Monday, May 25, 2015

Our Changing World by 2050

The following is a brief collection of both negative and positive predictions about our world in 2050. These predictions were  extracted from multiple reports and studies by groups around the world focused on the future of America and this planet. You may find that they all point to redefining society and life on Earth as we transition from a Type 0 to a Type 1 Civilization.

We all ought to consider what the world in which we live will look like by 2050. So here goes! Expect the following predictions and/or future scenarios to become a reality over the next few decades:

Agriculture

  • Demand for Food and Water resources will grow substantially as the global population increases
  • Unfortunately, much of the world's fish stocks in the ocean could become extinct by 2050
  • Global yields of food crops could also plummet nearly 10% by 2050 leading to food scarcity
  • High-tech, precision farming systems, as well as approaches borrowed from organic farming, are all needed to boost yields several times over to meet the growing global demand
  • Use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) will be widespread on farms everywhere

* Read “How to Feed the World in 2050”, U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization

Business & Manufacturing

  • Global standards will be in place for almost all sectors of the economy, e.g. technology, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, telecommunications.
  • Use of Smart 3D Printers and Advanced Manufacturing Techniques will transform manufacturing and be the norm
  • Collaboration, Open Solutions, Sharing, and a focus on continuous Innovation will be the key business strategies pursued by most industries
  • Many new materials for housing, clothing, technology ... will be developed and used, e.g. carbon nano-tubes
  • The telecommuting workforce across the U.S. and around the world will continue to grow
  • Hi-tech, intelligent buildings powered by alternative energy sources will be used by most growing and forward-thinking companies

* Visit the COSI 'Open' Manufacturing web portal

Education

  • Fully accredited cost-competitive private, online schools and universities will dominate the education landscape by 2050, e.g. MOOCS.
  • Human illiteracy will be largely eliminated around the world
  • Already, students coming from China, India, and South Korea together received over fifty percent of all doctoral degrees in the US awarded to foreigners.
  • Continuous life-long learning needed by all humans to adapt to the global economy
  • Free and open access to most of the world's digitized information will be available to almost everyone in the world

* Read about online schools and universities on the COSI 'Open' Education web site

Energy

  • The official end of the 'Oil Age' and use of fossil fuels on Earth will occur by 2050
  • There will be widespread emergence and use of a range of renewable energy sources, e.g. wind, solar, hydro.
  • Renewable energy could provide up to 80% of U.S. needs by 2050
  • Nuclear 'fusion' power will become commercially available
  • Fuel cell technology will also be widely used to power homes, buildings, ships, cars, ...
  • Continent-wide smart 'supergrids' will be used to help manage the world's energy needs

* Read about America's Energy Future and more

Environment

  • Average global temperatures will have risen by more than 4°F by 2050
  • Continued climate change will make storms far more intense, e.g. hurricanes, tornados, cyclones.
  • Sea levels across the globe will rise by a little over 3 feet, flooding many coastal cities in the U.S. and around the world
  • Approximately 5 billion of the world's projected 10 billion people will live in water-stressed areas
  • Nearly half of the world's rain forests and jungles will vanish by 2050, but global efforts to halt de-forestation will finally take hold
  • Deep ocean mining operations around the world will become widespread
  • Major extinctions of many animals and plant life will have occurred
  • Cost-effective conservation technologies and solutions will be widely deployed and in use
  • Wildfires will have tripled in many regions of the globe by 2050

* Read OECD Environmental Outlook for 2050

Global Economy & Trade

  • U.S. dollar will lose its global dominance by 2025 as the Euro and China's currency become co-equals in a "multi-currency" monetary system.
  • India's economy will finally rival that of China and the U.S. by 2050
  • Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia will begin to rival the economies of the U.K. and France by 2030 , while Nigeria and Vietnam could become the fastest growing economies through 2050.
  • Many countries will continue to move from commodity-based to service-based economies
  • New financial systems, economic development, business models and tools will have emerged, e.g. Bitcoin, Micro-financing, Electronic Wallets.

* Read the World Business Council Vision 2050 report

Government

  • The vast majority of countries will have adopted some form of democratic government
  • The U.S. will learn to work with more closely with new partners around the world to reinvent the international governance system
  • Public and Private sector organizations will shift their focus on long term investments and solutions
  • Many Non-State actors take the lead in confronting global challenges, e.g. global business conglomerates.
  • Governments and institutions will learn to adapt fast enough to harness change and new technologies, instead of being overwhelmed by it
  • Building leadership in government and business that can be 'trusted', that is not corrupt, is citizen-centered, and not built on greed and the quest for money and power...

* Read National Intelligence Council (NIC) Global Trends 2030


Health

  • Skyrocketing global population will spur the faster spread of infectious diseases and viruses
  • By 2050 we will see more instances of global pandemics and the spread of deadly diseases
  • By 2050, the number of people around the world living with dementia could triple
  • Reduction in child mortality and improvements in health due to numerous advances in medicine
  • Rise of 'Regenerative Medicine', Genetic Engineering, Stem Cell Research, and the development of 'Human Augmentation' technologies will dramatically alter people's life spans and capabilities
  • Genetically engineered "designer babies" will become more commonplace
  • Use of biorepositories and genomic information systems will transform healthcareand help lower costs

* Read Health & Health IT: 2030 and Beyond


Military &Warfare

  • Highly unlikely that war will go extinct, though its frequency and scope may be reduced
  • There will not be any single hegemonic or dominant global power. Power will shift to networks and coalitions in a  multipolar world.
  • Rapid changes and shifts in power may lead to more intra-state and inter-state conflicts around the globe
  • Continued increases in instances of Cyber Attacks and Cyber Warfare around the world
  • Widespread use of fully autonomous, semi-intelligent military weapons, e.g. drones, robots.
  • Development of a wide range of new weapon systems - see YouTube video on Future Weapons

