I came across this book while browsing the New Arrivals section at a local bookstore. As a technology enthusiast, the title has piqued my interest. However, the other reason why I wanted to read this book was to find an answer to the question “How do we prepare our children for the future?” As a father of a teenage daughter, I would like to provide her with all the opportunities and exposure she needs to enable her to make the right career choice and be better prepared for the future.
The author Alec Ross states in the introduction, “This book is about the next economy. It is written for everyone who wants to know how the next wave of innovation and globalization will affect our countries, our societies, and ourselves.”
The industries of the future are:
1. Robotics. Robots have been around for many years, but the ubiquity of network connection, availability of big data, and faster processors are making significant progress in robotics.
2. Genomics. If the last century is the age of Physics, the coming century will be the the age of Biology. The sequencing of genomics has opened the door to many opportunities in life sciences.
3. Blockchains. The financial industry and the way we handle commerce will be transformed by this technology.
4. Cybersecurity. The Internet will be the next place where war between nations will be waged.
5. Big Data. Use of predictive analytics or other advanced methods to extract value from data will allow us to “perform predictions of outcomes and behaviors” and alter the way we live.
There is nothing new about these technologies. However, what made the book really worth reading were the examples, anecdotes and interesting stories told by Ross. The author has traveled extensively around the world and has first hand experience of these technologies.
Back to the question, “How do we prepare our children for the future?” — the best thing we can do is to encourage them to pursue a career in science and technology and allow them to travel so they will be comfortable in a multicultural world.