Chapter 9. Trends and Progress – Leading Positive Change

8. Economic Sciences and Technologies Overview

Main concept: Economic sciences and technologies, aided by accelerating IT and nano science and tech, will increasingly be organized to aid technical productivity, entrepreneurship, wealth creation, and creative destruction in leading industries and societies. Political reforms will increasingly be needed to counter the disruptive effects of  accelerating densification, dematerialization, innovation and automation on human workforces, and accelerating inequalities due to rapid wealth creation.

Leader’s challenge: Incentivizing Innovation while Moderating Economic Inequality (avoiding oligopoly, corruption, and corporate welfare).

Summary sentences:

“Accelerating Technical Productivity (TP), not GDP, creates tech unemployment and drives wealth creation in modern economies.”

Area topics:

West vs. the Rest. The US produces roughly ~25% of gross world product. It was 40% in 1960, and is around 25% now, trending slowly down. Our absolute GDP continues to grow exponentially, but at a much slower rate than developing nations, as we are already so rich. The US has serious problems (governance, finances, education, workforce), but they are problems of middle class stagnation (stitching sideways, relative to past growth and rise of the Rest), not of overall capacity decline. We continue to be where innovation and investment first go. Our relative share of capital markets will decline, but the absolute wealth, culture, and innovation of the West (US 1st, Europe 2nd) remains the aspiration of the world, and global tech productivity will hit astounding new levels in coming decades.

Moderate Economic Inequality/Incentives. When there’s too little income and asset inequality, there is no innovation incentive (Socialism, Communism). When there’s too much, top players capture markets and governments, rewrite the rules (“Crony Capitalism”), middle class electorate becomes undereducated and unproductive, votes its government into insolvency (“Idiocracy”). We need fair tax law, biz law, antitrust, policy, institutional pluralism to avoid this (Acemoglu).

Productivity, Collaboration and Employment. In 1995-2002, US lost 2M mfg jobs, mostly to China. In the same period China lost 15M jobs, mostly to machines. Technical productivity (TP) underlies modern GDP growth. In turn, our STEM/technical abilities and infrastructure underlie all TP. Online education, physical and virtual immigration will keep STEM and TP strong. Github. oDesk. Wikinomics. DIY and open source culture. Tech-caused unemployment will continue to disrupt. Education must adjust to this, support a perennial startup culture. Expect smart global HR platforms, 2020 and beyond.

Finance, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Financial innovation always leads TP, AI and value creation. Trillions of dollars daily in foreign exchange, but regulation remains lax, as we saw in the Global Financial Crisis. Small business support also lags, and is critical to technical productivity. Accelerators, Seed Funders, Crowdfunding (Kickstarter, J.O.B.S. bill) are among the best new financial innovations. These are analogous to Credit and Mortgages of 1940’s-60’s, VC’s of 1980’s-90’s. Entre- and intrapreneurship need not just funding but freedom, problem awareness, incentives, passion, purpose.

Development, Economic Freedom, Tech Disruption. Development brings both freedom and security, after a predictable period of initial new instability (see J-Curve, Bremmer). Core vs. Gap development choice. 18% of world lives in extreme poverty ($1.25/day) today. At current development rates this will be <5% by 2035. TP is job disruptor and wealth creator.

Books: Revolutionary Wealth, Toffler, 2007, Immigrant, Inc., Herman, 2009; The Great Divergence, Noah, 2012.

Leadership Questions:

  1. What are your economic technologies research, acquisition, R&D, hiring, training, measuring, & mgmt strategies?
  2. What key disruptions or threats must you anticipate from accelerating wealth, deregulation, and globalization?
  3. What problems and opportunities could be engaged if you had more money, and better financial planning, budgeting, and cost accounting systems?
  4. How can you get measurably more of the most valuable economic capabilities, at an efficient ROI?
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Table of Contents


Chapter 2. Personal Foresight – Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 2: Personal Foresight

Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 4. Models – Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 4: Models

Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 7. Acceleration – Guiding Our Extraordinary Future

Chapter 7: Acceleration

Guiding Our Extraordinary Future (In Process)

II. Global Progress: 5 Goals, 10 Values, Many Trends

Innovation: Our Abundant Future
Intelligence: Our Augmented Future
Interdependence: Our Civil Future
Immunity: Our Protected Future
Sustainability: Our Rebalanced Future

III. Universal Accelerating Change

Great Race to Inner Space: Our Surprising Future
Entropy&Information: We’re Running Down & Up
The Puzzle of Meaning: We Have No Einstein Yet
Trees, Funnels & Landscapes: Intro to Evo Devo
Big Picture Change: Five Scales of Accelerating ED
Transcension Hypothesis: Where Acceleratn Ends?
IDABDAK: Social Response to Accel & Developmnt
We’re On a Runaway Train: Being Accelaware

