Stephen Petranek untangles emerging technologies to predict which will become fixtures of our future lives — and which could potentially save them.

Why you should listen

Writer and technologist Stephen Petranek became a reluctant doomsayer when his earliest TED Talk (“10 ways the world could end”) racked up 1.5 million views. But Petranek is in fact an optimist who believes that humanity will escape its predicaments -- literally. Within a century, he predicts that humans will have established a city of 80,000  on Mars: and that not only is that plausible, but it’s also inevitable.

Petranek is the editor-in-chief of the Breakthrough Technology Report, a technology newsletter that ties scientific breakthroughs to investment opportunities. He's the author of the forthcoming TED Book How We'll Live on Mars.

What others say

“Award-winning journalist Stephen Petranek says humans will live on Mars by 2034. Now he makes the case that living on Mars is not just plausible, but inevitable.” — Simon & Schuster

Stephen Petranek’s TED talk

Stephen Petranek on the TED Blog
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Global Issues

And the countdown to Armageddon continues…

December 21, 2012

By Stephen Petranek So, the world hasn’t come to an end yet. But the insecurities and fears about the so-called Mayan Calendar prediction that Earth as we know it will cease to exist today has created such a ruckus that Michigan officials closed 33 schools in preparation and NASA has devoted many web pages to […]

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Quotes from Stephen Petranek

Everything that we need to make an atmosphere on Mars, and to make a livable planet on Mars, is probably there.
Stephen Petranek
TED2002 • 1.5M views Sep 2007
Informative, Fascinating
Somewhere in the Amazon forest is the marginal tree. You cut down that tree, the rain forest collapses as an ecosystem.
Stephen Petranek
TED2002 • 1.5M views Sep 2007
Informative, Fascinating
We are all much healthier than we were 20 years ago, but mentally, we’re falling apart. The World Health Organization now estimates that one out of five people on the planet is clinically depressed.
Stephen Petranek
TED2002 • 1.5M views Sep 2007
Informative, Fascinating