Roundtable: What will the world look like in 2030?
- July 1, 2021: Vol. 8, Number 7

Roundtable: What will the world look like in 2030?

by contributing executives

Laura Sexton, assistant vice president-research and diligence, iCapital Network

The world will be older than ever in 2030. According to the UN, by 2030 the number of people aged 65 and over will outnumber children under the age of nine for the first time in history. So, while innovations in the roaring 1920s and the decades around it helped expand our longevity, innovations in the 2020s and beyond should focus on improving our “healthspan,” or the number of healthy years in our total longevity. Proactive healthcare is a large part of the equation, but also designing communities and the workplace with a focus on access, flexibility and connectivity.


Erik Hayden, founder and CEO, Urban Catalyst

I can only speak about my community, and San Jose in 2030 will be a dramatically different city than it is today. The downtown area will have benefited greatly from revitalization efforts that will turn it into a vibrant, thriving destination for people wanting to live and play in an exciting urban environment. Residents and visitors alike will enjoy an active retail streetscape lined with flower shops and open-air cafes. And our city will have helped address the housing crisis that’s enveloped all of California, and especially Silicon Valley, through the development of multifamily residential and student housing.


Courtland Warren, facilitator and corporate trainer

The agile, authentic and bold organization that views itself as a catalyst for client transformation will lead in what I like to call “the next normal.” Technology will make the world seem smaller — yet tried-and-true principles will remain. The human desire to create a life that matters is timeless. Your clients will insist on emotional intelligence. This is your differentiator. Are you ready?  Purely transactional relationships and providers who offer them are doomed to extinction. Perhaps nothing will provide more dynamic value than empathy and the ability to see the world through the eyes of your clients.


Aaron Halfacre, CEO, Modiv Inc.

At first blush, 2030 feels like the distant future, but nine years ago, for some reason, doesn’t feel like the distant past. Reflecting upon the events since 2012 frames what I believe we could see in 2030. 1) Even greater progress in society’s efforts to promote and achieve much-needed diversity, equity and inclusion; 2) advances in wearable technology, augmented reality and further integration of our physical and digital lives continue to blur the lines of what is real and what is virtual; 3) market cycles that include irrational investor behavior with wild swings of “risk on” and “risk off” trading leading to speculative frenzies on par with tulip bulb mania of the 1600s and crypto speculation today.


Babak Ziai, founder and managing principal, BrandView Asset Management

Barring another pandemic, time spent on human experiences and social interaction will increase in proportion to human labor hours. We are synthesizing new business models and efficient work streams at the fastest pace ever. Software and media are providing the ability to work while you sleep. This has created a new generation of financial wealth and time freedom. Add in machine learning and robotic automation and we will have substantially replaced the human labor force by 2039. As a result, more time will be spent on experiences that are unique and irreplaceable in both virtual and physical reality.

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