Exotic, computer-driven “manufactured financial products” like the ones that led to the
great Recession now represent capital flows with a notional value
twenty-three times larger than the entire global GDP.
The emergence of a deeply interconnected global economy that increasingly operates as a fully integrated holistic
entity with a completely new and different relationship to capital flows, labor, consumer markets, and national governments than in the past.
The emergence of a planet-wide electronic communications grid connecting the thoughts and feelings of billions of
people and linking them rapidly expanding volumes of data, to a fast growing web of sensors
being embedded ubiquitously throughout the world, and to increasingly intelligent devices, robots, and thinking machines,
the smartest of which already exceed the capabilities of humans in performing a growing list of discrete mental tasks and may soon surpass us in manifestations of intelligence we have always assumed would remain the unique province of our species;
The emergence of a completely new balance of political, economic, and military power in the world that is radically different from the equilibrium that characterized the second half of the twentieth century, during which the United States of America provided global leadership and stability – shifting influence and initiative from West to East, from wealthy countries to rapidly emerging centers of power throughout the world, from nation states to private actors,and from political systems to markets;
The emergence of rapid unsustainable growth-in population;cities; resource consumption; depletion of topsoil, freshwater
supplies, and living species; pollution flows; and economic output that is measured and guided by an absurd and distorted set of universally accepted metrics that blinds us to the destructive consequences of the self-deceiving choices we are routinely making
The emergence of a revolutionary new set of powerful biological, biochemical, genetic, and materials science technologies that are enabling us to reconstitute the molecular design of all solid matter, reweave the fabric of life itself, alter the physical form, traits, characteristics, and properties of plants, animals, and people, seize active control over evolution, cross the ancient lines dividing species, and invent entirely new ones never imagined in nature;
The emergence of a radically new relationship between the aggregate power of human civilization and the Earth’s ecological systems, including especially the most vulnerable – the atmosphere and climate balance upon which the continued flourishing of humankind depends – and the beginning of a massive global transformation of our energy, industrial, agricultural, and construction technologies in order to reestablish a healthy and balance relationship between human civilization and the future.