HEALTHCARE
Healthcare has always been a vital part of human life, and its significance will only continue to grow in the future; even today we can see life expectancy growing, which means increasing attention to human health, from inception and throughout the entire life, while the attention of medical science is shifting toward age-related diseases and health support.
DNA research has launched a new era in medical science, with doctors switching from diagnosing and treating diseases of separate organs and tissues to a holistic approach to human health. As gene analysis becomes an affordable service, every patient will soon have their own "natural medical record" (his own genetic code, decoded by specialists) that they will show to their doctor at a consultation. First of all, this approach provides a boost for the development of preventive healthcare, which aims to identify and prevent potential diseases at early stages. In addition, mass treatment methods are giving way to individual therapy at the genome level. Moreover, biotechnology is already broadly applied in healthcare, such as in the development of medicines and growing of transplantable organs and tissues. Robotics is also making a contribution, as automatic devices boast better precision than human surgeons, while carefully designed robotic prostheses, apart from compensating for disabilities, may open new horizons for people.
Future medical science will enable highly accurate diagnoses throughout the life of a person and an opportunity for people to predict diseases that may affect them and their children in the future. Another benefit will be the ability to study in detail the genetic characteristics of an embryo and alter some of them to prevent lethal hereditary diseases.
CONSTRUCTION
Construction is one of the vital infrastructural branches, responsible for economic development and the everyday comfort of the population. The industry is one of the leaders in terms of jobs in the country. Meanwhile, modern construction requirements are leading to its significant transformation.
Changes in this area take a long time to happen. Nevertheless, standard and custom construction projects are beginning to utilize advanced materials to provide higher comfort, environmental safety and operational cost-efficiency (e.g. reduced energy consumption). Advanced materials enable new architectural and design solutions that were impossible to implement before.
SECURITY
Before the 1990s, security matters had been taken care of either by citizens or the government. After the 1990s, the sector developed a segment of private services that began to grow rapidly. In this section, we focus specifically on that segment, not considering national and military security and protection of citizens from crime.
Human life is becoming ever more comfortable and long-lasting. However, new threats are emerging, such as man-made and environmental disasters, new types of weapons, and cyber attacks. This raises the topicality of security issues. Advancement in information technology will lead to enhanced capabilities in security and personal protection, bringing about changes in security standards in virtual worlds as well as in real life. Fewer and fewer security functions will be entrusted to humans, while more will be entrusted to smart systems of monitoring, analysis and automatic control.
Advanced security systems will require new methods of legislative control, professional standards, and technical regulations. More independent companies will appear with large numbers of specialists qualified in risk management. Demand will emerge for services to assess and design personal security in various conditions. For example, a person will be able to consult a security specialist before going to a jungle or a metropolis with high crime rates.
In the increasingly complex and volatile world, various personal security devices will gain wide acceptance. For example, there are already bicycle helmets with sensors able to respond to an accident and send a signal to the emergency ward, jackets with built-in radio stations and GPS navigators for mountain climbers and micro pepper-spray cans for iPhones. Also, technical means will be designed to enhance the professional capabilities of security service specialists, such as sandals with extendable flippers for beach lifeguards, or exoskeletons for firefighters. Moreover, people will receive help from robots, such as the swimming robot Seascout that can track a drowning person by GPS.
In the distant future, security systems will become proactive, eliminating the potential causes of emergency before it happens. For example, a special system will analyze street camera footage in real time and recognize the signs of unlawful actions. In 2014, Knightscope produced robots for patrolling city streets. They are programmed to notice unusual behavior of people and vehicles and notify the control centre accordingly. They are equipped with sensors to recognize smells and measure temperature. In addition, they can memorize up to 300 license plates in a minute, thereby contributing to traffic control. In the future, they will help minimize violations in the physical world, while surveillance systems will promptly identify any offender.
AVIATION
Aircraft can quickly carry people and cargoes to enormous distances and reach areas inaccessible for road transport, which is invaluable in the case of Russia's vast distances. Historically, our country used to be one of the leaders in aircraft construction and air transportation, but lost this status. However, the sector has been recovering lately, including segments of small aircraft systems, regional airports, etc. Substantial technological breakthroughs are expected in the area, which will have ever-increasing importance in the future.
