Europe has made the leap to a new type of sustainable, competitive and equitable economy: a result of numerous treaties, declarations and official goals starting from 2035. The leap is achieved with the deployment of market instruments that also radically reform many conditions that have shaped European lifestyles over the past decades. Cleantech and upcycling businesses flourish as sustainability has become the business opportunity of the century. Europe of Singular Super Champions is a society that celebrates an ethos of learning, achieving and self-mastery.
This is a scenario mostly in digital reality that helps people to break free from many cultural constraints and, eventually, to reach sustainability. Ubiquitous computing enables the smart use of resources and, at the same time, redirects people’s behaviour and focus of attention from material consumption and their physical surroundings to interaction in the digital realm. People abandon many institu- tions of the 20th century, liberate themselves in order to lead more meaningful lives and engage in new forms of collaboration.
A radical energy crisis forces societies to re-evaluate fundamentally the foundations of their well-being. Energy and resource systems are increasingly seen though “Local Loops”, which is a technical concept that can be applied in the context of local and regional production cycles. Peo- ple build their lifestyle and ways of belonging around their work, while technology is better adapted through local design solutions, which create room for new kinds of professionalism. A new ethos of craftsmanship and professional communities shape the way people live, organize their work and spend their leisure time.
Empathetic Communities is a scenario where Western societies faced a crisis they had long dreaded, and how the change turned out to be easier and more fruitful than anyone had expected. It is a story in which the global economy as we knew it in 2012 fails, followed by paralysis of nation states and their political decision-making structures. By 2050 this all leads to lifestyles in which the community and neighbourhoods have an important role in everyday life. New forms of collaboration and governance grow on the level of cities and towns making them the most powerful level of public decision-making. In Empathetic Communities the many fruits of global culture and advancements in latest technological innovation are enjoyed, although people in general focus on communicating and developing solutions on the local level.