Technology has become perhaps the greatest agent of change in the modern world. While never without risk, positive technological breakthroughs promise innovative solutions to the most pressing global challenges of our time, from resource scarcity to global environmental change. However, a lack of appropriate investment, outdated regulatory frameworks and gaps in public understanding prevent many promising technologies from achieving their potential.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies identifies recent key trends in technological change in its annual list of Top 10 Emerging Technologies. By highlighting the most important technological breakthroughs, the Council aims to raise awareness of their potential and contribute to closing gaps in investment, regulation and public understanding. For 2014, the Council identified ten new technologies that could reshape our society in the future.
The 2014 list is:
- Body-adapted Wearable Electronics
- Nanostructured Carbon Composites
- Mining Metals from Desalination Brine
- Grid-scale Electricity Storage
- Nanowire Lithium-ion Batteries
- Screenless Display
- Human Microbiome Therapeutics
- RNA-based Therapeutics
- Quantified Self (Predictive Analytics)
- Brain-computer Interfaces