As we look forward over the next 100 years, one thing is certain: the innovations of the future will be subject to the same rules as the innovations of the past. The motor car, electric light, writing, democracy, language, clothing and tools all flourished because they created radical benefits in a way people could understand. And the future will be no different. Innovation has to be needed and it has to be wanted.

But while we are certainly a frontier species driven by the idea of what’s next, if we were exposed today to some of the technological advances that we are likely to see over the next 100 to 1,000 years, would we be ready to embrace them? Or might we not even understand them? If someone offered you a pill that guaranteed immortality, would you take it? If you were able to genetically enhance yourself, would you do it?

At the end of 2019 we sent our customers a survey on the future. It was designed to reveal attitudes and beliefs around the areas most likely to dictate the speed at which innovation happens over the next century and beyond, and how comfortable we are with what the future holds. How much risk are we willing to accept? How long do we want to live? How far do we want to take human performance? And this is what we found.

56% would take the first manned flight to Mars with no guarantee of return.

What role would you play in the colonisation of Mars?
Explorer: 69%
Settler: 31%

If you’d been born 50,000 years ago would you have stayed in your cave, or conquered new lands?
Conquer: 89%
Cave: 11%

Do you take bigger risks during periods of turmoil or tranquility?
Turmoil: 68%
Tranquility: 32%

Do you actively train yourself to cope with risk and uncertainty in any parts of your life?
Yes: 73%
No: 27%

As you age do you find your tolerance for risk increasing or decreasing?
Increasing: 56%
Decreasing: 44%

55% would take a pill that made them immortal.

Do you expect to live for the next 100 years?
Yes: 22%
No: 78%

Do you believe we’ll reach a point where every known disease is curable?
Yes: 53%
No: 47%

Is death a problem to be solved or an inevitability?
An inevitability: 71%
A problem to be solved: 29%

You can take a pill that guarantees you live for the next 100 years, do you take it?
Yes: 80%
No: 20%

79% would genetically enhance themselves.

Would you robotically enhance yourself given the chance?
Yes: 71%
No: 29%

If you had the opportunity to become superhuman, would you 10x your strength or your intelligence?
Intelligence: 92%
Strength: 8%

Are your greatest adventures behind you or ahead of you?
Ahead: 93%
Behind: 7%

Do you control your own destiny?
Yes: 71%
No: 29%

Are humanity’s greatest adventures behind us or ahead of us?
Ahead: 92%
Behind: 8%

70% consider it our fate to become an intergalactic species.

Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
No: 94%
Yes: 6%

Do you believe humanity has the right to lay claim to space?
Yes: 67%
No: 33%

You are the only human on the planet given the chance to meet an alien species. You do not know whether they are friendly or deadly. They may confer life-altering wisdom, end your life immediately, or be an invisible bug in a petri dish. Do you meet them and take the risk?
Yes: 87%
No: 13%

Do you see AI as a credible threat to humanity?
Yes: 54%
No: 46%

Do you believe humans have the capacity to invent their way out of any problem if we devote enough energy and resources?
Yes: 81%
No: 19%

Research findings:
We're a frontier species 

© Vollebak 2020

Founded in 2016, Vollebak uses science and technology to make the future of clothing happen faster. In our first four years we’ve made the world’s first Graphene Jacket using the only material in the world with a Nobel Prize, released 100 Year clothing designed to outlive you, created a Plant and Algae T Shirt grown in forests and bioreactors that turns into worm food, and designed the first jacket for deep space travel. You can find out more about us at vollebak.com.

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