Planet Books


The Future For Our Kids by Phil Ruthven


If you’re looking for an answer to the question 'When will the robots take over humanity?' then this isn’t the book for you.

Instead, it is a smart overview of the key areas that make up our lives, projecting trends and statistics into the future; a general survey of both historical and current data to give a background into where we are at as a society, and as a world.

Ruthven writes with a voice of authority and seems to have a thorough understanding of all sorts of fields, explaining quite complex ideas with ease. It’s no wonder, really, because as the founder of both IBISWorld and the new Ruthven Institute, he has access to an enormous amount of data. He puts this data to good use painting a – thankfully – rather optimistic picture of the future.

There are very interesting chapters on topics such as religion, longevity, work, money, education and technology – all of the important areas that make up our lives. Ruthven even includes 'the hard stuff' like war, drugs and crime. However, these are all quite brief so are really just small snapshots to help provide an overview.

The book is also supplemented with easy to understand diagrams that ensure that you as a reader come away with a much better understanding of all these areas. It’s the first time I’ve really understood start-ups and other areas of the economy.

Some of Ruthven’s comments in the last couple of chapters are most interesting, especially where he criticises Australia’s “telecommunications fiasco”, and calls our small GDP growth in the last decade as “inexcusable”. Well, he’s got the data to back it up and my internet is still slower than in Kazakhstan.

This bite-sized book is valid for anyone interested in the future of our world – and to prove to yourself that the outlook is not so bad for your kids as some people seem to think.


Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.