How do you feel about the future?

Produced as part of The Future Starts Here

On now until Sunday, 4 November 2018

Find out more

When you think of the future, does your mind conjure images of humanity's sunny advancement or its grim decline?

The V&A has partnered with YouGov – an international Internet-based market research and data analytics firm – to find out how you feel about the future.

Take the survey and find out whether you are an All Round Optimist, a Tech Disciple or a Well-informed Worrier. Which group will you belong to?

You can find out more about the characteristics of each of the groups below.

Real-time results

Take the survey and find out which group you belong to

Reports

Throughout the run of the exhibition we will also be publishing the results of other future-flavoured questions YouGov has asked the general public, such as, 'Who wants to live forever?', 'Is space still exciting?' and 'If money were no object, would you want to be cryogenically frozen?'

The groups

Excluded Pessimists 21% of the general population
Excluded Pessimists do not feel they have a good idea of who or what drives change in society. Half of this group also say they find it impossible to keep up with the pace of change. It seems no coincidence, therefore, that Excluded Pessimists are the group least likely to feel that people like them have the power to help shape the future. Their outlook on society's future is generally pessimistic, with two thirds expecting that UK society will be worse in 20 years' time and high levels of distrust of those with the most power to shape the future. They are less negative about technology's future – the majority consider technological progress to be a force for good.

Well-informed Worriers 13% of the general population
Well-informed Worriers tend to be on top of what is going on in the world, with most saying they can keep up with the pace of change and have a good idea of who and what causes it. They don't like what they see, however. Well-informed Worriers are the most pessimistic of all the groups: they are the joint most likely to think that UK society is going to get worse, the most distrustful of people in charge, the most likely to think that communities will become less connected, and the most likely to expect they will personally be impacted negatively by technological and social changes over the next 20 years. The majority also feel that people like themselves don't have the power to help influence the future. They don't believe there is a technological solution to all of humanity's problems, although they are fairly uncertain on whether or not technological progress is a force for good or bad.

Insulated Stragglers 17% of the general population
Insulated Stragglers are the oldest of the six groups, with 57% being aged 55 or older, as well as being the most female (also 57%). While the majority feel they have a good idea of who and what drives change in society, they are also the group most likely to say that they find it impossible to keep up with the pace of change. While Insulated Stragglers tend to have a relatively pessimistic outlook – they overwhelmingly think UK society is going to get worse and have low levels of trust in those entities with the most power to shape the future – they are also the group most likely to feel like change over the next 20 years won’t have any impact on them personally.

All-round Optimists 22% of the general population
All-round Optimists are the most consistently optimistic of the six groups. They are the most likely to believe that technological progress is a force for good, that communities will become more connected in the near future and that changes over the next 20 years will impact them positively. Similarly, only a minority believe that UK society will get worse over the next two decades. They are also the most likely to feel they can keep up with the pace of change, and that they have a good idea of what and who drives change in society. The only thing All-round Optimists are negative about is those in power – the majority distrust the people and organisations with the most power to shape the future. Despite their overwhelming belief that technological progress is a force for good, they are also highly sceptical that it can provide a solution to all of humanity's problems.

Empowered Hopefuls 13% of the general population
Empowered Hopefuls are the youngest of the six groups, with 42% being below the age of 35. They are the most optimistic about the future of society and are the most likely to feel that people like themselves have the power to help shape the future. They are also the least distrustful of those entities that they believe have the most power to shape the future. This group tends to be divided about technological issues. While few Empowered Hopefuls tend to think technology is actively a force for bad, they split over whether it can solve all of mankind's problems. They are also divided over whether or not technological and social changes will make communities more or less connected.

Tech Disciples 14% of the general population
Tech Disciples are the most male-dominated group, with 62% being men. They are the most likely to believe that there is a technological solution to all of humanity's problems and they consider technological progress to be a force for good. They are also have the strongest early adopter tendencies. They have high levels of awareness and empowerment, with the majority feeling able to keep up with change and that they have a good idea of what and who drives change in society. The majority also believe that people like them have the power to shape the future. Despite their optimistic view of technology, Tech Disciples are social pessimists: they are the joint most likely group to expect UK society to become worse over the next 20 years and have high levels of distrust of those with the most power to shape the future.