What’s Now, What’s NEXT highlights where Canada is now in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship, and predicts what the next 150 years will bring.
NEXT Canada asked alumni entrepreneurs and supporters across a range of industries to help create a vision of what the future could look like. Their answers give a glimpse into the future potential of a range of industries, and plot the development of what we can expect to see over the next 150 years.
NEXT Canada is a national non-profit charity that grew out of The Next 36, a program founded in 2010 by a group of visionary business leaders and academics, and is modeled loosely after the successful Own the Podium program.
Our philosophy is to invest resources on exceptional individuals with the potential to build something with global impact.
We believe in founder development - a unique blend of mentorship, education and networking that inspires driven Canadians to disrupt industries and build globally relevant companies.
Next 36 is a program that accelerates the growth of Canada’s most talented young entrepreneurs. Each year we provide mentorship, capital, and unparalleled founder development to 36 students and recent grads to help them launch their startups.
Next Founders focuses on founder development for high growth ventures. We help scale both the founder and their business through customized education taught by some of the world’s top faculty and most successful entrepreneurs.
NextAI is a global innovation hub for artificial intelligence related venture creation and technology commercialization. We identify talented teams of builders, innovators, and game changers and leverage Canada’s leadership position in AI to provide them with the capital, mentorship, and network to create big impact.
Automobiles Go Fully Autonomous
"The transportation industry has already begun to see the impact of technology. In ten years, individuality in vehicles will be obsolete, autonomous or self-driving vehicles will be the norm and electricity will be the main source of fuel."
Engaging and managing patients before, during and after leaving the hospital via web and mobile technology will be the standard of care worldwide.
The way we shop will be completely different. Retail experiences will live within chat platforms like the Chinese app, WeChat, that will see consumers chatting with bots to find and purchase items they like.
Online shopping will become increasingly popular as virtual reality will start to be used to help people touch and feel the product at home.
Go digital or die - tomorrow's winners in financial services are the institutions that reinvent themselves today.
Robots will learn to complete tasks without human involvement, becoming more efficient while costing less.
Early-stage AI will save millions of lives even before the software becomes intelligent enough to operate on its own.
As the number of deaf and hearing-impaired people increases, so will the demand for an innovative solution. Technology-based solutions to common physical impairments will radically benefit the entire world, especially developing countries.
Blindness will be history. Visual impairments will no longer hold people back from day-to-day interactions. Innovations will allow all individuals to engage and work together without barriers.
Virtual reality will become significantly more prevalent and a large percentage of the population will own VR equipment. These devices will also be utilized in hospitals and schools.
Machine learning will allow for more humanized machines and lead to more interactions and applications in therapy and healthcare. Human brain computing capacity will also increase as a result.
Through machine learning and artificial intelligence job searching and hiring will become automated while new employment structures and frameworks emerge.
More comprehensive data will improve connections between job seekers and employers. The workforce will become more efficient, fulfilled and happier about their work.
Access to digital technologies will help individuals work smarter and learn faster. Technologies like artificial intelligence will make the degree obsolete in five years and life expectancy will be over 100 years.
Canadian post-secondary students will have more access to real-world learning opportunities in the form of co-op enabled programs.
Computer science, robotics and artificial intelligence will be considered essential skills and taught along with reading and writing.
Augmented reality will replace mobile phones and we'll experience it 99% of the time. Visual notifications tailored to our lifestyle, life-stage, family, needs, wants, and everything in between will be the new norm.
Traditional electrical utility business models will be replaced by faster moving, more distributed and communicative networks.
From educating children to doing chores, robots will be a daily part of family lives.
Less food will be wasted in landfills and oceans and more will be preserved through technology.
Canadian food habits will be predicted, ordered and delivered to them through technology.
Businesses will be even more consumer-focused and buyer-seller communication will become hyper - personalized without human sellers.
Owning assets will become obsolete and the rental market will continue to grow.
The connected home and workplace becoming totally commonplace.
Artificial intelligence will be used to disrupt traditional platforms like search engines through the use of voice and contextual search.
Artificial intelligence will democratize personalized access to many services including heatlh and financial.
In the next 10 years, the biggest thing that will impact the construction industry is the generation shift of those in leadership roles. This will rapidly change the speed at which technology is embraced throughout all stages of construction and drive increases in productivity.
We Bug Out for New Protein Source
"In twenty-five years, radically sustainable food systems will result in less waste and a more diversified list of proteins and ingredients including insects, plant-based proteins, algae and cell-cultured meats. The shape food will take and what we’ll use to make it will change dramatically."
Where the healthcare industry is concerned, we'll go from the sick care method that we have now (acting once people become sick) to a true health care method (keeping people healthy; preventative medicine).
AI will lead us to have an increasingly self-driving legal system, improving transparency and access to justice.
All banking will be done on your mobile device, including loans, payments, day-to-day banking, mortgages, and even transfer of assets like stocks and your home. Your bank will be on your phone.
Artificial intelligence will preemptively catch health risks like cardiac arrests and even monitor the health of employees to ensure they aren't being overworked.
Sensors will have a huge role in transforming the field of healthcare in the next 25 years. As sensors become increasingly cheaper, there will be a huge potential to capture all sorts of vitals and medical data that was previously unimaginable, resulting in a burst of data that will improve patient outcomes.
On-demand photography will skyrocket. Anyone, anywhere will be able to connect with a photographer for various shoots, from the hyper-local, one-off small business shoot, to worldwide marketing campaigns. We’ll also see 360-degree photography experience a boom.
The buildings we live and work in will adjust to us and the environment. They will monitor both our environment and our body state via sensors and adapt surroundings in response. Cars will form a continuous adaptive sensor network that would inform us of the city state.
