If there’s one thing for certain, entrepreneurs are hard-wired for developing problem-solving solutions. It’s a good thing, since there are global issues that really need solving.
Despite the many advancements technology continues to bring to the world, there are still geographic regions that lack access to basic resources. This, along with issues that face developed areas, has become top priority to many tech founders who see opportunities to positively impact society while building successful businesses. If they can create a solution that changes the world in some way, they can help build a better future, and find the happiness that comes from helping others.
Here are several issues that tech innovators are working hard to solve in the coming years:
1. Eradicating disease.
“Yeah right,” you say. Well there’s an ever-growing school of thought that disease can be stopped outright at some point. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to do it in his daughter’s lifetime.
In addition to the monitoring and treatment benefits tech brings to domestic diseases, innovations also will help fight global epidemics like the Ebola virus. There are already apps that can diagnose certain diseases using specialized sensors. This will become even more advanced with the widespread availability of sensors and other technology.
Over time, these devices could enable people to diagnose diseases in parts of the world without access to health care. That’s huge.
2. Equal access to resources.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that not every area of the world has access to the Internet. Google and Facebook are in a race to give developing countries the same web access seen in much of the world.
Current plans include deploying helium-filled balloons as well as drone planes with antennas that will provide Internet access to millions of people living in more isolated areas of the planet. Tech innovators are also devising ways to ensure everyone has access to clean drinking water, along with other necessary resources.
3. Education equality.
There are a wide variety of existing issues in education that tech developers are eyeing. One relates to discrepancies in the needs of students. From the time they start school, students are pressured to learn certain things with each passing year, despite the fact that learning styles can differ dramatically from one person to another.
In recent years, teachers have seen a move toward personalized learning and tech will accelerate that. Already, forward-thinking schools are implementing methods that increase flexibility in the learning environment. Some of these methods include a mix of technology, small group interaction in class, the addition of “advisors” for individual students, weekly goal setting, and more.
4. Climate change.
Technology today can likely do little to reverse the damage that has already been done, but it might be able to slow down climate change in the future.
Tech will bring carbon-free energy to the masses, equipping buildings, automobiles, and more. Whether it’s more affordable electric vehicles or less expensive solar energy and wind power, consumers will gain more access to clean, sustainable energy. These developments may further loosen the fossil-fuel industry’s grip, as well as slow planetary temperature changes that scientists say is causing oceans to rise.
, obesity has become an epidemic, increasingly for even younger generations. Technology will eventually provide insight into the causes of weight gain for the population as a whole, giving actionable insights to the medical community.
Sensors already help consumers track their activity levels but eventually this same technology could be applied to blood sugar levels and calorie intake. The more we can learn about preventing obesity before it starts, the better.
6. Accidental deaths.
Unintentional injuries are among the top causes of death among adults, accounting for more than 136,000 deaths per year in the U.S. Car accidents are among the top causes of accident-related deaths, especially among teens.
Self-driving cars promise to save hundreds of thousands of lives, since human error is often the cause of automobile collisions. Already, technology has begun to improve the space, with alerts and automatic braking helping counteract the effects of distracted driving.
Accidental deaths due to gun use may also go down because of new technology. Companies are developing tech to stop guns from firing unless a sensor is worn, or a certain person is using the weapon.
These examples illustrate how technology will likely change the world, improving circumstances for populations across the globe. With challenge comes opportunity, and forward-thinking entrepreneurs would do well to turn their attention and skills to areas where changes is needed, and where they can make a difference for all of humanity.