Global Agenda Council
The top 10 emerging technologies for 2012
By: Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies
Sheikh of Dubai and The World Economic Forum
Global Agenda Council
meets the Sheikh of Dubai
Emerging technologies are critical to building a sustainable and resilient future. But without new understanding, tools and capabilities, their safe and successful development is far from guaranteed.
At the Summit on the Global Agenda 2011 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies asked some of the world’s leading minds within the entire GAC Network which technology trends would have the greatest impact on the state of the world in the near future.
Below, the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies presents the technological trends expected to have major social, economic and environmental impacts worldwide in 2012. They are listed in order of greatest potential to provide solutions to global challenges:
- 1. Informatics for adding value to information
The quantity of information now available to individuals and organizations is unprecedented in human history, and the rate of information generation continues to grow exponentially. Yet, the sheer volume of information is in danger of creating more noise than value, and as a result limiting its effective use. Innovations in how information is organized, mined and processed hold the key to filtering out the noise and using the growing wealth of global information to address emerging challenges.
- 2. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering
The natural world is a testament to the vast potential inherent in the genetic code at the core of all living organisms. Rapid advances in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering are allowing biologists and engineers to tap into this potential in unprecedented ways, enabling the development of new biological processes and organisms that are designed to serve specific purposes – whether converting biomass to chemicals, fuels and materials, producing new therapeutic drugs or protecting the body against harm.
(Photo Source: on Dave Sifry’s camera by the sheik’s photographer)