Air transportation will become more affordable and diverse. General aviation is developing fast, and within 10 to 15 years, aircraft may appear that will be cost comparable in price to automobiles. In 2012, the Finnish aircraft engineer Aki Suokas presented a prototype of the 70 kg single seat aircraft FlyNano, able to rise to 3,000 meters, moving at a speed of 140 km/h. The device is not for sale yet, but can be pre-ordered for EUR35,000.
In addition, unmanned aviation will also progress rapidly. Cities will use unmanned aircraft to deliver cargoes, for construction, or to monitor traffic and security. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created the SkyCall quadcopter to help people find their way in unknown locations. Whenever lost, you can use your smartphone to ask the drone for assistance. Russia has been the first country to use quadcopters for pizza delivery, with the company Copter Express offering the service to its clients.
The airship segment will also gain a second life, with new airships using advanced technology, which will be used in hard-to-reach areas (e.g. to extinguish forest fires and deliver cargoes). Intensifying air traffic will require new and improved ground control systems. This will impose new requirements on infrastructure construction and intelligent control support systems.
The aircraft construction industry is undergoing changes as well. First of all, the application of composite materials allows manufacturers to reduce the weight and increase the durability of aircraft. For example, half of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is made of composites. Other important factors will be the advance of intelligent control systems (in particular for large craft, such as cargo planes), active threat protection systems, as well as the use of biofuels and transition to electric engines.
ART AND CULTURE
Culture is one of the oldest spheres of human activity, though it has gradually become a prerogative of a tight circle of professionals. However, with routine operations performed by machines, more and more people will engage in creative activities and produce their own works of art. This change will be driven by the affordability of graphic technologies (special photo filters for iPhone allow creating artistic photos in real time, and Garage Band software can replace a recording studio), as well as by the fuzziness of artistic criteria. On one hand, this is a good trend, because in the 21st century, a talented author can find an audience easier than ever. On the other hand, it is hard not to get lost in the enormous stream of creative products, and even harder to define art as such. A need arises for individual media filters to help the user to avoid being drowned by streams of data. In addition, a connoisseur may require personalized search algorithms and tutors to help him/her build their own trajectory of aesthetic perception and cognition.
Technological progress may bring humankind to new levels of art perception and creativity. We will be able to create complicated artistic objects using 3D printers, robots and neural interfaces, as well as to learn to better control our artistic states. The expanding virtual space is enabling some artists to move entirely to digital worlds, creating new and unexpected forms. For example, employees of Blizzard Entertainment have started their own metal band in World of Warcraft. Players can visit its concerts in respective localities, or, subject to obtaining certain artifacts, turn into a guitarist of the band for 12 seconds.
We are now witnessing a withdrawal from traditional ways of how art engages the spectator, with interactive formats used more and more often. Already, there are interactive books for iPad. Immersive theater is also gaining popularity, erasing the division between the stage and the auditorium, with the spectator involved in the act to the fullest possible degree. The most remarkable example is the British theater PunchDrunk with more than 20 conspicuous projects, including Sleep No More, based on the works of Shakespeare and Hitchcock. Before the performance, the different scenes of which take place in 44 rooms on 4 floors, spectators are required to put on white masks and then choose the order in which to travel through the performance.
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EDUCATION
Information technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. Changes occurring in the sector open up new and seemingly incredible opportunities in other areas such as design, transportation, staff and resource management, marketing, and education.
A number of significant processes are now happening in the IT sector. To begin with, telecommunication solutions provide links between various parts of the world. The volume of data transmitted over networks is increasing, leading to the improvement of data processing solutions. The industry is going to be revolutionized by Big Data, which will help solve the problems of early diagnosis, or create computer systems for simultaneous interpreting, taking into account all linguistic peculiarities.
Also, digital solutions are becoming increasingly mobile and user-friendly. With almost every family owning a laptop computer and every other person on the planet using a smartphone, in ten years' time every urban citizen will have at least five or six interconnected wearable gadgets, e.g. augmented reality glasses, a fitness bracelet, and a smartphone with a smart wallet feature. Gadgets will take care of your athletic shape and daily regimen, help you organize your timetable, and suggest an optimal solution in various situations, e.g. where to have breakfast in a given part of town based on your dietary preferences, or what to do in the evening when you are in a particular mood.
