At this month's TED conference, there was animated debate between two sharply differing views of the future.
ONE: The future will be one of scarcity and disruption. Economic growth has run up against the limits of what our planet can offer.
TWO: The future will be one of abundance, driven by technological innovation. We're only just starting to tap human potential.
The first view was eloquently represented in this talk by Paul Gilding, the second in a powerful talk from Peter Diamandis. After they spoke, I brought them on stage to debate each other directly. Here is the footage of that debate, which quickly became the main talking point of the conference, with the TED audience split nearly 50/50.
What makes the debate especially fascinating -- other than the fact that, um, our entire future is at stake here! -- is that on top of the factual debate, there is another whole layer around the tools of persuasion. Which is the more powerful motivator to persuade humanity to shape a better future: fear or hope -- or perhaps some nuanced combination of both?
I can't easily think of a more important set of questions we should be thinking about!
Do you agree? And who do you think won this particular debate?