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The Wired World

The Wired World

2021

From the creative minds behind WIRED, the recognised authority on the future, THE WIRED WORLD IN 2013 is a new annual trend report that covers a broad range of topics across eight sections; from science to arts, politics to medicine and culture to the environment. With over 100 articles by associates from the far reaches of the WIRED network, this is an invaluable guide to the year ahead for the knowledge-hungry.

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País:
United Kingdom
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Conde Nast Publications Ltd
Periodicidad:
One-off
USD 5.75

en este número

3 min.
the equality equation

IN 2020, THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE protests that followed the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis made millions reflect on their own role in perpetuating social inequity and systemic racism. In 2021, we will act on that newly understood responsibility. We will work across sectors, disciplines and industries to deepen our understanding of systemic problems and collaborate to find meaningful solutions. This will lead to real change in science and technology. In 2019, Black people made up only three per cent of the UK tech workforce – and only 2.6 per cent of UK technology company board members are from ethnic-minority backgrounds. Attempts to address this critical lack of representation have often been siloed and seen as only a “nice to have”. In 2021 they will be a key…

2 min.
nationalism will lead to lower-quality medicines

COVID-19 HAS FORCED POLITICIANS TO confront something they have up till now preferred to ignore: the fact that most rich countries have effectively outsourced large parts of their medicine production to a handful of other countries – notably China and India. This is especially true for the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that are the building blocks of pills and injections. The global medicine market is shaped like an inverted pyramid. Its base comprises APIs, made mostly in China. Many countries manufacture antibiotics, for example, but in 2018, the latest figures available, China was the origin of 82 per cent of all antibiotic ingredients used worldwide. And above that lies a layer of cheap generic medicines, a very high proportion of which are produced in India. In 2021, calls to bring API production…

3 min.
net zero is the no.1 goal

ENTREPRENEURS WILL FLOCK TO TACKLE the challenge of decarbonising our economies and industries in 2021. The global economy emits 38 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Other greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrogen oxides, add the equivalent of 12 billion tonnes of CO2 to this figure. Decades of work and trillions of dollars of investment in fossil-fuel-driven industries have deep roots in our societies. Achieving “net zero”, as the elimination of carbon emissions is known, is a lofty goal. This drive towards net zero has attracted few entrepreneurs and is a tough sector for investors. In the first decade of the century, clean tech was heralded as the next boom area. Between 2006 and 2011, $25 billion flowed into the sector. Half was lost. Now, however, consumers are…

2 min.
cleantech will help boost the economy

IN 2021, GOVERNMENTS WILL BE WRESTLING WITH THE economic downturn caused by Covid-19 and they will face significant pressure to include in their recovery plans and measures to reduce the rate of global warming. An Ipsos poll conducted in April 2020 found that 71 per cent of people surveyed across 14 mostly affluent countries felt that climate change was as serious a crisis as the pandemic. Research by my own company, Bulb, has shown that more than a third of the UK public lived more sustainably during the lockdown. The challenge for 2021 will be to ensure that support for climate-friendly policies continues to grow and that intentions are transformed into long-term actions. Ipsos also found that, despite their stated concern about the environment, people were on the whole no more likely…

3 min.
we will see the end of supply-chain optimisation

AS THE PANDEMIC HAS REVEALED, while global trade worked well when trade routes were running smoothly, disruptions to them can lead to chaos. In a 2018 report on the future of food supply chains, for example, the consultancy ARUP found that only eight per cent of companies in the sector believed that they had a genuinely agile supply chain that could respond to disruption quickly. In 2021, we will see the long supply chains and just-in-time principles of manufacturing and retail turned on their heads. And, as global supply chains continue to be disrupted by the pandemic, we will also change our attitudes to the idea of repairing rather than replacing goods. Technology has already improved the way we move things between our cities and states. Pressures to reduce the carbon emissions…

3 min.
big pharma will tune in to the potential of psychedelics

PSYCHEDELIC MEDICINE WILL BEGIN TO CROSS OVER INTO the mental health mainstream in 2021. In both Europe and the US, medicines regulators have eased restrictions on using MDMA to treat post-traumatic disorder (PTSD), and on psilocybin – the active substance in magic mushrooms – to treat depression. 2021 will bring new clinical trials, as support for the use of psychedelics in medicine continues to gain momentum. Clinical research into psychedelics has boomed in the past five years and investors are taking note. The US Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which researches the topic, reached a $30 million (£23 million) fundraising target in 2020, on top of $80m of historical funds. This money will enable the completion of a phase-3 trial in the use of MDMA to treat PTSD, which will…