In a rapidly changing world, where the collapse of humanity feels like a news cycle away, how will our species possibly survive? Take heart and witness communities creating the future in this bold and hilarious travelogue from the bestselling author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals.
One day, J. Maarten Troost looked up from the book he was reading, a novel about civilization’s collapse. Here’s what he saw: his wife composing a report on the dire future of global fish stocks, his youngest child building a battle robot called the Terminator, and his oldest watching a movie about children in a post-apocalyptic world. He took this moment in (really, imagine it, a charming family, dad-wife-two-kids, and they’re all thinking about the disastrous future), and he wondered: when did our conceptions of the future—in pop culture, in science, in business—become so bleak? Even more, are our fears founded?
A lifelong traveler, he decided to head off to several ends of the earth (of course) to investigate how different societies today might reveal the future to us, or more specifically, how they might answer the question: what will the world look like in 2050? In South Korea, he navigated the future of cities and of artificial intelligence. In Denmark, he tasted the future of food. In Japan, he marveled at youth in an aging population. And in South Africa, he witnessed the struggle between our noble efforts at conservation and our continued corruption.
What he found in each of these four countries surprised and, even more, enlightened him. Apparently, the hipster of tomorrow will be a forest ranger, and the insect-based diet will prevail. (Hear that, cockroaches? We’re coming for you.)
With his characteristic wit and charming irreverence, Troost brilliantly reimagines the travel narrative in this hilarious and game-changing book—traveling not just to an existing place at a particular moment, but to the unforeseeable future, and inviting us all to travel with him. Pack light. Be prepared.