As we witness a series of social, political, cultural, and economic changes/disruptions this book examines the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the way emerging technologies are impacting our lives and changing society.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by the emergence of new technologies that are blurring the boundaries between the physical, the digital, and the biological worlds. This book allows readers to explore how these technologies will impact peoples’ lives by 2030. It helps readers to not only better understand the use and implications of emerging technologies, but also to imagine how their individual life will be shaped by them. The book provides an opportunity to see the great potential but also the threats and challenges presented by the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, posing questions for the reader to think about what future they want. Emerging technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, cloud computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), and fully autonomous vehicles, among others, will have a significant impact on every aspect of our lives, as such this book looks at their potential impact in the entire spectrum of daily life, including home life, travel, education and work, health, entertainment and social life.
Providing an indication of what the world might look like in 2030, this book is essential reading for students, scholars, professionals, and policymakers interested in the nexus between emerging technologies and sustainable development, politics and society, and global governance.
Table of Contents
Felix Dodds, Carolina Duque Chopitea and Ranger Sere Ruffins
1. The History of Industrial Revolutions
2. The World we Live in
3. Home Life
4. Traveling Around
5. Education, Working life and Health
7. Social Life
8. Living around the globe
9. Beyond 2030
Annex 1: Sustainable Development Goals
Annex 2: Key aspects of the Paris Agreement
Felix Dodds is Adjunct Professor at the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina, US and Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute Boston, US. He is the author/editor of over 20 books, including Stakeholder Democracy (Routledge, 2019), Negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals (Routledge, 2016 with Ambassador David Donoghue, Jimena Leiva Roesch) and The Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus (Routledge, 2016 with Jamie Bartram). In 2019 he was a candidate to head the United Nations Environment Programme.
Carolina Duque Chopitea is the Co-founder and Head of Analytics at Brandformers.io, a digital marketing agency headquartered in Panama. She holds a Master's Degree in Business Analytics from Hult International Business School (San Francisco) and a degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria, Canada. With her multidisciplinary background working in the public and private sectors, Carolina works with brands and organistions to help them realise their full potential by blending data with creativity.
Ranger Ruffins is a Master’s student at the University of North Carolina, US at Chapel Hill (UNC), pursuing a degree in City and Regional Planning. Her area of focus is land use and environmental planning, with a specific interest in resilience in the face of natural hazard disasters and the ability for cities to adapt to the effects of a changing climate. She earned her BA from the UNC in Environmental Studies in 2016. After graduating, Ranger worked in New York City as the Environment Program Assistant at The Overbrook Foundation, working on grant development for the foundation’s environment portfolio.
"I simply love Tomorrow's People and New Technology. Teasingly playful, inquisitive rather than just another turgid tome trying to be politically correct and accurate with each forecast, the authors' bandwidth is wonderfully broad, the insights incisive, and the writing welcoming. This book is a speculative triumph. It invites us into an imaginative world of endless fascination and ingenuity, at once allying suspicions that the future belongs only to the smart machines we have created and are in the process of letting loose."
Richard David Hames, Executive Director, Centre for the Future
"Many have dubbed the years between 2020 and 2030 the 'decade of action and ambition' where vast transformations need to be achieved if we are to meet both SDG and Paris climate goals. That can seem daunting and challenging to individuals who feel they don't have agency or the capability to make a difference, but Tomorrow's People and New Technology provides an engaging and accessible blueprint for how technology can play a crucial role in helping individuals to change their lives to make a big difference. Funny and thought-provoking, it is a great read!"
Kirsty Schneeberger, MBE, Chair UK Environmental Law Association
"Humanity has understood the necessity to change the course of development. Nations have made their pledges in the form of SDGs and climate goals. The word progress has been reevaluated. To what extend we can succeed in this fundamental transformation in such a relatively short time, the jury is still out, but the clock is ticking. It is a remarkable book bringing closer to our daily lives what is at stake and how technological shift can and will influence our journey. Excellent reading far all who plan to spend the rest of their lives in the changing future."