Growing data volumes will call for new security systems, data filtering and protection tools, not least because the proliferation of cloud-based systems increases the dangers of a data leak. Within the next 10 years, technologies will appear for precise identification of Internet users, with each and every click tracked. Technologies from science fiction and spy films will become a reality. The user of a device will be identified not only by his/her fingerprints or with a retina scan, but also through a DNA test. This will lead to deanonymization and total transparency, which, on one hand, will have a dramatic effect on Internet behaviour, and on the other, will cause protests and calls for anonymity.
Technologies will develop for checking data traffic integrity and information reliability, and verifying its sources. Demand will arise for insurance institutions providing protection against risks related to virtual environments, as well as for consulting agencies dealing with user security and image on the Internet. With many documents (even identification cards) gradually translated into electronic form, personal data may come under threat of total loss due to hacking attacks or system failures, which calls for new data protection solutions.
TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
The Soviet Union had a fairly developed system of domestic tourism, supported by the closed nature of the country, but the situation has changed for the worse in the industry since 1991. On the other hand, a large segment of outbound tourism has emerged, enabling Russian people to see foreign countries. Modern hospitality practices began to appear only in the early 1990s, including high-quality hotels, restaurants offering good cuisine, entertainment clubs, and other services for tourists. Hospitality remains an industry with substantial growth potential, driven by both Russian travelers and foreign visitors. Growth opportunities exist, first of all, outside metropolises (Moscow and Saint Petersburg), in large industrial centres, small towns with а historical past, and natural preserves.
The development of transportation systems and increasing mobility allow travelers to reach their destinations faster and easier. This will pose new challenges for the tourism and hospitality sector, resulting from the growing number of tourists and their demands.
The sector is among the first to show a tendency for reducing the number of intermediaries between customers and services. This is why many mainstream services will gradually become simpler and automated, with integrated transportation systems and fare tickets, logistic tools for individual trips, automated control rooms for synchronizing individual public transport, service robots, electronic guides and simultaneous interpreting devices. Many jobs in the segment will become endangered, with a significant share of business taken up by machines. Already, hotels are replacing their human employees with robots. For example, the Yotel hotel in New York has a special luggage-toting robot, while the staff of the Chinese Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel consists entirely of robots, from the doorkeepers to the waiters.
MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT
In the 20th century, mass media became a principal means of communications and its objective was to provide people with as much information as possible on what is going on in the world. In the current 21st century, this role is changing, entailing the need to restrict information streams. Responding to this need, media resources are gradually turning from unique news sources into powerful filters, highlighting important messages and helping one become familiar with the agenda.
Even now, a user can set up a feed to read certain pages, or filter information on social networks using special add-ons. However, the convenience of such settings still leaves much to be desired. In the future, users will be able to create their own information streams and define their editing principles. Media software, such as search engines, information sorters and processors capable of creating customized information packages for users, will provide increasingly greater assistance in the sector. Moreover, computer services will develop for automatic translation, speech recognition, search, extraction, and sorting and processing of data (e.g. transformation of source data into complete news pieces, infographics, or text notes). However, mass media will retain its role, as many users will use standard settings, not wanting to influence what they get.
The notions of information objectivity and expertness will grow blurry, as the number of sources is growing too fast, making it practically impossible to assess their quality. This is why ordinary users will start switching to a more competent use of information. Educational curriculums will even include courses on collecting, interpreting and using data. Articles and books with advice on this topic are already popular, with examples such as Clay Johnson's The Information Diet. The skill of verifying the quality of information will become part of basic literacy, on a par with reading or simple mathematics.
BIOTECHNOLOGY
Until not long ago, the biotechnology industry had been underdeveloped in Russia, which had fallen far behind most developed industrial countries. The industry is, however, a most promising one — during the coming decades, it will develop itself and have a strong influence on other branches, such as healthcare, power engineering, basic materials, urban and rural economy. Biotechnology provides living systems to solve the various problems of humankind. Commitment to a maximum possible level of environmental safety, development of genetic engineering, and the possibility of simulating many natural processes on a computer have brought modern science to the verge of very promising discoveries: new energy sources and organic electronics, biodegradable materials and gene reprogramming. Biotechnology often helps to find new solutions across industries, e.g. when power engineers and microbiologists are working on a biofuel together.
AGRICULTURE
The growing world population, which may increase by another two billion people by 2050, requires increasingly more food. For the humankind to avoid a global famine, as the one depicted in the science fiction film Interstellar, the agricultural sector will have to address a number of serious challenges.
