The Future of America and the Innovation Economy Part ll

Posted by Dr. James Canton on November 6, 2012 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

This post is on the day of the US election. Sometimes I think I must sound like a broken record but one more time, with feeling. This election is vitally important because it will determine not just the future US President but the future of the nation, with impact on the world of business, economics and globalization.

The Innovation Economy is an emergent economic paradigm for the planet. One third of US GDP is from innovation industries engaged in making or using technology. Innovation is not just about technology but the use of technology to enable business. Innovation: key technologies, processes, systems, methods will bring prosperity, peace and productivity that will bring democracy and a better world for the planet.

America has always been the leading global innovator, the New World driving new technologies like the Internet, nanotech, biotech and computing. This election, beyond the politics, is about the Innovation Economy. We need to get this right. And now.

This election, and the leader that emerges must be a catalyst for enabling innovation to move faster, deeper and with more financial investments to keep America competitively strong but also to continue to drive the next generation of innovations that enable not just the US economy but the world economy. America has contributed much to the world as far as innovation and tech innovations have transformed business, society and the marketplace.

A deeper connection between the White House and the private sector, regardless who is elected will mean a more viable future for America and the world economy. We must invest deeper in the Innovation Economy to spur on the next stage of prosperity and invention. Immense challenges such as climate change, security, energy shortages, health care access are global challenges not just challenges for America. Without deep investments in advanced next generation technologies: neuro, nano, info, bio, quantum and robotics we will miss a historic opportunity to shape a better future.

By 2025 the global innovation economy will be driver of prosperity, peace and progress on the planet. Technologies such as quantum computing, geoengineering, data science, molecular manufacturing, real time anywhere networks, neuroengineering will transform the global economy–if our leaders invest smartly in the future.

Governance is not just about law and politics. It’s about investing in the future. The next President needs to have a deep understanding of how productivity, peace and progress will be enabled by–the Innovation Economy. Invest now for our future and the future of the planet.

Beyond Politics: The Future of America

Posted by Dr. James Canton on August 31, 2012 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

The passionate forces on both political sides seem to have lost touch with the Big Challenge facing America–the future of America. Getting beyond the politics, both right and left, conservative and liberal is mission essential if America is going to chart a new course into the future. The Big Challenge is about sustainability, global competitiveness and innovation. This is what will drive the economy forward and yes create jobs and dare I say it, wealth.

Wealth, or the desire for improving ones well being, not just financial but the opportunity to have a sustainable job, smart schools for our kids, colleges that are affordable and relevant for the future is what authentic wealth is. Wealth is not about money alone but the quality of life that enables your life to have freedom, security and a chance to better yourself. This is why America has been a magnet for immigration for its short but vibrant history. Kill the wealth creating culture that brings up the poor into the middle class or even the middle class to greater wealth and you kill American culture. Wealth is fundamental to America. Ask any second generation citizen and he or she will tell you.

The future of America is on the line. Not because one or the other candidates are opposed to meeting this challenge but because they seem to both have lost sight of what this means. What America needs are leaders that embrace visions for America that make a better America and are realistic tactics to go after transforming education, health care, jobs and the economy.

This election is like most, a battle over ideas and ideology. But getting beyond the politics, both winners and losers must have a common objective–how to join together to improve America’s future. This will require a new narrative and a smart leader to champion. America’s future will not be transformed if the political acrimony prevails as the norm.

Enlightened leaders, from both political sides of the game must evolve to a new level of collaboration. America’s challenges are too heavy for one party, one President or one Congress to solve without a bigger collaboration of all.

Finally, my vote will be for free enterprise, free markets and innovation. Innovation is what America has given the world. From inventors like Ford to Einstein to Steve Jobs. Tech innovations have been a key driver of the American economy and tech innovations like Twitter, Apple and Google have driven entrepreneurs and freedom throughout the world. Our next President should be the Innovation President. Tomorrow’s innovations-Nanotech, Neurotech, Quantum tech, Infotech, Robotictech, Biotech–will change the world and America for the better. Innovation is beyond politics and will drive a better future of America.

Radically Rethinking Government: The New Digital Strategy

Posted by Dr. James Canton on June 30, 2012 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

There is a New Digital Strategy that is just released by the White House. It calls for a revolution in mobile, social, cloud, analytics and the interoperable use of data. It is the most far ranging attempt by any government to get tech savvy. It is part wish list and part logic: if we are going to build the next generation of 21st century governments then we had best rethink how we use technology and then rethink who we are.

Government 2.0 is a paradigm of rethinking what government agencies do, how they serve citizens and how they could operate more cost-effectively and be innovative in an era of complex change. The use of technology with work process transformation and better strategic planning is part of this model. Also, how they prepare citizens for the future is essential.

