How different will the world be 20 years from now?
1. Transportation - There will be flying cars
The means of moving humans from one place to another will be revolutionized. Fleeted, self-driving cars will whisk us where we want to go for short trips. Flying personal mobility vehicles will take us on medium length trips. Traffic will be a thing of the past.
2. Health care - There's a cure for everything!
Personalized medicine will fundamentally change the heath care system. A series of seamless devices attached to our toothbrushes and toilets will monitor our health on an hour-by-hour basis. Drugs based on our personal genome will cure most of what ails us.
3. Climate - Baby, it's hot outside!
The world will be approximate 1.5° C warmer than it is today.
4. Wealth - The world's first trillionaire
Global wealth will double. And then double again. The world will have its first trillionaire. It won't be Elon Musk.
5. Geopolitics - The better angels of our nature will have failed us
Not everything will be rosy. There will be more global conflict. Conflict over borders. Conflict over resources. Conflict over refugees. The world will have survived The Great Potash War of 2036, but just barely.
6. Food - The end of the age of abundance
Many of the protein staples we now take for granted will become rare delicacies. Beef will be 10x the price it is today. Chicken 5x. Wheat 3x. The rich will continue to dine on caviar and ribeyes. The poor will... eat cake (made from processed flour).
7. Energy - The age of the atom
The first grid scale commercial fusion reactors will have been deployed. After an initial period of apprehension, global demand will soar as the benefits of this cheap and reliable energy source will be too obvious to ignore. This will lead to the gradual decrease in the price of electricity as nuclear replaces the last of the coal turbines, then gas, then eventually most wind and solar.
8. AI -> Smart everything
Silicon chips will be in everything and we will be in the age of smart everything. Smart clothes, smart blenders, smart toilets, smart beds, smart jewelry, smart cars, smart supply chains.
9. Politics - Well, not smart everything...
Donald Trump Jr. will have completed his second term as President of the United States, having survived impeachment in his first term, but not his second. Vice President Bristol Palin will be her party's nominee for the 2044 election.