How far ahead are things planned? While it’s shocking to discover that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is primed to fill multiplexes until 2028, it’s not surprising to find that most major companies have long-term planning departments looking into what the markets of 2025 and beyond will look like. Pre-21st century futurology had the big millenial date to focus on – the perfect waypoint for achieving a certain goal (Transport 2000, for example, now the Campaign for Better Transport). 2020 is perhaps the next great ‘vision’ date, although it’s now too close to count as a long-range objective. It’s not hard to find plans for 2025 or even 2035 and 2040. Major infrastructure projects like transportation require long timescales and 2050 is now featuring pretty heavily, certainly in terms of planning for climate change, for example, or the London Infrastructure Plan.
Some cultural events are fixed (nearly) in stone, such as the Tokyo Olympics of 2020, the same year as Dubai’s World Expo, which precedes the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (allegedly). Wikipedia has a timeline of the near future, which tails off into mostly astronomical data by the end (and then segues into the timeline of the far future) and there’s also the much more dystopic (and obviously speculative) Future Timeline website. The above image is from System360, a tumblr.