Freedom and surveillance. The world in a hundred years.

Illustration Susanne Gold/ Text Jörg Puma

Life in 2121 years is different.

There is an extensive freedom. However, it is restricted by extensive surveillance. But the freedom to choose a suitable home. – From the overabundance of beautiful homes. As well as lifestyle, place of residence and state. And the freedom to choose the ideal job, with employers desperately looking for workers. With an attractive salary and plenty of free time.

The average working time is 20 hours per week.

This extensive freedom will shape the lifestyle of the working population in a hundred years’ time. How did it come about, what happened? In a hundred years, the world population will have fallen to just 7 billion, with a further downward trend, having previously risen to a maximum of 11 billion.

The trend towards overpopulation has reversed.

The shrinking of the human race was a conscious decision. This is because in the emerging countries, too, increasing education, sexual education, digital networking, medical progress and, in particular, the idealization of the Western lifestyle have led to a growing middle class and a significant drop in the birth rate.

What started in South Korea and Singapore eventually reached Africa.

Young, educated urban singles founded fewer families, married couples deliberately remained childless or had only one child, causing the reproduction rate of the population below 1 to drop.

This trend was already apparent at the beginning of the 21st century, when the birth rate in urban, education-oriented societies fell drastically. Between 2010 and 2020, South Korea invested over 300 million dollars in measures designed to motivate the population to have more children again. However, the bundle of all measures such as child benefits, better compatibility of work and family, free kindergartens, paid parental leave, etc. remained without success and the birth rate continued to fall.

Singapore’s family ministry invested in singles exchanges, salsa classes and promoted “National Nights”, where couples were supposed to have sex. We don’t know the results in detail, but it hasn’t done anything for population growth.

The demographic challenge has led to an increase in the proportion of pensioners in the population, in some cases well over 40%.

Ageing and poverty in old age are the other side of the coin of the freedom of choice of the working population. Care and household robots are now taking over a significant part of the services of an ageing society.

Teachers, educators and kindergarten teachers were offered retraining as geriatric nurses. The schools and universities, some of which are empty, are being converted for the secondary and tertiary education of increasingly healthy pensioners. The economy has had to undergo a sustained change due to the shortage of workers.

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