The Future and Unlimited Possibility

Phil and Stephen discuss three varieties of possibility and list examples of each:

1. The Adjacent Possible

The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.

Possibilities that we are only a step or two away from.

The Robot Lawyer
Chatbot lawyer overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York

See also: Conversational User Interface

Going to Mars
Elon Musk Charts Path to Colonizing Mars Within a Decade

2. The Distant Possible

Possibilities that we can imagine but that are not on the immediate horizon

Time Travel
Interstellar Travel
Digital Immortality

Question: where do we put life extension, cure for cancer, jobless economy?

3. The Hidden Possible

Possibilities both near and far that we haven’t thought of yet., e.g. when Amazon said they were looking into doing deliveries via drones.

Uber, Lyft, AirBnB

Improving health via gut bacteria

Some ideas are well known by some but still the hidden possible for many others:

The Singularity


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About Phil 523 Articles
Phil Bowermaster is a nationally recognized author and speaker. He has more than 25 years experience writing about emerging technologies and the future. As co-host of the popular Internet radio series, The World Transformed, Phil has talked with leading scientists and technologists, best-selling authors, philosophers, filmmakers, artists, entrepreneurs and others who are shaping our understanding of the amazing era of transformation in which we live. Phil helps leaders and their organizations develop strategies for managing accelerating change. He shows how imagination, optimism, empathy, and humor can make all the difference in both understanding and making the most of the powerful currents of change we face.