Illustration of eight faces of young children in colourful tones.
Illustration: Léo Gillet

Kids Tell Us What They Think 2050 Will Be Like

We spoke to kids aged 8 to 11. They're still looking forward to flying skateboards.
Brussels, BE
illustrated by Léo Gillet
Brussels, BE

This article originally appeared on VICE Belgium.

Climate change, artificial intelligence, rising inequality – that’s what comes to mind when I think about the future. It’s not exactly positive, but it’s just natural for Gen Zers to think like that. Anyone with their feet firmly planted anywhere on this planet will probably come up with something similar, too. 


Growing up, I was sort of aware of the world’s problems, but they also seemed far-removed enough for me to live my childhood in peace. But is that the case for the generation that comes after mine? Born from 2010 onwards, Gen Alpha has only ever lived in a world dominated by social media, where the unprecedented consequences of climate change are already happening, and where a global pandemic has disrupted crucial years of their development. In a few years, they might well be the ones screaming “OK boomer” at my generation for our shameless Shein and Amazon hauls, and rightfully so.

To find out what the literal kids these days think, I chatted to a bunch of Gen Alphas, aged eight to 11, at their Scouts club. From pollution to flying Coca Cola cans, here’s what they think the future has in store.

Sofia, 10

VICE: Right now, we’re in 2023. What do you think the future will be like?
Better, I hope.

Better how?
Um… less pollution and more recycling.

Do you think there’ll be new techniques for having less pollution?

Will school be different?
I don’t think so. It’s not getting worse now, but there are schools where they use tablets and everything.

Don’t you like them?
No, I prefer notebooks. Tablets are bad for your eyes.

Léonardo, 10

VICE: In the distant future, when you’re 30, what do you think your life will be like?
Um, normal.

“Normal” meaning good or bad?
That depends if everything goes well – I’m a bit pessimistic about life.


What bad things do you think will happen?
Well, I heard that if we don’t save the earth in a few years, it’ll be too late. So when I’m 30, I don’t think I’ll be here anymore.

OK… You’re eating a hot dog now, do you think there’ll still be hot dogs?
Definitely, but vegetarian ones.

Everything will be vegetarian?
For sure.

And would you like that? Because you’re eating a sausage right now…
Yes I know, but I need to eat meat because I have low iron.

Ah. So if everything is vegetarian and you need iron, what will you do?
Well, I’ll take medicine.

Louis, 11

VICE: Hey Louis! What will the future will be like?
I think there’ll be flying cars and robots.

We’re in the woods right now, do you think nature will always look like this?
No! Everything will be made of metal.

The trees will be metal?

Will clothes be made of metal too?
No, they’ll be wood.

Elodie, 8

VICE: What do you think the world will be like when you’re 30?
Well, the trees will be a bit bigger.

Oh, really? Why?
Well, because things will change a bit. And motorbikes will have one wheel, not two.

What do you want to do when you grow up? Do you want to work with trees? 
No, I’m going to be a baker.

Do you think bread will be the same as it is now?
No, it’ll be as big as my friend.


Wow, that’s really big bread. So will everything be bigger?
No, but that’s what the future will be like. And actually, motorbikes won’t have any wheels at all.

Will you ride a motorbike?
I’d like to but I think it’s more for boys.

Adam, 8, and Camille, 10

VICE: How do you imagine the world in the future?
Everything will be more technological.

Is there anything you want to be invented? 
 Well, there are already electric bikes, but it would be nice to have flying bikes.

Do you think that’ll be possible? 
Yeah, and there will be mini walkways with no gravity to make objects float.

I like that.
Oh yeah, and flying skateboards!

What do you see yourself doing when you grow up?
Maybe not working for public transport, because that won’t exist anymore – trams will be androids.

Ah, yes… Do you think it will be better or worse then?
Better! Maybe by then there’ll be less pollution so the earth will last longer.

Camille: I also think that some things will be worse – like the countryside won’t be the countryside anymore.

Oh, really? No more countryside? Anywhere?
Well, maybe in other countries.
Adam: What I would like is for us to demolish buildings and grow lots of plants again, and live in nature in some kind of cave or something.
Camille: I’d like houses where the roof is a garden and when you’re on the terrace, you’re surrounded by plants.


Milla, 10

VICE: You’re ten now. Imagine that you’re 30 and you’ve just woken up – what’s the world like?
It depends.

On what?
On climate change.

How do you think it will impact people’s lives?
It will be much hotter, there will be much more pollution and less animals.

And what will you wear if it’s really, really hot?
Um… Mini shorts and a mini top.

And will houses be different?
Yes. They’ll be smaller because there’ll be more people – they’ll be more expensive, too.

Pavel, 8, Martin, 8, Vassili, 9, and Mathis, 9

VICE: What will it be like in 2050?
There’ll be flying cars.
Vassili: There’ll be buildings with a lot of electricity.
Pavel: I think there will be a garage that opens on its own!

And will you have a car?
Vassili: Yes.
Pavel: I’ll have a flying car that goes really fast.

And do you think there’ll be different things other than flying cars?
Money. One euro is gonna be €1,000.
Pavel: And there’ll be flying motorbikes.

Will everything fly? 

You have a Coca Cola can in your hand, will that fly too? 
Yes, I’ll be able to put it down in the air next to me.

Great, you won’t have to carry anything. And what do you want to be when you grow up?
A spaceship builder!
Pavel: Me too, a flying saucer builder!


Jeanne, 9

VICE: Right now, it’s 2023. What do you think it’ll be like in 2050?
Well, I hope that cars will cause less pollution.

Does pollution make you stressed?

What are you afraid of?
Well… that the world will die.

Do you pay attention to the environment?

What do you do for it?
Well, we don’t have a car. There are people who say not to pollute, but they’re in cars when they say it – I don’t think that’s very logical. I’m also scared that cars will squash animals.

Camille, 8

VICE: What do you think the world will be like in 2050?

So what will it be like?
There’ll be a bit of a war and it’ll be really dirty.

With rubbish everywhere?
No, because of the Scouts.

Ah, the Scouts will pick up all the rubbish?
Yes, they’ll help the planet.