I was fortunate enough to attend an event run by the Digital and Social Media Leaders Forum, the Health Futures Event. One of the key speakers at the event was David Wood, the chair of the London Futurists.
This blog focusses on what you can do to live a life where you can reach your full potential in work, life, and relationships. But, for a moment, I want us to explore the possibilities of the future, and how different the world might look in 20 years time (that’s not that far away).
Of the many things that David Wood discussed, there were two key subjects that I wanted to explore a little further: the chance to end the effects of aging, and, what I’m calling, the Hybrid Olympics.
The End of Aging
Whilst it is not certain that we will all be so lucky to live a long life, growing old, the population is certainly getting consistently older across the world.
The highest healthcare costs we pay are for conditions caused by the effects of aging. David Wood believes that within the next 20–40 years it will be quite possible for us to stop the effects of aging completely.
Ofcourse, we will have to decide, as a society, whether we believe it will be the right thing to end aging. It’s going to be a huge ethical debate as so many people believe that aging is part of the human condition. But, should we do this, we would not be the only creatures on the planet capable of not experiencing the effects of aging. The best known example, said Wood, is the Naked Mole Rat.
Another lesson we could learn from this same animal is the fact that it never develops cancer.
So, what could we do as individuals if we never grew old and withered? What projects, work, and philanthropic endeavours could we do?
The Hybrid Olympics
The current Olympics are based on the principle of rewarding the achievements of natural, unaided talent of human athletes. Major controversies are caused by doping scandals, where athletes attempt to sneak in performance improvements through medication and supplements.
But, as science develops the technology and drugs to vastly improve our abilities, wouldn’t it be amazing to see just what is possible by hybrid athletes?
Is it not exciting to see how we can push what can be achieved by pushing athletes organic systems to their maximum?
These games would truly be something from science fiction, with men and women doing things that we could not imagine.
Though, it raises an important debate. Would these athletes be seen as ’regular’ humans, or something very different?
This divide is going to be something we have to think about in the coming decades. As healthcare technology moves from being able to repair our bodies to greatly improving them, would that still mean these individuals are the same as ’base humans’?
The future is exciting, but we’re approaching one of the biggest moments in history, one where we need to truly shape the form our race takes, and the impact this will have on our civilisation, and our cultures.
It’s going to be our next Industrial Revolution scale moment, the Evolution Revolution.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
KG Heath is a healthcare technology professional, horror author, podcaster, and self-improvement blogger. You can get his debut novel free here.