Big Think Answers In 2050–Will you be healthier? Wealthier? Wiser?
By 2050, the planet will house 9 billion people, who will consume ever more precious resources all the while leading even greater technologically complicated existences. What will we eat? What will out towns and cities be like? Will the climate crisis still exist or will we still exist? BIG THINK asked top thinkers across the country these and other questions to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Smithsonian magazine. The outcome is Big Think’s special series which discusses Life in 2050 . Summary of the findings:
- Dramatic demographic shifts expected. Average age rates will increase and most people will live in urban areas.
- Real time pricing for energy will be the result of “smart grids” that all our appliances will be linked to.
- Media will continue to be radically transformed destroying the traditional model for a news organization and replacing it with “individuals and small alliances of individuals” reporting and publishing on niche topics. (Like this really awesome BLOG!)
- No surprise will come that technological threats such as viruses and terrorism could compromise most of the openness and freedoms that we currently enjoy online.
- Freshwater will certainly be a bigger issue along with out-of-control rises in sea levels and enormous crop shortfalls.
- Financial products of today, will be determined illegal due to their non-beneficial nature to consumers (eg. over-the-counter derivatives).
- While we may not radically extend life beyond 120, it is certain that we will continue to improve the quality of life as people age.
- It is believed that HIV/AIDS will still exist but our knowledge of the virus and therapies to treat will be more extensive.
- Food supplies will be more localized with smaller slaughterhouses , creameries, and increased regional food operations . Big Think feels we will be healthier due to this trend.
- Processed foods will be out of vogue and food eaten will be from more local sources.
- Race issues will not be such a significant issue, but class issues may be. It is even possible that we will see a black pope.
- Prison Population in the US will decrease by 2050.
Big Think represents a worldwide forum of today’s top minds and influential experts . 1500 thought leaders worldwide have had their ideas showcased via BIG THINK.