Meaty vegan food, sofa volunteering and the end of the world wide web among 2017 predictions

2017 will be the year the internet becomes the ‘splinternet’, plant butchery will hit the mainstream and people will start volunteering from the comfort of their sofa, according to a new list of  predictions published today by Nesta, the innovation foundation.

The full list of predictions from Nesta’s team of experts cover the giant trends, social movements and technological breakthroughs which are set shape our lives in 2017. This year’s predictions are characterised by growing scepticism of the place of technology in our lives and an awareness that education is our most powerful tool  in the face of job automation.

Geoff Mulgan, CEO of Nesta comments: “The world is full of surprises, and 2016 defied many expectations. But the rise of populist politics shouldn’t have surprised anyone, any more than the escalating debate about automation and jobs. All the signs were there to be seen. That’s why we at Nesta encourage prediction each year, partly to better understand what may happen, but more importantly to focus on what possibilities should be encouraged rather than discouraged.”

Predictions for 2017: 

End of the World Wide Web

To fight the growing threat of cybercrime and cyberterrorism, in 2017 countries and regions will increasingly create their own decentralised versions of the internet. Could the rise of the ‘Splinternet’ herald the end of the open network we’ve come to know and rely on?

Veganism gets bloodthirsty 

A new wave of ‘plant butchers’ are using vegetables to create steaks, salamis and even ribs that feel, taste and even bleed like actual meat. The best thing? They’ll be healthier, more sustainable and just as delicious as the real deal.

Charity begins at home, literally

A busy life, squeezed incomes and unsociable working hours make it hard for people to volunteer in their communities. But new apps and online tools now makes it possible to volunteer your time, money and even data from the comfort of your sofa.

Artists and curators will begin to embrace the VR technology that is transforming gaming, bringing it into their artwork and exhibitions. The next year will see the barrier between the virtual and visual will become increasingly blurred giving us new sensory ways to experience art.

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