Our Future Selves

In these final days of 2016, it’s natural to think about the future. What changes do we want to make, what challenges will we face, and what are our aspirations? What will life look like in the years to come?

Futurist Juan Enriquez is the expert when it comes to these sorts of questions. His focus is far broader than your typical new year’s resolution, however. A brilliant thinker and frequent TED Talker, he writes and speaks about the ways we evolve the human species with science and technology, and what this self-evolution might look like in the next century or two. For example, might we engineer a “human” body suited to life elsewhere in the universe (and space travel on the scale of thousands of years), and if so, could we graft the human mind onto such an organism, transplanting consciousness and memory? Is it ethical to do so? Given that periodic extinctions are natural—that we should expect the earth to become inhospitable to our species eventually—would it be unethical for us not to do so?

These are the sorts of questions Enriquez tackles in his latest TED Talk, “What will humans look like in 100 years?” And if it all sounds too farfetched, it isn’t. Enriquez weaves together examples from history and from the latest in science to illuminate the profound changes we will face as a society—and as a species.

If you’re looking to take a break from new year’s eve plans, or from your 2017 goals for gym membership, diet, dating, or career development, this fascinating Talk will give you plenty to think about! Dorothy and I heard it live at TEDSUMMIT 2016 in Banff in June, where we had the pleasure of spending some time with Juan. His vision of the future has remained on my mind ever since.

What do you think? What’s your favorite TEDTalk? Join the discussion and let me know. I want to hear from you!

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-Isaac Lidsky

 

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