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Foresight, Flexibility and Fluidity – Managing Disruptive Technologies

May 03, 2017

In a recent Gallup Poll (April 5-9), a record low number of Americans said it was likely they would be laid off in the next year. The current response of only 8% is below the record high response of 21% reached in 2010, and down from 15% just one year ago. That’s good for American workers, giving them the upper hand in wages and benefits negotiations for now. But, there are other indicators coming from disruptive technologies and the fourth industrial revolution that don’t bode so well for workers in general, unless we can develop a constructive policy response to the coming technological unemployment. 

See how technologies erode trust in government » 

Big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and blockchain are combining and intersecting creating “technology 4.0 world”. Disruptive technologies produce gains in productivity and growth, but also displacement of jobs, and what many are beginning to see as a looming cloud for policymakers. There is a growing gap between the capacity of the government to implement timely and effective policy changes, and the scale, scope and speed of these technological transformations. The coming displacement of delivery drivers is a pure example of home grown technology impacting employment – jobs of truck drivers and delivery drivers are not going to move to another country, they are simply going to disappear. Policy making has to move from hindsight to foresight in an era of disruption. Government and business leaders have to begin immediately tackling the big issues that will dominate tomorrow. “To respond to the dual challenge of rebuilding growth through innovation and of facilitating adjustment to technological change, we have to get ahead of the disruption curve in our policy analysis and thinking,” Kevin Lynch, The Globe and Mail. 

NECA recognizes disruptive technologies as a key industry issue. See how we're working to change legislative policy to adapt to these new technologies »

Watch video of Uber’s future flying taxi set to debut in Dallas and Dubai: 

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Watch on fortune.com »

NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not too distant future.  Dr. Joey Shorter has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.