Crowdsourcing a TEDx talk: what are the three most important trends shaping humankind’s future in the next 10 years?

January 19, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica
Eric Ezechieli

Eric Ezechieli

We received an interesting email from sustainability expert/Singularity University grad Eric Ezechieli:

On January 27, I will be delivering a TEDx Trieste presentation, and I will speak in ‘”Exponentialish.” In exponential times, half a gallon of brain does not suffice to keep up with what is going on, and in any case a single perspective is limited.

So, I am asking for your help: could you please respond to the question in a survey? I am asking you about the 3 top trends/events/news stories you have come across lately, and provide examples.

I am not talking about technology in a strict sense; you may want to highlight the Arab Spring, or the 30 floor building built in China in 15 days. The format is willingly quite open, so I invite you to just write what pops up to your mind.

If you indicate your email in the survey, I will share the results. Estimated time for completion: 1–2 minutes. The survey closes at 8.00 am on Friday January 20th, CET. Thank You Very Much!

Ezechieli invited KurzweilAI readers to participate in the survey (the only question: “What are the three most important trends shaping humankind’s future in the next 10 years?”).

We followed up with a few questions of our own:

Will you select specific responses, or all?

EE: I intend to focus on trends on which there is greater consensus.

Will you cite the specific individuals whose trends you select?

EE: I did not plan to do so, I wanted to have multiple perspectives, I was inspired by Asimov’s logic : ).

Will you provide evidence for the trends, or for respondents’ expertise, or will this be just an opinion survey?

EE: At this stage, I do not pretend this experiment to be “scientific,” even if we could definitely build something robust on this scheme. So, more of the second, but it would be very interesting to structure this and make it a real research project. Any ideas about how to do that?

I’m sure our readers will have ideas (which they can add to comments below). Your question is very broad. Would you consider also asking some more specific questions?

EE: You are right, I am aware about this, but I wanted to get a broad perception/perspective, and the time I have available is too short for something which could have scientific value.

How will you rank the answers? How will know which ones are most credible? What are your criteria?

EE: My idea at this stage is not to rank them, because my assumption is that the core trends will be strongly interconnected with each other. But I may change my mind after analyzing the results. My take is that more people converge on specific areas, those are likely to be the most important ones. I will use my own personal judgement, and my personal knowledge of many of the respondents. I may research their background (if they include an email address) to understand their level of credibility.

Thanks, Eric. We look forward to posting the video of your TedX talk.