TED Conversations

Hassan Syed

Founder & CEO, Bir Ventures, USA

This conversation is closed.

Do you believe that our future is bright, if yes, why and if not, why not?

While looking at the trends like human health, access to knowledge, access to technology, technology growth, etc., we start believing that our future is going to be very good. On the other hand, looking at the trends like destruction of nature, speed at with we are consuming natural and environmental resources, explosion of human population, carbon in the air and climate change, etc., we think that really difficult times are ahead of us.

I am interested in knowing the sources of optimism and causes of pessimism in us.

Just to be clear, "our" means humankind :-)

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Sep 23 2012: Great question ... My response is sincere, so if it at first seems dismissive, please bear with me...

    "Do you believe that our future is bright, if yes, why and if not, why not?" Is the question.
    The first part that stands out in the question is "our". So, you need to consider who is us? Is the future going to be great for people like "me", people like "you", or people like "who". That makes a big difference.

    The second part that stands out is the why you only want a response if someone says yes and not no. This one I'm going to, basically, overlook as being the result of looking at the question far too literally.

    The future will be exceeding bright for some.
    The future will be exceedingly dim for some.
    The future looks pretty much the same for the rest.

    Change is here and it is rapid and the future "we" experience will be different based on how "we" position ourselves. If you are hand digging ditches for a living, which many people do like plumbers, electricians, concrete workers, landscapers. The world will remain largely the same. Those job will continue to be done in mostly the same fashion for many years to come.

    Change is coming for the rest of the groups. Change is destructive and disruptive. Those of us that are in those groups can have a future that is bright or grim based on how we position ourselves and what services we are offering.

    Overall, the condition for most is getting better. There are problems, but there is a lot of opportunity, mobility, and the ability to communicate has expanded options. The downside is that people are both rational and irrational, so we now have the opportunity to make more mistakes faster.

    Technology is wonderful, but our advances still come at a cost. Have you ever worked in a mine? Or gone into a 2-foot high crawl space to weld a cross member in to support an air conditioning unit? Even as technology advances many of "us" will still need to clean toilets for people thinking about other things.
    • thumb
      Sep 24 2012: "Our" in my question refers to humankind and I am equally interested in the "no" answers. :-)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.