Skip to comments.Game Changers: The Technology That Will Add $33 Trillion to the Economy
Posted on 08/03/2013 12:14:07 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
One of the most common words attached to technology these days is "disruption." The very term conjures up something uncomfortable, but while technology unquestionably impacts and disrupts established methods of doing things, it also delivers enormous value to our lives.
The global research firm McKinsey has spents years quantifying this value in concrete dollar terms. They've released a new, wide-ranging report that identifies 12 potentially game-changing technological developments that will deliver significant economic impacts to the global economy by 2025. To make the cut, the technology had to have a broad scope with the potential for massive economic impact. What's more, McKinsey has put an estimated price tag on each one of these disruptive innovations, claiming they will deliver tens of trillions (yes, with a "t") of dollars of economic impact worldwide, should they come to pass.
The report, as you might guess, is fundamentally optimistic about the potential for new technology to "raise productivity and provide widespread benefits across economies." Here are the technologies that McKinsey sees adding trillions of dollars to the global economy by 2025.
As McKinsey wrote, renewable energy "holds a simple but tantalizing promise: an endless source of power to drive the machinery of modern life without stripping resources from the earth." Yet while promise has to date been "elusive" McKinsey sees the potential "for rapidly accelerating growth in the next decade" thanks to increases in solar panel efficiency and wind turbine construction. Advances are also expected in harnessing geo-thermal and ocean-wave power.....
(Excerpt) Read more at realcleartechnology.com ...
Pretty short sighted. Mainly an extrapolation of today’s tech with an unfounded belief in renewable energy and a focus on improving the Internet. Meanwhile, I think he grossly under estimates the impact of 3D printing and consigns quantum computing to the also ran category.
Would that allow farming on Mars? Isn’t that called tera-forming or some such?
I was going to read it, and then I got to the last paragraph before having to go to the story. If he had to start off with solar and wind energy, the rest was going to poop out.
Right. Such stories are almost always mainly extrapolations or expansions on today’s tech.
As late as the 60s some of the best SF writer were writing stories in which computers didn’t play much of a role.
Sort of by definition, nobody sees the truly game-changing stuff coming.
And thin. Each section was 3-4 sentences of obviousness. Take energy storage, all they think about is electric cars but I think about the value of smoothing the grid. Right now we subsidize the heck out of at-home power generation as shown in their slide with solar panels on a roof. That is pretty stupid since the actual need is not to create more (unreliable) power when it is not needed, but to store power for when it is needed. The latter is what needs to be subsidized based on reliability.
The revolution will come as soon as they toss the politically correct, green is good mantra, and let unbiased engineers determine what is valuable and pay people for that value.
All of the scientific and technological predictions of yesteryear come true!
The differences between the United States with countries like it on one side, and North Korea with countries like it on the other is not due to technology. The real game-changer is politics, and that will be changing in the wrong direction to judge by current trends.
Where’s my flying car!
Elroy took it for a joyride, George.
And when we were in high school in the ‘50s, the “futurists” predicted we’d all get around by personal back-pack aircraft by the year 2000. Instead, we sit in traffic jams all over America.
The only thing that is predictable is that the future is unpredictable.
Lotta hype and little information.
At the same time, politics is heavily driven by technology. Some would say primarily. If the most significant power available at a given era, especially in weapons, requires a huge infrastructure of men to wieldsuch as old-fashioned, crew-served field guns needing hundreds of men to manufacture and 10 men to move and firethat tilts the advantage to central government. Same with the gathering of intel.
But as death-dealing force and the ability to gather and use game-changing intel become miniaturized, with an individual man able to cause huge disruptionlike an Afghan soldier in the 1980s shooting down a Soviet helo with a stinger, or one NSA geek who decides to download the regime's secrets and leak themthe advantage moves to the individual (all the way to chaos, sometimes).
The politics of the centralizers attempt to starve out innovation by penalizing it and keeping capital from reaching unauthorized innovators such as entrepreneursso the central government can have a monopoly on force and information. That's North Korea and NSA. In our day, the culture of disparate entities like CATO Institute, the Occu-tards, the Catholic Church, and Internet geeks pushes toward the individual. The question is whether the borders of the world turn out to be so porous that the Snowdens and 3-D printers and fly-sized aircraft in our era pull the rug out from under the centralizers.
As Rees-Mogg and Davidson observe (in The Great Reckoning), the landscape of history is a see-saw between centralized vs. individualized power, driven significantly by the developments in technology. They were actually citing someone else's work in this thesisI forget who. Both extreme central government and its opposite, the world of Mad Max, are quite unpleasant to inhabit.
Not if Elmer Fudd keeps up his destruction of the economy. There won’t be anybody left willing to work.
