2030: Technology that will change the world

Rutger van Santen, Djan Khoe and Bram Vermeer, 2030: Technology That Will Change the World.
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New York.
Hardback, 304 pages.
Price: $29.95.
ISBN: 9780195377170

My co-authors

I have made the book together with two leading scientists. Rutger van Santen belongs to the Faculty of Chemistry of Eindhoven University of Technology. He was awarded the Spinoza Prize in 1997 for his contribution to science. Djan Khoe is Professor of Electro-Optical Communication at Eindhoven University of Technology. An award-winning researcher, he has been honored as a Fellow of both the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the Optical Society of America.

An account of the technologies that will change our lives, highlighting the work of leading experts in a wide variety of fields.

On 16 September 2010 appeared: 2030: Technology that will change the world, an exploration of the frontiers of technology. The book will be translated into Korean, Indonesian, and Chinese and hopefully many other languages.

Humanity is increasingly confronted with crises that, for the first time in our history, are genuinely global in scope. The food shortages we saw in 2007 occurred simultaneously in Asia, Africa and South America; the recession that took hold in 2008 did so simultaneously worldwide; and when the flu pandemic broke out in 2009, germs were able to cross between continents in a matter of days. Climate change and oil depletion, meanwhile, are no less global challenges that we will face in the decades ahead. 
The globalization of disaster is rooted in our technology: generations of engineers have steadily woven an international web of industries, communications and markets that has resulted in planetary interdependence. These global networks are now so tightly knit that we share a common fate. We will now survive together or quite possibly perish together.

I talked to scientific and technological experts and visionaries about how they’d like the world to be in 20 years’ time. I asked them to explore the kind of research that will be necessary in the years ahead and to put it in its broader context. Do we have the means to influence the course of history? What breakthroughs will be needed to make the world a better place? 
Despite their very different areas of research, the experts presented ideas that displayed a number of important parallels. They showed us that many processes have become interrelated, that global networks of all kinds are now intertwined. There is a new science of complexity developing that explores these parallels. The financial crisis, failure of microelectronics and the outbreak of a flu pandemic can on a deeper level be described in a common framework. 
Fresh understanding of the regularities underlying complex systems offers us a new perspective on sustainability, stability and crisis-prevention methods: a new way of looking forward that can help us identify key issues for 2030.

The book appeared on 16 September 2010 at Oxford University Press in New York. Written in clear, jargon-free language, this book offers an enthralling and authoritative look at the future. In 2011 the book will appear in Korean and in 2012 in simplified ('Han') Chinese and Indonesian.