Fortune’s view of the world in 2080

Fortune published a special insert "How the World Will Work: People, trends, and ideas that are shaping the next 75 years". I had made a clipping of this article and was re-visting it today. Here are some of the interesting forecasts / predictions:

  • Babies are often tweaked by their parents through gene therapies –either to eliminate problems (e.g., Down syndrome, alcoholism) or to implant desired attributes (intelligence, pole-vaulting skill).
  • Toilet. The seat of modern health. It measures body fat and temperature, analyzes urine and feces, and automatically confers with your health providers to spot problems early. [same concept shown in the 2005 movie "The Island"]
  • In 2040 oil consumption begins to fall in absolute terms, and by 2060 oil is a boutique fuel.
  • Other than a handful of new nuclear plants, large-scale power projects are rare. Instead, micro-turbines fueled by a variety of sources provide on-the-spot power. One big beneficiary: Africa. No longer reliant on corrupt politicians to extend the grid, many communities finally have reliable power. And the civic organizations that made it happen gain force. These two trends bring new spirit to the continent.
  • Global warming brings more and worse weather disasters; a melting polar ice cap raises sea levels. The low, flat, sparsely populated islands of Micronesia are swamped. Their people are resettled. Population centers that are uncomfortably close to sea level, such as Venice, lower Manhattan, and Egypt's Nile delta, struggle to cope.
  • In 2059, with falling birth rates and increased intermarriage and immigration, Italy becomes the first European country to have a nonwhite majority. By 2075 all the traditional large centers of white skin–the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Oceania–have followed suit.
  • Today's toddlers will have to figure out how to cope with the social problems caused by China's urban-rural inequality and the huge disparity between the number of men and women (caused by two generations of parents who favored the birth of boys over girls). Another challenge: how to close the gap with India, which in 2068 overtakes China as the world's largest economy.
  • David Laibson, Economist. The emerging discipline of neuro-economics says that economic decisions are the product of interactions between different brain parts that evolved at different times and for different reasons. Armed with this insight, scholars like Harvard's Laibson are beginning to reconstruct economics from the prefrontal cortex up. That might take us to a far better understanding of why consumers buy, why investors buy and sell–and how everything from 401(k) plans to marketing strategies to tax policies should be put together.
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11 thoughts on “Fortune’s view of the world in 2080

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  2. You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation but I to find this matter to be really one
    thing which I think I might never understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely vast for me.
    I am taking a look forward on your subsequent put up, I’ll try to
    get the hold of it!

    Like

  3. Hello as an australian I don’t and porbably won’t really see the porblems in the world but to me not trying to be inhumane china and other east asina countries should try and limit their children to only one which will by generation too generation decrease their population or have a huge civil that’ll be costly and with the instability of their nuclear weapons i.e. Pakistan, India , North Korea it’ll affect the whole world with more refugees flocking to america and australia which by 2080 will probably be overcrowded. We could try to make communities in the oceans that connect to mainland by under/overwater tunnels just like the channel tunnel of britian/france, and like the lockheed martin idea have aircraft built to go through the atmosphere into space and attempt to make colonies on the moon, mars and in the earths orbit. Ideas by scientists have theoretically proven that if we collect the greenhouse gasses and let the out on mars the in a few deacades that’ll melt the ice caps letting out gases that aid to the construction and stablilty tho the atmosphere, and to the moon idea the people there will grow taller with the lack of gravity and getting enogh dirt into the air tight domes with the civilisation inside would be costly and isufficient to th crowded earth which would be getting bankrupt starting the second global depression. thankyou and i have more ideas

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