Futures Salon: Resolved: Millennials will not have the experience of a retirement

Our discussion topic for this evening will be “Resolved: Millennials will not have the experience of a retirement.” We used the following source as a guide for this discussion: https://money.com/future-of-retirement-experts/

The Resolution is proposed: Millennials will not have the experience of a retirement. Four votes in yes. Three votes in no. Three abstain. A general hesitation on “it depends” is noted.

So why might millennials not have an retirement? While the older generations may have had access to retirement through gained wealth due to pensions and work structure, the modern employment system does not reflect this long-term tenure in a company. The word “retirement” (to go to bed, to withdraw, to end a match) may not apply to our society anymore. People may not be able to disengage. The wealth gap and racial divisions may physically prevent millennials from this traditional retirement environment. A population of the society which are primarily working physically (hard labor) which may be unable to withdraw with a potential withdrawal from society. This group may not be involved in the following.

An interesting article: https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/what-the-new-generation-of-working-class-americans-will-look-like. It describes both an evolution of the working class and a splintering of it.

This new “retirement” may be a hybridization of traditional work and finding funding to explore, create, and travel. Medicine and scientific advances also extend the longevity of life where a traditional retirement age may continually be pushed back into these new experiences. The new retirement may make the term itself obsolete. Perhaps people find new creative assets which fund this new retirement. Millennials already seem well-skilled and being flexible when working and this may be the requirement in these “retirement” years.

One of the problems about our species is that we always want more. We may be always want more luxury and a higher quality of life. This increases the cost of this retirement with every year.

How would millennials have a retirement? The term of “retirement” will continue to evolve and advance, new strategies will be found for income gaining, and new diversified positions will all engage in the future of making themselves to fit the new societal guide. Through systems like cryptocurrency and block-chain elements, wealth will be developed differently than the “house trading” and traditional wealth development methods.

Age may not be the critical definer of “retirement.” Our perception of the age spectrum relative to work/life will shift to a better work/life balance through the continuity of the work/life balance. With more individuals in the workforce, work may be more beneficially divided. We also always seem to find our way. The workplace changes, financial products change, but as time goes by things continue to improve and a blending of lifestyle and work may place it on the outside of the spokes of life, not the center. People may also shift towards a strategy of making the maximal amount of money early in life and then work to expend limited resources and effort through the rest of their life.

The concept of “lying flat” was raised, where people would participate in a form of workplace protest: https://theprint.in/opinion/pov/revolt-by-doing-nothing-chinese-youth-are-lying-in-bed-to-protest-tough-jobs-low-pay/693657/. Revolt by doing nothing. A commercial reaction to lying flat: https://jingdaily.com/lying-flat-trend-china-luxury-brands/. A book recommendation: The Precariat: The Dangerous New Class (https://www.amazon.com/Precariat-Dangerous-Class-Bloomsbury-Revelations/dp/1474294162). This group may be the most harshly affected by this adapting “retirement” environment. Staffing of this lower-end wealth category, such as fast food employment as we see in the news regarding reopening with the pandemic, highlights the moment we are in – maybe we want to rethink how we want to work and live.

Perhaps this would become an “engaged lying flat” type of retirement, where people can vacation, take lunch, see others and be connected to work but never overwhelmed by it – where work and life become a much more harmonious environment. We are already seeing where technologies, from 3D printing to medical device advances, to services such as ride sharing, are altering the cost of living, travel, and showing wealth.

We must consider that both economic disparity, the wealth gap, and policy beliefs separate a portion of our population from feeling like their life is a hopeful one. For every economic advancement that AI, robotic automation, and 3D printing may bring, a portion of people will find these as potentially harmful to their livelihood. Much work must be done to remedy this disparity and even the field for defining a future which contains this hopeful “retirement” outcome.

To end on a question on work: Is leisure the opposite of work? Do we need a new term in order to define an environment in which these two words do not appear so antithetical? Do we retire away from one job and into another? There was a long time where having a job defined people, a term of value, an outward appearance. Leisure, church, work, family may all become locations in which we may engage in self-expression and derive fulfillment from. Your “passion project” may fall into any of these categories.

The concept of social capital was brought up and we will dive into the future of social capital next month on August 10th.

Salon notice: “Resolved: Millennials will not have the experience of a retirement.”

The next Columbus Futurists monthly forum will be Tuesday July 13 at 6:30 pm Our discussion question for the evening will be “Resolved: Millennials will not have the experience of a retirement.” 

Come prepared to debate this question.
As background, please take a look at this short article: https://money.com/future-of-retirement-experts/

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday.

Futures Salon: “How might we redesign public education?”

Our conversation tonight uses an article titled “Meet the school with no classes, no classrooms and no curriculum” as a reference. We will determine what will need to happen for this school to become the template for public education in the United States.  

Today’s conversation will be using idealized design, where we will start with a”blue-sky” future and then assess what steps need to be taken in order to make this future a reality. This process continues to work backwards towards the present as we reverse engineer that future. Here we will use the Agora school from the article and pose the question “what has to happen for that school model to become the predominant system within United States public education?” we hope to uncover the structural features of the academic system which will need to change in order to reach that idealized future.

What general observations do we have of the Agora school?

Project based learning is an excellent system to seek out and find the knowledge that is needed to reach an objective? A team of people work together on a product/project and real life solves problems in groups.

