Many of us are addicted to social media. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter, the technologies’ creators have found ways to keep us coming back for more. Google design ethicist Tristan Harris has called the smartphone a “slot machine in our pocket”: one carrying a litany of addictive applications and fostering harmful behaviors.
Now, that same slot machine is becoming entrenched at work. And it is making our lives more disconnected, more disjointed, less productive, and less satisfying. Continue reading
Not long ago, schoolchildren chose what they wanted to be when they grew up, and later selected the best college they could gain admission to, spent years gaining proficiency in their fields, and joined a company that had a need for their skills. Careers lasted lifetimes.
Now, by my estimates, the half-life of a career is about 10 years. I expect that it will decrease, within a decade, to five years. Advancing technologies will cause so much disruptionto almost every industry that entire professions will disappear. Continue reading
In the 1930s, psychologist B.F. Skinner put rats in boxes and taught them to push levers to receive a food pellet. They pushed the levers only when hungry, though. To get the rats to press the lever repeatedly, even when they did not need food, he gave them a pellet only some of the time, a concept now known as intermittent variable rewards. Casinos have used this same technique for decades to keep us pouring money into slot machines. And now the technology industry is using it to keep us checking our smartphones for emails, for new followers on Twitter, or for more “likes” on photographs we posted on Facebook.
Millennials are the largest, most diverse, most educated and most connected generation of our time. At 80 million in the United States alone, they are a critical demographic to attract to your meetings and conventions. While older professionals seek the traditional meeting model, millennials are looking for something more interactive. Instead of a speaker giving a presentation for an hour, they would rather have the majority of that hour be Q&A. This is a generation that wants to be heard and have conversations instead of listening to a presentation straight through. The PCMA Education Foundation found that “old-school” meeting formats are the number one repellant for millennial attendees. It’s time to change the traditional speaker and panel formats to incorporate technology and audience participation.
There is nothing like a near-death experience to make you acutely aware of how much we rely on medicine and the healthcare system. I suffered a massive heart attack in March 2012 and nearly died. The doctors saved me. Since that terrifying event, I have tracked developments in technology, medicine, and wellness carefully. All along, I wondered why so much health care aimed at saving us after we fell ill rather than at keeping us healthy and spotting the problems well in advance. People in the healthcare sector call such an approach wellness care, or preventive medicine.
First he was a well-known optimist in Silicon Valley, now Vivek Wadhwa warns against the downsides of technology.“Social media is used as a weapon against ourselves and we are unhappy about it.”
Vivek Wadhwa has made a huge turn in recent years. The legendary entrepreneur, writer and keynote speaker originally made his name as one of the most prominent ‘cheerleaders’ of Silicon Valley. He was closely involved with Singularity University, an almost evangelistic club that has been hammering on the huge promises of the technological revolution in recent years. He taught at Stanford University, the Silicon Valley nursery school, and wrote optimistic books and columns about the future.
GE’s Chairman and CEO, John Flannery, and Flux Group founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company, Robert Safian, discuss the future of additive manufacturing and its potential to transform the world of industrial manufacturing at Industry in 3D. This is a fascinating dive into the thinking of the leadership of a major company that is navigating it’s way thru a quickly changing business landscape.
Vivek Wadhwa is rejoining his former colleagues at Harvard Law School to run a critically important research project on the impact of technology on jobs and developing policies to mitigate the dangers.
This is with Richard Freeman, the world renowned labor economist, Sharon Block, who helped key labor policies for the Obama administration, and historian/scholar John Trumpbour. The 3-year project at Harvard’s Labor and Worklife program will bring together a who’s who to analyze new data on automation and jobs and to brainstorm on policy.
I got my first glimpse of Apple’s newest product as the sun was coming up. It was just after 7 a.m. on a Wednesday in January, two days after Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook, began moving into Apple Park, the company’s new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino. As I was escorted around the gleaming structure, it occurred to me that it embodied everything Apple’s products represent: a glimpse of the future, and yet also something familiar—not science fiction, but a tangible vision made real.
Thanks to Clark Quinn, Ph.D., we have a wonderful visual image of Nancy Giordano’s talk at this year’s #LSCon. It is fascinating to see how the future, learning, work, and leadership are interconnected. Thank you Clark.
At a recent ACG Silicon Valley event, Carnegie Mellon University instructor Tarun Wadhwa discussed the future of bitcoin and the potential power of Blockchain. Blockchain technology has a large potential to transform business, being both a disruptive innovation as well as one of the newest foundational technologies. That potential is already is already bearing fruit in many important industries, along with the growing pains. Tarun touches upon the future possibilities as well as the hurdles.
The biggest story in the ecosystem of blockchain is tokenization – the ability to turn physical and digital objects into a cryptographically secured digital representation of a set of rights. In other words, a string of code that can be tracked, traded, and split up into micro-fractions. We saw the first wave of excitement with ICOs, which are tokenized company equity, but that’s just the beginning.
Tokens will play a critical role going forward in virtually any digital exchange of value. And the implication of this is the creation of massive, entirely new markets. Assets that couldn’t be sold can now become liquid…it will soon be possible to buy shares in a house or an art painting just as you would stock in a company.
Yet to explore the real opportunities, we must also examine the hurdles that might hamper the growth of blockchain use. It is complex by nature, which make it hard for many users to understand. It lacks oversight thru regulation, which makes it risky. It can be an arduously slow system, which makes it less attractive for simple uses. It uses massive computing power for its checks and balances algorithms, which makes it dependent on large amounts of electrical power. And it promises to remove all the middle men, which also discards the value of expertise and dispute resolution that middle men delivered throughout history.
It is important to understand both the possibilities and the hype. While the vast majority of use cases we hear about today are going nowhere, there is something larger going on. Blockchain or some other form of partially distributed ledger, will ultimately be transformative in defining the future of how we own and exchange things.
Congratulations to Vivek Wadhwa for being recognized by the Silicon Valley Forum 2018 VISIONARY AWARD-WINNER. Past honorees include Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Linda Rottenberg, Scott McNealy, Ray Kurzweil, Reed Hastings, Tim O’Reilly, Padmasree Warrior, Anne Wojcicki, Reid Hoffman and many other icons.