Imperial College London

Discover the world of 2050 – as transformed by today’s green technologies

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The World in 2050

Imperial Tech Foresight and the Grantham Institute have envisioned a future where tech that exists today has helped make the world greener and fairer.

In the world of the future, as envisioned by the new World in 2050 interactive feature and video, technologies such as plasterboard that sequesters carbon dioxide and panels that turn carbon dioxide into edible food ingredients have helped successfully prevent and mitigate the effects of pollution and climate change.

The content has been produced by Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment and Imperial Tech Foresight.

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Today’s technologies tomorrow

The technologies that have inspired this vision are not speculative but are already being developed and commercialised by startups that have been through the Grantham Institute’s Cleantech Accelerator, which helps young ventures successfully commercialise their green technologies.

Professor Richard Templer, Director of Innovation at the Grantham Institute – whose academic expertise helped inform the feature – said: “Our route to a better future, one where the challenges of climate change have been solved, can often appear obscure and out of reach. The World in 2050 feature and video shows how innovation and turning ideas into impact can address the biggest and most pressing challenges related to climate change. To have a zero-carbon future, we need to rethink every single human activity – and innovation is essential to creating a sustainable and equitable future.” 

The World in 2050 feature shows how innovation and turning ideas into impact can address the biggest and most pressing challenges related to climate change. Professor Richard Templer Director of Innovation, Grantham Institute

Over a decade, the Cleantech Accelerator supported 64 companies – some founded by Imperial staff and students and others from the wider community – helping them gain around $300 million investment. It has now been replaced by The Greenhouse. This early-stage accelerator successor programme is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and an early initiative from Imperial and the Royal Institution’s new centre for climate change innovation

The World in 2050 feature was inspired by the work of the accelerator and developed by the Grantham Institute with Imperial Tech Foresight, an in-house foresight practice that works with clients to envision possible, plausible and probable futures, harnessing the academic rigour of Imperial’s researchers.

Accompanying feature: Meet the startups 

Builder installing Adaptavate's Breathaboard

The interactive feature is accompanied by a complementary long read on Imperial Stories, 'The climate is our business', which showcases the people and technologies from the Cleantech Accelerator that have informed the vision of the World in 2050. 

Startups and technologies profiled include: 

  • H2GO Power ­– a new form of hydrogen storage
  • Adaptavate ­­­– carbon dioxide sequestering plasterboard
  • Vestemi ­– intelligent radiator valves that save energy
  • Arborea – panels that turn carbon dioxide into food ingredients
  • PES Technologies – technology to help farmers maintain healthy soil
  • Ichthion ­– a system for removing plastic waste from rivers before it enters the sea

View the World in 2050 content

Further resources

Grantham Institute ­– Climate Change and the Environment

Imperial Tech Foresight

Our centre for climate change innovation

Enterprise Division


Samantha Ibbott

Samantha Ibbott
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change

David Silverman

David Silverman

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 8104

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