We are on the threshold of a new era. Our planet’s climate is at risk. The century of oil is coming to an end, and the world’s energy supply must be put on a new and sustainable foundation. In 2050 the number of people living in cities will be almost as large as the world’s entire population today — and for the first time in history, there will be more senior citizens than children and young people. That’s why researchers, inventors, and engineers must be more creative today than ever before. Computers as medical assistants, robots as household servants, sensory organs for electric cars, buildings as energy traders, farms in skyscrapers, ceilings made of light, power plants in deserts and on the high seas, supercomputers the size of peas, virtual universities, online factories — these are not visions but almost tangible realities in laboratories worldwide. For ten years now the magazine Pictures of the Future has been exploring the world of tomorrow. In 20 issues comprising over 2,000 pages, Pictures of the Future has been investigating future trends and identifying the important technologies that will shape our lives in the coming decades.
In the new book Life in 2050, Ulrich Eberl, Editor-in-Chief of Pictures of the Future, provides for the first time a compact, clearly structured summary of the key developments that will determine how we live in the decades ahead. Considered in the light of trends in society, business, and politics, these developments point the way forward as we journey into the future. The book is intended primarily for young readers who are curious about how innovations are born, how various developments affect one another, which professions are needed, and how they can help to invent tomorrow’s world. But staying informed about the work of today’s research centers and industrial companies is important for everyone — from schoolchildren and college students to researchers, professors, managers, and politicians. Life in 2050 contains 240 pages of clearly presented insights into the laboratories of the people who create the future and exciting glimpses of the world of tomorrow. It shows that the challenges of the 21st century can be mastered — if we keep our minds open to potential solutions and have the courage to act.