Agora embraces the physicality and practicality of schooling. Practical applications overruled theory and supported individuals learning at their own pace. The model is “honest” with the modern era, where access available to all and the information needed is able to be reached – where the idea of teaching to a test is a ludicrous idea in comparison.

The current system in the United States seems to focus on those who are purely cerebral, where individuals who are hands on often drop out of the system and find their success elsewhere.

Let us assume it is 2035. The Agora model has become the dominant model for public education in the United States. How did we get there? What has happened?

We would need to move to a system more based on a student having goals and a plan, not set in stone, but aspirational. Individualized plans become a part of the educational infrastructure.

The regulatory bodies which control education eliminate the concept of teaching to the test.

Shared recognition that America is no longer leading the world. Americans are not the top of the education system and we need to improve. A “hair on fire” moment occurs. We see that foreign interest is outcompeting our educational models.

Broad acceptance by teacher’s unions. Education departments have shifted teacher development to be facilitators, not direct instructors.

Local boards of education become less conservative. Public perception has shifted to directly value education primarily.

Artificial intelligence arrives, perhaps shifting education specialty to diverse ways of thinking and adaptability.

What is necessary to reach these systematic changes?

Charismatic teachers, interested in improving the process, supported by visionary leadership. “No sage on the stage but a guide on the side.” Perhaps, unions have been broken. Project-based learning is accepted. Trained to be broad-minded not specialized.

Employers vigorously invested in education, perhaps supported and integrated directly into local boards of education.

As was observed in COVID with distance learning, widespread questioning of the system has changed public perception. Funding and support has changed to match.

The populace as a whole recognizes that it is the end of American Exceptionalism. A lack of education becomes the “common enemy.”

What is necessary for these steps to occur?

A new American consensus emerges. Companies help design the curriculum. An end of polarization has been reached on education. The educational model has been removed from governmental control, where companies now supersede government in leading public education.

A clear cultural shift/element of civic-mindedness occurs among the 1%. This is in fact possible. A huge cultural change in the approval of gay marriage has occurred in the last 20 years.

How did we get to this new American consensus?

Advertisements and social media shift to showing the success of public education. Millennials and Gen Z “influencers” are engaged in the solution directly.

Billionaire/millionaire philanthropy directs towards this model. A major public school system adopts the model and is supported. It spreads rapidly.

Public education, then, becomes the new “moonshot.”


Thank you all for joining us tonight. Very excited for the next meeting!

Salon notice: “How might we redesign public education?”

Please join us on Tuesday June 15 at 6:30pm for the next Columbus Futurists monthly forum.  We will conduct an idealized design exercise in answer to the question “How might we redesign public education?”  To prepare, please read this article, titled “Meet the school with no classes, no classrooms and no curriculum.”  We will determine what will need to happen for this school to become the template for public education in the United States.  

Idealized design is a process where we will imagine an ideal, blue sky scenario, and then work backward to determine what would need to occur or transpire for that idealized scenario to be realized.  In effect, we will “reverse engineer” the future.  

We are taking steps to secure a location for our first f-2-f gathering, possibly for next month.  But once again for this month we will be meeting via Zoom.

Please email columbus.futurists@gmail.com for Zoom information or with any questions.

Salon notice: “Wireless electricity transmission”

The next Columbus Futurists monthly forum will be Tuesday May 11 at 6:30 pm.


We will conduct another futures wheel exercise on the topic of “wireless electricity transmission.”  


As preparation, please read this article: https://singularityhub.com/2020/08/30/new-zealand-is-about-to-test-long-range-wireless-power-transmission/


And please plan on joining us the evening of May 11.

NEXT: The Future of Data Privacy

The Me.Ring is just a concept design at the moment. But if it were to be actually built and widely marketed, its impact would be dramatic. The ring consists of a switch: when you are open to having your data shared, you flip the switch to the “on” position. To remain anonymous, a user would switch […]

-David Staley

April 13, 2021

Read the full article on the Columbus Underground site.

NEXT: Baby Bust…or Baby Boom?

Demographers have observed that, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent downturn in economic activity, birth rates in the U.S. have declined. Research from Melissa S. Kearney and Phillip B. Levine observes that “that the Covid pandemic would lead to a decline in U.S. births of about 8%, as compared with the number of expected […]

-David Staley

March 15, 2021

Read the full article on the Columbus Underground site.

NEXT: Jack-of-All-Trades, Bachelor of Polymathy

For the last two weeks, I’ve been an avid participant at the (virtual) Polymath Festival, organized by the Da Vinci Network, and specifically by Waqas Ahmed, author of The Polymath. It has been a pleasure meeting like-minded practitioners because, I fear, there are very few such venues or opportunities to do so. A polymath is […]

-David Staley

February 18, 2021

Read the full article on the Columbus Underground site.

NEXT: The Future of (Bio)Coding

We wait with impatience for the widespread vaccination of the population. The news about COVID-19 has lately been focused on the relatively rapid speed with which the vaccines were produced. In what is usually a years-long process, the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are now being injected—albeit slowly—in American arms. What has been notable about the rollout […]

-David Staley

January 18, 2021

Read the full article on the Columbus Underground site.

NEXT: Neo-Essentialism and Post-COVID Philosophy

I anticipate that one of the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be the emergence of a new philosophical movement. Like existentialism in the 1950s or transcendentalism in the early nineteenth century, this movement will be sparked by the thoughts of philosophers and intellectuals, but the ideas will soon extend out into broader public discussion, […]

-David Staley

December 17, 2020

Read the full article on the Columbus Underground site.