The changes leading to hyperconnected world will shape our values and identities

Think about your life at the moment. What are the most important things in your life? How have they changed in the past years?

Values shape our opinions about what is important in life. Values are relatively stable, linked to cultural context and once adapted they are not easily changed. People all over the world value goodwill. Finns value universalism, uniformity and security more than other nations. 

Values might change in the future though. Individualism – which arose partly from urbanization – has been the great ism of the past century. People are willing to distinguish from each other. Individual identity is often shown by consumer goods such as clothes. In part of the individualisation people form new kind of communities based on for example hobbies.

Because of global emerge of the internet, individuals can find an ever-growing number of online communities and contacts. Will this change the way we see yourselves? Do we feel as individuals or as members of new groups and communities? Which identity will be more important?

The global emerge of internet might also make us think about other things that are important for us. In the future we might value harmony of life over self-expression, or our own well being over fairness. Scenarios describe these different values that drive people. Values have a say on what aspects we would like to optimize: population growth, science or well being; security or individual liberties? The fifth tension liberties vs. security describes our relationship to these issues. 

In addition to values, our relationship to surrounding environment might change. The relationship between a human and tangible objects changes when objects become more and more self-aware, collecting data and reacting to its surroundings. Variable values define the rate of refreshment of things and the way people bound themselves to stuff. For example, one’s relationship to things is changed if the reality is heavily augmented.

This is the fifth blog post in the series of “The key tensions of the hyperconnected world”. The outcomes of these tensions will shape the future of our society. They are the basis of two future scenarios about the hyperconnected world, which Demos Helsinki will publish at Slush festival on 11th November.

Other tensions:
A possibility is not a capability in the hyperconnected world
Future of work is one of hyperconnected world’s key tensions
How to ensure sustainable and happy life in the future?
Multiplying computing power will revolutionize the forms of ownership

More about Naked Approach project can be found here.