would spring up all over the place, but presumably near attractions like stadiums, lakes, entertainment districts (no DWIs if you walk home or take a free shuttle). Hotels that adapt may benefit as well, by providing services and parking, perhaps without any actual room rental. Services like dining, poolside relaxation, conferencing, high speed Internet, maid services, laundry services, shuttles to shopping and events, convenience stores, temporary office space, etc.

    Jobs that could result include coordinators of the inevitable nomadic societies that will emerge, mobile tutors and daycare providers, mobile mechanics, janitors, secretaries, healthcare providers,and any other service providers who make “house calls” or even travel with the tribes.

    Inevitably, there will be themed stopovers, such as encampments for music festivals, fishing, sailing and boating, mountain resorts, beach resorts, and the ever popular Winter getaway scenes. But eliminating most infrastructure needs, like water, power and sewer, means these facilities can spring up like lillies after a rain, anywhere from an abandoned shopping mall to a hastily built gravel road by a remote lake. Also, many national forests already allow ad hoc camping within short distances of existing roads. Wireless providers and delivery companies take note.

    Of course, builders of the RVs themselves will need to adapt. Few today are built to last, but with free energy, a properly built RV could last for at least a century. Example: Subway cars. They travel millions of miles. Their motors travel hundreds of thousands between overhauls. Ditto semi rigs. When fuel and other energy costs are incorporated into equipment costs, all the subsystems will need to be brought up to a high standard of durability, or lose market share. This suggests that RVs that are towed may predominate, since the replacement and or repair of the tow vehicle is far less intrusive than the entire dwelling.

    Who loses? Real estate holders, in some cases, because the “location, location, location” mantra will experience a new set of paradigms. One assumes that high tax areas will lose population, as will depressed or dangerous ones. So, perhaps Wyoming, Montana, Maine and Idaho will become Summer destinations, while Texas, Arizona, Florida and low tax Gulf states may become Winter destinations. Vermont, perhaps, in Fall. As for high tax states, one can envision a “Just passing through” approach. Mexico and Canada, as well as Alaska could all become temporary destinations, if the infrastructure were to be made available.

    Imagine rolling city-states, migrating from region to region, with a combination of portable and static support systems. Certainly it is not out of the question to imagine tractor-trailer rigs with shops, restaurants, repair facilities, food storage, offices, classrooms, meeting facilities, clubs, and even private security facilities, not to mention medical facilities. This, in turn, suggests that income producing activities would arise. An obvious one would be agricultural laborers, but many other jobs, including micro manufacturing, services of all sorts, and even nomadic farming are possible. For example, consider farmers’ coops who own orchards in Florida and potato fields in Idaho. They could migrate, leaving caretaker detachments during the offseason.

    Of course all of this tends towards decentralization, personal freedom, and “voting with your feet”. So political obstructions should be anticipated. But the power of individuals to move, easily, away from oppression, poverty, discomfort, etc. sounds good to me.

    Who wins? Better Business Bureau members (who would you hire in a strange locale?) places that attract visitors, yet have plenty of free space, places with seasonally comfortable climates, and places with attractive tax policies.

  14. admin

    Doug,

    Thanks for this brilliant assessment. Having the manta of “energy being a scarce commodity” drilled into us from youth, it’s hard for most of us to imagine a world where it isn’t. And that changes everything.

    Nicely stated,

    Thomas Frey

  15. Doug

    You’re welcome. But I stand on the shoulders of giants. Bucky Fuller inspired me to think of mobile housing that was largely self contained. He just didn’t see the social aspects very clearly. Thomas Jefferson inspired me to think of a civilization of “gentry” – that is people who are mainly independently wealthy, with few exceptions, and those exceptions mainly self imposed. Of course he couldn’t imagine mobility on the scale we now have, much less the natural demise of “resource limitations” through recycling – if enough clean energy is available. We can divvy up iron, carbon, trace minerals and perhaps some other elements, and reuse them indefinitely. We can make fertilizer from sewage, irrigate with distilled seawater, build almost indestructible structures with synthetic composites made from almost any carbon source, and provide all the needs of a privileged human, but to do so we must unshackle ourselves from unneeded controllers, while ensuring that these things are done cleanly, safely and sustainably. If needed, we can even remove carbon dioxide from the air, given enough free clean energy. Robots can do most work, so the biggest steps forward involve decentralizing power, and remembering how to be human beings, as opposed to consumers, workers, and devolving slobs.

