Six things you need to know about 2030

21 July 2009

On Tuesday 21st July Dr Ian Goldin, Director of the 21st Century School, launched TED University 2009 with a presentation entitled "Six things you need to know about 2030".

Famous for its highly engaging lectures, TED holds a series of yearly conferences devoted to the simple concept of "ideas worth spreading". Each of these conferences kicks off with a hugely popular session known as TED University, in which selected attendees give short presentations, sharing expertise from their academic discipline.

By bringing together the world's most fascinating thinkers in one place, TED encourages the discussion of "big ideas" from every field imaginable. Previous lectures include: Al Gore, on averting a climate crisis, James D. Watson, on the discovery of DNA and Jane Goodall, on what separates us from the apes.

In a thought-provoking presentation to an audience of TED participants, Dr Goldin provided a fascinating insight into just how much we already know about what our lives will be like in 20 years.

Highlights included:

  • A promise of revolutionary new technologies and medical breakthroughs
  • Warnings about the unprecedented ethical dilemmas that these new abilities will create
  • The vital importance of being prepared to deal with global systemic risks including: the impacts of climate change, the threat from emergent diseases and the possibility of a biological terror attack

As part of the TED conference, Dr Goldin was also invited to take part in "The Forum", a BBC World Service discussion, touching on systematic approaches to problem solving or risk. The programme will be broadcast on Sunday 26 July and will also be available from the BBC website.

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