The Hungarian scientist and author Dennis Gabor wrote, “The future cannot be predicted, but it can be invented.”
We will invent (or create) the future; there’s little doubt about that. But will it be the future we want? If we’re not careful, tomorrow may happen accidentally, without forethought or planning. And it may not be a pleasant place to live.
So, what can we do about this? I propose that although the future cannot be accurately predicted (no matter what psychics say), we do have the power to imagine several different possible tomorrows. By doing that, we can choose the future we like best, and then try to make it come about.
In my latest essay for Future Brief, I suggest seven possible futures that I call: Stagnation, Slow Growth, Extinction, Enslavement, Status Quo, Uplift, and Nirvana.
Some of them may seem outlandish to you. But remember the words of Arthur C. Clarke: "If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run—and often in the short one—the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.”
Are you ready? Let’s look ahead—over the edge of the horizon, all the way to the end of the 21st century—and envision some of the different roads we might take.