Population

  • It is predicted that the global population will be close to 10 billion by 2050
  • By 2050, one in every six people on earth will be over 65 years old
  • Global population levels will finally have reached a plateau by 2050
  • Over 60% of the world’s population will live in urbanized areas 
  • Smart cities will house the bulk of the world's population
  • Mass migration of populations effected by climate change will begin to occur
  • While other industrialized countries, particularly in Europe, face projected population losses in the coming decades, the U.S. is poised for tremendous growth, fueled by immigration.
  • The Southern and Western regions of the U.S. will lead the nation’s population growth
  • Vast regions of the Midwest, the Great Plains, and the Lower Mississippi Valley will experience flat or declining population growth
  • More than 70 percent of the nation’s population growth and economic growth will take place in extended networks of metropolitan regions linked by new transportation systems and economies
  • By 2050, the caucasian race will become a minority in the U.S.

* See collected 'Open Access' Studies & Reports on the Future


Society

  • Growing leadership role of women in business, government, ...
  • The importance of Personal Privacy will remain a high priority for people everywhere
  • Continued progress towards the eradication of global poverty levels
  • By 2050, it is predicted that 30 per cent (2.8 billion) of the world's population will identify themselves as Muslim compared to 31 per cent (2.9 billion) identifying themselves as Christian
  • In Europe, it is estimated that by 2050, 10 per cent of the continent will be Muslim, while in the U.S. it will become the second-largest faith
  • Homosexual discrimination will have largely been eradicated in the U.S. and many other parts of the world
  • Language translation technology will improve global business and communications

Space Travel & Colonization

  • Spaceflight technology will take a major leap forward allowing for Inter-Planetary travel
  • There will be permanent human settlements on the moon
  • There will be a permanent human colony on Mars
  • Public and private sector organizations will be aggressively moving forward to explore and exploit nearby planets and outer-space
  • Different forms of life forms will be discovered on other planets and galaxies
  • Several nations will have begun weaponizing outer space as they move to establish colonies in our solar system

Technology

  • There will be another 1,000-fold increase in computer power, data transmission rates, storage, ...
  • There will be widespread use of drone technology by many industries, e.g. agriculture, military, government, transportation
  • Mobile solutions will rapidly evolve and embrace wearable technologies
  • Implantable technologies will start to gain widespread acceptance in healthcare, warfare, ...
  • Trillions of 'Internet of Things (IoT)' and Smart Appliances will be deployed and interconnected
  • Use of 3D Printing will become widespread with many solutions being teleported to printers around the world and in outer-space as needed
  • Big Data / Open Data / Artificial Intelligence / Big Analytics ...
  • Robots will become a common feature in homes and workplaces around the world
  • Many other new technological breakthroughs will be developed just in time to boost economic productivity and solve many of the problems caused by a growing world population, rapid urbanization, climate change, ...

Transportation

  • Electric cars will largely dominate the automobile industry by 2050
  • Hi-tech self-driving cars and trucks on the road will become commonplace
  • Completion of high-speed rail routes between major cities across the U.S. and around the world
  • Maglev trains and HyperLoop technology will replace or augment many existing transportation systems
  • A trans-global highway and rail network will have emerged that will link all continents
  • The commercial space travel industry will continue to grow

* Read about Transportation & America's Future in 2050


To conclude, the rate of change will continue to increase and amaze us. The U.S. and most other developing countries will adapt to these new technologies and changing scenarios as they continue striving to reduce poverty around the world, grow the global middle class, encourage greater educational attainment, pursue more widespread use of new communications and manufacturing technologies, help to advance the health and care of all people, and to continue to jockey for a leadership role in the world of 2050.

Read this brief summary about the future of our world in 2050 and share other major predictions that you think have a high probability of coming true.



* Be sure to visit the web site on America's Future: 2020-2050 by COSITech.Net

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Are Information Technology (IT) Organizations Spiraling Out of Control?


The following is an interesting collection of news items posted on BBC News site just this week about major technology companies and organizations overstepping reasonable bounds and starting to spiral out of control. The stories are becoming more frequent. For example:


So what's going on? Should citizens be more concerned? Should we be more concerned about personal 'privacy' protection? What are the implications for our future if these organizations are left to spiral out of control?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Open Source & Hacking Communities and National Defense

The open source and hacking movements have now spread into every industry – including defense.


Well over a decade ago, when I was the Director of the VA National Center for Information Security (NCIS), I was interviewed for an article on information technology (IT) security by a major news magazine. I remember saying that in the next major war, the first series of battles would be fought in cyberspace. That turned out to be very true, as we saw in the Iraqi Wars, and will hold true if we are ever faced with another global war.

So it was not unusual to me to see a number of recent stories about the NSA, DoD, and other government agencies attending the DefCon Hacking Conferences and hear that they are busily hiring hackers to come work for them. The authors of these stories expressed some surprise that this was happening. However, I saw nothing surprising in this. In fact, it seemed very practical to me.

The U.S. is simply in the process of building up its capability to conduct cyberwarfare – preparing for the next major conflicts around the globe. It just makes sense. China, Russia, and many other countries are doing the same. However, it does seem a little strange to realize that the open source and hacker communities, often belittled or attacked by government agencies in the past, may be the key to our national defense in the future.