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Teleportation, digital classrooms and autonomous vehicles to lead future tech in Canada: Survey

Innovation Survey shows that tech enthusiasts are 65% more likely to have a positive outlook on the future of tech


NEXT Canada, a national non-profit organization committed to advancing Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship, released the findings of a new survey as part of the What’s Now What’s NEXT campaign, which looks at the next 150 years of tech and innovation. The survey found that Canadians who self-identify as “tech enthusiasts” are 65 per cent more likely to have a positive outlook on the future of tech than “daily tech users” and “less engaged users.” The survey also revealed that over half of Canadians believe that the next 150 years will see the use of one global currency (53 per cent say it’s likely), that augmented reality will replace mobile phones (52 per cent say it’s likely), and that classrooms will be replaced by digital learning experiences (63 per cent believe it’s likely).

As part of the survey, Canadians weighed in on technology predictions made by NEXT Canada entrepreneurs and experts working in a variety of industries including education, banking, agriculture, fashion, food, transportation, sports, entertainment and health care. The survey revealed that 75 per cent of Canadians believe that short-term changes to food, transportation, banking, and fashion are highly likely. Within the next 150 years, one in five Canadians believe it’s likely that we’ll live on a different planet (23 per cent), and that Canadians will teleport as their primary method of transportation (25 per cent). The study also showed that nearly all Canadians (95 per cent) believe technology is important in human life, and 96 per cent of Canadians are interested in learning more about tech, whether they are daily tech users or not.

“While this survey shows that Canadians are excited about the potential for self-driving cars, bugs as new protein sources, and the rise of artificial intelligence, it also proves that education is crucial to making these tech advancements possible,” said John Kelleher, NEXT Canada Board of Directors Co-Chair. “NEXT Canada programming aims to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs and to spur innovation, and as a Canadian organization, education is vital to our overall mission of moving technology forward.”

Canadians were asked whether they agree with various short-term predictions (10-75 years) and long-term predictions (75-150 years) envisioned by NEXT Canada entrepreneurs and tech experts, and these were the key findings:

SectorShort-term predictions – what Canadians thinkLong-term predictions – what Canadians think
Transportation75% of Canadians believe autonomous or self-driving vehicles will be the norm and electricity will be the main source of fuel

Tech enthusiasts are 24% more likely to believe self-driving cars will be the norm

29% of Canadians believe teleportation will be the primary means of transportation.

Tech enthusiasts are more than twice as likely to believe in teleportation than daily tech users and the unengaged (113% increase)

Banking73% of Canadians believe banking will exist entirely online

Tech enthusiasts are 18% more likely to believe all banking will be online

54% of Canadians believe one currency will be the norm

Tech enthusiasts are 45% more likely to agree than less engaged tech users

Food Supply79% of Canadians believe food systems will result in less waste and more diversified list of proteins and ingredients including insects, alternative proteins, plant-based proteins and yeast

Tech enthusiasts are 17% more likely to believe in eating alternative proteins

46% of people believe Canadians will sell home-grown hydroponic vegetables

Tech enthusiasts are 1.5 times more likely to agree than daily tech users and unengaged tech users (153% increase)

Education59% of Canadians believe classroom learning will be replaced with experiential learning and next generation ideas

Tech enthusiasts are 25% more likely to agree than daily tech users and unengaged tech users

64% of Canadians believe traditional classrooms will be a thing of the past and education will be personalized through the use of artificial intelligence, moving into self-guided experiences

Tech-enthusiasts are 28% more likely to agree than less engaged tech users

Summary:

Canadians are more likely to agree with predictions that are based on existing technology that they are already familiar with (self-driving or electric cars, sensors, experiences through virtual reality and live streaming). Meanwhile, tech enthusiasts are consistently more likely to agree with predictions and agree that technology will positively affect various industries.

The survey shows that 2 out of 3 Canadians believe that self-driving cars, customized clothing, experiential learning, and eating insect protein could be a reality in the next 10-75 years; 1 in 4 people believe that teleportation, genetically modified professional athletes and life on a different planet could be a reality in the next 75 to 150 years.

Tech enthusiasts are also twice as likely to feel positively about the future of privacy, human connection and human dependence than less engaged tech users (111% increase).

“I lead a company devoted to reducing the amount of fresh food waste, and I’m pleased to see that three-quarters of Canadians agree that tech will change the way we interact with food and reduce the amount we throw away,” said Krista Caldwell, NEXT Canada alumna and Co-Founder of Deepnify. “NEXT Canada’s study shows that Canadians are open to tech innovation, and as a tech entrepreneur I’m happy to know our innovations will be well-received by the public.” 

To learn more about the NEXT Canada innovation survey, download an infographic here.

About NEXT Canada

NEXT Canada is an organization with a focus on increasing national prosperity through innovation and entrepreneurship. NEXT Canada was formerly known as The Next 36, a program founded in 2010 by a group of business leaders and academics. NEXT Canada’s philosophy is to invest resources on exceptional individuals. With a strong belief in founder development, NEXT Canada uses a blend of mentorship, education and networking that inspires driven Canadians to disrupt industries and build globally relevant companies. NEXT Canada is supported by a number of corporate champions, including national partners, EY, Power Corporation of Canada and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.