Glen recently had an interview with Txchnologist.com about the future of cities. The future of cities is becoming aÂ more and more significantÂ Â issue with 7 billion people expected to live in urban centers by 2050, says NPR. In this Txchnologist.com article Glen answers very thought-provoking questions like Which cities around the world are the most forward-looking and why? and How might always being online alter the physical form that cities take?Â After reading about how commuting mayÂ likely be a thing of the past andÂ going “offline” will not be an option much longer,Â I began to start thinking about what it means to live in a city. How can my impact on my community right nowÂ shape the cities of the future?
This week I began a new book, The Social Conquest of Earth, by E.O. Wilson. Not surprisingly I find it quite mind expanding, marking up nearly every page, as few writers get to the essence of things like Mr. Wilson. His question in this book is, where did humanity come from, what are we, and where are we going? This is not unlike the question that I use in Futurist.com vision work with enterprises – where have you come from, where do you want to go and why do you want to go there?
To whet your appetite for this book, here are two money quotes from just the first couple of sections…
Humanity today is like a waking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. The mind seeks but cannot find the precise place and hour. We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.
I will propose that scientific advances, especially those made during the last two decades, are now sufficient for us to address in a coherent manner the questions of where we came from and what we are. To do so, however, we need answers to two even more fundamental questions the query has raised. The first is why advanced social life exists at all, and has occurred so rarely in the history of life. The second is the identity of the driving forces that brought it into being.
At the annual Future In Review conference, one of the most interesting presentations was that by Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, reviewing their future of energy study that was chronicled in their report and book, Reinventing Fire. In brief, Amory explained in his dispassionate, engineering style, that it is possible to grow the U.S. economy by 158% by 2050, while completely phasing out the use of oil, coal and nuclear power, keeping the amount of natural gas we use steady, and relying instead on renewable energy and distributed grids using no newly invented technology. This could be done at a savings, according to the RMI study, of $5 Trillion. Below is an infographic created by RMI that sums up their scenario for how such a future will be created. The question is, is this a possible or a probable future?
A colleague at the Association of Professional Futurists just shared his discovery of a most impressive and interesting website, in beta right now, Welcome to the Anthropocene. The site is “designed to improve our understanding of the earth system.
The home page features a really excellent short film, “Welcome to the Anthropocene.” It is a 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes.
The film was commissioned by the Planet Under Pressure conference, London 26-29 March, 2012, a major international conference focusing on solutions.
Really great video – enjoy, learn.
ht to Lloyd Walker, Precurve.com