Evidence of Abundance

Posted by on Dec 21, 2014 in Faith in the Future, Serious Money Talks | 0 comments

Evidence of Abundance

AbundanceThere can be no denying that we are experiencing a multitude of problems, both foreign and domestic. These problems are vexing and growing with solutions far from certain. However, at the same time, the path of human progress continues to move inexorably toward abundance. It is easy to lose sight of this progress because it is not something we see on the nightly news. For this reason, I want to share four trends that illustrate we are taking leaps and bounds into a world of growing abundance.

Human Longevity

In 1820, worldwide life expectancy was just 26 years! By 2010, 90 years later, worldwide life expectancy had increased to 67 years.  With companies like Human Longevity, Inc., which is working on increasing the healthy, active human lifespan by at least 40 more years, this trend is almost certain to continue.

Human Poverty

In 1990, approximately 2 billion people worldwide lived on $1.25 or less per day. By 2010, just 20 years later, the number was less than 1 billion. By 2030, it is expected that only a very small percentage of people will live in these poverty conditions. Peter Diamandis has stated that we are “going from a world of ‘have’s and have-nots’ to a world of ‘have’s and super-haves’.”

Human Literacy

Approximately 250 million children worldwide are illiterate. The task of teaching these children with human teachers and school buildings is not feasible. Enter the X Prize Foundation, famous for creating the $10 million Ansari prize for private space travel and the $10 million Progressive prize for the first 100 mpg vehicle.  The Foundation just announced the $15 million Global Learning prize for the first piece of software that can take a child from illiteracy to reading, writing, and numeracy in 18 months. Imagine this software pre-loaded onto every phone or tablet with artificial intelligence facilitating the learning process. The software hasn’t been created yet, but the Foundation has proven in the past that such a prize incentivizes many teams to begin working on the project, and the likelihood of a winner is a good bet.

Disruptive Convergences

It has become axiomatic that the only constant is change—and we are just getting used to change that is very disruptive to the status quo. But at least 4 current trends are about to converge, and these convergences will accelerate both the amount and the rate of disruptions.

  • Trend 1: technologies that are now mainstreaming into daily life: robotics, artificial intelligence, networks, sensors, 3D printing, synthetic biology;
  • Trend 2: technologies that are combining with each to produce game-changers like self-driving cars (that combine robotics, artificial intelligence, and sensors);
  • Trend 3: billions of new digitally-connected people  over the next decade who will become builders and creators;
  • Trend 4: innovation cycles for new products will shorten from years to months to weeks as digitally-connected minds begin to congregate and concentrate together.

So, yes, these are vexing times, and I can’t predict the solutions, but know also that the path of human progress trends firmly in an upward direction.



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