According to Ray Kurzweil, by 2020 we’ll be 3D printing our own clothing and doctors will do the same with organs.
And as a result of all the research and innovation going on now in biotechnology and nanotechnology, the Singularity University co-founder and director of engineering at Google expects some of us adults might live long enough to see the 22nd century.
But just before Kurzweil took the stage at the annual Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh Tuesday, Governor Pat McCrory gave a speech championing years-old concepts like “crowdfunding” and “the cloud” and his goal to make North Carolina the third side of the national “Innovation Triangle”. He also pledged to fix our state’s desperate IT infrastructure challenges—74 percent of projects are either over budget or behind schedule. The same day, the News and Observer published that the NC legislature’s website was down because it failed to renew its domain.
Kudos to the Institute for Emerging Issues for using its event to share both the long-term opportunities of innovation, and the short-term challenges in getting there. (And check out the data it published, putting North Carolina in the middle of the pack on most innovation measures.)
The NC State-based organization recruited some of the world’s top thinkers about the future—from business to policy to education to health—and interspersed them with leaders in our North Carolina community to give the 1,000 attendees at this year’s event a big picture of the state of innovation today, and what the future might hold.
Some of the key short-term challenges (besides our state government’s tech problems) include cybersecurity—WRAL TechWire summed up comments from the director of the National Security Agency and a former congressman well-versed on the subject—and a multi-sided policy debate. Check out the Triangle Business Journal’s piece about the back-to-back pro-government and libertarian speakers disputing the role of government incentives in sparking innovation. It also summed up the conference well with a smattering of quotes from the events presenters.
We filmed four presentations that you might make the time to watch. The first, by renowned author and futurist Don Tapscott, details trends in the innovation economy today and the importance of the Millennial generation in our future world.