In 2050, what kind of society do we want to live in?

Lab2050

Lab2050 is a policy research think tank with a strong emphasis on a policy lab model that would prepare the next generation’s era around the year 2050. Their research focuses on proposing a new policy that would contribute to improving the well-being of the next generation.

Bottom Line

New technologies will transform this coming generation’s society that will have completely different labour and demographic market structure, and media environment. This implies that the near future urges us to redefine and redesign how to work, produce, and distribute, and ultimately how we live. However, it would be impossible to fathom any new model or concept fitting this kind of future through one-time design and implementation.

Under these circumstances, policymakers and their researchers should continue suggesting their ideas and experimenting them in practice, listening to their users how they experience these new models, and co-designing the next versions of their models until they produce meaningful impact in practice. This approach is the policy lab model that has been significantly emphasised in the social innovation sector. In preparing the near future, Lab2050 addresses not only what we need to examine but how to investigate – citizen empowered policy experiments are critical.

Why it matters?


The technology advancement with accelerating speed and scale has already triggered the fundamental change in how people work and produce, and this change is unleashing many unprecedented social and economic challenges. Some foreseeable troubles are that artificial intelligent technologies would replace many existing jobs, and the full usage of big data would trigger even more severe privacy intrusion and data sovereignty issues, etc. However,

  • the current welfare system mainly designed just after the world war two no longer fits to the totally different labor structure, and
  • the new policies to protect individuals’ privacy are always quite slow : the massive amount of profits made from using customer data is already signalling the severe issues of who owns and uses this data, and how these profits could fairly be distributed.

These challenges are universally taking place across the world, but no one quite knows how to face these new challenges.

With these new tests, the technologies also present novel opportunities to individuals.

  • Now in 2019, the personal media age has already started, and anyone could effortlessly vocalise how she or he feels and mobilise a significant number of people who express their unified voices together.
  • In Korea, this change allowed ordinary people to express their political opinions freely and peacefully together and led the president impeachment in 2017.
  • Likewise, media technology and platform innovation are widely opening up a new opportunity for individuals to participate in designing and implementing new policies or political direction together.

These unprecedented challenges and opportunities are telling us that social innovation is imperative to prepare our near future. Lab2050 pays its attention to various design methodologies and experiment models widely used to tackle complex social issues. Lab2050 primarily researches new wealth distribution systems, new production systems, and new social values that will be required for the next generation.

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