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2045 NOBEL PRIZE ACCEPTANCE SPEECH: INCREASING GLOBAL CURIOSITY BY 10%

Imagine a future world where everyone on the planet is just 10% more curious.  What would be the impact?


By Sarah Davanzo



The year is 2045. An immense crowd has gathered in Oslo once again to celebrate the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize. Always a reverent moment, this year, there’s a stir in the air. This prize means something a little different. It’s being awarded not for diplomacy, political action, or advocacy work. It’s a strange amalgamation of sciences and social progress that has been culminating for two decades. This year’s Peace Prize is being awarded for something a little nontraditional: curiosity. 


Dr. Sarah DaVanzo, this year’s recipient, has devoted her life to fostering greater curiosity. She hasn’t gone about this as a coach or motivational speaker but as a scientist. Beginning her career in futures and foresight work, she wasn’t content with the trajectory the world was on; she felt the world’s wicked problems would not – could not – be solved if the so called “De-curiousness Trend” continued brought upon by technology and artificial intelligence. 


So, she launched an audacious initiative to magnify worldwide curiosity by 10%. Bolstered by an X-Prize and the backing of the United Nations, Dr. DaVanzo put the wheels in motion to make the human race 10% more curious, while building measurement systems to track the project’s impact.


In her Nobel Prize 2045 acceptance speech, Dr. DaVanzo reflected on the events that unfolded over the past 20 years, between the years 2025 to 2045, which helped create a new future for humanity, unlocked by curiosity.


Remarks from Dr. DaVanzo:

“Ladies and gentlemen, members of the 2045 Nobel Committee, esteemed peers, fellow laureates, and honored guests from around the globe:


“As I humbly accept this Nobel Prize, I reflect on our shared journey towards a renaissance of curiosity — a journey marked by extraordinary scientific advances and profound socio-economic developments. I accept the 2045 Nobel Prize not as a personal accolade but as a celebration of a collective triumph in increasing worldwide curiosity by 10% over the last twenty years — a triumph that has ignited the minds and hearts of people everywhere, leading us to a brighter epoch for humanity.


“Who would have thought that curiosity could change the world in such a profound way? 


“Our endeavors began with a simple, yet revolutionary notion: Curiosity, that very essence of human inquiry, could be nurtured, engineered, measured and amplified. My team and I wondered ‘What if curiosity could be designed?’ I remember the day it all started on September 17, 2024, International Curiosity Day, when we turned to each other and asked – ‘Why not?’


“As social scientists, we set out to strategize and execute a series of interventions at the grassroots, governmental, and global levels designed to elevate curiosity by 10%. Our interventions were made possible by a flywheel effect of scientific and technological advances.


“This seemingly modest increase in global curiosity has had exponential repercussions, catapulting our civilization into a new Age of Enlightenment, innovation, and cooperation. We’ve created a whole new world together! Let’s take a moment to reflect on the snowball of technological and scientific breakthroughs we’ve made in the past two decades.


“Back in 2025, we established the Biome Bank as a first of many steps toward a new era. It remains — 20 years later — an ark preserving the vast and vital diversity of microflora, standing as a testament to our dedication to life in all its diverse forms. We had long known of the effects of skin and gut microflora on behavior, referred to as the biome-brain connection, but the discovery of the microbes related to curiosity was groundbreaking. With microbes from the Biome Bank, which were proven to increase curious behaviors, we could easily spread the curiosity biome in ‘curiosity cocktails’ across populations. This set the wheels in motion.


“FDA approval of Neural Dusting in 2028 was a watershed moment in our quest to understand human curiosity. Once microscopic dust-sized sensors could traverse our bodies in our bloodstream, collecting neurosystem data, we could actually quantify a person’s curiosity. This led to the development of curiosity quotient (CQ) CPIs, which enable us to measure and monitor an individual’s curiosity. Neural Dusting unleashed our ability to prove that our initiative was effective.


“In 2029, you’ll remember that Curio Crypto emerged not just as a currency but as an economic movement. It was so powerful that the 2029 Nobel Prize in Economics went to the Curio Crypto team. That was the first time the value of an economic system was predicated on the pursuits of inquiry and discovery. This paradigm shift in valuation from-capital-to-curiosity disrupted the global economy.


“When we achieved ‘The Singularity’ in 2030, our trepidations were eclipsed by the unbound possibilities of a future where artificial intelligence harmonizes with human intellect. The 2030 Singularity — when artificial intelligence (AI) surpassed human intelligence — was the single most catalytic event in our journey to raise global curiosity by 10%. AI had a profound impact on human curiosity in several ways:


  • Enhanced cognition and intellectual capacity for inquiry enabled humans to more quickly and deeply comprehend and explore complex topics.


  • Expanded access to information made it easier for anyone to access knowledge, indulge their curiosity, and make more informed decisions.


  • Simulations and models with advanced AI made it possible to experiment and learn in a risk-free environment with no negative impact on people or planet.


