People, processes and events had a profound influence on the life of our ancestors and shaped the world we live in today. Reaching out to these historical events and striving for understanding, helps us to shape events to come. It enables us to create a better future for all mankind, where human misery is lowered to non-existence and everyone can live their dreams – something they have only been able to dream about so far. Our past is our future: that's why I'm a History student at Ghent University.
In this future, technology will unmistakably play a major role. Technology provides us with the instruments to better our lives in ways we couldn't conceive of in the past. 50 years from now, cancer research will have lead to a cure for all those in pain of the disease itself or the effects it has on the ones close to them. Automatisation of industrial processes will be freeing a whole generation of the burden of the Industrial Revolution and all the factory work it brought us. Education will become accessible to all those in dire need of literacy to improve their life standards.
Social advancement and benefits for all of the world's citizens is something we must strive for, today and every day. It is not the work of the future generation, but of all generations. Through my commitment as students' representative on a national and local level in Flanders and in (youth) politics, I'm trying do my fair share of the major work outlined above.
50 years from now, entertainment and design will no doubt have been revolutionised several times. The changes of the past 50 years have already been overwhelming, how could we expect less of the future? We got television, portable everything, the "calculatory abilities" of billions combined in small machines, thousands of different models of chairs, visits to other stellar objects of enormous magnitude and the observance of the smallest objects conceivable. We even got The Internet, lifeline for a whole generation craving for information and social interaction. Our society is however pointed towards short-lived entertainment and design: objects aren't built to last and sources of entertainment are as interchangeable as fashion trendss. Our challenge is creating a durable future in which the digitised world is more firmly attached to the real world, Arduino and similar projects have some part to play in this.
50 years from now imagine what we can achieve tomorrow with the current rate of development and technological advancement – let alone in 50 years.
TedxBrussels gives a forum to those envisioning a future with a prominent role for Technology, Entertainment and Design. That's why I'm happy to be a part of the bloggers' team of this years' edition entitled "A Day in the Deep Future: 50 years from now". I will be blogging here on www.tedxbrussels.eu about the speakers of this years' conference and what I expect from their presentations on the 22nd of November. TedxBrussels will be a battle of great minds and we musn't go unprepared.
Sander Van der Maelen