5 trends to shake the world in 2022: Predictions for the coming year

This story is part of The year to come, CNET’s take on how the world will continue to evolve from 2022 and beyond.

Even before the milestones of 2020 and 2021 rocked the planet, the tectonic plates of culture, society and technology were already changing and reshaping the world. The pandemic has taken these changes and accelerated them, exacerbated them and in some cases plunged them into chaos.

As we head into 2022, one question remains: where do we go next?

In tech, health, money, transportation, home and family life, we can be sure of one fact: Things change, quickly. As in years past, CNET takes the pulse of the ever-changing world and we are confident that our CNET: the year ahead stories will help you navigate these rough waters.

Over the course of this three-week series – which will include CES – we will specifically address five themes that will shape 2022:

1. The pandemic and the future of health

COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise. When the World Health Organization declared the pandemic on March 11, 2020, few of us suspected it would lead to two years of closures, social distancing and disruption. Things seemed to normalize in mid-2021, but the Delta variant – and later the Omicron variant – triggered further shutdowns.

Will 2022 be the year COVID-19 goes from pandemic to endemic? This is what we all hope for, of course, but there is no going back in 2019. For example, expect more people to follow the lead of Asia, where people wear clothing. masks in public for years if they are sick (out of courtesy to those around them) or immunocompromised.

And healthcare will never be the same after the pandemic. Expect telehealth to become mainstream now that many more people have been exposed to the use of video calls for medical visits. And the COVID-19 vaccine will forever change the way vaccines (and potentially other therapies) are created. It is not uncommon for vaccines to take a decade to develop, but these have been created in 10 months using genetics and mRNA technology. It could turn out to be one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the century.

2. Hybrid work and the “Great Resignation”

Work and school were perhaps the most disrupted aspects of life during the pandemic. While the schools largely returned in person, the work was a much slower process. Many employees decided they preferred the work / life balance of remote work, and many migrated to be closer to their families or moved away from city centers for more space and fresh air.

Meanwhile, many employers have become infatuated with the productivity gains of remote working and the ability to downsize their commercial real estate assets for significant cost savings.

The most surprising trend that is expected to continue to gain momentum in 2022 is the Great Resignation. More and more people are quitting their jobs and redefining their priorities in their lives – CNET’s Farnoosh Torabi even has advice. In December, the US Department of Labor reported that the number of people leaving their jobs remains at record levels. How could we go through something as upsetting as the pandemic over the past two years and not be changed by it? The Great Resignation is just one example of how these changes are manifesting.

3. Crypto, inflation and the future for your finances

Money and personal finances also remain in the midst of tectonic shifts. In November, inflation hit its highest level since 1982 at 6.8%. Real estate and car inflation will be closely watched in 2022, following stunning numbers in 2021. The uptrend in the stock market is expected to continue with interest rates at such low levels, but its volatile fluctuations. ’emphasize. There is a big question whether tech and other growth stocks are running out of steam or gearing up for another race.

Speaking of growth, cryptocurrencies have reached new highs and generated more interest. The Coinbase crypto exchange app has overtaken TikTok and YouTube to become the most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store a few times in 2021. Some consider the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, to be the most popular cryptocurrency. as a hedge against inflation. Politicians, athletes and the like have started taking their Bitcoin paychecks in 2021. We’ll see if your employer offers you this option in 2022.

4. Space, Travel, and the Next Internet

One of the most spectacular developments of 2022 is the new space race. China and Russia are collaborating on a future lunar base (in 2030) as well as on the landing of a robot on an asteroid (in 2024). Not to be outdone, NASA announced in December its next 10 future astronauts with ambitions for a future lunar mission.

Private space companies SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic have all sent civilians to space in 2021, and they all tease the promise of a future for space tourism. Their ambitions will grow in 2022. This will be the year when SpaceX plans to put its reusable rocket and Starship space vehicle into flight for its first missions. Speaking of Starship, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said, “This is a profound revolution in orbit access. There has never been a fully reusable orbital launcher. It is the holy grail of space technology. It is the fundamental breakthrough that is needed. so that humanity becomes a space civilization. ”

Meanwhile, SpaceX StarLink and Blue Origin and Amazon’s Kuiper Project will launch thousands of low-orbit satellites into the atmosphere in 2022. Their mission to bring fast and reliable high-speed internet at an affordable price to all corners of the planet is a step forward welcome. But, the side effect is tons of space junk that could disrupt astronomers’ telescopes, collide with spaceships, and create massive amounts of space junk. Apparently they never watched the movie Wall-E.

5. The VE has arrived – and that means business

Electric vehicles or electric vehicles are set for a huge year in 2022 after a number of breakthroughs in 2021, with the Tesla Model 3 becoming the best-selling vehicle in Europe in September. The writing is on the wall for fossil fuel vehicles. The United States will stop buying gasoline vehicles by 2035, the United Kingdom will do so by 2030, and a larger coalition of countries has set 2040 as the global date to end fossil fuel vehicles.

Tesla CEO Musk has predicted that the Tesla Model Y compact SUV will become the world’s best-selling vehicle by revenue in 2022, edging out the Ford F-150 pickup and compact Toyota Corolla. But the biggest EV story of 2022 will likely be the transition into trucks, with the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla Cyber ​​Truck and Rivien R1T dominating the headlines.

Consumers should also keep in mind that a gasoline-powered vehicle you buy today could see its resale value drop dramatically in the years to come, as demand slumps due to people transitioning from there. old technology from combustion engines to electric vehicles.

The future

The changes sweeping the planet will not slow down in 2022, even if the COVID-19 pandemic finally recedes to become endemic. Beyond the five main themes mentioned above, CNET: the year ahead The series will cover a wide range of topics to help you understand what’s to come.

We’ll leave you with one final topic you should expect to hear a lot about in 2022: the Metaverse. Of course, many of us would love to step into a version of the Star Trek holodeck, and it’s hard not to notice the explosion of online games during the pandemic. But let’s keep our metaverse expectations low for 2022. A lot of work needs to be done to create better VR headsets and a truly immersive virtual world ecosystem. If we have some encouraging glimpses of the Metaverse in 2022, then we should consider ourselves pretty happy.