26 June 2017
I imagine that the main changes in my life, and that of society, in 2050 could be broadly categorised economically, socially and environmentally.

Economically, due to technological advancements in the next 33 years, robots will now be the main foundation of industry, forcing humans out of work. In response to this, the Government will have introduced a national basic income. Though this would lead to an overhaul of the welfare, (specifically benefits), system, as everyone would theoretically be able to support themselves without work, income inequality will still be a major issue in society due to the even greater value placed on white-collar jobs not yet outsourced to robots/automation. Britain’s ageing population will no longer be such a pressing economic problem however, as state pensions will no longer be necessary; for me this will mean the state pension I am currently projected to receive at age 68 in 2064, would no longer exist.

Socially, Britain’s ageing population would also not be such an issue anymore, as advancements in science, including telomere regeneration would allow people to live much longer and healthier lives, taking the stress off some areas of the NHS, but adding to the woes in other areas.  The increase in population, as a result of fewer people dying, will have led to an increase in social policies to restrict immigration, in order to slow the overcrowding that has led to massive hikes in rent prices, and left home-ownership virtually unattainable for many. In schools, which children now attend from the age of seven, mirroring the Swedish school system, there is a much greater focus on languages, especially Mandarin, Spanish and Arabic as they are now the most commonly spoken languages, and the most important to global business. In 2050 Britain still remains the most  surveilled country in the world - technology to track, record and ultimately enforce social control upon people has moved on to more personalised means, including implants.

Environmentally, national disasters and storms are much more frequent and of greater lasting impact to the UK due to the lasting effects of global warming. This still disproportionately impacts people already marginalised in society, such as immigrants and the poor. Clean energy is the only source of energy available now, as governments have learned from the devastating consequences to the environment of relying on fossil fuels for so long. On a domestic level, housing, for the middle classes at least, is built in ways that are far more efficient for energy consumption, which means that for me, the cost of heating my accommodation is much lower. Such savings are also seen in my weekly food shop, as GM crops, which are unaffected by Britain’s poor weather and can therefore be grown on home soil, do not need to be imported.

Jane Leggat, from Stockport, Manchester, England; studying BA Film and Sociology