First, the climate is changing, and agricultural technologies will have to adapt to new seasonal and weather conditions, including possible droughts, floods, and abrupt temperature changes. Another major problem is soil exhaustion. A solution may be found through aerobic restoration, which is a technology for saturating the soil with aerobic bacteria.
In addition, crop-farming diversity is declining: there are fewer new species of crops every year, with existing ones becoming extinct. This entails a need for deep research in artificial selection. GMO technologies allow for the breeding of new species with predetermined properties. For example, leading specialists are now working to create perennial grain crops that will help to reduce erosion, the fuel expenses of harvesters, and the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
ADVANCED MATERIALS AND NANOTECHNOLOGY
Technological progress is almost palpable now, as we are not only using traditional materials more efficiently, but are also creating new ones, with preset parameters. This allows a dramatic improvement of product quality, mainly in the aerospace industry, mechanical engineering, and construction.
Material science has been revolutionized by composite materials, or compound heterogeneous materials consisting of a reinforcing component and a matrix and offering improved strength, weight and plasticity. Composites will pose a serious threat to traditional material branches, such as ferrous metallurgy.
In addition to plastic and metal-based composites, which we have grown accustomed to, glass-based composites are also gaining popularity. In the future, composite structures can be embedded with "smart components" (microchips and controllers) allowing the user to change the properties of rooms and equipment to their liking. This will lead to the emergence of active environments, i.e. working, living and studying areas controlled by intelligent systems or the user, depending on the mood or the task at hand. For example, for a yoga session, you can select a more neutral color for the walls; for child's play, make the walls softer and soften out the corners; for a party, you can cool down the room and turn on embedded bright backlights. Smart rooms can adapt to various weather conditions by adjusting temperature and light intensity.
Another most significant invention is 3D printing, i.e. the use of special compounds to reproduce any object, whether a computer circuit board, musical instrument, weapon, or prosthesis. The technology can be applied, among others, in the transport industry. For example, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September 2014, the U.S.-based Local Motors invited visitors to see the creation of Strati, the first, functioning car ever produced with a 3D printer. The process took 44 hours to complete. Although the electric engine, seats, wheels, tires and the windshield had to be manufactured by traditional methods, 3D printing drastically reduced the number of parts and time of assembly. According to the company's CEO John Rogers, very soon, two people will be able to assemble a complete car in less than an hour.
SPACE
In spite of the general fascination with Star Wars and the dreams of inhabiting distant planets, the popularity of the space sector has been declining over the past decade, which is quite logical, since there have been no significant breakthroughs in the area, and with enough urgent problems on Earth. However, the sector is now at a turning point due to the first successes of the private space sector. From a terra incognita open only to intrepid pioneers, space is gradually turning into a commercial sector, which is opening broad opportunities for creating private businesses, e.g. providing support for satellite launches and probes.
Private rocket launches are already cheaper than for traditional rockets. Investors from Silicon Valley are seriously discussing the prospects of Mars colonization. In 2013, they started a global screening of astronauts for a colonization mission to Mars, named Mars One. The screening will continue until 2015. In 2023, after a long training course and a whole year en route, the first crew of four is expected to land on the Red Planet. A new group will arrive every two years and the population of the colony should increase to 20 people by 2035. NASA, together with DARPA, is going to send a manned ship to other star systems within the next century.
The sector intensively uses paperless workflow, building complete digital models of items with all the connections between their components. Digital modelling of behaviour of a whole aircraft is performed in various conditions, as well as interaction between its components under various exposures. An increasingly greater number of components and aggregates are produced without human involvement.
Within the next 20 years, space tourism may become one of the most promising branches of the space industry. In 2007, Virgin Galactic started selling tickets to its SpaceShip Two, a private travel ship, which can fly at altitudes of over 100 km. The programme has not started yet, but should be launched in the near future.
ROAD TRANSPORT
People travel more and more every year, enhancing the role of the transport industry. We travel short and long distances more frequently and impose more stringent requirements on the speed, comfort and cost efficiency of our journeys. In Russia, road transport has traditionally ensured the unity of our immense country, although there has not been much change in the industry in the past decade. Nevertheless, global competition will force Russia to adopt new methods of road construction and transport management.
Intelligent systems are becoming an essential part of transport infrastructure, both in terms of traffic management and vehicle control. Computers are taking over logistics. Unmanned vehicles will soon appear on the roads, safer and more predictable than traditional ones. According to Google estimates, they will bring about a 90% reduction in the number of road accidents, fuel expenses and overall traffic volume, as well as allow the driver to read a book or watch a movie instead of having to watch the road all the time.
