By Chris Illing
Investors are buying the future on stock exchanges worldwide. Let us look into the possibly important developments and sectors for the next decade. The COVID- 19 pandemic is dividing the economy into an old and a new world. We see the following trends up to 2030 that could provide opportunities for investors:
Food: Vegetarian food is becoming standard
A diet without animal products could already be the rule in 2030. According to a 2020 study, only around two percent of Americans eat vegetarian and around 0.5 percent are vegan - but the trend is upwards. The proportion doubled during the COVID-19 crisis. Artificially-produced meat, refined with flavourings, could be part of our lives in 2030. Insects could also be part of the future diet as a supplier of animal protein. They can recycle waste and serve as animal feed, for example. In 2030, real meat will be frowned upon - and will only be accepted on special occasions. Future technologies in this area could be new protein sources, indoor agriculture and white biotechnology. The latter uses living cells - from yeast, moulds, bacteria and plants - and enzymes to synthesise products that are easily degradable, require less energy and create less waste during their production.
Health: Digital Health in daily life
Digital tools are already part of our preventive healthcare in 2021, and will become the new norm by 2030. Apple Health users can already track their resting heart rate, their sleep and running distance, while various apps advertise the early detection of heart attacks and strokes. Maybe health trackers will soon be able to call 911 if they detect questionable patterns. Expect some insane changes and developments. Important technologies for the future of medicine could include gene sequencing, individualised medicine and cancer therapies, plus the development and production of human antibodies for the treatment of dangerous diseases.
Mobility: Get in and go
Self-driving cars, such as those developed by Tesla, VW, BMW and many others, should also be allowed on worldwide roads within the next ten years. It was not until May 2021 that the German government passed a law that allows autonomous level four cars - at this level, the technical systems drive independently - to drive on certain routes.
The second big topic in terms of mobility are electric vehicles (EVs). They will account for more than 90 percent of new registrations in 2030. E-mobility also plays a major role in achieving the climate goals. In the UK, the number of electric cars sold last month neared the figures for the whole of 2019, with panic-buying at the petrol pumps expected to accelerate consumer appetite to switch to cleaner vehicles. Nearly 33,000 pure electric cars were registered in a record month for EVs, almost 50 percent more than last year, as sales of new cars otherwise tumbled to the weakest September total for more than two decades.
Hydrogen cars could also be added. In the future, hydrogen could be used to store electricity, as fuel for large vehicles, and as a chemical reagent. The self-driving car and drones could therefore be decisive mobility topics of the future.
Work: Virtual Office
Working from the home office has long become part of everyday life for many employees in the COVID- 19 pandemic. While just four percent worked from home before the crisis, it was a full 27 percent in the first lockdown last April. Employees are now returning to the office in many places. The home office is unlikely to disappear entirely - it will remain an important part.
Along comes the rise of the virtual Boardroom, while companies such as Zoom and Team Viewer soared to new heights during the pandemic.
Culture: Music and movies in the home theatre
The melody and fine tuning for music, as well as the story and adaptation of movies, all of this could be produced automatically in the future. Music and movies will come entirely from the computer in 2030. Artificial intelligence plays an important role in this. America, Japan and China are leaders in this development. The movie, Demon Slayer, was the most successful animated movie at the Japanese box office in 2020, generating revenue of more than 40 billion Japanese yen. The movie became the highest-grossing Japanese movie to date.
Finance: Banks, Online trading and insurance are joining the digital revolution
From banks to insurance companies, all of this could be much more digital in the next decade. Promising technologies in this area could be cryptocurrencies and blockchain, and promising investments include Visa and Coinbase. The rise of the online trading companies became unstoppable during COVID. The global market for online trading platforms is set to gain impetus from the rising integration of artificial intelligence trading platform solutions. Chatbots help users to receive market estimations, data about the trader’s notifications, account reports, real-time estimates and generic FAQs (frequently asked questions).
Labour: Robots are shifting the workforce
In 2030, robots could be a much more central part of the workforce and cause a real upheaval. “We’re running out of unskilled work because it’s done by robots,” predict experts in the labour market. The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to innovate, including using workplace robots. From telepresence capabilities to UV disinfection, mobile robots empowered people and provided business value. But even as the infection fades, their use will continue and expand.