One of the paradigm shifts on the future scenarios curve is healthy life extension. When I mention to an audience that the first person to live to 200 has already been born – it gets quite the reaction. Extending our healthy lives has many implications to very long held beliefs. These challenges to our belief systems are the reason I believe humanity is heading towards another Tipping Point – that moment in time where intuitions and beliefs built over long periods experience a considerable shift. It is the reason I titled my presentation “A Journey through the Looking Glass”.
Through the looking glass is a metaphorical expression. It means: on the strange side, in the twilight zone, in a strange parallel world. It comes from the idea of Lewis Carol’s novel: “Through the Looking–Glass“, and the strange and mysterious world Alice finds when she steps through a mirror. I firmly believe we are stepping through the looking glass.
Healthy life extension is a great example of a scenario on the curve upending long standing institutions. As visualized below, multiple building blocks converge to deliver this scenario.
Has the first person to live to 200 years old been born yet? , Researcher into Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Anti-Aging Medicine has this perspective on that question:
“I think the answer is almost certainly yes. Once these other factors come into play and examples include nanotechnology, tissue engineering, gene therapy, stem cell therapy, advanced robotics, cloning and memory upload (this one’s time frame is harder to work out than the others) then factor in all of the other interventions that we will develop over the next 50 years then clearly assuming a child born today will only live to 100 has to be a gross underestimate, frankly for children born this year even if they only average a life expectancy of 150 something will have to have gone catastrophically wrong in my opinion”
A very good articulation of the reasoning can be found in his article Here.
What happens when multiple scenarios take hold? What happens when they converge and amplify their impact? These questions underscore the critical need for Future Thinking.