What will happen in 2024? We talk about it in Darwin&Verne

According to the Chinese horoscope, it will be the Year of the Wooden Dragon. An exciting 2024 arrives for lovers of technology, tokens, spaceflight and AI, but also for fans of Elon Musk and Mary Shelley. The downside: dark, almost black clouds are looming in the geopolitical sphere and, therefore, in the economy. Welcome to the most Darwin and Verne year so far this century!

Amazon, Meta and Google: you’ve run into trouble with the EU

In 2024, the EU Digital Act comes into full force. It is always said that while others invent, Europe regulates. And it is doing it very well, leading the way for the rest of the world, but always with the threat of Big Tech to leave the European market in the face of regulatory pressure. This digital directive will set the pace for platforms such as Google, X (Twitter), Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Zalando, LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon and AliExpress, as well as Google and Apple stores. It will monitor that companies respect privacy, moderate content, protect human rights, prevent piracy and are more transparent with the behavior of their algorithms.

The year will continue to be marked by the advance of Generative Artificial Intelligence, which we are now getting used to calling GAI, but another of the year’s news will be the definitive adoption by Apple of the universal charger, mandated by European regulations. In 2024 will be released its long-awaited Vision Pro, which will mark a before and after in virtual reality. There will also be a before and after in electric mobility with Tesla’s Cybertruck, another of Elon Musk’s personal bets. The gigantic SUV, a futuristic armored truck, will become the king of the roads and who knows if it will become the official car of James Bond, Batman or a Barbie on the warpath.

The digital euro, the virtual currency based on blockchain technology, is already in the preparation period and throughout 2024 new steps and real tests will be announced so that the tokens endorsed by the European Central Bank reach our pockets in 2025.

“Pikachu Self-Portrait” by Vincent Van Gogh

One of the most interesting exhibitions of the decade will still be on view in January. The Van Gogh Museum is currently programming an exhibition where the world of Pokémon merges with the world of Van Gogh, reinterpreting 4 of the Dutch master’s iconic paintings based on characters from the Pokémon world.

In 2024 we will be able to visit the new Robot & AI Museum in Seoul. Also based on Artificial Intelligence, visitors to the new Shakespeare Museum, opening this spring in London, will be able to immerse themselves in the world of the author of “Romeo and Juliet”. Way more analogical will be the pharaonic Grand Egyptian Museum that will open in Giza in 2024 after multiple delays. We will also have to wait to visit the groundbreaking American LGTBQ+ Museum in New York, which was scheduled to open in 2024 but is likely to be delayed until 2026.

The posthumous novel by García Márquez

“En agosto nos vemos” will be published in March, in coincidence with Gabriel García Márquez’s birthday. A posthumous novel by Gabo that will surely become the literary event of the year, in which we will also celebrate the centenary of Luis Martín Santos (“Tiempo de silencio”) and Truman Capote (“In Cold Blood” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”) and the bicentenary of Immanuel Kant.

Back to the Moon with Elon Musk

Manned mission to the Moon. Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman, Christina Koch and Canadian Jeremy Hansen will travel to the Moon in November in the Orion spacecraft, a nod to Blade Runner. They will orbit the Earth’s satellite in preparation for the first moon landing in half a century, which will take place in 2025. NASA plans that for the first time it will be a woman who will land on the moon in 2025 and she will do so aboard a lunar lander provided by… Elon Musk! It will be his company Space X that will take the astronauts from Orion to the lunar South Pole and bring them back to the spacecraft at the end of the mission.

The Frankenstein year

On the big screen we will see the biopic about Ferrari, the founder of the legendary racing team, directed by Michel Mann and with Adam Driver and Penelope Cruz at the wheel, as well as the endless sequels every year, from Gladiator to Dune, Planet of the Apes or Ghostbusters. But probably the movie of the year will be a remake of Frankenstein’s monster by Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone, “Poor Creatures”. Guillermo del Toro, in the same vein, will surprise us with his version of the Promethean myth in “Frankenstein”, with Mia Goth, Oscar Isaac and Andrew Garfield.

