A future of human progress and prosperity is coming, a futurist has predicted. Peter Schwartz is perhaps best known by the general public for his 1997 prediction that the next 25 years would result in a period of prosperity and technological progression. Of course, those predictions weren’t exactly on the money, and Schwartz and his fellow futurist Peter Leyden have gotten a lot of flack for it.
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Despite the predictions not panning out, there was a lot about Schwartz and Leyden’s “Long Boom,” that could have happened. Outside of the big predictions of the future, the two also offered alternative scenarios like food supply disruptions driven by climate change and a new Cold War between China and the United States.
While these more negative futures didn’t happen in full, they did look a bit more prescient when looking back at the report. Now, though, Schwartz says that his mind hasn’t changed on what is to come. He still believes that a “Long Boom” is coming for humanity. His predictions of the future say that there will still be immense progress and prosperity. That humanity will see a golden age again.
Of course, a lot is standing in the way of this kind of prediction of the future coming true. But that is what makes predicting the future so tricky, Schwartz explained in a video. While he believes that 2122 will bring this “Long Boom” of his, the future is hard to nail down. Instead, it’s easy to imagine how things will go wrong – which is why those negatives played out more closely to 1997’s prediction.
But Schwartz says that aiming to get everything right isn’t his goal. Instead, he says that the intelligent futurist tests their predictions against multiple scenarios to try to see which are more likely to play out. This is a crucial part of scenario planning, which is also a large part of how futurists predict the future.
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