By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist
Innovation expert Alec Ross (On Twitter @AlecJRoss) served as advisor to Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. From startup hubs in Kenya to R&D labs in South Korea, he has seen them all as he tried to figure out what the future holds. Every parent has wondered about which industries are the big ones in future and where is the next version of Silicon Valley going to be. Alec Ross has answers to both the questions.
His book The Industries of the Future is a terrific read on the five big industries of the future. The five industries that will have enormous impact are:
- Advanced Life Sciences
- Code-ification of money
- Big Data
Spurred by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, robots will shape the world of work and hence our careers. Advanced life sciences will enable us to live longer. When combined with the power of Big Data, cybersecurity and the power of code, these innovations will transform our lives at work and at home.
Already Palantir, a privately held company, has used large-scale data analysis for a variety of tasks, including catching terrorists and determining how banks can efficiently sell subprime bankruptcies. They have formed a joint venture with Credit Suisse that will use large-scale data analysis to detect insider trading. What Alec Ross misses is that we are moving to a transdisciplinary world. Subjects like Design, Psychology and Anthropology will be as much in demand as Tech subjects. I wish the role of design and humanities had been explored as much as the tech argument.
The fascinating transformation of a tiny country like Estonia to being most future ready has many lessons for governments and corporations alike. <read this> So maybe the big question should be, which country will be the next Estonia?
My favorite part of the book was the author’s answer to the question, “How can we create our own Silicon Valley?” There is an oft-quoted answer to that question: Create a tech park and have R&D labs and universities. Incentivize scientists, firms and users. Interconnect industries. Protect Intellectual Property and provide favorable regulatory environment. And you will have your Silicon Valley. No you don’t. That’s because there may be other factors like the role of women and minorities in the society. More egalitarian societies seem to be more prosperous says the author.
Just as the debate in the previous century was all about an ideological debate between the communist framework or capitalist, the debate for the twenty first century is all about where each country is on that continuum of being open versus closed. It is not a West vs East debate. Many countries in the West are surprisingly close when it comes to data or talent and very conservative when it comes to laws regarding venture capital. People leverage the hyper-connected world to bypass these limitations. Today people are not bound by geography and anyone can use the net to find jobs or learn or show case their talent.
One last time, will China be the next big hub for innovation in Genomics? Is India going to be the next big arena of opportunity or will it be a country in Africa? Find out that answer in the book. But let me give you a hint: being open to new ideas, embracing diversity and an environment where debate and dialog is encouraged, will be the recipe for success in future.
That is also true for individuals, isn’t it?