Updated: Mar 23
By: Connor Sanborn, Co-Founder of SunFlower LLC
Do you ever sit back and contemplate the future? Our founders have a passion for it; naturally, questions tend to arise. Who's in charge of where our resources come from? Is a fulfilling life assured only to those with the best financial standing? And how do we avoid environmental equality from being turned into an auction to the highest bidders? At SunFlower, we have to be focused on both the immediate future and the far-off possibilities that shape our tomorrow. It helps us to understand not only where we're going as a company, but where our efforts may help the world to arrive down the line.
Why write about the future when it doesn't impact tomorrow? Our answer: because people are experiencing a world of sadness and doubt today. Could you imagine an Earth where humans and nature coexist in harmony? Where the oversights of past generations have been righted? Where humans have stabilized the collapsing ecosystems around us? We can. This series paints a positive picture of what life and the world could look like after five decades of further scientific and cultural evolution of the human species.
Naturally, little concrete information is known about the distant future when thinking of the obscure aspects of our lives. What will our home life be like in half a century’s time? How will we live? Will we feel more empowered? As all facets of society have the potential to change radically after 50+ years of innovation, four main aspects of daily life that will impact you personally — regardless of age, gender, race or creed — have been targeted for discussion in this set of posts. They each hypothesize the emergence of some drastic developments that could hurtle us into the world of tomorrow (in the most exciting ways possible).
In Part 1: The Home, we focus on the great potential for your residence to be much more than a simple place of dwelling. Your home in the future is a hub that facilitates human purpose and success, a place where even being a couch potato is optimized for the greater good. Part 2: The Grid imagines a world where ‘not in my backyard’ (NIMBY) is a thing of the past and the energy network around you is completely renewable, open and distributed. Power needs are met through a combination of seamless energy trading and self-generation, providing a means of additional income to all members of society. Part 3: The Farm depicts a thriving agricultural system revolutionized through both technology and human creativity. Times of human-excess, food-waste and malnutrition have been replaced with a new age of dietary awakening and food security. Rounding things out, Part 4: The Climate portrays an Earth we still have the chance to preserve — a land of beauty and wonder uncompromised by human activities. Homo sapiens have found a way to collaborate at the species level to accomplish the impossible: save a biosphere careening in the wrong direction.
The year is 2076. Climate Change has... well, let’s not go there just yet. The human population stabilized somewhere around 10 billion, having fluctuated wildly from different causes over the years. Resultant from the waveforms of social transformation and the technological triumph around us, sometimes interfering destructively (mass surveillance in the 2020s) and sometimes constructively (environmental revolution in the 2040s), the world around us no longer looks similar to the one in which we were raised. Income equality is growing; the global economy is sustainable and circular. In the face of mass extinction this century — artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and human ingenuity arose from sheer necessity — our society has advanced to levels described by the science fiction writers of previous generations.
Thanks to the internet of things (IoT), the blockchain and other established decentralized technologies, the democratization of information connectivity amongst the human race in the 2050s caused old fears of mass data collection to be put aside. For those who choose it to, the technology around them can learn from their habits, mistakes and successes, improving their lives in the process. In 2076, governments subsidize people with baseline skillets and knowledge to live in areas conducive to their personal success; individual welfare is considered to be an integral piece of society’s overall mission — to improve the lives of humans, our relationship with the Earth and each other. A pragmatic, biologically-driven societal paradigm of ‘for-its-own-sake’ environmentalism led to the creation of a new system where human byproducts are now utilized as the ‘raw materials’ for important industrial needs.
As the decades passed, society’s daily life has transformed into a vision so different from the year 2020 that we can no longer recognize our past except through photographs (the simple 2D kind). Our generation approaches an age at which we were once expected to die, yet strangely — nearly 83 years on — we sit comfortably with a life expectancy of over 120 years. Let me tell you a story, not of how we got to where we currently are, but of what life is like now — here, in the future.
Stay tuned to the The Good Life, The Future: 2076 series to discover what possibilities lie beyond the nightly news of the 2020s.