IV. Evo Devo and Exponential Foresight

Seeing It All: Accel., Diverg, Adapt, Convrg, Decel.
Natural (I4S) Innovation: The Evolutionary Drive
Natural (I4S) Intelligence: The Human-AI Partnership
Natural (I4S) Morality: Why Empathy and Ethics Rule
Natural (I4S) Security: Strength from Disruption
Natural (I4S) Sustainability: The Developmental Drive
S-Curves: Managing the Four Constituencies
Pain to Gain: Traversing the Three Kuznets Phases
Hype to Reality: Beyond Hype Cycles to Reality Checks
Exponentials Database: Measuring Accelerations
TINA Trends: Societal Evolutionary Development
Managing Change: STEEPCOP Events, Probs, Ideas
A Great Shift: A Survival to a Sentient Economy

V. Evo Devo and Exponential Activism

Building Protopias: Five Goals of Social Progress
Normative Foresight: Ten Values of Society
Top & STEEPCOP Acceleratns: Positive & Negative
Dystopias, Risks, and Failure States
Three Levels of Activism: People, Tech & Universe
A Great Opportunity: Exponential Empowerment


Chapter 8. Your Digital Self – The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

Chapter 8: Your Digital Self

The Human Face of the Coming Singularity (In Process)

I. Your Personal AI (PAI): Your Digital Self

Digital Society: Data, Mediation, and Agents
Personal AIs: Advancing the Five Goals
PAI Innovation: Abundance and Diversity
PAI Intelligence: Bio-Inspired AI
PAI Morality: Selection and Groupnets
PAI Security: Safe Learning Agents
PAI Sustainability: Science and Balance
The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

II. PAI Protopias & Dystopias in 8 Domains

1. Personal Agents: News, Ent., Education
2. Social Agents: Relat. and Social Justice
3. Political Agents :  Activism & Represent.
4. Economic Agents:  Retail, Finance, Entrep
5. Builder Agents :  Work, Innov. & Science
6. Environ. Agents : Pop. and Sustainability
7. Health Agents :  Health, Wellness, Death
8. Security Agents :  Def., Crime, Corrections

III. PAI Activism & Exponential Empowerment

Next Government: PAIs, Groupnets, Democ.
Next Economy: Creat. Destr. & Basic Income
Next Society: PAI Ent., Mortality & Uploading
What Will Your PAI Contribution Be?

Chapter 10. Startup Ideas – Great Product & Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs

Chapter 10: Startup Ideas

Great Product and Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs (In Process)

I. 4U’s Idea Hub: Building Better Futures

Air Deliveries and Air Taxis: Finally Solving Urban Gridlock
Ballistic Shields and Gun Control: Protecting Us All from Lone Shooters
Bioinspiration Wiki: Biomimetics and Bio-Inspired Design
Brain Preservation Services: Memory and Mortality Redefined
Carcams: Document Thieves, Bad Driving, and Bad Behavior
Competition in Govt Services: Less Corruption, More Innovation
Computer Adaptive Education (CAE): Better Learning and Training
Conversational Deep Learning Devsuites: Millions of AI Coders
Digital Tables: Telepresence, Games, Entertainment & Education
Dynaships: Sustainable Low-Speed Cargo Shipping
Electromagnetic Suspension: Nausea-Free Working & Reading in Cars
Epigenetic Health Tests: Cellular Aging, Bad Diet, Body Abuse Feedback
Fireline Explosives and Ember Drones: Next-Gen Fire Control
Global English: Empowering the Next Generation of Global Youth
Greenbots: Drone Seeders and Robotic Waterers for Mass Regreening
High-Density Housing and Zoning: Making Our Cities Affordable Again
Highway Enclosures and Trail Networks: Green and Quiet Urban Space
Inflatable Packaging: Faster and Greener Shipping and Returns
Internet of Families: Connecting People Over Things
Kidcams: Next-Gen Security for Child Safety and Empowerment
Kidpods: Indoor & Outdoor Parent-Assistive Toyboxes
Microdesalination: Democratizing Sustainable Fresh Water Production
Noise Monitors: Documenting and Reducing Noise Pollution
Oceanside Baths: Sustainable Year Round Beach Enjoyment
Open Blood Scanners: DIY Citizen Health Care Sensor Tech
Open Streaming Radio: User-Centered Audio Creation and Rating
Open Streaming Video: User-Centered Video Creation and Rating
Open Values Filters: Social Rankers, Arg. Mappers, and Consensus Finders
Personal AIs: Your Private Advisor, Activist, and Interface to the World
Pet Empowerment: Next-Gen Rights and Abilities for Our Domestic Animals
Safe Closets: Fire-, Earthquake-, and Intruder-Proof Retreat Spaces
Safe Cars: Reducing Our Insane 1.3M Annual Auto Deaths Today
Safe Motorcycles: Lane Splitting in Gridlock Without Risk of Death
Shared Value Insurance: User-Centered Risk Reduction Services
Sleeperbuses and Microhotels: Demonetized Intercity Travel
Space-Based Solar Power: Stratellite Powering and Weather Management
Stratellites: Next-Gen Urban Broadband, Transparency, and Security
Touch DNA: Next-Gen Home Security and Crime Deterrence
View Towers: Improving Urban Walkability, Inspiration, and Community

Chapter 11. Evo Devo Foresight – Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Chapter 11: Evo Devo Foresight

Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Appendix 1. Peer Advice – Building a Successful Foresight Practice