Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Future Thinker - Roger Dennis

I was very lucky tonight to be able to listen to Future Thinker and Strategist, Roger Dennis.
He spoke about a variety of things but what mainly stuck with me was :-

What are we preparing our students for in the future? 
If  the world and technology are changing so fast, why are we thinking in terms of jobs that are available now?
What skills do our students need in order to live in the world of the future?

Here are my notes. They are unedited and I make no apologies for them at all as they were typed on a phone!

Impact of technology on society
Open source from workshops around the world. 
Four certainties 
Higher densities of people in the planet. Resource shortages. Water problem at the moment in a lot of areas. 
Decline of America and the rise of China in the world. 
Big change in geopolitical areas of the world.  Building new power bases while america has not. The western influence and values will change around the world to eastern values. 
Cultural icons will be eastern and Chinese. 
Everything that can will go online. 
Cascading systems. 
Technology. Ai. Robotics etc. This affects jobs and gets attention. This affects political system and so there is an effect. 
Climate change. Climate refugees. Extreme weather. Rising seas. Coastlines disappear. 
Sea is pushed back up the system and affects life in a big way. Action is taken in a reactionary way. Infrastructure costs are high and difficult to deal with once it happens. 
Thinking about the future is not about being exact. 
How can government be prepared?
Technology is a key driver. It changes so fast. Building blocks. Each stack gets faster as they go and can combine together to create different things. 
Biology. Building blocks of life. Understanding and ability to change these. 
Gene sequencing in less than a day and about $1000. 
Gene editing $2000. $500 last year. Faulty genes can be edited to affect incurable diseases. 
Computing costs and speeds enable this to happen. 
CRISPR kit. 
Double sided coin. 
Robotics. Built for new types of environment or for our environments. 
Infrastructure is changed to fit robots or robots are designed to fit in with human environment. 
Boston Dynamics. 
Artificial intelligence.
Deep mind trained to play Go. 
Deep learning. Version of AI. Outperforms humans in medical situations. 
Machines and people work side by side at the moment but the feedback from the people is making the machines better. People won’t be needed to work with them in the future.
100,000 fb every second round the world. 
Block chain. Takes out third party so banks and providers and governments are interested. This will influence world trade and information exchange. Bit coin is based on block chain. 
Transactions are written to a digital ledger so the processes are not needed to maintain it like the process now. 
Personal records will be safer and have less risk attached to them. 
Nano tech. Tour de France is starting to X-ray the bikes as motors and batteries are getting so small you can’t tell. 
Energy. Smaller circuits means efficient solar panels. Price of batteries and power storage is dropping. 
Drones. Example of how tech blocks are combining in new ways and applications. 
Recombination of blocks comes out in unexpected ways. 
How does this all affect jobs?
When it affects jobs it affects politics as they react to what is happening. 
Job s replaced will be rules based. 
Empathy. Collaboration.  Intuition.   Things people can’t do and machines can’t.  
Macro changes. Industry implications. Strategic questions. Www.Rogerdennis.com

The biggest blocker to change in a school is parents. They succeeded on a certain path so they think that is what their kid should do. 
That process is so different now. 
What are we preparing the students for at secondary if the pathway after school is getting so different. 
Software can build software that is better than what humans build. Coding is anyways of time for students under the age of 12 and it will be useless to them. 

The world need more question askers / philosophers now not more programmers. 

Students need to be able to pick up new skills quickly in the future as things change. 

Reading writing and basic maths are skills that will be needed at the basic level so the needs of young children will be the same there.  

If / when the power goes off what do you do?

It takes a long time to change human behaviour and a short time to change technology. 


  1. Thanks for this summary. Despite the phone technology you have captured the essence of the evening. A very cool Manaiakalani event.

    1. Thankyou.
      The evening definitely gave me lots to thinks about.