GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

The Bio Revolution: Innovations transforming economies, societies, and our lives.


A confluence of advances in biological science and accelerating development of computing, automation, and artificial intelligence is fueling a new wave of innovation. This Bio Revolution could have significant impact on economies and our lives, from health and agriculture to consumer goods, and energy and materials.

Some innovations come with profound risks rooted in the self-sustaining, self-replicating, and interconnected nature of biology that argue for a serious and sustained debate about how this revolution should proceed. Accidents can have major consequences—and, especially if used unethically or maliciously, manipulating biology could become a Pandora’s box that, once opened, unleashes lasting damage to the health of humans, ecosystems, or both. The risks are particularly acute because many of the materials and tools are relatively cheap and accessible. Moreover, tackling these risks is complicated by a multiplicity of jurisdictional and cultural value systems, which makes collaboration and coordination across countries difficult.