Thinking about the Future

Make a list of global risks?

What items would be on that list?

What criteria would you use?

An innovator is constantly asking him/herself to make things better in the future. So making a list of global risk is an excellent exercise in identifying potential areas where new ideas, solutions and technologies might be needed. Many of us may worry if this or that will happen, but an entrepreneur or innovator try to make something about it.

Imagining the future and playing “What if” game, can help identify benefits as well as risks. It can also ensure that we can shape or influence the future to a certain extent.


Photo: Pixabay

Identifying benefits with new technologies may be difficult. We make assumptions about how the world works now and these influence and may also prevent us from imagining a future in which the same rules do not apply. Searching for new possibilities and embracing change and opportunities is important. And although the observation that the world may be changing more and more rapidly may scare us, it also mean that things are increasingly becoming possible. Tomorrow, we may be able to do things we  could not do today.

The future may be unknowable and it it not something that we can predict. But the future is not random and  identifying patterns can help us to detect opportunities and possibilities as well as risks. It is important to remember that patterns are not eternal and that they change with time and the environment.

In one sense a list of global risks can be infinite long, but forcing yourself to identify a couple is a great thinking exercise. The Report from the Global Challenges Foundation identified the following risks that threaten human civilization:

Current risks

1. Extreme Climate Change
2. Nuclear War
3. Ecological Catastrophe
4. Global Pandemic
5. Global System Collapse

Exogenic risks

6. Major Asteroid Impact
7. Supervolcano

Emerging risks

8. Synthetic Biology
9. Nanotechnology
10. Artificial Intelligence
11. Uncertain Risks

Global policy risk

12. Future Bad Global Governance

What items are on your list? Why? And can you spot any areas where you can make a difference?

2 Replies to “Thinking about the Future”

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