World Economic Forum's summit in Davos, Switzerland, full of bold predictions
By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, 5:24 p.m.
DAVOS, Switzerland — Forget the endless debates about the euro or government debts. What does the future hold?
The World Economic Forum at Davos is always a showcase for new research, trends and ideas. And those at the annual gathering of the world's elite don't shy away from making predictions.
Here are some predictions from this year's participants:
Weather and water
Oxford University physicist Tim Palmer — who said as a scientist he preferred probabilities to prediction — noted there is a 10 to 15 percent chance that the Earth will warm by 6 degrees Celsius within a century, leading to “catastrophic consequences for humanity” ranging from extreme weather to rising seas.
Vali Nasr, dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said many countries will start running out of water in the coming years.
Laura Tyson, a business professor at the University of California at Berkeley, said one of the great concerns should be “the employment effects of technology,” with so many jobs being rendered obsolete by scientific or technological advances.
Keys to mental illness
Edward Boyden, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who directs a neural engineering research group, says new technologies for analyzing the brain will produce significant advances in fighting mental illness.
If scientists can develop new technologies to image the brain and control the brain's cells, he said “over the next half-century or so we should be able to really understand how these networks” generate emotion.
Then, in the case of mental illness, “we can insert information into the cells in order to re-sculpt their dynamics and fix what's broken,” Boyden said.
Global youth unity
Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, now the U.N. special envoy for global education, said huge advances in the Internet and technology are enabling young people to connect with each other and “this is opening up the world in a way that has never happened before.”
“Young people are beginning to see that the gap between the opportunities and rights they have been promised and the opportunities and rights that are delivered to them is wholly unacceptable,” he said at a session on the forum's sidelines.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Oil slicks found in hunt for missing Malaysia jet
- Statue of Egypt pharoanic princess found in Luxor
- Russians adamant about vote
- Malaysia loses contact with plane carrying 239; 4 from U.S. aboard
- Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 aboard feared lost
- Dutch pot problems spill into its streets
- Al-Qaida’s grip transforms, terrorizes eastern Syrian city
- China defends burgeoning military
- Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend tells court at his murder trial of guns, temper
- North Korea to deport Christian missionary
- History may turn on a shilling