Dr. Árpád Rab, Digital culture expert, futurologist is the guest author of the CANnual Report 2022. In his article he highlights why the CEE region has unique features in the modern world and he lists six major trends in digital services which will shape our lives over the next decade.
Anxious caution in the Land of Plenty
Over the past 150 years, humankind has achieved long sought-after, tremendous successes through technological evolution. It has doubled, slowly tripled its biologically encoded lifespan, shrunk its planet, shaped its environment into its own face with its machines, and arrived at the Land of Plenty.
The production and proliferation of life-enhancing machines and the business model of consumer society have gone hand in hand to make the current generation the most successful in history, but in a resource-wasting and highly unequal distribution of resources. Prosperity in a closed system has also caused our planet to grow in population at a super-exponential rate.
After this wasteful phase of improving the quality of life, humanity’s next challenge is to increase its intelligence, cooperation, and speed in order to maintain its standard of living while keeping the environment livable. To do so, it is developing the internet, digital culture, new spaces, and new value systems. This situation will shape the next decade and a half of technological developments, business models and societal reprogramming.
Creating an information society in an industrial society
The Central and Eastern European region has its own situation: advanced enough to use cutting-edge technologies, but not rich enough not to innovate and find creative solutions. The specific economic and cultural context (post-socialist, agrarian, and service economies) make it inevitable that solutions that work elsewhere must be genuinely adapted and tailored to the region. All these circumstances create a particular dichotomy: a double layer of the most advanced technologies using extensive material and personal ties.
The most important feature of digital trends in the region is that they are growing up to their true purpose. So far, they have mainly had an impact in the areas of entertainment and information consumption (from community collaboration to the polarization of society), and in the next decade and a half they will have the same impact on critical infrastructures and quality of life, in the physical space. The convenience of everyday life, heating, food, transport, health, education, social expectations, and punishment will increasingly be taken over by technologies.
The article continues… in the CANnual Report 2022! To download the latest report, click here.