The Industries of the Future – Alec Ross

“Individuals and states all over the world that took advantage of the wave of innovation flourished. Our most valued commodities have gone from salt and sugar to chemicals and fuels to data and services. The regions that provide those now lead the global knowledge economy.” Published in 2016, The Industries of the Future is more than just a business book. It is ideally a forecast of the future world and how creativity and innovative trends from various fields will drive to make this possible. The author transitions his readers from the economics of the agricultural age through the industrial era and finally to the information age where globalization is depicted through technology.

Borrowing much of his expertise from his former job as the senior advisor for innovation to Hillary Clinton when she was the U.S Secretary of State, he foresees a category of industries that will take the front-seat in global development. They include; robotics, digital money (he uses Kenya’s M-Pesa as a key example), genomics and data analytics. Drawing further examples from China, Japan, South Korea and Germany, he goes ahead to justify why these economies are evidently doing way better than the rest which are yet to adapt to the foreseen trends. Interestingly, the author also notes Rwanda as an upcoming knowledge-based economy.

In that vein, Ross also writes about those who stand to lose from this shift. Some job groups will eventually be replaced by the existence and accuracy that artificial intelligence and machine learning carry.  The distinctive factors in labor markets being diversification into code, cybersecurity, precision agriculture and nanorobotics, which would ideally earn someone some relevance. I appreciate the author’s efforts in cautioning us about the potential threats and risks from innovation while still informing us of the much good that is to come from it.

In general, I regard this book as a forward-thinking book on the possibilities in the ifs. It is comprehendible in its own way and its discerning insights on economic and social changes provide a mindset of how we should navigate through advanced alternatives. The 300-page piece is great for leisure study. What do you think about the book?

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