    One thought to consider in how to get from here to there is that most human problems can be looked at as ones of cost shifting. Nearly any headline can be examined from this perspective. One favorite example is the idea that renewable energy is not cost competitive with petroleum. Let’s look at the costs paid at the pump, vs. the costs paid elsewhere. How much of the cost of gasoline is shifted to the defense budget? How many people are killed in wars that would never be fought except that petroleum is involved? How many sick and dead from pollution? What is the cost of environmental destruction associated with petroleum, coal, nuclear? What price do we set on human life and health? As importantly, how can we call any civilization just, when the death, destruction and taxation required to implement petroleum/nuclear/coal use are not billed to the industries and people who are taking the lives and property for profit, but with few if any consequences? Who asked you or me if they could spew lethal radioactive materials on us? What will they pay us for doing so?

    This cost shifting concept has, sadly, replaced the traditional idea of pulling one’s own weight. Captured government agencies are cheaper and more profitable than true competition. Personal economic security trumps everything from truth to health to safety. Perhaps most disturbing, when the cost shifting trends become sufficiently entrenched, sociopathic and psychopathic approaches almost always prevail over life affirming, just and pro-human approaches.

    A simple example would be sending manufacturing to China. No environmental controls, health laws, safety regulations, pensions, etc. to get in the way of the bottom line. Plus the currencies are rigged to give a huge advantage to the Cinese and their paid Western lackeys. So the sellers of Cinese products have shifted destruction, misery, death and corruption costs to the Chinese workers AND economic, cultural and political ruin to the displaced workers and governments in the West. A handful of people benefit mightily. Years down the road, our descendants may or may not thank us, as we are grateful for the fruits of the industrial revolution, but horrified by its human costs.
    So I propose a new view of law that insists that ALL measurable or predictable costs of an activity be borne by those who engage in it. If you want to experiment with bio weapons, you must post a bond to cover the costs if something goes wrong. Ditto nuclear power and weapons, oil drilling, mining, etc. If you emit harmful pollutants, you ought to pay for the shifted costs – in advance, along with a bond for unforeseen or remotely likely costs. Once viable safe alternatives to a technology exist, less safe ones should be mandatorily phased out, especially deadly ones like nuclear power plants that produce long half life or weaponizable materials. Cleanup costs should be bonded in advance, rather than shifted to future generations. If no accredited bonding agency will undertake the risk, then why should any human be forced to?

    How much would gasoline cost At the pump if these shifted costs were put back where they belong? That aircraft carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf? 45 cents a gallon? The ones in the Indian ocean and Mediterranian? $1.25? That oil cleanup residue on the floor of the Gulf? 25 cents? Preventable early deaths from pollution? $3? The Iraq war? We could have put solar hot water on all US buildings with money left over, for the cost of that one, not including the value of the humans killed in the war. There may not be enough money on Earth, of course, to repay the just cost of the lives taken, much less to pay for them at the pump.

    Premises considered, I suggest we need to revisit all aspects of government, business and other human activities to see just where the costs have been shifted, and who benefits. This could be everything from big pharma to big pesticides, to big medicine to big defense to big law enforcement to big banking to importation of products that do harm overseas, to even things which don’t lend themselves to economic cost analysis but which have societal costs, like gangsta rap music or alcohol advertising. Speech should be protected, but that doesn’t mean there should be no societal consequences, such as shunning, etc.

    Finally, I should NOT be viewed as urging larger and more intrusive government. To the contrary, I view limited government as critical to human progress and fulfillment. But one legitimate role of government must be to protect individuals from harm inflicted by others. At its core that may be the primary justification for government. Preventing involuntary cost shifting is thus, I think, a primary task of any just society and government.

  16. “There is no future in any job. The future lies in the person who holds the job.” – Of course, the best job in the world is created by people themselves who found the key to their happiness. Future jobs with rare or outrageous positions arise because of what they have discovered while doing something outside the box.

    Some of these future jobs might already be existing today but only a few people are familiar with it. For example, urban agriculturalists. There are people who have been practicing auquaculture and hydroponics. Something like that.

  17. I am assuming that when you say urban horticulturists you are refering to people growing food using hydroponics? Hydroponics enables us to grow virtually any fruit or veg in or out of season. As the population increases we will need to rely more on more on hydroponics for food. As Doug says, hydroponics kits are easily replicated and transported and they provide huge yields. Used properly, hydroponics will give accelerated growth, increased yields and a shorter growing season. Population growth will force a greater uptake of hydroponics because governments know they have to provide food for their people or suffer the consequences of instability.

    Thanks for the article.

