Archive for the ‘Future scenarios’ Category

A day in the life of a 16 year old in 2050

December 14, 2009

The outcome of the workshop was artworks and performances by the students showcasing their visions of the future.

Based on the discussions during the course of the workshop, four main categories emerged- social, economical, cultural and traditional and political. The students were again divided into groups of four, each working on a selected category.

What was interesting to observe was that each group developed their own way of working and researching. While one group used performance as a way of showcasing their scenario, another used music live streamed from youtube to enhance their spoken presentation.

All groups adopted a unique way of researching and arriving upon their respective scenarios. They used their personal experiences and opinions, online research as well as spoke to their peers to develop their narratives. Working as a team was also a new and interesting experience for them which they had approached collectively or by dividing specific tasks between each other depending on their strengths and weaknesses.

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The Traditional world 2050

The students developing their vision of the future keeping in tradition and culture in mind, imagined it to be inspired from the past. Mapping the growth in the popularity of Indian traditional medicine, yoga and living systems, the students felt these would influence our future lifestyle immensely. They created a future elaborating on five elements

1) Language, traditional knowledge and Indian history

2) Art and design

3) Food entertainment and festivals

4) Heritage and mythology

They envisioned a culturally dynamic 2050, where they would be celebrating confluences of sorts. Festivals would combine from the east and west to create hybrid celebrations. Holi (festival of colors from India) would merge with Halloween to create ‘Holiween’. Similarly, traditional knowledge systems and sciences would combine to create better and more powerful systems. Languages too would merge to create a new common language.

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The society of 2050

‘After the 3rd World War, the humans decided to part ways- Techno freaks-the dwellers of the skies and those who lived on Earth in villages. But one thing they both agreed upon was an eco-friendly way of living. The people of the Earth lived the way Indians did before the British rule and the Techno freaks used gadgets which ran on solar energy, flying cars which emitted H2o, vapour etc. All religions lived in harmony with each other. Marriages were still prevalent  and babies were born through the natural process. In the techno world, babies were born genetically and people ate  food pills instead of  cooking fresh meals.’

The final scenarios developed by the sixteen students of Chinmaya Mission Vidyalaya are extremely informative and valuable. They are an insight into how young Indian students see themselves and the world around them grow over the coming decades. It showcases the kind of value system a country and a society like India would learn and strive from. These scenarios are also an indication of how the educational system in India needs to evolve and change and what steps can be taken to guide the thinking of young fertile minds in the country.

The students imagined their future a unified one but also of diverse living choices. Ruled by a common interest of preserving the planet and holding onto aspects of human behavior that were important to them, they imagined science and technology playing a major role in creating this ideal future in 2050.

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Economy of 2050

‘Welcome to this world. We are a galaxy which has no nation, no racism, no caste and no religion. We are all one.’

The protagonist of this scenario is unhappy with this scenario. The students of this group developed their future focussing on the economic scenario. The main character, a 16 year old lives in a world which is plastic. The world has been re-designed keeping in mind the economic benefits. Food is grown on another planet and animals are raised in another. Mars too has been occupied by humans and business is conducted between both the planets. Nations have a single currency on which the world runs.

Ahhmm..I wish I had some reality in this world. I wish I could go for scuba diving or to a wildlife sanctuaries. I wish these creatures existed in our life today. I have seen videos about people having fun with dogs, but I can’t.’

The students of this group imagined their future to be a mechanical hence grim one. One researching and realizing how important economics is in today’s world, they felt that the world would only become a machine where needs were met via processes and ways that may not necessarily be natural or normal. Focus would remain on making this work rather than making things enjoyable and human.

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The World Unified.

‘ Adi is a 15 year old Indian living in the human continent on Earth. He is playing virtual football through his image generator. But the game suddenly pauses…Adi listens to the voice of his grandfather Dr. Pranil Ghosh, representator of the Unified Government (UG).

Grandfather: ‘Enough of this virtual football that you are playing. Now it is time for your virtual study lessons.’

Adi: ‘But I don’t feel like studying today Grandpa…’

Grandfather: ‘Adi, it is vert essential that you study regularly.’

Focussing specifically on the political future of the world, the students envisioned the 2050 to be ruled under a unified government, where every organism and machine would have equal representation. The issues of concern would be to maintain and create this balance. Animals, robots and humans occupied certain part of the planet designed and maintained specifically for their needs. Climate, environment and sustainability were the prime concerns of this Unified government and its members called ‘PUG’ (person of unified government). Young people still did not play an active part in politics and it was confined to the elderly.

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Although the participating students of Chinmaya voiced this as a major concern and expressed a need for young people to become a part of politics in India, they did not see it change in the future. They however felt that it would become imperative for governments all over the world to work together and rule the planet instead of countries.