Ready for the Next Big Wave of Megatrends?

By: Debbie Meltzer

Here’s a first of a series of mega-trends zoom-ins

This time – What will it take to make you a Super Centenarian?

Not so fast. Maybe not you, but our children have entered the age of the Super Centenarians. The question is – how are we preparing them? By 2050 more than 9 billion people will be living on earth. The average life expectancy is predicted to pass 100 years by 2050… or before.

Jeanne Calment of Arles France had the longest recorded living life pan – 121 years. She died in 1997. Incidentally she attributed her longevity to a diet of olive oil, port wine and a kilo of chocolate a week.

Assuming there will be millions of Jeanne Calments, what technologies are going to help sustain them in the future? Some of them are already here; pacemakers, knee and hip replacements, power knees, bionic arms…

Zooming in closer – by 2025 it’s predicted the average life expectancy will reach 85 – 90. Here is a close-up on research and technologies envisaged to mass transform us to a ninth decade:

DNA research – will help identify causes of diseases. Stem cell research – to hopefully cure them. Advances in DNA research are predicted to help us understand most of today’s killer diseases; Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer, Diabetes…

DNA“By 2013 a complete human DNA scan could cost only $1,000 and take only 15 minutes.” Fortune magazine.

Our children will probably request a scan before conception, as though it was another blood test. Imagine if that information surfaced on the Social Media waves? Yikes.

Today, stem cell developments are moving full throttle. By 2030 day clinics for multiple stem cell injections could become a common preventative lifestyle fad.

Heard of the next banking system? It’s called a Bio-bank. In Canada and the US placentas and umbilical cords are increasingly being banked. The trend is likely to spread fast.

Fast on its heels – robotic surgery. After all, four hands are better than two. Gamification could help surgeons master robo-surgery. Video gaming could be a pretty useful skill. Ok, does this mean my video game obsessed 12 year old could become a Doctor? Truly a Jewish mother’s dream come true…

A lot of us have already seen viral videos of bio-skeletons to help physically impaired and older aged people move. But what happens when bio-tech becomes wearable?

Soon bio-monitors will be personalized and wearable. Bio-gear will wirelessly track our metabolism and condition in real time while hooking us up to GPS. Eventually they could be embedded inside us. Let’s hope we will always have a choice here.

Looking inwards, Nanobots – tiny molecular machines could help cure diseases. Imagine going to a Doctor for a persistent fever. Instead of giving you a pill or a shot, the doctor refers you to a special medical team which implants a tiny robot into your bloodstream. The robot detects the cause of your fever and subscribes a dose of medication directly to the infected area.

So my dear Super Centenarian – You are entering a truly exciting age. Your cyber generation faces fantastic career opportunities and a lifestyle beyond recognition.

As for our generation – our next mentors are our children!