Over the last five years Ericsson’s Networked Society Lab has been exploring what social life in 2025 might mean. How have 20th structures of industrialization been challenged? What is happening with life and lifestyles right now? In what direction are we moving? How are values and attitudes changing? And what clusters of different lifestyles do we see emerging?
Mikael Eriksson Björling, Director at the Networked Society Lab, argues that “it’s possible to understand the new structure of society along two dimensions: inside the system vs. outside the system; that is, those that are part of established institutions, networks, and employment and those who are not. The next dimension is if you are empowered or dependent; that is, those who are active in society and strive to control their own situation and those who are dependent on other groups in society and with less control of their own situation.”
This leads to four macro level groups to consider: The Resourceful, The Social, The Players, and The Anchored. Into this model the Lab also plotted a fifth group they expect to emerge in the Networked Society, The Mobile.
But, says Björling, we have to keep in mind that what emerges is not a quantified picture of the future world: “The size of the quadrants and how many people that will be empowered vs. dependent is very much a political and ideological question and this will be different in different countries.”