Climate change is poised to cost businesses $970 billion and displace millions of people in the coming years as rising temperatures drive increased coastal flooding and extreme weather patterns. 

But, according to Peter Diamandis, renowned futurist, entrepreneur, and bestselling author, climate-induced migrations could actually be a boon to entrepreneurs. "If you want to become a billionaire, help a billion people," Diamandis says in a new Inc. video. "The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities." In his upcoming book, co-authored with Steven Kotler, The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives, Diamandis argues migration has always been a driver of human innovation:

"We do our best work when we're under the pressure of exploration, whether we're going to the moon, or exploring the ocean's depths," he said. "Upending populations of people is going to be traumatic," he says. "But there are technologies that are going to allow us to build new cities from the ground up."

Those cities might be designed with renewable energy sources or autonomous cars in mind from the beginning, and increase the standard of living for their residents. This will make massive mega and gigacities more common, particularly once flying cars and hyper-fast trains are widely used. It also could change the idea of what it means to commute to work. "If my autonomous car ride is one where I'm sleeping, meditating, catching up on email, and it's me time, I'm going to cherish that extra hour, and that distance is something I'm going to desire," Diamandis says. 

Ultra-realistic VR with haptic gloves might even eliminate the need for physical offices, according to the futurist. And with massive improvements in virtual reality, the way we learn also could change dramatically. In several years, kids could could put on their VR goggles and be transported to ancient Greece, interact with a virtual Plato, and practice the Socratic method with the man himself. Our brains could eventually merge with the cloud, so that thinking is the same as Googling. 

So be prepared for a world where you "commute" virtually to the office, in a post-climate-crisis inland gigacity. If you are able to use the technological innovations of the coming years to help bring about these changes, Diamandis says, you just might make a billion bucks. 

Published on: Jan 28, 2020