The mission of the Warp Institute is to make the future come sooner. But what future is that?
Here are twelwe ideas.
Were they hard to think of? No, the hard thing was to not make this into the longest list ever. I made it super simple, I just took existing trends and extended them. These are things that are already going on, I just want to speed them up.
Almost all of these stats come from the excellent book Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know. If not, I have linked to the source.
End of poverty
Humanity's greatest achievement in the last decades has been the reduction in extreme poverty.
In 1910 over half the world's population lived in extreme poverty and still in 1981 42 percent did. Now it has dropped to below ten percent. From 1.9 billion people to 650 million.
The pandemic can make it go up a bit in the short run, but it will most likely continue to drop in the long run.
Super-cheap and clean energy
Between 1977 and 2008 the price of solar cells dropped from $76 to $4 per watt. A decline of nearly 95 percent. But that was just the beginning.
Since 2008 it has dropped to $0.24 per watt, another reduction of 95 percent.
Of course, the cost of energy from solar cells has dropped as well, much faster than almost anyone anticipated. In the next ten years much of the world will enter into the third phase of renewable energy.
"In the third phase, it is cheaper to build new renewable energy production than it is to continue to run existing coal and gas energy production."
More land for nature
Earth is getting greener with larger forests. Five percent greener in the last 20 years, according to NASA.
There are now about three trillion trees (try to repeat that rapidly five times!) on Earth and if we can double that, it would suck two-thirds of all human-made CO2 out of the atmosphere, according to "tree professor" Thomas Crowther.
Every human being living in democracy
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the consequent collapse of the Soviet Union the number of people living in a democracy raised rapidly.
The Center for Systemic Peace:
The percentage of countries that scored 7 and above, thus qualifying as full-fledged democracies, rose from 31 percent in 1989 to 49 percent in 2017. The percentage of countries that scored -7 and below, thus qualifying as full-fledged autocracies, declined from 39 percent to 11 percent over the same period.
With democracy follow all the other essential aspects of life—no extreme poverty, no famines, increased wealth, education, healthcare, and so on.
Nothing will change life for the better faster than a rapid transition to a hundred percent democratic world.
Armed conflict has decreased substantially in the last decades—both between countries and civil war.
This has a good chance of going to zero, if the world is fully democratic, because democratic countries never go to war against each other.
Humans on the Moon, on Mars and beyond
We have taken the first steps on another celestial body. We have had people in space always for 20 years, on the International Space Station. We are exploring the Solar System, and beyond, with probes.
Progress has been slow, compared to the 60s, but the pace is picking up again now. Private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin have big bold plans, and many players join the race.
The first humans can reach Mars before 2030, and we should have millions of people living in space in 2100.
Since the early 19th century we have more than doubled the global average lifespan. Today it is more than 72 years.
The projection from the UN is 83 years in the year 2100. That is very pessimistic. We should do much better just by the basic stuff of healthy food, democracy, health care and education.
And with the exciting research in the longevity field an average of over 100 years seems doable. At least that is what we should aim for.
Education for everyone
In the early 19th century 90 percent could not read and write. Today 90 percent can. Let's get that to 100 percent as soon as possible.
The average global IQ score has increased by 30 points in the last hundred years. This is thanks to, among other things, more schooling, better food and exposure to more mentally challenging media.
Between 1990 and 2016 the number of deaths in cancer per 100 000 declined from 161 to 134, a decrease of 17 percent, or 0,7 percent annually.
With the recent breakthroughs with immunotherapy the war on cancer seems winnable in the not so distant future.
This is the only stat in here that is not going in the right direction already. At least not globally. But we see progress in some individual countries.
Sweden has reduced its CO2 emissions by 26 percent between 1990 and 2017, and at the same time the Swedish economy grew over 50 percent.
Everyone has access to the internet
In the three first decades of the internet half the world population got access. It should not take another 30 years to connect the other half.
Imagine a world with global peace, everyone living in democracy, no one suffers the horrors of extreme poverty and all children go to school and learn how to read and write. On average, people are a lot smarter than they were just a few decades ago, having added over five IQ points per decade.
Celebrating someone's hundredth birthday is no biggie, since the average global lifespan is over 100 years. One significant development that got us that was curing cancer.
The globe is no longer under threat from global warming, since we have moved to a zero-emissions world. There are still some CO2 emissions, for example from rockets, but they are minimal and get sucked out of the atmosphere by growing forests and direct-air-capture technology.
Speaking of rockets, over ten million people now live out in space. Mars has the most prominent settlement with over five million people, and the rest is spread out on moons and space stations across the Solar system, calling themselves Solarians.
Super cheap and abundant access to energy has saved millions of unnecessary deaths every year, and allows everyone to participate in the global society. And of course, we are all connected on a global internet. No one calls it the internet anymore, it is just there for everyone to use.
When can we live in this world? I think all of it is doable at least by the year 2100 and much or all of it earlier than that.
Imagine this world and all of the great things I've left out.
This is the world we want to come sooner.
The sooner the better.