Because of a delay in Graeme’s travel, he needed to combine his daily short Tour Guide to the Future video (usually only available on Instagram and TikTok) with his weekly ThrowForward Thursday videos.

Stuck in Heathrow Terminal 5 for a few hours, he was reminded of two ‘out there’ scenarios for the future of aviation. Which of them do you think could come true?



Imagine a future where we don’t fly anymore. I’m sitting at Heathrow Terminal five, my flight has been delayed for a few hours. It’s a bit of a pain and two thoughts come to my mind, both of them a bit of science fantasy.

The first is a SpaceX video from a few years ago that showed what might happen if we were able to create reusable spacecraft and people could travel around the world taking off in rockets, flying at 24,000 kilometres an hour, landing halfway across the world in less than an hour, and SpaceX has built that technology. But it’s probably too expensive, certainly too expensive for the average person, and probably too costly for the environment for that to be an option. But maybe, and that’s part of what it means to be a tour guide to the future, is we look at what if possibilities. So maybe some of us will be able to afford 1 hour anywhere in the world long haul space flight, basically.

The other thing that jumps to my mind is a chapter from Kim Stanley Robinson’s book, The Ministry of the Future, which is a bit of science fantasy about how we might deal with climate change in the future. What happens is a terrorist group basically sends drones, swarms of drones up, and knocks hundreds of aeroplanes out of the sky all on a single day, all around the world, and suddenly nobody wants to fly anymore. It’s way too dangerous, and they do that to stop people from flying to save the planet.

I’m not sure either of these two are the likely scenarios for the future, but as you’re to regard to the future, I have to bring you some what if scenarios every now and again.
What if in the future we don’t fly the way we fly now? Either we don’t fly at all, or we fly at supersonic speed through space.

What if? What if indeed?


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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.

For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.


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