The source of the current Ebola outbreak – which has thus far claimed 7600 lives in West Africa – has not yet been firmly established. However, the first casualty, a two-year old child in Meliandou, Guinea, lived and played with his family and friends in close proximity to a tall, hollow tree that was home to thousands of bats.

Think of it: We are each a megalopolis – a dwelling place for trillions of microorganisms whose number, diversity and health have an enormous impact on our own. Our 10 trillion human cells actually depend upon the 100 trillion microbes colonizing our guts to extract energy from the food we eat, build our immune system, and defend us from foreign invader microbes.

Renowned futurist John Petersen paints a picture of the future that will excite you and disturb you, and that you will never forget.

John L. Petersen is considered by many to be one of the most informed futurists in the world. He is best-known for writing and thinking about high impact surprises—wild cards—and the process of surprise anticipation. His current professional involvements include the development of sophisticated tools for anticipatory analysis and surprise anticipation, long-range strategic planning and helping leadership design new approaches for dealing with the future.

In a landmark ruling in favor of the rights of ‘non-human persons,’ a court in Buenos Aires just recognized Sandra – a 29-year old Sumatran orangutan – to be sufficiently sentient as to deserve her freedom from zoo captivity. She is the first non-human primate to be recognized as such. The ruling came in response to a writ of habeas corpus filed by the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA).

Paul Buompadre, a lawyer for AFADA, was quoted by La Nacion newspaper as saying, “This opens the way not only for other Great Apes, but also for other sentient beings which are unfairly and arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in zoos, circuses, water parks and scientific laboratories."