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Futurist uses big data to predict young people’s destinies

Futurist Phil Ruthven thinks the kids are more than alright. The founder of global economic and social market research firm IBISWorld and the newly formed Ruthven Institute has nearly 50 years of experience, as well as access to volumes of big data, to support this forecast.

Previously, the adjunct professor at UTS and member of ANU’s College of Business and Economics Advisory Board has estimated everything from the demand for candles and tinned corn, to the average length of marriages, to interest rate fluctuations. Now, he has applied this skill to young people.

His 18-chapter book, The Future for Our Kids, examines what expansive areas like education, politics, health and employment will look like for young people once they’re adults. In doing so, it purports to help them, their caregivers and their educators prepare for 2030 and beyond.

His analysis, which he vouched is the most fact-based of its kind in Australia, if not the world, is largely optimistic.

“I think it’s very sad when young marrieds tell me they don’t want to bring kids into this world,” he said.

For one, he thinks the fear about a lack of jobs isn’t true. “Today’s kids will look back on our current working ways and think that employees are almost treated like slaves, or serfs,” he posited.

“In the future, employees will be treated more like individual businesses.

“I think a revolution is coming.”

Campus Review probed Ruthven for his detailed, portentous insights. He also answered the eternal question: will the upcoming generation have it easier or harder than their forebears?

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