CIW: What Will The World Look Like in 2050

We would all like to know how progress will impact us as we move into the future. This session provided insight into the ways we can envision that future.

Bina Venkataraman, author of “The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age” talked about how despair is a factor because many people in the world feel that they do not have the vision, choices or understanding on how we can make things better. Our job as a society is to make people that they have those choices.

She spent a lot of time traveling around the world examining what people do to make better decisions. She had these two recommendations:

  • Learn to imagine: Write a letter to future self. This allows your imagination to take perspective of a specific person in the future. It also gives you the freedom to take on any role you choose in that future.
  • Play the long game: It is important to lock in policies for the long term. Giving people predictability is a crucial factor in allowing this to happen.

Architect Massimo Lepore took the stage to discuss what we can do to prevent climate change. He supports many NGO’s that are working worldwide in critical areas. His research showed him that 70% of people will live in urban areas by 2050. One of our tasks is to figure out how we can prevent the abandonment of rural areas. Figuratively, he wants to create a “green wall” movement to help prevent deserts and water.

Throughout the presentation he threw out lots of interesting statistics but the one that might have been most disturbing is that literally a TON of plastic goes into our oceans every 4 minutes. The challenge is that a lot of that waste comes 3rd world countries that are not capable of stopping or reducing that flow.

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