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2020 VISIONARY Peter Schwartz

Sneak Preview

What to look for—and forget about— in the new millennium.
  • Alternative energy sources will mean the end of the internal combustion engine. We’re going to see a dramatic transformation in the auto industry as we move toward electric vehicles over the next 20 years.
  • Genetic engineering will profoundly affect agriculture. Superproductive animals and ultrahardy high-yielding plants will bring a green revolution.

  • We will not commercialize outer space. Space is just too expensive and, frankly, there isn’t much up there.

  • The “population bomb” is going to fizzle. There’s a very strong correlation between rising lifespan and falling birthrate. Rising standards of living and more education of women also lead to fewer births. The UN has dropped its long-term population forecast by half a billion every year for the last five years
  • The rise of African-American and Hispanic minorities is about to transform the United States. These two groups have largely been locked in poverty. That has already begun to change, but the pace is about to really take off. The biggest growth market for American companies is the emerging market inside the U.S.
  • Computer chips with a billion transistors will arrive in about ten years. Chips 100 times more complex than the integrated circuits of the late 1990s will make things like reliable simultaneous language translation possible and transform the multi-lingual world.


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