A deeper explanation of the turbulent change surrounding us

Walter Russell Mead is starting a series of posts describing the change we are in and how to move past it:  Beyond Blue Part One: The Crisis of the American Dream

He likens our current situation to the massive transition from farm to suburb.  Before WWII, most people lived and worked on a family farm.  Since then, most people have grown up in the suburbs with the industrial/office job model we have now.

That transition was terribly painful.  But we as a country came through it into a far more abundant life.

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Our near future can be an era of abundance

A book to be released in February suggests that radical advances in technologies will improve the lives of everyone, especially the poor – Abundance – The future is better than you think.

Here’s a description from the book’s website:

In Abundance, space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler document how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing, ubiquitous broadband networks, digital manufacturing, nanomaterials, synthetic biology, and many other exponentially growing technologies will enable us to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have in the previous two hundred years. We will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet.

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How many exhibitors of 3D printing showed up at a big trade fair? 300.

That’s the number showing up at the Euromold trade fair in Frankfurt, from a report from The Economist, The shape of things to come. From the article:

It was here that 300 or so exhibitors working in three-dimensional printing (or “additive manufacturing” as they prefer to call it) were gathered.

The range of items that can be printed today include shoes and dresses, which is very nice.  Even better are the exhaust manifolds and artificial legs.  Cool!

Consider an artificial hip.  Continue reading “How many exhibitors of 3D printing showed up at a big trade fair? 300.”

What might education look like in the future?

Walter Russell Mead speculates in his post Occupy Management, on how primary and secondary education might be restructured after today’s massive transitions settle down.

He spends the first part of this post talking about the current turmoil in the public union sector.  About halfway through the article he offers a view of the future that is not 19th century, Dickens-like deprivation.

What could arise? Continue reading “What might education look like in the future?”

Are you future ready?

That is the opener of a superb post from Tom Hood, CEO of Maryland Association of CPAs.

By the way, his comments may be tailored to an audience of CPAs, but everything he says applies across the board to anyone in business, the nonprofit world, and even government.

If you want a curriculum of things to read and watch so you can get started on dealing with the radical change in the work world, check out his post Are you future ready? And other reflections & resources from the CCH User Conference

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Another view of the radical change that will hit us down the road

The radical rate of change around us is compounded by the power of artificial intelligence.  The Economist magazine had an article last week on point: Difference Engine: Luddite Legacy.

For a long time, like since the start of the industrial revolution, mechanical tools have displaced muscle power.  In recent decades and especially quite recently, we have seen lots of manufacturing move from higher-wage countries to lower-wage countries.

The disruption is spreading.  (Hey, that’s the point of this and many other blogs.)  The Economist article points towards the spread to knowledge workers. Continue reading “Another view of the radical change that will hit us down the road”

Downside to the radical change around us

Previously discussed Seth Godin’s idea that we are in two overlapping recessions. One is cyclical and will end. The other is systemic and permanent.

I don’t know what we are going to call the new work world.  Doesn’t seem to be a description in use that has caught on.

Whatever it’s called, the transition to this new set of rules is going to be horribly painful.

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Two overlapping recessions? One cyclical and temporary. The other systemic and permanent.

Seth Godin has generated discussion from his post, The forever recession (and the coming revolution).

He suggests that we are currently in two recessions:

The first is the cyclical one, the one that inevitably comes and then inevitably goes.  There’s plenty of evidence that intervention can shorten it, and also indications that overdoing a response to it is a waste or even harmful.

The other recession, though, the one with the loss of “good factory jobs” and systemic unemployment–I fear that this recession is here forever.

The first one will end.  Continue reading “Two overlapping recessions? One cyclical and temporary. The other systemic and permanent.”

Private sector rocket launches will resupply space station

SpaceX will launch it’s first space shot on a resupply flight to the space station in late November.  NASA gave technical approval to the launch.

Update – the SpaceX resupply mission was a success.

Why is this discussion in a blog about nonprofit issues? Three reasons.

First, is a superb illustration of stretching our brains. In the nonprofit sector we need to be intentionally thinking about the future. See my discussions here, here, here, here, here, and here.  Just the idea of private space flights will stretch our brain.

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