At TED2014, we challenged attendees to vote on 10 potential drivers of change in the next 30 years, via that enormously sophisticated piece of technology: the sticky note. As we could likely have predicted, there wasn’t much consensus among those in Vancouver, but the range of opinions was vast and intriguing. And what do you think? Take the poll — and see how your thoughts match up with the rest of the TED community. Below the poll, some relevant quotes from TED Talks.

Climate Crisis
“Our world faces a true planetary emergency.” — Al Gore

Rising Inequality
“To be sure that this new economy benefits us all and not just the plutocrats, we need a new New Deal.” — Chrystia Freeland

Aging Populations
“My father, 92, says: ‘Let’s stop talking only about how to save the old folks and start talking about how to get them to save us all.'” — Laura Carstensen

Online Learning
“What happens when every precocious 13-year-old in the world has access to every bit of information they could ever want?” — Salman Khan

Transparency v. Privacy
Just as the Internet has opened up the world for each and every one of us, it has also opened up each and every one of us to the world. — Gary Kovacs

Space Technology
“Do we want to be a space-faring civilization exploring the stars … or forever confined to Earth until some eventual extinction event?” — Elon Musk

Machine Intelligence
“By the 2030s, the nonbiological portion of our intelligence will predominate.” — Ray Kurzweil

Work Reinvented
“The key to winning the race is not to compete against machines but to compete with machines.” — Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

Genomics Revolution
“I firmly believe that the next great breakthrough in bioscience could come from a 15-year-old who downloads the human genome in Egypt.” — Thomas Friedman

Internet of Things
“This is like the birth of the Internet, but it’s literally an Internet of things. It’s an Internet where data becomes things and things become data.” — Neil Gershenfeld

Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. What about energy crisis??? Surely that will be more heated than a climate crisis?


    will be the most important driver of change in the future

  3. Space technology will change planet Earth’s resources from finite to infinite (by way of asteroid harvesting).
    It took last place in the vote only to prove to me how disconnected from reality and logic humans are : )
    Quite fun!

  4. Interesting that these are largely about “tactical” and “technological” things… what about the human drivers of change… uncertainty, complexity, collaboration…?

    • Just my thought.

      What about education. Teaching the importance of taking responsibility for your own actions, team work, social and environmental consciousness? Or is that for another poll?

  5. I voted for the Rising Inequality category, because I think that our current global capitalist system is no longer sustainable. Inequality is not a problem of poor countries, but also affects the richest nations in the world.

    Other categories are very important as well, but they are more or less connected with the problem of economy and equality. We can stop worrying about the aging populations in the moment when we realize that we can feed them and maintain them healthy without money. We already have the technology that can benefit us all. It is only the scarcity which produces the inevitable pressure on the current system, in which impoverished majority seeks satisfaction through violent or non-productive behavior. Once we realize the change lies in establishing equality – not just legal, but also material – shelter, food, health care and education for everyone, we will benefit immensely.

  6. ummm…Time?

  7. Gratefulness!

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This piece was written by a member of TED's community. It was commissioned and edited by TED staff.


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