By: Peter Diamandis/Singularity University
June 27, 2012
During the last two decades, we have witnessed a technological acceleration unlike anything the world has ever seen. Exponential progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing, ubiquitous broadband networks, digital manufacturing, nanomaterials, and synthetic biology, among many others, put us on track to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have had in the previous 200 years. We will soon have the capability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp.
But it won’t happen without your help. While accelerating technology is an awesome force, it’s not enough to bring on a golden age. However, three additional forces are emerging—and this is exactly where you come in.
The second of these forces is the rise of the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) innovator. No longer content with hot rods and homebrew computers, DIYers (working both in small teams or collectively, via crowdsourcing) have made major contributions to fields like healthcare, energy, education, water, and freedom—areas that were once the sole province of large corporations and governments. This means that whatever challenges we face in the world—climate change, AIDS in Africa, energy poverty—more than ever before, we are now empowered to individually help solve these problems. And it’s our ability to do so, this newfound power of the maverick DIYer, that is the second of our four forces.
The same technologies that enabled the rise of the DIY Innovator have also created wealth much faster than ever before. Tech entrepreneurs such as Jeff Skoll (eBay), Elon Musk (PayPal), Bill Gates (Microsoft) became billionaires by reinventing industries before the age of 35. Maintaining their appetite for the big and bold, they are now turning their attention and considerable resources toward bettering the world, becoming a new breed of philanthropist—technophilanthropists—and, as such, yet another force for abundance.
Perhaps the most significant change of the next decade will be the dramatic increase in worldwide connectivity via the Internet. The online community is projected to grow from 2 billion people in 2010 to 5 billion by 2020. Three billion new minds are about to join the global brain trust. What will they dream? What will they discover? What will they invent? These are minds that the rest of society has never had access to before, and their collective economic and creative boost becomes our final force: the power of “the rising billion.”
We are living in a time of unprecedented opportunity.