The world will be a better place in 5, 50, 500 years
We live in a time of greater uncertainty than ever before in human history. We are poised between the twin precipices of climate change and rapidly accelerating technological development. How we manage them will determine whether our future is one where humans will thrive, falter or something in between. Welcome to the Futureverse – brought to you by Intelligence Squared and Y TREE – a space to explore the ideas that will shape our future.
In this episode, recorded at Y TREE's first live and digital event on 3 May, three leading thinkers come together to debate the motion: will the world be a better place in 5, 50 and 500 years?
Sculptor Sir Antony Gormley champions the role of art in public spaces in a future society that puts community and care at its centre. Climate change activist Clover Hogan argues that the next 10 years will be crucial for determining the next 50. And tech entrepreneur Mo Gawdat considers how we can imbue AI with the values of humanity. Expertly hosted by broadcaster Jon Sopel, this is a conversation that is guaranteed to change the way you think about the future.
Figure 1: Responses to the question 'Will the world be a better place in 5, 50, 500 years' at the start of the 3 May event.
When asked at the start of the event whether the world would be a better place in 5, 50 and 500 years, the audience was pessimistic about the short-term, more optimistic for the mid-term and undecided about the long-term.
After the event, we saw a clear shift in sentiment. While it was broadly agreed that the world might get worse before it gets better, the audience was much more optimistic about the future.
Figure 2: Responses to the question 'Will the world be a better place in 5, 50, 500 years' at the end of the 3 May event.