The Future of Freedom and Democracy by ProQuest


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									 2020 Visionaries
proach. They call out a need for a new model to meet           Then the Singularity happens in 2048 and we’re all
the needs of the new century.                                uploaded by force.
  It’s hard to exaggerate the sheer complexity of the sit-     I’m kidding about that last one.
uation. If the great obstacle to our continued survival        I think.
and prosperity as a species were “just” global warming,
achieving success would be tricky but doable. The chal-
                                                             About the Author
lenge we face is global warming plus resource collapse
                                                             Jamais Cascio is a writer, futurist, and ethicist based in the San
plus pandemic disease plus post-hegemonic disorder
                                                             Francisco Bay Area. He specializes in design strategies and pos-
plus the myriad other issues.                                sible outcomes for future scenarios. Cascio has written for the
  Nonetheless, there are reasons for optimism.               The Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal, and is the author of
                                                             Hacking the Earth: Understanding the Consequences of Geoengi-
                                                             neering (, 2009). He was one of Foreign Policy maga-
Solutions to Complex Challenges
                                                             zine’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers” for 2009.
   We know what we need to do to mitigate climate
change, and we have the necessary technology. What
we’re missing, more than anything else, is the political
will. But politics and society can change — we’ve seen it    The Future of Freedom and Democracy
happen before. It might take a generational shift, it
might take a disaster (or three), or it might just come        Ian Bremmer, head of the world’s largest political-risk
from an expanding understanding of what we’re doing          consultancy, is widely regarded as the go-to expert on the
to the planet. It will take a lot of people working on
fixes and solutions and ideas — not simply top-down          intersection of geopolitics and business. In his new book,
mandates, but massively multi-participant quests,            The End of the Free Market, Bremmer describes the rise of a
across thousands of communities and hundreds of
                                                             new geopolitical force — state capitalism — a form of gov-
countries, bringing in literally millions of minds. The
very description reeks of innovation potential.              ernment where political elites use state-owned companies
   • Innovation in energy. A mix of nuclear, wind, solar,    and sovereign wealth funds to entrench their power, and
and a few others, such as ocean thermal energy conver-
sion and hydrokinetic power, will overtake fossil fuels      where markets are rigged for political gain. China is the
by the 2020s, even if China and India retain coal-fired      quintessential example; after recording year-over-year ex-
power plants. If handled poorly, such recalcitrance may
end up being a driver for significant global tension. If     pansion while the United States experienced the worst re-
handled well, it could be an engine for new markets          cession since the Great Depression, China has also become
and development.
   • Innovation in urbanization. More than half the
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