Hmm, the future...
Technologically, the work of the Indian researchers(1) to modify phytoplankton to create hydrocarbons will bear fruit, probably after being purchased by a major corporation that is already involved in the energy sector. With good marketing & distribution, homes across the world will be equipped with solar panels that produce fuel for increasingly efficient cars. This will of course be then superceded by safe Hydrogen storage, allowing for HFC power plants to be made accessible to the public, knocking the internal combustion engine on the head in most situations. Computers will continue to advance, though a truly concious AI will not be arriving - not due to lack of hardware, but rather because nobody knows how to code for self-awareness & all it entails. As the frequencies continue to fill-up, signal degredation will increase, so wired links may experience a resurgence of popularity for things that don't move about much or are important to have the best signal quality. Manned space exploration will be set back decades by accidents in commercial space ventures such as the plans to move asteroids to earth for mining, but space-tech in general will continue to advance with cheap micro-probes being launched in salvos toward stuff(2) to be studied. With the multiple signals returning from these probes, each giving different but overlapping readings, the data gained after processing would be vastly superior to that of sending one big probe - & if a few of the micro-probes fail it wouldn't be the end of the mission. While the tech to clone & edit human DNA will be more widespread, it's use for any purpose other than removal of disease from the gene-pool will be highly regulated. Militaries will ignore this regulation, probably with disasterous results(3).
Socially, corporations will not rule the planet, because they have governmnets to do that under their orders. There will have been a false-flag WMD terrorist attack at some point, which will have been used as an excuse to tighten security laws, that will then be uncovered & the scapegoats made responsible will be removed from power, leaving those really responsible in an unchanged position of power. Environmnetally, the aforementioned work of Shilpi et al, along with constantly improving efficiencies of tech & widespread use of recycling techniques will hold off environmental change just enough so that those in power can ignore it or just make token efforts to combat it & still win votes, get people to buy their goods, etc.
Sorry about the cynical tone of some of my entry, hardly a nice thing to be reading on your birthday (happy birthday, by the way). Still, you gotta take the rough with the smooth.
1 Shilpi S. et al, 2010, PROSPECTS OF DIATOMS AS THIRD GENERATION BIOFUEL
2 Yes, I know "stuff" is a bit vague, but since you could put any kind of sensors on the probes, you could study so wide a range of things that it's the only term that fits.
Here are my predictions:
There will be a human colony on the Moon and mining of He3 will have begun. This will be a joint Chinese / Indian venture.
Broadcast television will have finally stopped. Thousands of entertainment channels and viewing options will flood consumers with options. While a few will still go viral and become huge financial success stories, these will tend to be kitten video collections, while real quality entertainment will find it harder to find an audience. Startup shows will take a long time to grow a loyal audience, but as they do, the ability to keep selling previous episodes along side current ones means new viewers will be able to catch up, and as ratings rise, overall revenues will rise as well.
A joint mission to Mars will have been accomplished by a consortium of world governments. Probably sent to rescue a mars colony established by commercial reality TV folks.
Someone, somewhere, will have been breeding dogs that are smarter and smarter. In about 50 years, dogs as smart as teenagers prove especially troublesome.
Despite troubling warning signs and exclamations of imminent collapse, the United States of America will still exist, and have a robust economy.
After the death of President Putin, the Russian Federation endures a string of dictators until a new revolution takes place. After shedding more territory, the remaining Russia will emerge as a real democracy.
The European Union, in response to the situation in Russia, finally adopts a constitution, creating a federal system of government with shared sovereignty among the member states.
From the standpoint of half a century, the slow moving democratic reforms taking place in China will almost be noticeable by the world at large, but will benefit billions of Chinese in their everyday life.
The African Union will begin making moves to transform into a more unified government in a similar manner to the EU. They will have a much harder time of it than Europe did.
The South American Union will have overtaken both the AU and the EU in solidarity, with most of the world looking at it as a United States of South America.
In Canada, the Northwest territories will get a better name, and Nunavut will become a province.
After the death of Kim Jong-Un, China will negotiate a trade and mutual protection treaty with South Korea, and allow the DPRK to be merged back into Korea. This will probably be accomplished with more than a little deception and a dramatic betrayal of the northern leadership. However once the dust settles, North Koreans will express their undying love for the Chinese.