In his book titled Homo Deus, Yuval Harari provides a look into possible futures; he echoed those themes as he addressed the attendees of this years annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. I encourage everyone to read his Address, as it touches on the three existential threats that he believes humanity faces: nuclear war, ecological collapse, and technological disruption. Given the attention paid to the first two, Mr. Harari focused his address on technological disruption.
Anyone who has read his work knows that Mr. Harari paints a vivid picture of a future created by good intention, but ultimately alters humanity in a negative way. His address touched on the various unintended consequences delivered by a technological progression that the global community failed to manage. A social and economic upheaval that History has shown us before. But this time, the combination of biotechnology and information technology can alter the very meaning of being human; a Tipping Point for humanity may very well be on the horizon. An arms race, digital dictatorships, data colonies, and human hacking are among several of the humanity-altering enablers that sit on that horizon.
He echoes a theme that I embrace: nationalism is about loving your compatriots, not hating foreigners. In the twenty-first century, in order to protect the safety and the future of your compatriots, you must cooperate with foreigners. Said another way, it will take the global community to steer the path of our emerging future. Mr. Harari uses the World Cup as an example of the global community coming together – that model is required to manage this third possible existential threat.