2020 Visions

Edited by Andy Ross

The Independent, December 27, 2009

UK Politics
David Cameron was the youngest British prime minister in 200 years. In 2013, he led Britain into a dubious war with Iran. British forces remained in Afghanistan until 2015.
Jane Merrick

Energy prices continued to climb year by year. The 2009 recession slumped into a depression. Farming inhospitable regions brought greater habitat loss than ever before. The first world war of the 21st century was fought over water.
Robin Barton

Celebrity memoirs did well when publishers accepted that readers wouldn't buy books any more unless they were written "by Jordan". Soon, every book published was "written" by the 1990s glamour model. These were not produced using dead trees, but beamed on to the reader's retina using revolutionary e-lens technology.
Katy Guest

Dame Kate Moss is still spotted from time to time, glass of champagne in one hand, cigarette in another, dressed in vintage ermine coat and no knickers.
Susannah Frankel

Big business took over from government as the green pioneers, leading the way in energy savings and creating new sustainable technologies for its shareholders and customers.
Margareta Pagano

US Politics
In 2016, America chose David Petraeus as its leader. Back in 2008, faced with a comparable crisis, the country elected its first black president. Petraeus was always careful not to promise more than he could deliver.
Rupert Cornwell

The Independent, December 31, 2009

People were more connected than ever. People also lived longer in the same house. The result was that people rediscovered who their real neighbours were. Those in other countries could look after their own.
Julian Baggini

Paranoia about terrorism has pushed security to new extremes. Zippy electric cars have become a ubiquitous presence on the roads. Pressure on Britain's rail network has increased still further. The Government is to force firms to allow half of their employees to work from home.
Michael Savage

British experts had predicted in 2008 that "in 20 years the commonest operations will be regenerative procedures to replace organs and tissues" with ones grown from stem cells. But their research foundered after 2011 due to a lack of funding.
Jeremy Laurance

The 2020 general election is being billed as the first post-internet campaign. British MPs are now the least corrupt, most highly respected, and lowest paid of any Western democracy.
Andy McSmith

A decade of economic woes finally leads to the collapse of free admission to national museums and galleries.
David Lister

The Telegraph, January 2, 2010

Gene Therapy
Gene therapy will be an important part of hi-tech medicine by about 2018. But for the health of most people, it will remain irrelevant.
Steve Jones

General Medicine
We will see increasing involvement of robotics in the operating theatre. Surgeons will use non- invasive techniques, entering through the body's natural orifices.
Max Pemberton

The forthcoming space race will be among private enterprises. We will see the creation of synthetic life. We will see attempts at geoengineering to curb climate change.
Roger Highfield

Consumer Technology
The mobile phone will become a gateway to global communications, and link seamlessly to the web and every screen in homes and offices. Supermarkets will restock your fridge automatically.
Matt Warman

Mobile and web will collide to fulfill the promise of helping people help themselves. The open exchange of information will lead to a more informed, engaged, and more empathetic global citizenry.
Biz Stone

It will be the hottest decade ever. Renewables will boom, especially solar power, as new technologies and falling prices kick in. Continued shrinkage of the Arctic ice-cap could provide the first climate tipping point.
Geoffrey Lean

Anglicanism will have fragmented into national and denominational shards. As for Islam, things will get worse before they get better.
George Pitcher

Disposable celebrity memoirs will be delivered electronically, in tiny bursts. Published works will be delivered with alterations commissioned by the end-user. Books may have to prove themselves with an audience before a publisher will print copies.
Philip Hensher

The fortunes of the music business will decline further. Music itself will thrive as a more hands-on activity.
Neil McCormick

Britain will finally address both its catastrophic undersupply of new housing and the low quality of what it is building.
Ellis Woodman

We'll see a rediscovery of morals in matters of production and consumption. Making things will become more important, both economically and culturally. True value will be separated from mere cost. Gross indulgence will soon acquire the stigma currently attached to drink-driving.
Stephen Bayley

We will enter a golden age in British theatre.
Dominic Cavendish

We can expect an explosion in 3D blockbusters.
Tim Robey

More viewing will take place online and on demand.
Neil Midgley

The UK will be like Havana, with almost all of us growing some of our food. Gardening will be less ornamental and more productive. Expect destructive winds and tropical rain.
Sarah Raven

Supermarkets will sell more British food. GM foods will get a stronger foothold in Europe.
Rose Prince

The combination of being the most knowing generation ever and one that has to find its place in a wrecked economy should fire up entrepreneurial innovation in the young.
Sarah Mower

Disposable fashion will go the way of the battery chicken. Many will order their underwear on their iPhone and delivery vans will clog up the traffic.
Harry Wallop

AR  All very amusing, but not much fodder for my next book, except to remind me to keep a light touch when composing my own efforts.