  • Cognitive Creativity from generative AI offered humans creative and intellectual stimulation, unleashed new thoughts, ideas, fantasies and dreams.


“Another catalytic biotech advancement was the mass commercialization of Brain-Computer Operating Systems in 2032, merging mind and machine. The brain-computer interface gave us an entirely new way to interact with the world. One of our greatest fears as a species, that we might not know where humanity ended and machines began, became an asset to increasing curiosity and discovery. The physical blurring of reality from BCI OS piqued human curiosity.


“At-home Gene Cocktailing, once a controversial notion, was launched in 2040. It was an evolution of the Biome Bank, taking designer curiosity to a new level – the cellular level. Through the delicate science of DNA editing simplified for at-home DIY procedures, we could ‘turn on’ our curiosity gene. Furthermore, we found there is a direct correlation between the popularity of at-home curiosity gene manipulation and a rise in empathy. From this, human interest in learning superseded our interest in competition. 


“Today, in 2045, known as the International Tranquility Era (i.e., Inter-Tranq Era) we find ourselves in a world without war. A world where the only battles are those of wits, questions, and ideas. Where the only conquests are those of scratching the curiosity itch.


“The reception was not overwhelmingly warm when Cybernetic Tutors were introduced federally in the United States in 2037. But these robot tutors enabled unprecedented personalization in education, igniting a passion for learning. These cybernetic educators have since become the caregivers, custodians, and curiosity coaches elevating our children's curiosity potential, all while complementing, not replacing, human guidance.


“A world where the only battles are those of wits, questions, and ideas. Where the only conquests are those of scratching the curiosity itch.”


“But science and technology are not the only areas we have made strides in curiosity over the past 20 years that have led to world peace. The phenomenon of Worldwide Wealth Line is perhaps the most tangible indicator of our success in boosting curiosity by 10%. As the majority of the world's population stepped beyond the threshold of poverty in 2039, we saw a corresponding surge in global happiness. This was a testament to the fact that prosperity follows when curiosity leads.


“The rise of The Open Party in the early 2030s upended U.S. politics as we knew it. Our government was no longer limited to traditional conservative and liberal political parties, which no longer met the needs of the people (or did they ever?). This third-party option created a political renaissance. This new alternative party championed education, inclusion, and innovation. Do you recall the Open Party’s first slogan? Question Everything. This laid the foundation for the first Secretary of Curiosity, responsible for national CQ. This bold move put curiosity on national agendas worldwide. Today, there are 18 nations with a Ministry of Curiosity or something similar.



“I’m sure you all recall the Great Loneliness pandemic of the early 2020s, responsible for mortality and social dysfunction. It turned out that curiosity was also an effective ‘vaccine’ against loneliness. Once curiosity was spreading like contagion, populations became more connected, more social, more supported, and more vibrant, resulting in Generative Population Explosion with average lifespans extended by twenty years. Experts agree that the extension our lifespans from increased curiosity rewrote the narrative of our species.


“As I accept this esteemed Nobel Prize for engineering curiosity, let us remember that it is not the end of our journey but a milestone in our enduring quest for knowledge and discovery. May our curiosity continue to be the compass that guides us through the uncharted waters of the future. I accept the 2045 Nobel Prize not for myself, but for all who have dared to dream, to inquire, and to innovate. Let us continue to nurture our curiosity, to seek understanding, to bridge divides, and to build a world where knowledge and empathy are the cornerstones of our society. Together, we have shaped a world vibrant with abundance. It’s alive with the spark of perpetual curiosity.


“May our curiosity continue to be the compass that guides us through the uncharted waters of the future.”


“Thank you, from the depths of a heart emboldened by curiosity and warmed by the bright future we are building together. Thank you for this incredible honor and let us continue to work together for a more curious future.”


Dr. DaVanzo smiled broadly as the audience erupted into applause that crescendoed into a standing ovation. Every seat was filled by a person filled with curious wonder and hope. In this new, more curious world, existential risks have been traded for exponential rewards. The collective consciousness of the audience is aligned on a singular thought – “What next?”


 

Sarah DaVanzo is a technofuturist who "tomorrows" with emerging tech, exotic data & A.I.  She is Chief Experience Officer / Chief Data Officer at Pierre Fabre, a $3 billion French biotech and life sciences company. Outside of work, Sarah is a "futures activist" producing art, research, and social experiments with strategic foresight and guerrilla futurism, to drive positive change to build better futures (www.futures-activist.com). She also runs the non-profit Curious Futures (www.curious-futures.com) driving DEI in foresight. Previously, Sarah was VP of Insight & Foresight at L’Oréal Groupe driving strategic foresight through the organization while managing foresight-fueled moonshot innovations. Before L'Oreal, she was Chief Cultural Strategy Officer of the foresight agency, Sparks & Honey, and Director of Trends & Culture Strategy at Publicis Kaplan Thaler. Her foresight rigor comes from education and training from ten foresight institutions. Sarah is active in Burning Man's futures community and is a contributing writer for Rolling Stone on culture, marketing, and the future. 



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