    Phil

  18. […] Historically, growth in Internet coverage and bandwidth and the progress of digitisation technology led to the disintermediation of value chains in industries such as retail, publishing and music. As evolving human/computer interfaces make it possible to digitise new aspects of experience and expression, we will see a continuing impact on the media, communication and information industries. But we will also see unexpected impacts on industries that we have assumed so far to be relatively immune to such disruptions: surgery, construction, waste management, landscape gardening and arbitration are a few that spring to mind as possibilities. (Google futurist Thomas Frey speculated along similar lines in his excellent article “55 Jobs of the Future“). […]

  19. Oscar

    I think the types of jobs we do and how we do them will revolve around the technology we have at the time.

    When technology finds a way to autonomously do someone’s job that job will be phased out. Naturally certain jobs will be phased out first e.g. easiest to automate,economically viable, dangerous, tasks requiring high accuracy…

    Technological advances among other things (such as globalization) inevitably make life more complex and with the scale of things becoming larger jobs in the future will tend to become more specialized, as such they will generally require more training/education. jobs will continue to be less labour intensive and a greater percentage of jobs will be ‘desk jobs’. Routine tasks will phased out and jobs will require more problem solving,creativity and input of opinions.

    What troubles me is that at some point all jobs will be possible to do autonomously with robots. In a crude sense, when you are born you don’t need money (beyond basic necessities and an education) because you have time which you can use to work and make money. If everything is autonomous then your time has no value (economically) which would give you know way to sustain yourself if you are born without assets/money.

    With this in mind I don’t see how capitalism has a future. Instead i think a new style of government will be created. I imagine anyone living under this form of governing would be paid a base amount and possibly be rewarded for certain things. Robots would do all the work and ‘simple’ decision making but certain bodies of people do the ‘important’ decision making.
    That’s my 2 cents anyway.

  20. Gus

    So if my avatar gets sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2015 it could potentially only serve 5 years?

    I am of course being somewhat flippant there, but surely you don’t believe that “prison system dismantler” will be an actual job title before the year 2020? I get that it’s supposed to be a bit on the optimistic side, but that’s insane.

  21. Bruce

    Avatar Relationship Managers??

    People can’t manage themselves, much less avatars. You have forgotten the one principle since mankind was created…that they are selfish and self serving. Your thoughts are quite upotian. Maybe in 20-30 years I’ll apologize. But I don’t have high hopes.

  22. Prisons will remain. The violence because of massive unemployment and subsequent hunger will lead us to a police state.

  23. Glynn

    And there will still be a need for plumbers.

  24. Jack

    As technology advances so does our way of life. Compare the life style of a middle aged man in today’s society to that of a middle aged man from the 15th or even the 19th century. There is no honest reason why the advancement of technology must lead to an apocalyptic state, those who feel it does have a serious flaw…they fear change but without change there can be no improvement.

    We have the technology TODAY to cure world hunger, so why don’t we use it? For the same reason people are still in wheelchairs in stead of walking on robotic legs or in exoskeletons. Money, money has always been the turning point of civilization.

    We have the technology to change the world at our fingertips, the only thing preventing us from using it is money. To change civilization you must first alter its currency base.

    Before one can change the currency system of a civilization that civilization must evolve. From the middle aged man working day and night to feed his family to the office broker working 10 hours a week so he can drive a BMW to the oil and gas companies all the way to the government. We as a people must change and adapt to our own technology or we doom ourselves.

    So what if robots are now working in factories? So what if computers are replacing secretaries? If we don’t have to work 60 hours a week to feed our children we would have more time to do the things we enjoy…

    So then how would we earn money/credits to do the things that we enjoy? Or should I be asking how can we make money by doing the things that we enjoy? Just how many of our hobbies can lead to future pay? Because the idea of advancing technology and changing our mundane world is so that we don’t have to work 60-80 hours a week to feed our children.

  25. Jack

    On a side note, police states would have no use for prison systems. Haven’t you ever seen Judge Dredd? Why imprison someone for murder when you can simply shoot them then and there?

  26. Hi Thomas
    Very interesting! I believe I am a Locationist already… Scouting locations in South Africa.

    I particularly find the Urban Agriculturists an good prospect for our future. This is something to work on for our sustainability. Very complication land reforms that are occurring in this country and the solution would be your recommendation. I also enjoyed the response by Daryl Oster on the topic of multiple movies and #26 which there is an invested interest. I will consider some of these as i am in the film making business.

    Thank you

  27. johan liebenberg

    What a relief to read something coming from someone that can truly think and visualize. My view is we will not need an outdated corrupt system such as a “government.” Looking forward to an exciting future not influenced by idiots.

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