Rapid growth in technology & innovation - What about sustainability?

I came across this excellent video on speed of Technology and innovation in YouTube. It really puts things in perspective of the progress we have made in the last several decades/century. 20th century has been the most event filled one in terms of technological progress, innovation & growth in the human history. Never before have we seen several disruptive innovations on a global scale (Ex: Airplane, Automobile, Television, Telephone/cell phone, Computers, Internet etc) within such a short span of time. We made huge progress in almost all fields, most notable amongst those include medicine and science. Technology and innovation has been instrumental in elevating our quality of life and life expectancy. It has shrunk time & distance and enabled us to communicate and express ourselves better. It has made the world one global village!

While there are many positives due to technology, there are also several negatives. We have developed several mass destruction weapons and biological weapons that has potential to destroy the entire life on this planet. We are our biggest enemy and our biggest risk today! In our enthusiasm to advance technology and improve our quality of life we have forgotten the whole concept of 'sustainability'. We have been abusing our planet and have been depleting its resources at a rapid pace. We have been polluting our environment, triggering off large scale environmental changes and global warming. While technology may seem to elevate our quality of life in the near term, if we don't reduce our impact on the environment and fix these issues immediately our future generations will have a drastically reduced quality of life and there is a possibility that their very survival will be threatened.

The need of the hour is to channel our knowledge and innovation to develop sustainable technologies that reduce our impact on this planet. While the last century had been focused on developing new technologies that improved our quality of life, this century should be focused on fixing these technologies, making them sustainable and reversing some of the damage we have done. In order to do that and ensure the survival of our future generations we need to drastically increase the pace of innovation of sustainable technologies.

A lot of political will and investments are required to trigger the next wave of disruptive innovation. In the last decade the awareness of our 'unsustainable development' has definitely increased. However our reaction to it has been somewhat muted and it is not coordinated. We need to shed our differences, geographical boundaries and unite as a single force. We need to act really fast and decisively for us to succeed. The next 2-3 decades will be critical and will determine the course of our future. It will be interesting to see if we can achieve this transformation in our lifetime!

Pls share your thoughts/comments on the above.


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