TED Conversations

Ang Perrier


This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Projections for the next 20 years

Based on current global trends, financial, military, social, technological, etc... what are your predictions of what the next 20 years will have in store for your country, state, business, world, or all the above??
Compare what you think will happen to what you hope will happen.

The end of this conversation is drawing near. The theme of which has been very much what I thought it would be. Every one of us can pin point the problems of today that will lead us into a dismal future unless rectified. None of us here on TED has the "power" required to solve these problems. Individually we are far too powerless. Take a look at the size of this online community, there aren't very many of us. We are the people who choose to discuss, debate, and challenge each other. If our need to speak out and communicate about substantial issues was being satisfied completely in our daily lives many of us would not be registered in an online community seeking other like minded individuals who will care about the thoughts we think. An ignorant complacency has been epidemically spreading for too long and feels irreversible which makes the future seem a dark and dreary place. My optimism lies in the fact that we all get "it", we know, we understand, but in order for anything to come out of this understanding of what changes need to be made and what the end result has to be for all of us we need to buckle down and do something. I'm in no way trying to make that a personal attack statement, I don't feel as though we're all standing idly by as everything happens to us.
There were numerous comments suggesting that something big is speeding toward us, a game changer, a war, a revolution, a revelation, a...something. Whatever "it" is I just hope that we can discuss, debate, and challenge each other to become empowered individuals with answers as opposed to a list of problems.


Closing Statement from Ang Perrier

Thank you for all the contributions :)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Aug 11 2013: I believe we are at the verge of a fundamental societal choice. From my perspective it boils down to the question: do we believe that we can live abundantly or not? We are building technology that enables us to do so, but today our economic perspective is one of 'crisis', basically because our economic system has touched its limits.

    If we focus on the lack of things ('crisis') and don't change our economic system, from my perspective, you can expect to see a societal dysfunction (I dislike the word collapse). Today, a large majority of people go to work to earn money to pay for their needs. Our technological advancements though are increasingly replacing the need of human labour

    (take a look at the research of 2 MIT professors on this: http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/515926/how-technology-is-destroying-jobs/)

    In short, this means fewer and fewer people will have an income to pay for their basic needs, pushing the middle class into poverty and crumbling our fiscal systems that have built our societies. I let you fill in the dots what impact this has on a societal level.

    Another avenue over the next years is to implement monetary and public policies that enable this technological advancement for the good of people. It is possible. One avenue that was proposed by Martin Ford was one of a tax redistribution system based on the number of people you employed. In short: technology driven companies would pay higher taxes than 'human' driven companies. Another avenue is to provide everybody with a basic income to fullfil his/her basic needs and work from there.

    The first step is simple though: creating the awareness that abundance is possible if we want it to. If we do not do that, our biology will work against us (fear in your limbic brain will create fight, flight or freeze mechanisms) and we'll end up in a technological dystopia.
    • Aug 12 2013: Bruno: I believe that the real basis of the advanced comfortable level of civilization which, though battered, we still enjoy , was due to 150 years of cheap and abundant coal and oil power. Which is now fading, and getting too expensive . If we want abundance, rather than Life Support , we are going to have to find replacement sources. "Renewables" are not it., basically because they are too expensive for mass use. Luckily the problem was solved 40 years ago, with the invention and demonstration of a safe form of nuclear fission power, a secret design of an aircraft engine, powered by a Liquid fueled Thorium Molten Salt.(LFTR) It does not have all the downsides of the existing nuclear Uranium plants. No fuel rods, no steam, no high pressures, or explosions. The power is cheaper than coal, and Thorium is plentiful , and widely distributed. The reasons we have not been using this for the last 40 years are complex, but largely political and financial. But it's not too late, natural gas will give us a generation or two to figure out why we have not been using the obvious solution to the Energy (Wealth) problem.
      • thumb
        Aug 12 2013: Shawn, I agree that the fossil fuel era has propelled us forward.I looked into Thorium and it indeed shows to be a valid "safe" alternative for uranium, thanks for this! From my point of view, energy is not the bottleneck on wealth/abundance, it's the monetary/economic system in which the energy provision is plugged. Sure, natural gases will enable us to bridge a part of the gap, but in the mean time we are hurting our ecosystem for short term (monetary) gains.

        From that perspective, the problem is that negative (non monetary) externalities of an activity are "processed" via market economics: only if people find environmental damage that important to be willing to pay more for an alternative or leave the incumbent one, market forces will be positive towards that alternative. Sad and contrary to a logic of living in abundance...

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.