MIT PROFESSOR: 10 Predictions About The World My Grandchildren Will Inherit

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What will the world look like in 100 years?

Daron Acemoglu, an economist at MIT, pondered this question as he awaited the birth of his son. His new paper considers political, social and economic trends from the past hundred years and then makes projections for the future.

Acemoglu offers a dark vision of rising inequality and pollution, but he also sees positives like improving healthcare.

Global pollution will get much worse.

industrialisation in China means that CO2 emissions and climate change could get much worse. The only way to slow this down would be a mass transfer to clean energy...a tall order that would be nearly impossible without a global agreement. Clean energy doesn't have enough market share to thrive now, and more pollution could lead to destruction.

Summary of predictions by MIT's Daron Acemoglu.

Islamic regimes will fall.

Young people in countries including Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia are increasingly aware of the control the government has over their lives. People's sense of political change will lead to more widespread excitement and retaliation. As change takes over the region and women and minorities fight for their rights, using religion for social control will stop.

Summary of predictions by MIT's Daron Acemoglu.

War could go away.

International and civil wars have declined in the past 60 years, and that trend will continue into the next century. As enlightenment continues and international organisations protect against war, these conflicts will greatly slow down. Groups like the U.N. facilitate discussion between nations and could prevent a repeat of the Cold War. According to Acemoglu, we very well could have a peaceful century.

Summary of predictions by MIT's Daron Acemoglu.

The rebirth of US manufacturing.

Workers in China and the Philippines are starting to demand higher wages, which gives companies less incentive to outsource labour. This means that globalization will slow down and companies will be more likely to seek domestic workers. They are also going to be less likely to forge bonds with new countries because trade policies are too stringent.

Summary of predictions by MIT's Daron Acemoglu.

People will have longer and healthier lives.

New technology, drugs and vaccines will mean that the children of the future will live longer than their parents did. Disease will decline, and the global economy could boom. Advanced nations will step up and offer services to struggling countries in Asia and Africa.

Summary of predictions by MIT's Daron Acemoglu.

Robots will replace manufacturers and farmers.

As technology advances. manufacturing, farming and manual jobs will be phased out. These workers will be replaced by computers and robots. This could either send billions of laborers into poverty or lift them into better jobs and a new income class.

Summary of predictions by MIT's Daron Acemoglu.

The middle class will keep diminishing

Better technologies will help the rich make better profits. Meanwhile, as Chinese workers require higher wages, demand for cheap labour will increase. This means that economic growth will become increasingly uneven and the gap between the haves and have-nots will be greater than ever.

Summary of predictions by MIT's Daron Acemoglu.

The global economy will prosper.

China will continue to grow and new regions in Asia and Africa will start to develop. This could leave to a better quality of life. But we can't count on developing nations to spearhead all growth: the top-consuming regions like the U.S. and Europe will have to iron out their economic problems for growth to be sustained.

Summary of predictions by MIT's Daron Acemoglu.

We'll have automated cars.

Much like this century, the next 100 years will have see a host of technological inventions ranging from automated cars to better medications. There is little evidence we are running out of innovations and the landscape will continue to change as drastically as it has so far.

Summary of predictions by MIT's Daron Acemoglu.

Democracy will recede.

Democracy is under attack in the U.S. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening and money is necessary to exert political power. Meanwhile, citizens all over the world have praised China's authoritarian model. This means that the individual rights revolution could reverse or stop.

Summary of predictions by MIT's Daron Acemoglu.

You've seen what Earth will look like in 100 years...

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