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Perspectives


Perspectives help us better understand how today’s accelerating and exponential technologies will impact us in the future. Get a new perspective on the future!

Is It Moral to Seek Immortality? A Discussion at the Vatican

Earlier this month, I participated in a discussion/debate at the Vatican on the topic of “The Morality of Immortality.” The discussion was moderated by CNN medical anchor Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and included Rabbi Dr. Edward...

The Power of Unsafe Thinking to Bring Bold, World-Changing Ideas to Life

Jonah Sachs is a storyteller, entrepreneur, and “unsafe thinker.” Sachs is the founder and former CEO of Free Range studios, a pioneering creative firm that helped create some of the first viral marketing campaigns around...

Will Europe’s Looming Tech Rules Prove to Be a Template for the World?

There was a time when people bought most of the software on their computer, but this is, of course, now ancient history. Some software you still buy, but much of today’s most-used software is...

Is the Secret to Significantly Longer Life Hidden in Our Cells?

Once upon a time, a powerful Sumerian king named Gilgamesh went on a quest, as such characters often do in these stories of myth and legend. Gilgamesh had witnessed the death of his best...

3 Major Shifts Are About to Transform Manufacturing as We Know It

We are on the verge of transforming one of society’s most fundamental building blocks: manufacturing. As new technologies enable manufacturers to customize everything, these same agents are quickly turning consumers into inventors. Following the agricultural revolution some 5,000 years ago,...

Tech Optimists See a Golden Future—Let’s Talk About How We’ll Get There

Technology evangelists dream about a future where we’re all liberated from the more mundane aspects of our jobs by artificial intelligence. Other futurists go further, imagining AI will enable us to become superhuman, enhancing...

Are ‘You’ Just Inside Your Skin or Is Your Smartphone Part of You?

In November 2017, a gunman entered a church in Sutherland Springs in Texas, where he killed 26 people and wounded 20 others. He escaped in his car, with police and residents in hot pursuit,...

How ‘Cultural Evolution’ Can Give Us the Tools to Build Global-Scale Resilience

There’s an unsettling premise at the heart of Joe Brewer’s life’s work. Brewer is a change strategist dedicated to ensuring a thriving global civilization exists 100 years from now—and he believes this is becoming less...

Unleashing Some of the Most Ambitious Women on the Planet

At Singularity University, we are unleashing a generation of women who are smashing through barriers and starting some of the most ambitious technology companies on the planet. Singularity University was founded in 2008 to empower...

The Clock’s Ticking on Climate Change, and It’s Time to Get Real About Tackling It

If you’re an insomniac, this situation will probably be familiar to you. It’s the night before a big exam or job interview. You go to bed with plenty of time to spare, but sleep...

Why Startups Must Break the Failure Fetish and Focus on What Works

There is something curious going on in startup land: From learning to accept failure as part of the creative process we seem to have gone into overdrive and fetishized failure as something which is...

How Netflix and Amazon Earn Customers for Life

Robbie Baxter helps companies reinvent their businesses by shifting relationships with customers from transactional to long-term membership. Leaders in this approach, like Amazon and Netflix, are successful and resilient because they clearly identify a...

You Thought Quantum Mechanics Was Weird: Check out Entangled Time

In the summer of 1935, the physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger engaged in a rich, multifaceted and sometimes fretful correspondence about the implications of the new theory of quantum mechanics. The focus of...

Why Quantum Computers Will Be an Amazing Tool for Social Innovators

While most people think quantum computing is still a few years off, your next taxi ride in Bangkok may be attached to a quantum computer. Toyota Tsusho and Denso recently announced plans to use...

Machines Teaching Each Other Could Be the Biggest Exponential Trend in AI

“The easier it is to communicate, the faster change happens.” – James Burke, Science Historian During an October 2015 press conference announcing the autopilot feature of the Tesla Model S, which allowed the car to...

Want Faster Data and a Cleaner Planet? Start Mining Asteroids

Mining asteroids might seem like the stuff of science fiction, but there are companies and a few governments already working hard to make it real. This should not be surprising: compared with the breathtaking...

