December 2012

What will happen in 2013?

At the turn of the year journalists usually start asking what will happen next year. The purpose of this scribbling is to answer some of these questions beforehand.  You can blame me, Kaskinen, if the answers turn out to be totally wrong. My excuse is that a futurist always maps alternative futures, so future might and probably will develop differently as predicted.

Will the EU collapse in 2013? No, but  it concentrates even more than before on economic issues and other subject matters such as cohesion, environmental or agricultural policy. Tensions between South and North will increase as the debt problem is still urgent. Great Britain will be become more isolated than before. Journalists will have more work and more flus, because the EU will organize more and more top level meetings and they have to stand outside the Commission or the Council building in Brussels.

Russia, Russia, Russia…? Well, Russia, the land of vast natural resources, big army, Vladimir Putin and caviar is a tough case to assess because it really can surprise us all. And sometimes the Russians even surprise themselves. Anyway, Russian tourists will still come to Finland and keep the shops open on the eastern border of Finland.

Climate change? This is easy: the climate will change as long as the Earth exists, not just in 2013. The earth will be around for another  0,5 -1,5 billion years, depending on estimation. Weather forecast for the whole year: snow, rain, sunshine, sometimes windy and the  temperature approximately between -30 - +30 Celsius.

Domestic politics? The True Finns -party will criticize the government on EU-policy. The Social democrats and the Coalition Party will still argue about what they actually agreed on government agreement two years ago. The Center Party waits for the next election and does nothing special. The smaller parties do what the prime minister asks them to do. The main topics of the national political debate are the aging population and the retirement age, the number of working hours, the mining industry in Finland and the loss of jobs.  And in the autumn of course - the budget.

Any surprises? Anything is possible. Personally I hope for world peace, the end of hunger and diseases, really effective climate negotiations, better ICT-systems for university administration, lower taxes and better salary and good weather for apple farming in Finland and so on.

But because none of these desirable futures is probable, I’ll just prepare for nasty surprises like war between the Koreas, a global epidemic, the collapse of the university’s ICT-systems, salary cuts, higher taxes and a really bad summer. After this, any positive development will feel really good.

Despite of these cynical thoughts I wish you all all the best for 2013.

Juha Kaskinen