Ambassador Csaba Kőrösi, director of the Office of the President of Hungary, former co-chair of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
"No one has written more or provided a larger lens through which we can view the subject of sustainable development than has Felix Dodds, whether alone or in collaboration with very interesting co-authors. Tomorrow’s People and New Technology issues an invitation to consider the future through the 2030 development agenda and the life it might engender. It poses the pertinent questions – How will technology be the primary driver of society, economy and way of life? Will it help us to realize the great value of our humanity? Will we see the technology as our partner in achieving sustainable development? Will its use be equitable in improving quality of life globally so that no-one is left behind? What sort of world do we want and how will technology help bring it into being? These questions are not academic. COVID-19 has accelerated the use of technology and we must answer these questions -now. Agree or disagree with the authors but read their answers."
Ambassador Liz Thompson, Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations
"In 2015 governments agreed to both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement, creating a pathway to securing a viable future on this planet. Even with renewed political will, however, delivering on the transformations called for will call for innovation at many levels. This book therefore offers key insights by looking to 2030 and exploring the impact of a number of new technologies on our lives and on delivering on these two multilateral agreements. Tomorrows People and New Technology recognizes both that the changes that we all will experience over the next ten years will be enormous, and that massive shifts are required to turn our economies and societies around. It tries to help people understand how these technologies might impact positively on their lives and by doing so makes those changes seem less threatening. The book also recognizes the challenges will be different in different parts of the world and explores how these could potentially increase inequality. Finally it highlights for the reader some of policy challenges these new technologies would bring. Required reading at the intersection of climate, SDGs, innovation, and disruption."
Paula Caballero, (Mother of the SDGs) former Director for Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia
"Though many books describe tech and AI’s impact on our future, few paint an intimate and detailed picture of how our lives – at home, work, and with friends – will be completely reshaped by the innovations that are just beginning to take root today. Tomorrow’s People and New Technology is a fascinating forecast at life by 2030 and the ways in which we must change to harness technology’s promise in every facet of our daily lives."
Maria Figueroa Kupcu, Partner and Head of New York Office, Brunswick Group; Chair, Institute for Global Leadership, Tufts University
"In 2021, the last thing people needed was another doomsday book. Tomorrow’s People and New Technology is written in an accessible and fun style illustrates how frontier or 4IR technologies can improve our daily life and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate change Agreement, allows people that are usually not concerned about these international issues far from their daily life, to not only be aware but reflect on them. It brings it home! Potential negative impacts are brought only at the end allowing for a more educated societal debate about these issues including the monetization of our attention through these ever-omnipresent platforms. Kudos for this putting this book out there and getting the debate going on needed national and international policies needed to make sure these frontier technologies help us achieve the SDGs not further increase inequalities and polarization."
Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief, New York Office of UNCTAD
"More often than not, we see technology as something that is happening to us--that is, ordinary people are impacted in both positive and malign ways without agency or voice. In addition to helping us understand the scope of emerging technologies, Tomorrow's People and New Technology calls on the reader and individual to be proactive and help shape trends in ways that support the sustainable development agenda and our immediate social lives."
Gavin Power, former Executive Deputy Director, UN Global Compact
"The world has committed to the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, which civil society and multilateral stakeholders had strongly advocated for. This is the decade of action, which will decide whether we can secure a sustainable future for humankind and our planet.
In Bonn, we have known Felix Dodds as a long-term ally in the engagement for sustainable development and also a great visionary. With Tomorrow’s People and New Technology, he and his co-authors have created a very inspiring and simply good read about our potential future world in 2030 – a world with blurring digital, physical and biological boundaries. The positive vision of emerging new technologies is a valuable instrument that can help us recognize and embrace opportunities and potentials to achieve a sustainable development for our societies while leaving no one behind.
I hope that this book, which is also an invitation to take a pro-active approach, will attract a large number of readers. Given our commitment to a fair and liveable planet in 2030, it is great motivation to have this vivid and captivating image at hand – and in the back of our minds."
Katja Dörner, Mayor of Bonn, Germany’s United Nations City