There have been many attempts with all administrations since the Internet became a dominant communications revolution to create change, Democrat and Republican alike. Few big changes came about while the private sector has been completely transformed. Government cannot afford in an era of fiscal prudence, yes even under the Democrats not to innovate to reduce costs.

But agencies are very protective of their power and unless the White House takes a stand nothing will happen. So that is what this is, along with more then a policy directive, there are aggressive time tables for each deliverable starting in 90 days. Which is what this should be so it is not just policy directives with no metrics or deliverables.

I think this is a timely and relevant policy shift driven by cost and innovation, or the lack of it. It has been coming for awhile and when I advised under Bush I banged the drum of digital integration as did many more closer to power. Now it is clear that in this climate of Twitter, Apple’s rise, the mobile web, Facebook and this president who has the best record on alienating business of any president, he is trying to demonstrate that he is tech savvy.

Now, to why much of this may not happen. The agencies are traditional bastions of power and hold tight their fiefdoms. Meaning they will not change unless mandated to. Next. There is no additional budget as yet so in essence your asking the agencies to make this very innovative policy directive happen without any new funds. Challenging at best.

On the security, privacy and terrorism issues. This is now in the hands of Depart Homeland Security. I think that there is a confidential counterpart plan to this that addresses these issues as this is DHS’s role and when talking about interoperability and shared data etc. in government the legal issues on use of citizen data access and disclosures are hugely complicated. So rather then complicate the vision here, it is implicit DHS will handle it but this too could not be funded and therefore not a priority versus hard targets like terrorists.

Now a more sinister forecast could play into the intrusion dreams of shared data and preying on citizens and unless you have not been paying attention that horse has left the stable–Big Brother has arrived.

My forecast that I gave to about 80 agencies was that there were going to be three trends facing them within the next 3-7 years that would be driven by higher expectations of performance, customer demands and smaller budgets. There are about 430 agencies making up about $13 Trillion (around same as GDP) of which best accounts are that there is over 30% waste or irrelevancy that we could eliminate if anyone had any guts to do so.

The first is Reduce Government Forecast will affect the lower performing group of agencies that resist innovation and cost cutting and resist rethinking their agencies purpose, work, mandate and customer-facing quality controls (impact on citizens). They would go away. These agencies would be eliminated or be outsourced to private sector companies. FedEx and UPS can do the postal service, should mostly be digital. And on.

The second Government M&A Forecast affects the next group of agencies. They would for similar reasons, basically not performing, get merged and consolidated into other agencies or new ones that have rigorous metrics, like the private sector but around leveraging innovation and serving real needs, with highly intelligent government pros as opposed to special interest agents or providing jobs for political hacks.

The third Government High Performers Forecast, this rewards agencies who transform themselves into innovative, digital, inventive and cost-saving and even profit creating but certainly customer enabling agencies, that derive their power from empowering citizens via better health, education, technology, defense and employment services. I would have them compete with real metrics to win even more budget.

The key, now and whoever the next President will be, is to use this digital mandate to set the stage, get the metrics, see who gets it or not and carve up the rest and get rid of the dead wood. I know this sounds deterministic but this is what needs to happen given fiscal austerity or a growth scenario.

Enabling government to do more with less funds will require a Radical Rethinking of Government. In a recent keynote in Washington DC I outlined this vision of the future.

2012 Global Futures Forecast

Posted by Dr. James Canton on February 9, 2012 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

The Global Futures Forecast is a trend analysis of what’s coming this year from Dr. James Canton, the Institute for Global Futures. What’s on the horizon.

Just published at www.FutureGuru.com the Global Futures Forecast. Future of water, network agility, innovation, mobile, youth dissent, cyberhacking…

See www.futureguru.com for the full publication GFF 2012Future of Mobility

The Semantic Web Show: Future of the Internet is Mining Desire?

Posted by Dr. James Canton on June 8, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Hanging out at the Semantic Web show http://semtech2011.semanticweb.com/index.cfm
in SF yesterday with Sandy Rosenberg, an IGF adviser made me realize how early we are in understanding the semantic web. The show was intimate and eye opening regarding the powerful potential for this technology.

Simply put, the Semantic Web is about tagging everything and linking every data, audio, image and video source to everything–including us. Also context pattern recognition–finding insight into data that is useful.

Then better search emerges, smarter analytics emerge and maybe we understand how to sell, profit, serve and help people better in everything we do–from health care to security to making new drugs and finding new customers.