And to the NSA trolls, FU.
Strange as it sounds, self-drivable cars would eliminate most of the traffic jams. An interstate with no rubberneckers, accidents and slow drivers would be an efficient one. And we have the technology now.
Well, dayum! Ten to fifty cents in 12 years? SIGN ME UP!
This mostly a rehash of the same old stuff with $’s attached. Advanced oil and gas recovery, 3 D printing and robotics are the only likely viable mega trends.
The marriage of the cloud/mobile internet to robotics to a polygamous 3D spouse will be the real mega change.
This administration is doing all it can to stymie fracking and other methods of oil and gas extraction.(#3 on the list)
It may be that some of the technologies cited, or even ones not cited may contain the answer to improving the economy and well-being of the country. The one insurmountable obstacle, though, is the interference of government.
Specifically, a government controlled by rabid liberal ideologues. The reason why these any these things won’t work for the economy is these ideologues are not interested in fulfillment of individuals or the improvement of the economy. The only things they are interested in are complete control of the economy and its assets’ dispersion equally throughout the populace that support their office and power.
Great power. Yes, great power. But not the kind these technologies may or may not represent for the free individual. And, to the extent any one of these technologies, or any other for that matte,r can help them fulfill their goals, it won’t be because of freedom or free-market capitalism.
What... like solar and wind... or the Chevy volt? Solyndra. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha that’s some funny sh!t right there!
All controlled by big brother... you behave and be a good boy...
Yesterday, we four old geezers made a road trip, visiting a number of places, including the Just Aircraft Company to see the SuperSTOL. One of our most satisfying stops was at the upper end of Lake Jocassee on the SC-NC border, where Whitewater Falls descends 411 feet into the lake.
Just yards from the foot of the falls, a nearly hidden entrance leads to a tunnel into the mountain. At the end is a huge, 7 story high man-made cavern containing the four pump-generator turbines of Duke Power's Bad Creek Pumped Storage project. These use surplus power from the Oconee Nuclear Plant at times of low demand to pump water from Lake Jocassee in through 4 eight foot diameter pipes and then up through the roof of the cavern to the Bad Creek pond sitting 1000 feet higher on the mountain.
During times of high demand for electric power this water runs back down through the pumps, which now function as generators, emptying into lake Jocassee. Each generator produces a nominal 250 megawatts. Thus, this "gravity battery" produces one gigawatt. In fact. at "full pond", it is producing 1,320 megawatts.
This article has a great video tour inside the powerhouse.
Very nice, thanks for the link.
Extrapolations? You’re dang right they are. Especially if they come from the wonks at McKinsey and Company. My several experiences with this gang is that they are parrots. Highly paid parrots without a single original idea.
A McKinsey team is composed of an older partner leading a team of bright eyed, expensively educated youngsters with heads filled with the latest MBA crap, excellent excel skills, able to harvest reams of data, be present insanely long billable hours and delivering a report of what your employees told them that your employees have been trying to tell management if they would only have listened, assimialted and done their job with. The only good thing about a McKinsey team I have found is that many of the bright eyed youth have nice legs.
Turn the function of supporting society over to DISPASSIONATE engineers and you’ll get much better solutions than the mismash of political, social architecture junk we have now.
I was going to read it, and then I got to the last paragraph before having to go to the story. If he had to start off with solar and wind energy, the rest was going to poop out.
Read on. Solar and wind are at the bottom of the list not the top.
At the same time, politics is heavily driven by technology ...
Nice commentary. Keep it up. We need a little more analytic depth around here. Sometimes I just skip over the one-liner responses and just read those that actually have something to say that might be worth reading.
Of course I state all of this in a sentence or two.
Neat indeed. Who’d a-thunk-it? Very clever idea.
Don't necessarily disagree. But engineers can only work to meet a defined goal, not set goals for society, and what the goals should be is the source of most conflict.
I also think it only fair to point out that both fascism and communism were really, really big on turning societal decision making over to experts like engineers.
Need + Miracle Discovery = Rapid Growth
If only I could predict the future like that.
Ping for later.
Implicit within media guru Marshal McLuhan’s seminal “Understanding Media- the Extensions of Man” is the postulate that technology is inherently democratizing. We don’t have political democracy without technology, period. The working class has all the rights, mobility, information and tools of the aristocracy of 200 years ago. In social terms, it also has access to the cognitive attributes of the aristocracy- libertine excess, moral ambivalence, egomania, a sense of entitlement and a fixation on ornament, style and status.
This is because the only exemplar for the utility of surplus wealth has historically been its only benefactors- the aristocracy, the latifundia, the oligarchy, the plutocracy. What we desperately need now is an ethics of true efficiency or long term efficiency rather than exploitive efficiency designed for short term gain.
