What did we think of 2022? It had its highs, like the World Cup, and its lows, like the war in Ukraine, but in general I wasn’t impressed and I’m more than happy to move on. Is 2023 going to be any better, though? Inevitably it too will have its highs and lows, but what they might be is anyone’s guess. I decided to have a go at the guessing game and spent some 10 minutes trying to imagine what might happen over the next 12 months. The only thing I could think of with any certainty is that my football team, Everton, will again be involved in a relegation battle. It’s at times like this that you have to resort to the experts (i.e. the Internet), so I went online to see what those supposedly in the know are saying will happen in the year ahead.
The Covid-19 pandemic will end. Thank you. My column last month was asking just that question and the futurist consulting firm Quantumrun has kindly provided an answer. They also say that the European Space Agency will launch the Hera Mission, which is a system designed to detect threatening asteroids weeks before they get near Earth. Not having life on your planet snuffed out by a wayward celestial body has to be good news if you ask me.
It’s not all good news, though. The ’experts’ at the Financial Times predict that the war in Ukraine will continue, as neither side is in a position that it wants to consolidate. I must say that it’s not much of a surprise, as the lack of any sort of peace process at all sort of gives it away. The doom and gloom merchants at the FT also predict blackouts around Europe as gas reserves are used up, Russian gas exports decrease, and alternative energy sources are unable to make up the shortfall. Mind you, the FT is confident that China will not invade Taiwan, which is good news, especially if you’re Taiwanese.
LinkedIn also has predictions, including the curious forecast that the menopause will become big business in 2023. It appears that the global population of menopausal women is projected to grow to 1.2 billion by 2030, which is an untapped market right there. If you’ve been thinking about starting a business providing solutions to menopausal women, your time has come. LinkedIn also predicts we’ll start wearing seaweed, as the sustainable fashion business consolidates and designers look to up their green credentials (check out the report on sustainable fashion we did in the November issue).
As for international broadcaster CNN, in a hard-hitting piece of journalism it predicts that Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” will win the Grammy album of the year in 2023. How about that? CNN also thinks that Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. To be fair, I see that happening. At the beginning of the war Zelensky tried to start a peace process with the Russians until Boris Johnson rushed over there to convince him that it would be better to accept thousands of Ukrainian casualties, and billions of euros of weapons from the West, and use them to weaken Russia for us, if you don’t mind, that would be great, thank you, here’s the Nobel Peace Prize.
Whether Everton get relegated or not, I can confidently predict that the geopolitical movers and shakers will be up to their usual shady shenanigans.