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Jack Uldrich’s “Friday Future 5:” March 22, 2024

Posted in Future, Future 15, Futurist

Heart-Centered Thinking: “We need water. It is essential for everything.” This statement is obvious on its face but it was taken from an article explaining how Mexico City–a metropolitan area of 22 million people–could run out of water by the middle of this year. (The article ends with this stark warning: “I don’t think anyone is prepared.”) Even areas which are believed to be water-rich may experience problems in the near future. I live in Minneapolis–which is known as “The City of Lakes”– and even it could experience real issues. I am becoming more and more convinced that the world’s ecological crisis is really a spiritual crisis. That is why I wrote an article this past week for the Minneapolis Star Tribune explaining why our lakes need more real love.

Think Optimistically: It is true that the world climate continues to change. There is hope, however. In Columbia, the city of Medellin is planting “green corridors” to stem the effects of a changing climate. Since the program was started just a few years ago average temperatures have already fallen by 3 degrees. Furthermore, air quality has improved, wildlife is coming back, and more people are cycling. Look for other cities to follow in Medellin’s footsteps.

Think Harder: Even as a full-time futurist, I have a hard time staying abreast of the startling advances in artificial intelligence. This 5-minute video offers a real-time reflection by AI on its own sentience, ethics and the future of artificial general intelligence.  The response the AI bot provides suggests society is getting dangerously close to a critical turning point. Judge for yourself and then spend some time reflecting on what this might mean not just for you and your business but for society and humanity as a whole. (If you’d prefer a slightly more practical–but no less amazing–look at the stunning space of change in the field of AI, watch this 16-minute excerpt from the CEO of Nvidia discussing what’s next in the field. To my many friends in the agriculture industry, here is how Nvidia is using AI to “crack weather forecasting for good” by creating a massive digital twin of the entire planet.)

Think Bigger: If the city of Montreal can feed itself with locally grown food and produce year-round, why can’t other cities? It’s a good question, and I think we will begin to see an increasing number of cities worldwide seek to emulate Montreal’s success.

Think Twice: There is so much that I don’t know. I am not a biologist but the rapid loss of biodiversity concerns me as a futurist. This is because of nature’s vast complexity and interrelatedness.  Every loss of an animal, bird, fish, bug or organism–no matter how small or seemingly insignificant–makes our whole eco-system increasingly fragile. To this point, fungi are believed to be essential to the life and health of plants and trees but we still know relatively little about them. Fungi could, however, hold the key to our future.

Afterthought: “There is another world but it is in this one.” W.B. Yeats

P.S. Did you miss last week’s newsletter? Check it out here.



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