Most of the major companies and tech unicorns are currently building the foundation for 2035 in what is called the digital transformation. In my opinion the digital transformation is all about preparing yourself for a role in a new virtual world. A world where interaction between humans, machines and animals is based on data. Where every decision and action are processed and executed by a machine based on huge amounts of data.

Music, movies and the news are already eaten but towards 2035, many more will follow. Education is already in a blended form but will continue to grow virtual. E-sports are already growing fast, and I predict it will be on the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. 3D printing is experimental but maturing fast and should be inside every living room by 2035. A bit more on the horizon but should be able to be mainstream in 2035 are the production of food coming from a lab and intimacy simulation. Being able to touch someone who is on the other side of the world.

As a result, we will reach momentum in the debate on the rules of engagement in the virtual world in 2035. The rise of the internet and misbehaving of people on it (examples: piracy, social bullying and identity fraud / theft) has shown us that it takes time to create these new rules but looking at the success of Netflix and Spotify as the next generation content providers we should be able to cope with this challenge. The debate is currently ongoing on a continental level, all with their own perspective. As the virtual world has no boundaries, the 2035 debate will be a global debate that is acknowledged by world leaders via an agreement like the Paris climate agreement.

Some questions to answer during this period:

  • Should we allow to have different identities virtual and in reality?
  • Who is responsible to govern and protect the virtual world?
  • How do we create trust and authenticity in the virtual world?
  • How do we protect one another in the virtual world?

The journey towards 2035 will be a huge opportunity for modern world travelers to accompany the techies in the creation and exploration of this new virtual world. An exciting journey where the real world needs a virtual equivalent if we want to solve the major challenges that lie ahead looking at the climate change, growing population and food and water shortage. And these challenges will seek answers towards 2035.


My contribution to the Digitopia research of Frank Buytendijk and Bettina Tratz-Ryan from Gartner. The request?

Write a story, between 300 and 500 words, about what life will look like in the digital world of 2035. Far out enough to trigger your imagination, but not Star Trek yet. There are no rules, the story can be about anything.

Feel free to contribute yours: