Our Awesome Future "Must-Haves"
When it comes to envisioning our awesome future, what are the main ideas we should be thinking and talking about?
We can slice this topic in a million different ways – but perhaps it makes sense to start with the foundational elements we humans absolutely need to survive and go from there.
Let's start with:
Imagine if people everywhere had enough healthy and delicious food to meet their nutritional needs – AND producing this food caused little to no pollution and required much less of the land we currently use to produce the food we eat? This kind of future is within our capacity to create – if we make it a priority and collectively work to make it happen.
We need affordable, easy-to-construct buildings that protect us from the elements and keep us warm and cool and safe and healthy. Engineers, architects, and materials scientists are coming up with new materials, products, and processes for creating carbon-neutral structures and living spaces that allow people to be comfortable and thrive while minimizing their impact on the natural environment.
Researchers around the world are coming up with innovative ways to create the tools we humans need to live our lives without making a huge negative impact on the planet. From creating plastic alternatives out of algae and packaging materials out of mushroom mycelium – to recycling or upcycling everything and making technology more modular, durable, and repairable – there's a lot we can do to change our relationship with "stuff" and cut down on unnecessary waste and emissions right now.
Scientists and engineers are developing and improving technologies to help us generate the energy we need from renewable sources while causing minimal impact to the environment. The advances that have been made just in the past few years to improve wind power, solar cell technology, thermal energy storage, and batteries of all kinds – even gravity batteries – have been incredible. Wind and solar are now cheaper than coal or fossil fuels in many parts of the world! But there's still a lot that needs to happen to facilitate our transition to a green energy world.
Thanks to incredible progress in EV, battery, micromobility, and hydrogen technology, we are making huge strides toward a carbon-free transportation future. Imagine a world where your short trips are fun ebike jaunts along nature paths and most of your longer trips are made with convenient public transit or community-owned EVs. (Or, dare I say, zippy battery-powered hydrofoils? 😁)
Sustainability is our ability to live in harmony with our environment and the world around us. That means minimizing our impact on the planet through adopting a circular economy model and ensuring our industries, infrastructure, materials, and technology are all as environmentally friendly as possible. The future is circular, modular, and open source! (Or at least it can be, if we care enough to make it happen.)
Humans need other humans to survive. We need communities that foster connection, promote compassion over conflict, and make it easier for everyone to get the education, support, opportunities, and freedom they need to manifest their full potential and create healthy, happy, fulfilling lives for themselves.