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Just 20 years into the 21st Century, we have already seen remarkable changes that our 20th Century selves could never have anticipated. In the 1990s, no-one had bought an iPhone or logged into Facebook or Twitter, and Google failed to sell for US$1 million. If so much can change in such a short time, what does the next 20 years have in store?

To answer that question, we asked subject matter experts from across KPMG and students and faculty from the 3A Institute at the Australian National University to tell us how they think the world will change between now and 2040. The task we set them was to analyse the emerging trends of today to present us with a coherent vision of what tomorrow might look like.

That enabled us to compile 20 predictions about the trends that will shape the next 20 years and transform our lives – how new technologies will evolve and the way in which these advances will underpin our response to the climate emergency, support radical societal change and even enable disruptive new models for our markets and economies. 

These forecasts span every aspect of our lives: technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, blockchain and the internet of things (IoT) are set to radically transform the way we live, work and play. But our future gazers are also convinced that humans and machines will work together: new technologies will augment our attributes as humans, not render them irrelevant.

What do you expect from the next 20 years? There will be plenty of changes that none of us are able to foresee, but do you agree with our experts’ predictions, how do you see the world evolving – and is your organisation prepared for the road ahead?

KPMG does not make any statement in these articles as to whether any forecasts or projections included in these articles will be achieved, or whether the assumptions and data underlying any prospective economic forecasts or projections are accurate, complete or reasonable. KPMG does not warrant or guarantee the achievement of any such forecasts or projections. Any economic projections or forecasts in this report rely on economic inputs that are subject to unavoidable statistical variation. They also rely on economic parameters that are subject to unavoidable statistical variation. While all care has been taken to account for statistical variation, care should be taken whenever considering or using this information. There will usually be differences between forecast or projected and actual results, because events and circumstances frequently do not occur as expected or predicted, and those differences may be material. Any estimates or projections will only take into account information available to KPMG up to the date of this report and so findings may be affected by new information. Events may have occurred since these articles were prepared, which may impact on them and their findings.

The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity.

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