As a speculator it’s my job to think about the future and place bets accordingly. The following video is not only one of the most well done presentations of a rather dry subject I have ever seen but also very interesting. What do the demographics of planet earth look like going forward? Which areas will be growing and which ones stagnating? Where will wealth accumulate? Check out this must watch video of Hans Rosling’s presentation called Don’t Panic! The facts about population.

And while on the topic of future trends, here are some recent predictions by Ray Kurzweil I find thought provoking:

2017: Self-driving cars
“Google self-driving cars have gone half a million miles without human drivers on highways and city streets, with no incidents. Within ten years they will be ubiquitous. Humans have a fairly narrow field of view, these cars have sensors, both visual and laser, and artificial intelligence to be able to assess what’s going on in their environment. Ultimately these cars will communicate with each other and co-ordinate their movements. You also won’t need to own a car, there’ll be a pool of them circulating, and you’ll just call one from your phone when you need it.”

2020: Switch off our fat cells
“It was in our interest a thousand years ago to store every calorie. There were no refrigerators, so you stored them in the fat cells of your body, which now means we have an epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Thanks to the Human Genome Project, medicine is now information technology, and we’re learning how to reprogram this outdated software of our bodies exponentially. In animals with diabetes, scientists have now successfully turned off the fat insulin receptor gene. So these animals ate ravenously, remained slim, didn’t get diabetes, and lived 20 per cent longer. I would say that this will be a human intervention in five to ten years, and we will have the means of really controlling our weight independent of our eating.”

2020: Click and print designer clothes at home
“Currently there is a lot of overenthusiasm about 3-D printing. Typically where people are prematurely very excited it leads to disillusionment and a bust, like the crash. I think we’re about five years away from the really important applications. By the early 2020s we’ll be replacing a significant part of manufacturing with 3-D printing. We’ll be able to print out clothing and there’ll be an open source market of free designs. There will be personal 3-D printers, but also shared ones in your local Starbucks, for example.”

2033: 100 per cent of our energy from solar
We are applying new nanotechnologies to the design of solar panels, and the costs are coming down dramatically. A recent report by Deutsche Bank said that ‘the cost of unsubsidised solar power is about the same as the cost of electricity from the grid in India and Italy. By 2014 even more countries will achieve solar grid parity’. So I do believe that within 20 years we could get all our energy from solar energy. I presented this not so long ago to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was actually my classmate at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and he said: “Ray, do we have enough sunlight to do this with?” and I said: “Yes, we’ve got 10,000 times more than we need.”

Condiment explosion 
The range, variety and provenance of condiments is going to develop hugely next year. They will even become foods in their own right. Vinegar is set to become the non-alcoholic drink of choice, in hedgerow flavours with an artisan twist. On the back of the popularity of wasabi, mustard varieties are going to gain complexity and nuance, and will become a commonplace flavouring in a wider variety of unlikely foods and desserts.

Michelin-starred insects
Currently a fun food fad, insects will become mainstream in about 2016, firstly being used discreetly to create other foods, such as meat sauces, nut replacements and burgers or sausages. Mini-livestock (insects) are already becoming more popular as countries begin to embrace the possibilities of entomophagy, most notably the Netherlands, where it has been pioneered by Wageningen University, which started promoting insects as food in the 1990s.

Slash-slash career paths 
Traditional career paths aren’t open to millennials so they’re making money using things such as Airbnb, eBay, or the new websites StyleOwner and Nuji, which allow you to create your own virtual shopfront of your favourite things, like Pinterest, and if anything is sold you get a payment. They can rent out their rooms, and market their taste.

Source: Jimi Disu

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