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Making a Case for Optimism: Abundance is Our Future (TED Talk)

Peter Diamandis TEDTalkIf you’ve been paying attention to the issues that are at the core of building a more sustainable world, such as food, healthcare, water, climate change, education, energy, natural resources, clean air, and so on, and the multitude of challenges that must be overcome in each of those areas, you might be of the mind that we’re probably doomed, and it might be time to start thinking of survival tactics for living in a dystopian future, instead of looking forward to an abundant and prosperous world for us all.

After all, we live in a world that may be facing not just peak oil, but also peak population, peak water, and peak food, all in the near future. When taken together, it seems like the perfect Malthusian storm, especially considering that most of those issues may not even be on the radar of the average person, and that it’s all on the shoulders of the relatively small group of people that are actively working on solutions.

Or you might believe that no matter how big of a challenge we may face as a human race, our ability to invent and innovate and adapt will allow us to overcome those challenges, and even thrive, and that abundance is our future.

That’s the frame that Peter Diamandis, founder and chair of the XPrize Foundation, chooses to see the world of the future through, and it’s a compelling one. During his presentation at TED2012, Diamandis takes an attitude of optimism, and drops a couple of great quotes on the audience, including his belief in our ability to overcome:

“I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems — climate crisis, species extinction, water and energy shortage — we surely do. [But] ultimately we knock them down.” – Peter Diamandis

And his definition of what abundance really means for humanity:

“Creating abundance [is] not about creating a life of luxury for everybody on this planet; it’s about creating a life of possibility.” – Peter Diamandis

Take 16 minutes out of your day and watch the full TED Talk from Diamandis:

At the risk of sounding kind of woo-woo, approaching challenges with an abundance mindset, instead of a risk/cost mindset, could be the leverage needed to take on the very serious issues we’re facing, and be able to deliver a world-changing solution.

What do you think? Is this type of an attitude unrealistic and perhaps even harmful in the long run, or do you see a thriving and abundant future for us because of optimistic people such as Diamandis?

Written by Derek Markham

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

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  1. To me, this sort of mindset is critically important. When our amygdala is firing, it also shuts down the most creative part of our brains – exactly the part we need for high-quality problem solving.

    We can’t afford NOT to practice this sort of thinking to accelerate the take up of Circular Economy / Blue Economy solutions that are proving seriously profitable as well as seriously sustainable.

    The Circular Economy: http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/

    The Blue Economy: http://www.theblueeconomy.org/blue/Home.html

    Do you have another 12 minutes? Try this video from Gunter Pauli: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKS_nZP8LMM&feature=youtu.be&goback=.gmr_3818939.gna_3818939#%21

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