The Phoenix Generation will do extraordinary things
May 6, 2020

Recently, Rob Chappell, assistant to the Honors Dean, presented for ACES 399 class. The focus of his presentation was “The Year 2050 and the Phoenix Generation.” Before his presentation, I had no idea what the “Phoenix Generation” was or why he decided to talk to us about it. 

After listening to his presentation, I can confidently say that I am a part of the Phoenix Generation and I will tell you why. In the year 2050, our world will be very different. The world’s population will have increased to 9 billion. From self-driving cars to exploring the human genome, innovators and scientists will be testing new barriers and reaching ground-breaking discoveries in all industries. 

With all of these new discoveries also come new problems, and it will be our job to learn from our past and fix them to build a better future for generations to come. In order to be able to do that, we have to share. Share our knowledge, share our wisdom, and share our education. By sharing these things, we can leave the world a better place than how we found it. It sounds so simple. 

Mr. Chappell brought to light the idea that the enemy is fear and ignorance. It is what tells you to hate what is different. By sharing our knowledge, our wisdom, and our education we can eradicate the enemy. By learning about something, you lose your fear of it. This loss of fear leads to optimism, and optimism and hope lead us to achievement and improvement. 

The phoenix cycle renews about every 500 years. According to the myth, the bird combusts from its own ashes and a new egg is hatched. The year 2050 is the start of a new phoenix cycle. Our civilization will reinvent itself, much like it has done in previous phoenix cycles like the downfall of the Roman Empire or the renaissance and reformation. So, it is my job and the job of my generation to prepare for this reinvention. We are ordinary people who can, and will, do extraordinary things. We are the Phoenix Generation.

Students in ACES 399: “Vision 2050 –Grand Challenges of the Millenium” attend presentations by ACES faculty members about current topics in agriculture. As part of their class assignments, students are asked to write blog posts reflecting on those topics. The Voices of ACES blog will feature select ACES 399 blog posts throughout the semester.