How the Science of Decision-Making Will Help Us Make Better Strategic Choices

Neuroscientist Brie Linkenhoker believes that leaders must be better prepared for future strategic challenges by continually broadening their worldviews. As the director of Worldview Stanford, Brie and her team produce multimedia content and immersive learning...

Are Solar Roads the Highway of the Future, or a Road to Nowhere?

By some back-of-the-envelope estimates, around 0.2–0.5 percent of the world’s land surface is covered in roads. This proportion is projected to increase by 60 percent by 2050. It’s a staggering fraction of territory for...

Business Design Is a Powerful Tool for Breaking Down Bureaucracy

Designing the right business model and value proposition is fundamental to the success of any endeavor—yet rarely have governments used these practices. We caught up with Michael Eales, a business designer and partner at Business...

The World Needs More Scientists: How We Can Train Millions in Virtual Labs

California wild fires, melting arctic ice caps, and record setting temperatures suggest our climate is dramatically changing with potentially catastrophic outcomes for our species. Add to that an increase in the threat of infectious...

If Work Dominated Your Every Moment Would Life Be Worth Living?

Imagine that work had taken over the world. It would be the centre around which the rest of life turned. Then all else would come to be subservient to work. Then slowly, almost imperceptibly,...

What Is It That Makes Humans Unique?

If an extraterrestrial civilization were to observe and study our planet from an objective perspective, there is no doubt that among the millions of species on Earth, homo sapiens stands out. This species sits...

There’s a Growing Abundance of Capital to Fund Bold Ventures

There is a growing abundance of capital to fund entrepreneurs’ massive transformative purposes (MTPs) and moonshots. Last year, venture capitalists in the United States poured nearly $70 billion into entrepreneurs—just the tip of the iceberg. In...

Why Intelligent Optimism Is Crucial to Human Progress

There is nothing to be gained from blind optimism. But an optimistic mindset can be grounded in rationality and evidence. It may be hard to believe, but we are living in the most exciting...

History Suggests the Hyperloop Is an Uncertain Promise for Future Cities

Proponents of Hyperloop have repeatedly suggested that their transportation technology will create new “mega-regions,” essentially reshaping the scope of cities. Multiple startups are now striving to defy critics and connect different dots on maps....

Scientists Call Out Ethical Concerns for the Future of Neurotechnology

For some die-hard tech evangelists, using neural interfaces to merge with AI is the inevitable next step in humankind's evolution. But a group of 27 neuroscientists, ethicists, and machine learning experts have highlighted the...

The First Man-Made Meteor Shower Will Light Up Japan in 2019

The first ever man-made meteor shower has an official launch place and time. In early 2019, the meteors will create a light show in the sky above Hiroshima and the surrounding Setouchi region. The...

China Is an Entrepreneurial Hotbed That Cannot Be Ignored

Last week, Eric Schmidt, chairman of Alphabet, predicted that China will rapidly overtake the US in artificial intelligence…in as little as five years. Last month, China announced plans to open a $10 billion quantum computing...

Design Thinking Is Your Secret Weapon for Building a Greater Good

Jeanne Liedtka is a strategy professor at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business, where she works with MBA students and executives on design-led approaches to innovation and growth. The author of...

How ‘Humanomics’ Is Giving Cities With Vision the Tools to Realize It

Suhit Anantula is an entrepreneur whose work focuses on “humanomics”—the practice of combining business and systems design to make positive human impact. He’s been working closely with the elected officials of the city of...

How Your Electric Car Could Help Power Your Home

One of the laments you frequently hear from fossil-fuel lobbyists and renewable energy skeptics concerns the intermittency problem. These advocates point out that the energy from the sun and wind isn’t always available because...

3 Dangerous Ideas From Ray Kurzweil

Recently, I interviewed my friend Ray Kurzweil at the Googleplex for a 90-minute webinar on disruptive and dangerous ideas, a prelude to my fireside chat with Ray at Abundance 360 this January. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaOfLtoaKqw] Ray is my friend...

Is Quantum Computing an Existential Threat to Blockchain Technology?

