What Does The Future Look Like? (11 TED Talks)

1. Ian Goldin: Navigating our global future
As globalization and technological advances bring us hurtling towards a new integrated future, Ian Goldin warns that not all people may benefit equally. But, he says, if we can recognize this danger, we might yet realize the possibility of improved life for everyone.

2. Kevin Kelly: The next 5,000 days of the web
At the 2007 EG conference, Kevin Kelly shares a fun stat: The World Wide Web, as we know it, is only 5,000 days old. Now, Kelly asks, how can we predict what’s coming in the next 5,000 days?

3. Juan Enriquez: The next species of human
Even as mega-banks topple, Juan Enriquez, author of As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth, says the big reboot is yet to come. But don’t look for it on your ballot — or in the stock exchange. It’ll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. Our kids are going to be … different. This talk is one of the all time greats.

4. Kirk Citron: And now, the real news
How many of today’s headlines will matter in 100 years? 1000? Kirk Citron’s “Long News” project collects stories that not only matter today, but will resonate for decades — even centuries — to come. At TED2010, he highlights recent headlines with the potential to shape our future.

5. Rob Hopkins: Transition to a world without oil
Rob Hopkins reminds us that the oil our world depends on is steadily running out. He proposes a unique solution to this problem — the Transition response, where we prepare ourselves for life without oil and sacrifice our luxuries to build systems and communities that are completely independent of fossil fuels.

6. Martin Rees asks: Is this our final century?
Speaking as both an astronomer and “a concerned member of the human race,” Sir Martin Rees examines our planet and its future from a cosmic perspective. He urges action to prevent dark consequences from our scientific and technological development.

7. Nicholas Negroponte, in 1984, makes 5 prediction
With surprising accuracy, Nicholas Negroponte predicts what will happen with CD-ROMs, web interfaces, service kiosks, the touchscreen interface of the iPhone and his own One Laptop per Child project.

8. Danny Hillis: Back to the future (of 1994)
From deep in the TED archive, Danny Hillis outlines an intriguing theory of how and why technological change seems to be accelerating, by linking it to the very evolution of life itself. The presentation techniques he uses may look dated, but the ideas are as relevant as ever.

9. Larry Burns on the future of cars
General Motors veep Larry Burns previews cool next-gen car design: sleek, customizable (and computer-enhanced) vehicles that run clean on hydrogen — and pump energy back into the electrical grid when they’re idle.

10. Aubrey de Grey: A roadmap to end aging
Cambridge researcher Aubrey de Grey argues that aging is merely a disease — and a curable one at that. Humans age in seven basic ways, he says, all of which can be averted.

11. Stewart Brand on the Long Now
Stewart Brand works on the Clock of the Long Now, a timepiece that counts down the next 10,000 years. It’s a beautiful project that asks us to think about the far, far future. Here, he discusses a tricky side problem with the Clock: Where can we put it?

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