The Semantic Web will either be a boon to business or a huge intrusion into life by forces that want to mine and predict your desires. You may say what’s wrong with mining my desires? If you have to ask you missed it.

Personally I think a super computing AI, think Google in the near future with the power of predictive analytic media, seductive, immersive, intuitive, sensing your Desires and then enabling your desires for information, products, services, experiences to be fulfilled sounds both fantastic and disturbing at the same time.

Are not happy in the Matrix? OK maybe that’s too much. But someone in a very undemocratic place like Iran or North Korea may use this Rogue Technology to exploit our desires in ways not happy.

Think neuromarketing meets social media meets the semantic web. Who will watch the watchers? In the manufacture of desire be careful what you ask for.

I do think the semantic web also and primarily will drive valuable new services in media entertainment and health care, to name a few.

See Semantic Web Show in SF, well done event
http://semtech2011.semanticweb.com/index.cfm

U2 Concert in Oakland CA: Future of Innovation Velocity

Posted by Dr. James Canton on under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

The most interesting thing about the U2 concert last night in Oakland was not Bono’s call to action for human rights in Burma or his crazy robust voice banging out all the songs we love. It was the real time (maybe) feed from space the last Endeavor space station of our Astronaut beaming in reminding us that it takes only one of us to with imagination to change the world for the better.

Very cool reminder, from space that tech innovations transform the our world and will transform the future.

So much of the world has been made better with technology innovation and we are only in the middle ages where computers, nano, neuro, biotech have just been invented minutes ago in the long history of civilization.

We must meet the grand challenges of a Sustainable Planet–economic, social, security and environmental sustainability. Especially as were are looking at 9 billion by 2050.

This futurist calls for Planetary Management of food, water, security and energy. We need more Fast Innovation, Innovation Velocity for inventing the next future we will all be living in.

Bono reminded us, and he’s right. The Bay Area helped change the world with innovations like the computer, networks and biotech. Now we need to build on this culture everywhere.

Innovation Velocity means faster tech inventions by individuals, more investments by government and private sector, faster products to empower the next billion people to learn, grow, contribute, collaborate and do business.

How are you creating Innovation Velocity?

One world. One Challenge.

Apple’s Future Cloud Strategy: Learning from the Customer

Posted by Dr. James Canton on under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Apple’s strategy with the cloud is to learn from their customers. No less important is to lay the foundation of interoperability with Apple TV, the Mac, iPad and Mobile Me. Mobile Me is a work in progress but is moving in the right direction.

As a former Apple executive I know that Apple envisions the future by learning from its customers. This is a powerful lesson that more of my clients could benefit from–learning from customers about how they see the future applications of their products.

Apple learns more from putting out products to customers and then mining their experiences. Apple TV is the latest. But the cloud is an attempt to integrate all of the other devices into one platform–an intuitive interoperable platform.

Already users of Apple’s iPad can stream wireless to the TV programs. What’s next the iCar? Yes. So the cloud for Apple is already in play for the next generation, its laying the foundation for the integration of not just devices like the iPhone but the integration of knowledge assets like video, music and data.

Who are you learning about the future from?

The Innovator’s Mindset

Posted by Dr. James Canton on January 27, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

So much talk about innovation. Innovations, from tech innovation to systems, culture and process all can make a a huge difference in a company or organization. But why is innovating so hard?

This is because we don’t know where it begins–where innovation is born is in the mind.

The innovation is about Inventing Something New, a fresh product, service, solution or some new way to bring value to a customer.

Innovation starts within the mind of the person. The Innovators Mindset is about the ways of thinking that cause innovation to be born.

These Innovative Mindsets are:
No Rules
Fiercely Experiment
Be Future Smart
Start Big
Take No No’s
Simulate
Create a Compelling Aha Vision

Innovation is about the mindset of open possibility. Real innovators, had an idea, a vision before they had a thing. Ted Turner, CNN. Apple’s Steve Jobs. Craig Venter mapping the Human Genome. Crick and Watson on DNA and Ratan Tata’s Nano car. They all had a vision of what what was possible and few supporters at first.

Think Big

The Mashup Economy 2.0

Posted by Dr. James Canton on January 21, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

This year we are going to have to redefine the economy. Too many innovations are emerging that are blowing up business models but I do know this: The Mashup Economy is coming.

The Mashup Economy is all about the convergence of new media, social networks, influence management, predictive analytics, mobility and Web 2.0. This is not your father’s economy (or mothers!) The point is that a collision of new innovative even disruptive tech will be offering new business models-watch or serious games, social selling, virtual world markets and person to person marketing.

The currency of new ideas will rule. Learn the new language of the Mashup, the Mashup Economy.

Stay tuned