Amid steep gains in value and wild headlines, it’s easy to forget cryptocurrencies and blockchain aren’t yet mainstream. Even so, fans of the technology believe blockchain has too much potential not to have a...

What AI Can Now Do Is Remarkable—But How It’s Learning Is More Significant

Major websites all over the world use a system called CAPTCHA to verify that someone is indeed a human and not a bot when entering data or signing into an account. CAPTCHA stands for...

The Day-to-Day Practices That Will Help You Get What Matters Done

There’s a widely-held belief that extraordinarily successful people—be they artists, writers, actors, athletes, or entrepreneurs—are gifted with an innate talent, and that their talent is what gets them to the top. But people with...

How Technology Is Driving Us Toward Peak Globalization

At some point in the future—and in some ways we are already seeing this—the amount of physical stuff moving around the world will peak and begin to decline. By “stuff,” I am referring to...

What It Would Take to Suck CO2 Back Out of the Atmosphere

If greenhouse gases are such a problem, can’t we just suck the carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere? It’s a perfectly reasonable question and an important area of technological research to pursue. The...

Blockchain Will Be the Foundation of Trust in the Metaverse

“Virtual worlds are going to be one of the first killer apps for blockchains and perhaps the deepest users of them.” – Fred Ehrsam, Co-Founder, Coinbase Christian Lemmerz, a German-Danish sculptor who normally carves his...

Why the World Is (Still) Better Than You Think—New Evidence For Abundance

Your mindset matters — now more than ever. We are in the midst of a drug epidemic. The drug? Negative news. The drug pushers? The media. As I wrote in Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, we pay...

Does Our Survival Depend on Relentless Exponential Growth?

Malthus had a fever dream in the 1790s. While the world was marveling in the first manifestations of modern science and technology and the industrial revolution that was just beginning, he was concerned. He...

Building the Blockchain to End All Blockchains

Bitcoin, the first practical implementation of blockchain technology, was the buying opportunity of all time. The price of bitcoin has risen faster than any other asset in history, including tulips at the height of...

The Coming Creativity Explosion Belongs to the Machines

Does creativity make human intelligence special? It may appear so at first glance. Though machines can calculate, analyze, and even perceive, creativity may seem far out of reach. Perhaps this is because we find it...

5 Mindsets to Bring Positive Change Across Society

To contribute to human progress, it is not enough to be intelligent, resourceful, or well-connected. Those are all factors that play a significant role but aren’t the true driving forces of disruptive innovation. Stimulating...

The Era of Human Gene Editing Is Here—What Happens Next Is Critical

Scientists in Portland, Ore., just succeeded in creating the first genetically modified human embryo in the United States, according to Technology Review. A team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Science University is reported to “have...

This Is Tesla’s Greatest Competitive Advantage

Tesla’s stock price recently took a hit because of concerns about its delivery capabilities and about increasing competition from carmakers who are switching their product lines to electric. With a market cap still exceeding...
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This Is What Liberated the Power of the Internet, and Why It Matters

The earliest internet was built by the military, designed to help scientists around the nation gain access to those rare room-sized computers located at MIT, Stanford, and a few key institutions. Use of the early...

6 Things Quantum Computers Will Be Incredibly Useful For

Computers don’t exist in a vacuum. They serve to solve problems, and the type of problems they can solve are influenced by their hardware. Graphics processors are specialized for rendering images; artificial intelligence processors...

New Virtual World Sansar Is Ready to Pick Up Where Second Life Left Off

On its 14th birthday, a reflection on Linden Lab’s groundbreaking Second Life, and how their next project Sansar hopes to go even further. In May 2006, Bloomberg’s Businessweek ran a cover story detailing the business...

Why Interstellar Travel Will Be Possible Sooner Than You Think

The term “moonshot” is sometimes invoked to denote a project so outrageously ambitious that it can only be described by comparing it to the Apollo 11 mission to land the first human on the...

Beyond Politics: Innovating for a Sustainable Future

Singularity University is dismayed by the Trump administration’s choice to withdraw from the Paris Accord. Climate change is one of the greatest risks to humankind, and the decisions we make over the next few...

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