Instant delivery is going to completely reshape how we purchase items, especially as consumers increasingly seek instant gratification.
Consumers will continue to adopt new communications technologies and small, locally-owned businesses will adapt by moving their operations onto those same platforms
To combat a fall in foot traffic, companies will integrate technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality, to focus on data, analytics, and in-store engagement to make shopping more efficient and empowering.
Artificial intelligence will completely change the way we discover, interact with and develop beauty products. Consumers will be able to find products based on their unique skin and hair profiles, that work specifically for their genetic makeup.
In the next 25 years, we'll see digital celebrities replace traditional celebrities in a deep and meaningful way.
Sky’s The Limit for Sustainable Skyscrapers
"In the next seventy-five years, the buildings we live and work in will generate their own energy, resulting in a workplace that is more productive and employees that are more healthy."
Nanobots will be used for nutrient delivery and will be engineered for optimal nourishment depending on life-stage, genetics and health conditions. Furthermore, home-harvesting of many foods will unlock a radically more local, wholesome and accessible way of producing and consuming a variety of ingredients.
In 75 years, the sharing and collaborative economy will take over. Physical assets will no longer hold value and assets will be transferred from peer-to-peer as they are shared, instantly.
Gene therapy will eliminate hereditary illnesses and hospitals will be fully automated
In the next 75 years blockchain will disrupt multiple industries; from transportation to social networking. Online connections and followers will become a fundamental part of your life and trust will become the most important currency.
Resources become more scarce and out of necessity our homes are powered using solar energy and completely off the grid. We grow our own vegetables using hydroponics and spawn fresh fish in tanks in our homes that we sell back to the sharing economy.
We’ll harness gravitational energy to create a cleaner world with less disease, and solar roadways will allow us to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.
Cleantech will become the only economically viable option for all industries.
What we wear will make us bionic. Actuating, sensing, changing and customizing as we move, feel and change states.
Advancements in genetics fueled by AI will allow us to modify our skin and significantly delay or completely suppress aging skin. We will be able to naturally transform our hair and skin to directly address any concerns.
Immersive media such as virtual reality will become the primary source of entertainment and will seamlessly integrate into real world moments.
Consumers will not travel to a grocery store to buy dinner or to the pharmacy to fill their prescription; they'll expect that it will show up to their door after one quick click.
Artificial intelligence will become an integrated part of the education system, from admissions to curriculum.
AI-Driven Education Learns About You
"In the next one hundred years, traditional classrooms will be a thing of the past and education will be personalized through the use of artificial intelligence. We'll begin to view curriculums as self-guided experiences that extend beyond classroom learning."
Artificial intelligence will help individuals examine and correct biases in the fields of law, politics, HR, and compensation.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence will automate hiring and employment will shift to a project-based structure.
In the short term, menial tasks in the advertising stack will be completely automated. Larger trends are shifting toward a new mode of advertising altogether through augmented reality, where ads are competing for our field of view.
The purchasing of large items, like cars and homes, will no longer be an emotional decision based on the trust formed with a salesperson, but one that is automated and based on the buyer's access to previously unknown data. The buying process will be carried out by artificial intelligence.
There will be fully autonomous vehicles including auto, aircraft, spacecraft, watercraft, resulting in zero accidents allowing for vehicles without crash structure.
Machine learning applications will reduce risk in financial management by curtailing fear and greed, the twin propellers of irrational market behaviour.
We'll see real time service across industries, paying for only what you need and use when you use it.
Autonomous Vehicles Take to the Skies
"The next one hundred and fifty years will see big changes to the way we move from A to B, including flying cars. We've already seen this in small scale with the ascent of drones from companies like China-based EHANG. The biggest barrier to flying cars will be defining the legal logistics, but I'm certain that eventually we'll get there."
One currency will be the norm.
Canadians will program our biochemistry like software; we'll be cured by computer programming rather than using assistive technology.
The population of hearing impaired people will triple and access to hearing-related healthcare will be super accessible.
As artificial intelligence becomes more widely adopted, there will be a continuous increase in demand for knowledge based, creative workers and a decrease in manual labour.
Canadians will download everything they want to learn into their brains.
College and university students will no longer be dependent on a campus to commute to as education will be conveniently accessible online
We will see an influx of non-terrestrial - in other words, generating power in outer space - and significantly improved renewable generation capabilities.
Canadians will likely be a different species living on a different planet.
The distinction between humans and technology will melt away. Humans will augment their cognitive abilities with technology, eliminating communication barriers and challenging the current definition of the self.
We'll be able to think about our dream home, and visualize the closest matches which are available on the open market, and in our credit range. Brain embedded virtual reality will allow you and your family to collectively experience what it's like to live in that home for a few days, and assess whether it's worth buying.
Screens will cease to exist outside of mobile form, and will probably take the form of wearables or bio-implants.
"Where the healthcare industry is concerned, we'll go from the sick care method that we have now (acting once people become sick) to a true health care method (keeping people healthy; preventative medicine)."
"Engaging and managing patients before, during and after leaving the hospital via web and mobile technology will be the standard of care worldwide."
"Nanobots will be used for nutrient delivery and will be engineered for optimal nourishment depending on life-stage, genetics and health conditions. (Furthermore), home-harvesting of many foods will unlock a radically more local, wholesome and accessible way of producing and consuming a variety of ingredients."
"AI will lead us to have an increasingly self-driving legal system, improving transparency and access to justice."
"The way we shop will be completely different. Retail experiences will live within chat platforms like the Chinese app, WeChat, that will see consumers chatting with bots to find and purchase items they like."