The 1920s began in chaos. Cataclysmic disruption resulting from the first world war and the Spanish flu shuttered businesses and provoked xenophobia. Technological marvels like the radio, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, moving assembly line and electronic power trans- mission generated new growth, even as the wealth gap widened. More than two-thirds of Americans survived on wages too low to sustain everyday living. The pace of scientific innovation—the discovery of insulin, the first modern antibiotics, and insights into theoretical physics and the structure of atoms—forced people to reconsider their cherished beliefs.
It’s difficult not to see striking parallels to our modern world. A tumultuous U.S. election, extreme weather events and Covid-19 continue to test our resolve and our resilience. Exponential technologies—artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, exascale computing, autonomous robots, and off-planet missions to space—are challenging our assumptions about human potential.
With the benefit of both hindsight and strategic foresight, we can choose a path of reinvention. The 2021 Tech Trends Report of Amy Webb’s Future Today Institute is designed to help you confront deep uncertainty, adapt and thrive.