Jack Uldrich
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Jack Uldrich’s “Friday Future 5:” October 15, 2021

Posted in Future, Future 15, Futurist, Think


(Editor’s note: Last week, in my haste, I forgot to place a link to the article on the future of cities after the pandemic. For those interested, you can find it here.)

Think: I traveled to Wichita, Kansas this week to deliver a keynote on the future of insurance. For anyone in the industry, I highly encourage you to read–and think about–this article, The Future of Insurance is Small. It is filled with insights about how Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, and Blockchain are quickly transforming insurance in some powerful ways.

Think Harder: Regardless of your position with your company or organization, you are a leader–or at least you have the capability to be a leader. Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has changed our world significantly. The question is this: Have your leadership skills kept pace? This article, 5 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed the Role of Leadership, is a great place to start the reflection process. (Note: I especially liked the idea of seeing the individual as a whole person.)

Think Smarter: I speak a great deal to farmers and the agri-business industry. One trend I have been discussing for years is “vertical” agriculture. Last week in the United Kingdom it was announced that the world’s largest vertical–or “indoor”–farm will be built near Bristol. That news might not capture many people’s attention, but this tidbit should: In 10 years, the farm hopes to supply 70 percent of the country’s fresh produce!

Think Faster: In my 2008 book, Jump the Curve, I mentioned that supercomputers had just surpassed the ability to perform one trillion calculations per second but warned that in the not-too-distant future computers would be able to perform one quadrillion calculations per second. In other words, computers would be 1000 times faster. This prediction came to fruition, but now the U.S. government has just released “Frontier”–a computer capable of one quintrillion calculations per second. Among other things, this computer (which is now a thousand times faster than a “one quadrillion calculation per second supercomputer and one million times faster than the supercomputers of only 13 years ago) will enable scientists to develop new technologies in energy, medicine, and material sciences. The speed with which the future may arrive is something we all need to spend some time thinking about.)

Think the Unthinkable: Not all the news for the U.S. is so good, however. The Pentagon’s first software chief, Nicolas Chaillin, recently resigned because he believes the United States is not moving fast enough in response to the Chinese government’s initiatives to dominate the technological frontier, especially in areas such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, genetics, and robotics. Just because you are “on top” today does not guarantee you will necessarily “win tomorrow”–have humility and keep seeking to improve. Whether individually, as a company, or as country this is something all of us should spend some serious time thinking about today!

Afterthought: “The pandemic is not over anywhere until it is over everywhere.”


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