Materials and surfaces are becoming intelligent, along with the hardware: adaptive road surfaces (equipped with sensors and solar panels), lightweight heavy-duty structures and high-tech lining for vehicles and carriages are already in use. Smart roads will replace map-making services by directly transmitting information about the traffic situation ahead (jams, ice, accidents, etc.) to drivers. This will enable more effective route planning and timely decision making. It is an ideal solution, taking into account the anticipated proliferation of unmanned vehicles.
POWER GRIDS AND POWER MANAGEMENT
If electricity is the blood of the economy, then power grids are the circulation system. The world is growing in complexity, with increasing requirements for power grids and demand for respective jobs.
The key changes in power grids and power consumption are linked with smart grid technologies. These are grids with intelligent control systems that allow, based on the power consumption level in a building/office (precisely determined by equipment, lights and electric sockets), for the setting of optimal operation modes (e.g. washing clothes at night, when power rates are lower). They can also quickly respond to any problems (e.g. voltage surges), thereby preventing damage to equipment, and automatically recover after a breakdown.
These technologies reduce losses in power delivery systems and make power delivery more reliable and increase continuity. They can also help consumers choose an energy supplier and manage consumption and spending. In addition, users who own their own micro generators may have surplus power to sell.
Another trend is the evolution of distributed generation. A total blackout is a favourite device of writers in disaster films: insidious hackers or natural calamities disrupt power mains and a whole city falls into darkness. Distributed power allows for the prevention of such a scenario, as local accidents in separate grid sections will not lead to global implications. Developed countries have put it on their active agendas as far back as the 2000s: in particular, the USA passed a law offering considerable benefits to small electricity producers after a major accident in the power system on the north-east of the USA and in Canada in 2003. The share of centrally produced electricity has been declining since then. There are no equivalent initiatives in Russia yet, but as companies lack funds to upgrade the mains, distributed power may become a topical issue in Russia in the near future, creating a need for respective specialties.
WATER TRANSPORT
Water transport has been vital in Russian history, providing communication between different regions and rich trading opportunities (Volga trade route connected Scandinavia with the Arab caliphate, and the route from the Varangians to the Greeks connected it with Byzantium). Although in the past years the role of water transport reduced to a certain extent, it remains an important part of the transportation industry, especially in freight forwarding. If the intensive use of the Northern Sea Route (the shortest route between Russia's European region and the Far East) is resumed, it will probably revitalize the industry, and the Russian water transport will regain its significant role in shipping between Europe and Asia.
A multimodal system is advancing in sea transportation (shipment of cargoes under a single contract, using different modes of transportation, e.g. by railway and sea). Intelligent management systems are applied, along with the introduction of new fuels and advanced materials.
METALLURGY
Metallurgy is one of the key branches in Russia, with strong traditions and high inertia. Growing global competition in the sector will lead to dramatic changes driven by a turn toward environmentally safer production processes, equipment replacement, and technological process quality. Industry standards will gradually shift in the direction of "white" metallurgy, the principles of which are already being introduced at the Chelyabinsk Pipe Plant.
Production processes will more often use methods ensuring minimal environmental impact, which, in some cases, will enable a transition from two-stage metal production (processing, smelting) to a one-stage process (extracting metal directly from the ore). Metal production waste will be directed to other production lines (primarily acids, alkali, and sulfur).
The sizes of metal-making facilities will change as well. Instead of huge complexes, medium-sized facilities will be constructed, with higher flexibility and improved quality control. Mobile facilities will appear that will produce special metals, moving to wherever metal demand is high, e.g. major construction sites.
Customers will also review their requirements for metal products. In particular, the need to reduce the weight of a structure while preserving its strength is reducing demand for traditional products in the sector, such as sheet metal, pipes, bars, slabs, etc. They are being replaced with advanced materials such as plastics and composites, including, carbon fibre, metal composites, metal ceramics, etc.).
On the other hand, we will see a growth in demand for new products, such as nanopowders and complex alloys. The share of biometallurgy (extracting metals from low-grade ore using microorganisms, bringing about substantial cost reductions) will grow. Precision alloy (metals with preset properties, such as elasticity, fusibility, conductivity, etc.) production will expand.
