Futuro Morning Future
Imagining Books 11 November Nov 2019 1610 11 November 2019

The books that forecast how we will work, live and consume in 2050

Technological and scientific innovation, increased life expectancy and a growth in the world’s population: what will the world look like in 2050? As we get closer to Christmas, here are a collection of readings, essays and more, to find out

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Scientific and technological innovation, an increase in the world’s population and life expectancy, revolutions in the key to sustainability: the future is already with us, or at least the debate on the future already permeates public discourse in every sector. From discussions on pensions to advances in medicine and to environmental strategies, what will 2050 look like, and what are the more significant trends that set the line in terms of employment, consumption and lifestyles today? Here are some ideas for books to read and gift that talk about tomorrow from all perspectives, from work to smart cities, from algorithms to artificial intelligence. Whether it is in terms of predictions and considerations about the kind of world we will live in (and want to live in) between now and the next few decades, or to come up with more sustainable solutions for the long term, the future has been served.

Bernard Stiegler, La società automatica. L’avvenire del lavoro (The Automatic Society. The Future of Work) (Meltemi)
The French philosopher and president of the Institut de Recherche et d’Innovation (IRI) and the association Ars Industrialis recently published this essay with Meltemi in October. A world-class figure in the philosophical field, in this book he addresses the theme of the future of employment, a future whose step will be increasingly marked by technology and innovation. The basic premise is this: the Fordist, Taylorist and Keynesian system of work has been wading through a crisis for at least thirty years, and the increasing automation of even the most intellectual professions is making people more and more “proletarianized”, since there are algorithms that do everything for them. This is precisely why, according to Stiegler, it is essential that a rethinking of work and the economy, starting with the creation of new models that provide for remuneration outside of employment, be carried out. And, in doing so, to be able to fight the entropy (the energy dispersion) that now characterizes our era, the Anthropocene.

The world of 2050 will be very different from what we know today: we will eat lab-made foods, we will be able to choose the genetic makeup of our children, we will live 150 years and some of us will even live on Mars

Cristina Pozzi, 2050. Guida (fu)turistica per viaggiatori nel tempo – 2050, a (fu)turistic guide for time travellers (Impactscool)
From healthcare to mobility, from shopping to sex. The world of 2050 will be very different from what we know today: eating lab-made foods, choosing the genetic makeup of our children, living to 150 and perhaps some of us on Mars. To discover all the most exciting (and unexpected) sides of our life in thirty years, in short, Cristina Pozzi’s book is an chance to take an all-round journey towards what, presumably, awaits us all, as well as an easy and suitable reading for all ages. But above all it is a book designed for those who want to try to look to the future optimistically!

Francesca Bria and Evgeny Morozov, Ripensare la smart city- Rethinking the smart city (Codice Edizioni)
From artificial intelligence and machine learning, everything today seems to have become “smart”, intelligent. And this starts form the cities, according to Francesca Bria and Evgeny Morozov, authors of this interesting essay on smart cities. Along with the collective imagination, however, these trends also bring with them criticism, from the need for control to the disconnect from people’s real problems. How can citizens be put back at the centre of the process, fostering innovation which is respectful of people’s rights and priorities? Between technological ecosystems and political programmes, scholars help to reflect on current and future changes in the urban areas in which we live, in an attempt to understand whether there is a way out of this dilemma.

Alfonso Fuggetta, Cittadini ai tempi di Internet. Per una cittadinanza consapevole nell’era digitale. (Citizens in the days of the Internet. For a conscious citizen in the digital age) (Franco Angeli)
As they increasingly fit into our daily habits, Internet and technology are also changing the way we behave as citizens. According to Alfonso Fuggetta, however, governing the future does not only mean understanding the functioning of new digital tools or introducing new regulations to regulate their use: to be agents of change you would first have to mature at an individual level. Only through education, and not only training, in fact, will we be able to move in an increasingly complex world. This book aims to make us consider and think, to make us more aware in this regard.

At least in part, the process has already begun: what if machines really started making decisions for us?

Paolo Benanti, Le macchine sapienti. Intelligenze artificiali e decisioni umane. (The Wise Machines. Artificial intelligence and human decisions) (Marietti)
At least in part, the process has already begun: what if machines really started making decisions for us? The question of the advancement of artificial intelligence poses ethical challenges that we cannot help but wonder about, Paolo Benanti, a well-known scholar in the field of bioethics and the relationship between theology, bioengineering and neuroscience, argues. However, it should not intimidate us, provided that innovative processes are geared towards genuinely human progress, capable of stimulating the moral commitment of individuals and society in the pursuit of the common good. Innovation, after all, is about this.

Roberto Panzarani, Viaggio nell’innovazione. Dentro gli ecosistemi del cambiamento globale. (Journey into Innovation. Inside the ecosystems of global change) (Guerini)
From Silicon Valley to Chilecon Valley, from Israel Valley to the Indian city of Bangalore, where is innovation born and maintained? According to Roberto Panzarani, professor of Innovation Management at the Centro de Referencia em Inteligencia Empresarial in Rio de Janeiro, to really understand the places where the ideas that are taking us into the future are born, we cannot avoid visiting them physically. That is the only way we can really figure out where we are heading. And this book is the best way to do it.

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