Innovation and the capital investment environment that we have all known over the past 30 years is now coming to an end, and this is why, over this period, humanity has experienced massive innovation unprecedented in previous human history.
More technological development has happened in the last 200 years than the previous 7 to 5 million years of human history, evolution, and technological innovations.
This innovation and investment of human progress were caused by one creation of true globalisation and a global marketplace at the end of World War II in 1945, which meant that each nation could specialise and invest in new potential markets that would drive innovation and wealth.
Secondly, after World War II, the biggest generation from 1945 to 1964 was the Boomer generation, the largest generation ever in human history.
The next generations were much smaller: Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980; the Millennial Generation, born between 1981 and 1996; and finally, Generation Z or the Instagram generation, born between 1997 and 2010.The Boomer Generation is the largest, and between the 1990s and 2021, they invested heavily in saving for their retirement by investing in pensions, the stock market and other forms of investment, which has funded innovation growth over the preceding three decades.
Now, the Boomer generation is retiring, and by 2040, most of the boomers are most likely dead and no longer effective in any way taking part in the workforce.
This means that the cost of labour will drastically increase, which is also caused by the approaching demographic collapse of most nations around the globe, with China’s population going from 1.4 billion to less than 600 million by the end of the century.
The consequences of fewer people will be fewer brains to develop revolutionary technological ideas and a lack of people to fund the project, leading to a slowdown of innovations.
The geopolitical analyst and writer Peter Zilhen has stated that ‘he cannot imagine what the future will look like and that what is happening in the world there is no current economic theory can explain this and what the economy of the future will look like.’
Development and Innovation
Innovation requires a fairly specific set of circumstances.
You need enough people in their 20s and 30s imagining a future and developing the tech, along with a capital-rich environment, but you won’t see the results and return on investment until the back end of innovation.
A simple example is that the first smartphone was developed in the early 1990s by Simon Personal Communicator (SPC). In 1992, IBM announced the very first smartphone.
It released the Simon Personal Communicator (SPC) for purchase in 1994. The SPC was the first touchscreen phone. Additionally, it could send and receive both emails and faxes.
However, until the release of the Apple iPhone in 2007, this technology became mainstream and accessible to the public, no longer being a niche market for the well-off.
Our world is changing, and the conditions that enable technological processes over the preceding decades are now going away due to the breakdown of globalisation and the collapse of global demographics.
Anything that hasn’t reached operationalisation…probably won’t make it. Below are a few industries where transformative innovations are still getting much attention.
Let’s look at those from least likely to most likely: modular nuclear reactors, artificial intelligence hardware, space and satellites, biological drugs, shale, and agriculture.
These technologies and industries will make some of the most significant impacts on the world, but it will be no small feat.
There will be hurdles and obstacles along the path to innovation, and every country will have a different outlook, but I would expect the US to be one of the first through the gate on most of this.
The United States will be okay because their Boomer generation, which actually had children, is now called the millennial generation, unlike most countries whose Boomer generation chose not to have children.
The second reason the USA will be okay is due to the access to cheap labour from Mexico, which still has healthy demographics and a young workforce that can ensure America still has access to affordable goods and services to which it has become accustomed.