Production processes will become more automated and robotized. Some blue-collarjobs in metallurgy (there are over 500 of them now) will decline (become endangered), giving way to versatile equipment operators. At the same time, workers will perform increasingly fewer physical operations, eventually switching to remote process control (sometimes even without being present at the facility).
LIGHT INDUSTRY
Light industry has a rather unfortunate history in Russia. It had never been a priority in the Soviet era, while in the 1990s, production volumes dropped fivefold. Although the sector is still very backward in terms of productivity, it has seen slight recovery owing to the emergence of small niche companies producing clothes, footwear and accessories. In the future, some of them are likely to achieve considerable success, having learned to predict global fashion trends and mastered advanced management techniques.
What trends will drive the development of the industry in the coming years?
Natural fabrics, such as linen, cotton, viscose and others, are growing more expensive and are therefore being replaced with advanced synthetic materials. Demand is rising for high-tech smart fabrics (self-cleaning, fluorescent, or those that accumulate solar energy). Spaniard Manel Torres has invented a spray-on fabric, which is sprayed over the body from a can. Italian designer Mauro Taliani made a shirt with "shape memory", which changes sleeve length depending on the weather and the wearer's body temperature. Clothing items are often fused with wearable gadgets, from snowboarder jackets with built-in radios to T-shirts with displays and mp3 players. The future will also have demand for fabrics made of custom-grown natural materials with preset properties, such as special GMO linen for crease-resistant fabrics.
Another trend is the personalization of clothes and development of small-scale production. Custom online tailors and stores are also appearing where a user can choose the color of a shirt or jeans, or have a shirt made to a specific order, after choosing the material and design and submitting their measurements. Development does not stop here. As 3D printing is growing cheaper, a 3D printer will appear in almost every home in the foreseeable future. After downloading a drawing from the Internet, you can print out a smartphone case or a plastic souvenir. Professional designers even create entire clothing and footwear collections using this technology. With increasingly cheaper production processes, intellectual property will be of the highest value, with fashion-obsessed people chasing the latest 3D drawings. To get new clothes, you will only have to visit the website of your favourite brand or designer, buy a cartridge with the necessary material, and download the 3D model of the dress you like. Then you can take the model to the nearest automated tailor shop, upload it into a decoding terminal, and adjust the future dress to your size in a virtual fitting room. After that, the dress will be made by an automated production line. Prototypes of such devices already exist.
CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Children's products and services play an important part in the life of a society: the games children play now will influence their future interests, values and perception of the world around them. This means that every item intended for children must be designed primarily as an educational product containing a game component.
The children's industry has not been an industry in itself until lately. Children's furniture was made by furniture producers, children's clothes were made by light industry, and children's food was produced by the food industry. This often led to a situation where children's needs were simply neglected by producers. The sector was recognized by the state as an independent industry only in 2013.
Several important processes are now happening in the area. The first is mediatization, with 90% of products being made are based on long multi-character stories (e.g. cartoon series). Media characters shape the notions of values and behavioral standards in children's minds. For example, every episode of the Smeshariki series deals with a difficult situation that a child may face in his life.
Second, the current most successful strategy is to create long-lasting educational products (i.e. existing in different media: comic books, cartoons, computer games, toys), growing together with the child and helping him meet new challenges. For example, Lego products follow a path from simpler parts and scenarios to those more complicated, with the child able to play with construction sets as well as online games, or watch a feature film with his favourite characters.
IT SECTOR
Information technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. Changes occurring in the sector open up new and seemingly incredible opportunities in other areas such as design, transportation, staff and resource management, marketing, and education.
A number of significant processes are now happening in the IT sector. To begin with, telecommunication solutions provide links between various parts of the world. The volume of data transmitted over networks is increasing, leading to the improvement of data processing solutions. The industry is going to be revolutionized by Big Data, which will help solve the problems of early diagnosis, or create computer systems for simultaneous interpreting, taking into account all linguistic peculiarities.
Also, digital solutions are becoming increasingly mobile and user-friendly. With almost every family owning a laptop computer and every other person on the planet using a smartphone, in ten years' time every urban citizen will have at least five or six interconnected wearable gadgets, e.g. augmented reality glasses, a fitness bracelet, and a smartphone with a smart wallet feature. Gadgets will take care of your athletic shape and daily regimen, help you organize your timetable, and suggest an optimal solution in various situations, e.g. where to have breakfast in a given part of town based on your dietary preferences, or what to do in the evening when you are in a particular mood.
