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It’s not the economy, stupid

Science has more profound impact on society and living standards
Dateline: 12 January 2021

David Pescovitz today released his report: “For the last ten years, my colleagues and I at the Institute for the Future have been researching the state of science to identify big areas of science – the ones we think have had a transformative impact on the world over the past decade.”

If you want a high-flying salary and the celebrity status to go with it, forget about investment banking and business consulting. Science and high tech engineering are the darlings of the new boom, as we go beyond the knowledge economy.

“Rocket science has always been the epitome of intellect,” says David, “but now seriously technical, geeky stuff, advanced chemistry and nanotech, molecular manipulations – that’s where the big money lies.”

Plain old knowledge is worthless on its own, but the skill and expertise to apply that knowledge, synthesize and produce real innovation – that can’t be found on Google.

Putting global networks together with Moore’s law was the catalyst for the sci-tech boom. Open innovation and the network effect can solve any technical challenge, it seems.

Some ideas are pretty low tech, like 3D printing. The printers themselves are nothing special, just fancy versions of the basic ink-jet printer. It’s the sophisticated software controls, and nanotech ‘inks’ that make them really interesting.

In a world turned upside down by technology, and increasing in complexity daily, smart economic policies don’t cut it. Science and technology are the new sources of power.


ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be

From Institute for the Future:
The six big stories of science that will play out over the next decade:
Decrypting the Brain
Hacking Space
Massively Multiplayer Data
Sea the Future
Strange Matter
Engineered Evolution
Those stories are emerging from a new ecology of science shifting toward openness, collaboration, reuse, and increased citizen engagement in scientific research.

Links to related stories

Warning: Hazardous Thinking at Work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer. © Public domain image.

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