We will also celebrate the centenary of Marlon Brando and Lauren Bacall and, in terms of series, the sixth and final season of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and the fifth and final season of “Stranger Things” will arrive. It is still unknown whether the first season of the “Harry Potter” series will premiere on HBO in 2024, as unofficially announced. Without leaving the small screen, Eurovision will travel to Malmö (Sweden) on May 11 and everyone hopes that it will mean the reappearance of ABBA on stage (in flesh and blood, not in hologram) coinciding with the 50th anniversary of their triumph in 1974 with “Waterloo”.

It will also be a very special year for the radio in Spain, because it will commemorate the centenary of the first broadcasts of Radio Barcelona (Cadena SER) and Radio España, in the midst of Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship in 1924. Radio is still going strong, a century later, even if we now call it a podcast.

Animal welfare becomes law

“We can judge a man’s heart by his treatment of animals,” said Kant, the philosopher who will be so fashionable in 2024. In Spain, the Animal Welfare Law came into force in 2023, but its regulation, to be developed this year, will bring down to earth its novelties: the prohibition to leave a dog alone at home for more than 24 hours, the obligation to attend a course for pet owners, the disappearance of the pet trade or the right to transport them on trains, planes and ships. It will also include fines and criminal penalties for those who break the law.

The world at war

On the geopolitical level, the world is unable to turn off the drums of war. There will probably be no progress towards peace because it will be a politically complicated year. While the 75th anniversary of the birth of the People’s Republic of China by Mao Zedong will be celebrated in style, there will be presidential elections in the United States (probably Trump-Biden), Russia (Putin against himself) and Mexico, which for the first time in its history will have a female president: Claudia Sheinbaum or Xóchitl Gálvez.

In Venezuela, María Corina Machado will try to put an end to 25 years of Chavista regime, now embodied by Nicolás Maduro, in elections that will probably be held in the last quarter of 2024. In Spain, there will be European elections on June 9 and autonomic elections, still without date, in Euskadi, Galicia and maybe Catalonia, but the political year will continue to be convulsed by the foreseeable implementation of the Amnesty Law.

Paris and Berlin, capitals of sport

No, they are not the protagonists of “Money Heist”. The Olympic Games return to Paris on July 26, in what promises to be an Olympics marked by sustainability and security, with possible boycotts and suspensions due to political conflicts (Russia is already banned). The America Cup, perhaps the last time we will see Messi play, will be held in the USA in June and July, on the same dates as the men’s European Football Championship, in Germany, with the final in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.

A sporting year that will see the reappearance of Rafa Nadal, but also his definitive farewell, just as Rudy Fernández will say goodbye to the basket after the Paris Games. But if there is one sporting event that will mark 2024, it will be the official inauguration of the new Santiago Bernabeu stadium after 5 years of construction. It will surely become an icon not only of sport but also of show-business in the 21st century.

Goodbye to Greenwashing

In the United Kingdom, new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules to prevent greenwashing in financial institutions and investment firms will come into force in 2024. The rating of products such as green bonds or sustainable investments will be closely monitored. The EU will also put a stop to “environmental”, “green”, “eco” or “carbon neutral” self-definitions and labels, after detecting that 53% of the cases analyzed in European companies were fraudulent. It will be expensive – with fines of up to 4% of annual revenue – to sell as sustainable a company, a product or a service that is not. The proposal for a directive, now in the hands of the European Parliament, is expected to go through the legislative process in 2024.

These climate regulations were put in place in the hottest year in history, 2023, when the El Niño phenomenon caused significant damage to the planet. Its effects will continue to be felt well into 2024, according to scientists. At the halfway point of the UN Agenda 2030, New York will host the so-called Summit of the Future from September 22 to 24, which will define the steps to be taken to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Despite the warnings that the Earth is giving us, it seems that human beings do not learn. In a few months the largest cruise ship of all times will be launched in Miami, a sort of Titanic of the 21st century with which we are taking a triple somersault. It will be called Icon Of The Seas, will weigh 250,000 tons and we can imagine how it will pollute its navigation, with 7,600 passengers on board on its 20 decks. It will not be alone in this race. In Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), a skyscraper is rising meter by meter, the Jeddah Tower, which, at 1 kilometer high, will break the record of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. COP 29, by the way, will travel to Azerbaijan in 2024 after arriving in Dubai a few days ago. Paradoxes covered in black gold.