Growing data volumes will call for new security systems, data filtering and protectiontools, not least because the proliferation of cloud-based systems increases the dangers of a data leak. Within the next 10 years, technologies will appear for precise identification of Internet users, with each and every click tracked. Technologies from science fiction and spy films will become a reality. The user of a device will be identified not only by his/her fingerprints or with a retina scan, but also through a DNA test. This will lead to deanonymization and total transparency, which, on one hand, will have a dramatic effect on Internet behaviour, and on the other, will cause protests and calls for anonymity.
ROBOTICS AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
The ideas that had for long seemed to belong to science fiction may materialize in the near future, as robot manufacturing techniques have grown substantially cheaper, arousing great interest in intelligent machines. According to a study by Cisco, the number of household robots in cities doubles every nine months. In the 2020s, robots will blend with the interior of residential flats and urban areas.
Models have been created that can look after elderly people (give out medication, contact the doctor, send an SMS for an ambulance if the person suddenly falls down), assist in cooking, clean up after pets, and even fetch beer from the fridge.
Furniture and household appliances are evolving as well, with smart tables, mobile wardrobes and robotic baby strollers appearing in addition to the already popular vacuum-cleaning robot. All this makes household robotics likely to become one of the fastest-growing branches of the economy.
Industry (mechanical engineering in particular) is actively introducing new-generation robotic systems with sufficient flexibility to adjust to incoming tasks and learn in the process. Soon mechanical engineering enterprises will work according to the principle of robots making robots. Developed countries, with Russia following just behind, are building factories that are 90% automated and higher. High-tech equipment at mechanical engineering factories will become more module-based and distributed, ensuring fast assembly of new production lines. Workers at such factories will be promptly grouped and re-grouped into highly effective teams consisting of people with required knowledge and skills, able to quickly perform specific production tasks.
Robots will play a vital part in medicine. Systems are being developed to assist in complex surgeries, while robotic prostheses will allow disabled people to live full and rich lives.
Will robots take our jobs? Experts predict that machines will replace people in routine (repetitive) jobs, nudging them into creative fields (see Endangered Jobssection). Wherever there is a need for creativity, in-depth analysis or communication abilities, man is still unrivaled.complex surgeries, while robotic prostheses will allow disabled people to live full and rich lives.
Will robots take our jobs? Experts predict that machines will replace people in routine (repetitive) jobs, nudging them into creative fields (see Endangered Jobssection). Wherever there is a need for creativity, in-depth analysis or communication abilities, man is still unrivaled.
SOCIAL SECTOR
The traditionally conservative sector of public and social services has undergone profound transformations with the advancement of information technology. However, this is just the beginning of a long journey.
First of all, the services are becoming more transparent. One can report a problem (e.g. a bad road or lack of street lighting) in a public online space and get a report on its solution at the same place. Users can also track the progress of a reform and post their comments.
Secondly, citizens are provided an opportunity to become involved in the administration of regions and territories and participate in tackling specific social issues. This includes initiatives coming from authorities, as well as independent organizations of people willing to implement an idea, e.g. the volunteer project Lisa Alert to find missing people, or Brother for Sister, a volunteer movement of men walking women home after dark. Problem solving has also become more targeted, with the possibility of providing aid to a particular disabled person or economically disadvantaged family.
Finally, society is altering its approach to people with disabilities, with information technology enabling the latter to be fully involved in social activities. For example, blind and visually impaired people can work and communicate on the Internet using special software and Braille displays, while people with limited mobility can imagine themselves dancing with the help of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
ENERGY GENERATION AND STORAGE
Electricity, quite naturally, has long been perceived as the "blood of the economy". Our dependence on this branch will only increase with the growing number of devices around.
The nuclear power industry will become one of the symbols of the new environmentally conscious society, as it can ensure stable electricity prices and minimal impact on the environment, avoiding carcinogenic and greenhouse gas emissions, or the specific adverse effect of coal and oil fuel power plants that still occupy a significant share of the traditional power market. The number of power plants in the world will increase, and their safety will be greatly improved. Advanced technologies will be utilized to reduce nuclear waste.
At the same time, private alternative energy (micro wind generators, solar panels, etc.) will also develop. According to European Commission estimates, 2.8 million jobs will be created in the European renewable energy sector by 2020. Even now, wind generators produce 28% of Denmark's electricity, while 7% of Germany's electric power is provided by solar panels.
