Subscribe to our list »
Connect with us on Social Media
trueHUE® Water cooler stories
North America is facing not one but two revolutions: a revolution of possibility and a revolution of negation.
The revolution of possibility is driven by education, science, innovation, and design. It is a cluster of scientific and technological revolutions, all feeding one another. It is about access to wealth, health, and personal freedom.
The revolution of negation is driven by superstition and fear.
Our daily lives can be smarter, faster, easier, lighter, greener, more equitable, more open and accessible, and more beautiful. From the energy we use to the products we buy, from the food we eat to the ways we interact with our environment and with one another, everything is being redesigned to better meet our needs.
The revolution of possibility is exponential, and it is accelerating.
Technological change is destabilizing—one recent report concludes that automation could displace an estimated 400 to 800 million people by 2030. No one knows which jobs will exist in fifteen years.
Collectively, many of the world’s countries have organized efforts to confront polio, malaria, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, climate change, poverty, and hunger. We built a global infrastructure of manufacturing, transport, air travel, and telecommunications. More than 4 billion people now have access to the internet
In 1820, an estimated 94 percent of all global citizens lived in extreme poverty.
The revolution of possibility is radically egalitarian and built on a platform of open connection; it should be accessible to everyone. This access to possibility for billions of people worldwide is the defining quality of our time.
There is a risk that the benefits of our highly connected age will go only to the lucky few. I believe we are faced with a choice: return to the familiar patterns of our past or take a leap into a radical and uncertain future.
The last fifty years have seen the greatest creation of wealth in human history. Billions of people have entered the global middle class. This group now includes 3.8 billion people, according to one study—for the first time, outnumbering the poor and those in poverty.
The revolution of negation also means greater and greater concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people, with 1 percent owning over 40 percent of the world’s wealth.
When humans work together, we can wipe diseases from the face of the planet. Smallpox became the first disease to be declared eradicated, in 1980, after an enormous campaign led by the World Health Organization with international advisers from over seventy countries. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides billions of dollars to efforts to improve global health, predicts that we could eliminate four more diseases by the year 2030, including polio and guinea worm.
Meanwhile, the revolution of negation is actively denying science in favour of pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. Since 2009, the number of “philosophical belief” exemptions from vaccine programs has risen in twelve states in the US (only eighteen states allow such exemptions).
It may not feel that way, and for good reason. There has been a slump in global freedom in the last decade, with Turkey, Poland, Venezuela, and Hungary sliding toward authoritarianism. Online funding, social media, and video platforms have been used not to bridge divides but to launch campaigns of hate.
Free speech is also under threat. An assessment by Freedom House, an independent US-based watchdog agency, between 2016 and 2017 found that thirty of sixty-five governments tried to control online discussions.