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Which radical innovations will boost economic growth in the future?

This is more a brainstorming thread than a serious discussion thread (though it can become one later on), so let me just start with the basic premise:

I think that in the following decades there will be radical innovations that will cause great increases in technological and economic efficiency causing economic growth to increase dramatically. Which future innovations do you expect to increase economic growth by at least 0.5% (additive) over at least 10 years? Here’s my humble list:

  • Artificial general intelligence
  • Asteroid mining
  • Atomically precise manufacturing
  • Basic income
  • Digital abundance economy
  • Longevity treatments
  • Space based solar power
  • Technological telepathy/empathy

I expect that all of these innovations together will push annual global economic growth rates robustly above 10% per year by 2050. Thus, our economic performance will double at least every 8 years. And it will probably double significantly faster during real boom times.

What are your candidates and economic estimates?

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i think these three innovations could be realized now or rather in the near future. they could be an important foundation to accomplish the others.

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I think your list looks pretty good. I’d only ad nuclear fusion.

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that is a good idea. i want to add gift economy. a start for that could be a flexible barter economy and freeshops

Interestingly, basic income and longevity treatments are the current focus topics of Transpolitica. This might indicate that this think-tank does really know what the really significant topics are right now. Or it might indicate that we suffer from the same biases. ^^

Thanks. I have considered nuclear fusion, and probably sooner or later it will be so mature that it will have a really big impact. The real question is when that will happen. Could be 20 years from now, or 50, or 80. In the end, nuclear fusion will probably be the best energy source in remote areas of the solar systems like the gas giants where the sun doesn’t provide as much energy as here in the inner system. It’s by no means guaranteed that nuclear fusion will be competitive with solar power on an economic level on Earth, much less in near-Earth space.

A gift economy might definitely lower costs of living and free up resources for research, education, charities, and infrastructure, which would be a huge long-term boon. :smile:

The freeshop idea is really cool. If we have collected a lot of digital goods, we could set up a webshop for the Fractal Future Network in which all of those goods are free. That would be a funny mindfuck :smiley:


this would be great!

Let me just cluster the different innovations to get a clearer view on them. Also let me denote the amount of research needed to implement the innovation with stars, ranging from 0 stars (implementable now with nearly 0 research) to 5 (super complicated).


- Gift economy (partial) - Basic income * - Digital abundance *


- Atomically precise manufacturing *****


- Longevity treatments ****

Computing and intelligence

- Technological telepathy/empathy *** or **** (might require decent nanotechnology, though) - Artificial general intelligence **** or ***** - Quantum computers *****


- Space based solar power ** - Asteroid mining ***

It looks like the economic innovations are really low-hanging fruit in the sense of disruptive futurist catalysts. It’s mainly a conceptual, psychological, societal, and political challenge to implement them. But doing that could in theory be done very quickly (in reality not so much, otherwise all of us would be using cryptocurrencies by now). And we probably really need that economic boost to get to the other futurist innovations anytime soon.

The role of space is not clear here. Space based solar power and asteroid mining could boost each other, and both could provide a boost for the industry on Earth, but for me it’s hard to say how big that boost would be.

Atomically precise manufacturing is one of the biggest game changers, but developing it seems relatively expensive. It may even turn out to be comparable to the promise of curing cancer quickly by throwing a lot of money on it – in other words: It may fail miserably for decades.

Longevity treatments may be in a similar situation, but I’m a bit more optimistic about them being turned into reality with a few billions of funding behind them.

When it comes to computing and intelligence revolutions, it might be a good idea to pursue networking human minds and creating artificial minds in parallel. One of them will certainly help us to reach a higher level of performance :smile:

My overall conclusion is that the economic innovations are the low hanging fruit that don’t really get much attention in the futurist community, because it is obsessed with the “sexy” technological innovations – for which there is little investment money, however, because the overall economy is not really futuristic! So, let’s futurize the economy first, ok? :smiley:

1 Like - das hier kann auch eine gute Inspiration sein, ich hab mit den Leuten mal an einem Projekt zusammengearbeitet, die Grafiken sind immer sehr sehr gut finde ich :slight_smile:

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Sehr hübsch und informationsdicht! Danke für den Link! :smile:

An welchem denn?

Ja, und wahrscheinlich auch ganz nützlich für die weitere Arbeit hier und in anderen futuristischen Projekten! :smile:

Sehr gern :slight_smile: An einem zukunftstechnologiebasierten Kartenspiel, allerdings hat sich das dann irgendwie im Sande verlaufen…

Freut mich, dass ich helfen konnte!