This will lead to people across the globe producing their own power and redistributing or selling the surplus (see Power Grids and Power Consumption Management). Power generation, transfer and storage processes will eventually become automated, requiring little or no human involvement. The power supply principle of mobile devices, which are a part of our everyday life, will also change, with a large portion of energy to be transmitted from the body of the user via generators sewn into clothes and footwear.
MINING AND PROCESSING OF MINERAL RESOURCES
Russia is one of the richest countries in terms of mineral resources. That is why their extraction and processing are of great significance for our economy. Demand for mineral resources will remain quite high in the coming decades, which is why these industries will continue needing highly qualified staff. A few factors play key parts at the current stage.
First, traditional deposits of oil, gas and other resources are depleting, and production companies are forced to develop increasingly more complex fields as well as new types of resources, such as oil-bearing sand, shale gas, and offshore and deepwater fields. Deepwater drilling will be needed not only in the oil and gas industry but also for industrial mining of manganiferous iron ore and other metals.
Second, environmental requirements are increasing in the field of transporting mineral resources and field conservation. An example of an advanced and environmentally safe technology used now is the collection of methane emitted during mineral resource extraction into the pipeline to prevent gas emissions into the atmosphere. Biotechnological solutions are emerging in the industry as well, e.g. ore refining using bacteria.
Another important trend is the attempt at production cost reduction and resource efficiency. For example, methane from coalmines can be liquefied to be used as fuel. This technology will be applied primarily for production needs, e.g. to fuel dump trucks and illuminate structures, and it is especially useful at deposits with harsh climatic conditions, where shift or unmanned work methods are used.
Third, staff mobility in the sector will grow. Already, increasingly fewer specialists are prepared to move with production activities. Therefore, unmanned technologies will be used more often, with employees working remotely in virtual teams and telemetric systems. Some industries will develop with minimal numbers of staff, which will be replaced with intensive use of technology (e.g. remote healthcare). Only experts will work in shifts at such facilities.
Extraction and processing of mineral resources is a high-risk industry, which is why technologies are being developed to ensure the safety of people at production sites.
MANAGEMENT
Management is not a separate sector in itself, but professional managers are present in all sectors of the economy. Many management specialties are metasectoral, which means that professional managers can freely switch between sectors. In the future, all production processes will grow in complexity, thereby increasing demand for employees with good organizational skills . On the other hand, the automation of solutions has made a revolution in the management field. In the future, its main objective will be to find distributed management mechanisms, i.e. the capabilities of setting up and coordinating distributed and mobile teams of professionals for specific projects. More and more specialists will work remotely and part-time, investing their time and effort in several concurrent projects. Aside from that, changes in the society and in consumption habits will happen so fast that management teams will need to continuously analyze new trends.
Whereas in the past, a standard management system had the appearance of a pyramid with multiple levels of middle management, today, connections between employees are becoming increasingly horizontal, with employees gaining greater independence in decision making, while some firms are even experimenting with supervisor-free models. For example, in the U.S.- based Valve, the publisher of popular computer games such as Portal, Half-Life, Counter-Strike and Team Fortress, all 400 employees enjoy equal authority. They team up for particular projects at their discretion, without centralized management.
In the future, the key objective of management will be to find distributed management mechanisms, i.e. the capabilities of setting up and coordinating distributed and mobile teams of professionals for specific projects. More and more specialists will work remotely and part-time, investing their time and effort in several concurrent projects. Aside from that, changes in the society and in consumption habits will happen so fast that management teams will need to continuously analyze new trends.
In the 2020s, hierarchical organizations (e.g. independent producers' communities)
will play a bigger part, coordinating their sales and production plans via networks,
as well as investments in equipment and human capital.
FINANCIAL SECTOR
The financial sector is a system within an economy that helps regulate the redistribution of capital, allocating it to projects most relevant for the market . The general trend in the new economy is the reducing number of human intermediaries, which are being replaced by automated systems. For this reason, many jobs in the sector (such as accountant or clerk) are becoming endangered and will eventually disappear in the coming years.
Nevertheless, the financial sphere may offer leeway for creativity and original thinking in matters related to funding large-scale or innovative projects, risk insurance, development of new tools for retirement savings, etc. In addition, the Internet is giving birth to new financing tools, such as crowd funding and crowd investing . New, digital code-based currencies (cryptocurrencies) are appearing, with other interesting processes underway.