What are the big challenges of the next decade?
It’s been 50 years since the moon landing; you’d think that our country could do a better job of coming together to accomplish something great. Instead, we’re busy.
We have no broader vision from our leaders. They are busy fighting amongst themselves.
You’ve got to seek out the right vision amidst the mire.
Enter Bill and Melinda Gates. They have to be the most exceptional example of how we could orient our lives. Sure we don’t have their wealth, but why not partner with experts to tackle pressing issues.
Why not spend our time trying to solve the significant problems?
So, what are the real challenges of the next decade?
As the population of the earth continues to increase, the general population doesn’t know how to grow it, and that leaves us vulnerable. We have a serious task of feeding the world. It needs to be done more efficiently, with less water waste.
Not to mention severe weather, and pests can devastate crop yields from one year to the next. These issues make it a real challenge over the next decade.
I don’t know how to grow my food. I’ve never had a garden or done any farming. I’ve not had to depend upon it for my survival or my income.
My great-great-grandfather had a farm where my mother spent her summers, but none of that knowledge or experience transferred.
Compounding the issue is the barrier to entry, farming today isn’t a simple operation. You’d need about $5 million to get started to be a tomato farmer, as mentioned to me by a retired tomato farmer. He said you could start with less capital if you were to have a niche item with a decently high priced item.
The average person doesn’t have $5 million lying around to become a farmer.
We need to add farming to schools. Living off the land sounds insane, but that’s what people did. Maybe I’d be more thankful for food and waste less if I understood through experience what it took to grow it.
As our population increases, our environmental impact will continue to be felt. This is deeply upsetting because the planet is dying because of me. I’m the problem. People just like me are buying goods from companies that are raping our planet. The same companies are taking advantage of the poor. What the hell am I doing?
The products and goods I purchase don’t consider the environmental impact, and they aren’t pricing their products to protect the resources. Yes, it’s true that not every company is evil. I’m not making that claim, but it is the collective buying habits of the consumers that keep those businesses alive. Shouldn’t we focus on impact, quality, and then price?
We’d surely buy fewer goods while feeling better in our purchases.
We must figure out ways in which the general populations throughout the world can participate in reversing our direction.
We need a broader view of our impact on the climate, and I need to do more research.
If you are reading this, then you have access to water. Our world only has so much of it, but we are abusing it. It’s unfairly distributed across our planet. Historically civilizations were built around bodies of water for survival. With modernization and industrialization, that’s not the case anymore, but should it be? Shouldn’t we understand our water impact throughout our lives?
We’re going to need to figure out how to use less water in the developed countries, understand reserves and use rationing to protect ourselves from droughts, rather than living on the edge of severe droughts. If we consume all our water every season, we will be left unshielded, unprotected, and those without access will die of thirst.
The impact we have on other nations is profound. Our produce, clothes, products, and vehicles are constructed, grown, assembled throughout the globe.
We need to have a broader view. I need a more comprehensive view, I only see in part.
As population levels rise, we’re going to need to evolve our hygiene. Each country will face some degree of evolution. In cities with extreme density, they will face or are already an ever-growing problem of sanitation.
New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Miami have an ever-changing problem. Trash and feces, while I’m a fan of a good poop joke. This isn’t a laughing matter.
We’ve got to deal with our shit.
In the United States, we take this for granted. We have a large landmass, we can spread out, and the designers of our sanitation systems, haven’t looked at this problem from a different perspective. How do we do it with less power, less space, and build them for countries like India or Cambodia? Let’s add more constraints, such as no infrastructure in place.
We need a broader perspective. I need to deal with my crap.
People are dying and will continue to die from preventable diseases due to lack of knowledge, medicine, care, or access.
Access to medicine is about logistics, and the hardest places to reach are those in conflict zones.
Western worlds don’t have the answer to everything, and I bet there are several answers that we can learn from other people, cultures, and countries.
The American healthcare system and its opaqueness needs to end. No other business model operates with such obscurity around the costs of its goods and services.
Insurance companies can and do weasel themselves out of paying for coverage. It’s in their best interest to do so. Otherwise, they’d get taken advantage of and then go out of business.
Drug companies are a different animal altogether.
We don’t live in a completely ethical land, profiteering, and other moral issues like price gouging exist. We need more controls and oversight in these areas.
When we look at health systems across the globe, we need to be considering what provides the best level of care to the entire population — not just the wealthy.
From there, we can focus on isolating and containing diseases.
We need to understand how our system works and where it fails to bring about change. I shouldn’t leave it to lawmakers to make the right call. I need to figure something out, but I’m still grappling with this one.
How do we get from here to there in solving them?
- First, attitude and tenacity.
- Second, a lot of hard work.
- Third, a multitude of people joining together to be the change.
The audacity of a single person impacting the world seems both insane and heroic. Do you believe that you can change the world? Do you think that you will be able to accomplish your efforts? There are forces outside your control that will make it extremely difficult for you to achieve your goals. Are you still willing?
You’ve got to be willing and ready to fight.
If you are the only one working towards a solution. Are you still going to work hard at it?
You’ll need to be able to put in the extra hours when no one is looking.
Luckily, we aren’t starting from zero. Several organizations and people are joining together in this fight. We can look to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as they continue to say yes to a handful of these life-changing initiatives.
Joining Together and Forming a Movement
We cannot accomplish this alone. It must be together, and it requires a collective effort of people committing to it.
We are going to need to equip others with a vision, a direction, and articulate how to solve these problems.
I was proud, but now I am humbled and will continue to need humbling. My impact on this planet matters. Yours does too, so join me in figuring out the way forward.
Other articles you might like:
Throw out your marketing strategies — 3 Reasons they aren’t working.
Our brains can only handle a few things at a time. It’s critical to get things right.
Potential designer: focus on this first
Your belief in yourself is the foundation of your career. Can you break down your mental molds and shift into new…
Wait — You don’t have to be an artist to be a web designer?
I’m not an artist. Yet, I’ve been employed by several organizations to design for them. For people thinking of shifting…