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Peter Leyden
The Enlightenment of the 18th century created the last civilization— until The Transformation of the 21st century created a new one.

Editor’s Note: We’ve finally come to the last installment of the interview with Stuart Rand where he shares his wisdom on the significance of America’s role in the first half of the 21st century. Stuart was one of the first at the time to recognize that the changes in the years from 2020 to 2050 could add up to civilizational scale changes — and now in 2100 we know he was right. Hear him explain the significance in his own words, which have been lightly edited. …


Donald Trump played Herbert Hoover and ended the conservative era, while Joe Biden provided the bridge to a new progressive era that opened up

Editor’s Note: We continue with the 4th installment of our interview with the one-and-only Stuart Rand who tells the story of America through to 2050 now that he’s reached a wise old age in 2100. Here he explains the dramatic shift in politics in the 2020s and the consequent changes in economics that eventually impacted how capitalism itself worked. The interview has been lightly edited to bring out just the narrative from Stuart. This piece can be read on its own, but here are the previous installments: 1, 2, 3.

The election of 2020 went down as a watershed in…


The transition of the entire energy system of the world from carbon to clean drove a long boom for 30 years

Editor’s Note: We pick up with our third installment of our interview with renowned author Stuart Rand as he looks back on the story of America from 2020 to 2050 from his vantage point towards the end of his life in 2100. He gives his version of how America reinvented itself alongside the rest of the world in the largely successful effort to mitigate the worst effects of climate change and adapt to the changes that could not be stopped. The interview has been lightly edited to bring out just the narrative from Stuart. …


When we look back from the year 2100 we see how the years from 2020 to 2050 provided the takeoff for The Transformation

Editor’s Note: To mark the arrival of the year 2100, Medium is embarking on a series of deep-dive interviews with writers, thinkers, scientists, and technologists who will look back on the remarkable events of the last century. First up: Stuart Rand, a journalist working mostly for Medium for three decades from the first coronavirus pandemic of 2020 up until 2050. His work during that period — and a string of acclaimed books published in the decades that followed — helped define our understanding of The Transformation right up until today. …


America and the world arguably are in the beginning stages of a transformation of historic scale that will be remembered for a long time to come

By Peter Leyden

How will we ever get beyond this coronavirus crisis? How will we dig ourselves out of this economic hole? And even if we somehow do get beyond the pandemic, how will we solve mounting economic inequality? Or deal with longstanding racial inequities? Or get past our political polarization? And then how will we ever solve the unprecedented challenge of climate change?

Most of us are trapped in the anxiety-provoking present and fearful of a future that we can barely see. We find it hard to see that we might actually be part of a bigger-picture story that…


I’m honored to be giving the next talk in the prestigious Seminar Series for Long-term Thinking at the Long Now Foundation that will be streamed to the public this coming Tuesday, Feb. 9th, at 5 pm Pacific.

I have attended dozens of these talks over the last 20 years featuring some of the most innovative minds in the world laying out their latest ideas. The series was founded, curated and hosted by the legendary Stewart Brand, who is now handing over the series to the next generation. I’m humbled to be the next one up.

This will be the first…


Why 2100? Why tell the story of America’s future from 2020 to 2050 from the perspective of a person in 2100? The main reason I did that in writing this series was so I could set up this final story in the initial 6-part series, the one that talks about civilizational change.

If you flat out tell someone today that what’s really happening around us is the early stages of building a new civilization — they might think you are crazy. …


This week’s story in The Transformation series makes the controversial case that the 2020 election will be seen as a watershed in American history and join the ranks of other iconic years like 1932 or 1980 that mark the beginning of a new political era.

The view from 2100 will be crystal clear about the historical significance of this year’s election and fully understand all the implications to roll out of it through the decade that follows. …


If there is one challenge most responsible for causing our pervasive feelings of despair and fear of the future, it’s climate change. The need to slow and mitigate the changes to the climate of the planet is such an unprecedented, complex problem that the vast majority of people simply can’t see how we will ever solve it.

So the project that ended up as my new series of stories called The Transformation started as a quest to see whether it’s even possible that we humans can ever solve climate change. …


I’m trying out the new newsletter feature in Medium to help launch my new series of stories that lay out a overarching narrative of a much more positive future for the next 30 years — so bear with me as I get my sea legs.

The plan was to launch one new story in the series each week for 6 weeks to take us until the end of the year. But we launched 3 of the 6 stories before I tried out this beta feature of the newsletter and so I’m doing a bit of catchup and devoting one email…

Peter Leyden

Always figuring out the future. Now Host of the Civilization Salons at The Long Now & Senior Fellow for Strategic Foresight at Autodesk. See: PeterLeyden.com

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