None of these “gee wiz” futurologists have the brains of a turnip. They extrapolate from the obvious to the obvious, meanwhile the modern world turns morality into ground meat for reasons we never seem to understand. Absolutely no popularized futurologist nails the social effects of technology.
We still don’t suss how the telephone, the automobile, electronic media and the Internet have and are currently effecting our ability to control our personal destiny and model a future for ourselves. Technology brings with it cognitive changes that we miss every freaking time.
One thing you can predict with McKinsey is if your firm hires them to study productivity the first thing they will do is recommend cutting at least 10% of the staffing, and load the work on the remaining employees regardless of whether or not they have the resources to do it. Then they’ll study the operations to see how much can be outsourced overseas Of course they’ll recommend their consultants be on board for years with new efficiency projects no doubt costing the company more than the payroll cost of the employees let go. Ultimately the company loses its focus on customers and competition and goes out of business.
McKinsey is the Darth Vader of the management consulting world. Go back and look at the carcasses of American corporations that have died over the past 50 years. You’ll see the mark of McKinsey.
I’m still waiting for the jet pack the promised me back in the 60’s! :O
Look at the ones on the last page that didn’t make the cut.
Next-gen nuclear fission
Advanced water purification
Included in this list imho are the two biggest world beaters: Next-gen nuclear fission and Advanced water purification
I read an ebook last year which made a number of recommendations— two of which have already been acted on. The first was that Bill Gates would jump into the thorium reactor game. The second was that an oil company would jump into the thorium reactor lftr game. (Why Oil? because electricity costs are more than 50% of the costs of in situ mining for oil shale. If electricity costs could be collapsed —then oil could be extracted competitively.)
Collapsing Water and Energy Costs: How Bill Gates [Or You!] Can Create the Inventions That Spark the Next Industrial and Agricultural Revolution [Kindle Edition]
While the list leaves out Advanced water purification—they leave in Advanced Materials — which is where the big break through in water purification are coming from. In water purification its all about cost. The lower the cost, the more things become possible.
Same with energy. (which plays comprises roughly 1/3 of the cost of desalination.)
Energy is key. If they collapse the cost of energy to 1/4-1/10 the cost of the current cheapest coal —it just explodes the economy. And also makes water desalination cheap enough for agriculture. Thereby making it economically possible to turn the deserts to agriculture in the same way the great plains around the world were turned to agriculture 80 years ago. (there are now a total 4 players in the USA involved in thorium reactor R&D and 1 in canada.)
There are a lot of predictions in the book. The most interesting thing however was the vision thing. The ebook said the path to the deserts of the moon and mars leads through the deserts of the earth.
There is a wild hair chance that one of fusion technologies could suddenly make prime time. I have been most impressed by dense plasma focus —which is easier to say than to understand.
I have seen the first generation quantum computer by a company called D-Wave but I’ll bet these are slow to develop and won’t have a major impact for two decades or more.
Carbon sequestration is a non starter but companies like Joule Unlimited which use carbon dioxide to make ethanol and diesel will form some pretty dynamic niche industries and might actually save the coal industry.
There was an article a month or so ago that said a Canadian company has been running a quantum computer for over a year. I’ll see if I can find it.
I agree with you about water desalinization and thorium. If electricity were cheap enough, instead of battery powered cars, we could electrify the roads. Quantum computing will be big, but it is a very new programming paridigm and will take a while to learn how to program them.
I need a Grande Latte to think about this...
Solar isn’t very practical on Mars, given the lower solar radiation levels. Wind power, maybe?
yeah I saw that. that company actually announced that google and nasa were two of its customers. things may move faster but I think the true potential of quantum computers is much higher and much more versatile than the D wave shows. and that will take time to reveal that potential.
If electricity were cheap enough, instead of battery powered cars, we could electrify the roads.
I wouldn’t invest in Tesla but if imho if anyone can make an industry model work—it would be Elon Musk. (That’s actually why his stock is so high. The bet is not on the car but on the man.)
Maybe the infrastructure would be cheaper for electrified roads—than for batteries...but likely not. Even though the electricity would be cheap —people would be killed by the capital and maintenance cost of the electrified road infrastructure. Ideally they would just make the batteries take more charge and charge faster easier cheaper. Rather than rig the us interstate system with some kind of electric trolly system.
Solar isnt very practical on Mars, given the lower solar radiation levels. Wind power, maybe?
There’s lots of thorium on Mars and the moon. That’s part of the reason for the excitement surrounding thorium reactors.
I haven't done any cost comparisons between something like this and battery powered cars, but it seems like with an electrified road, you get to distribute the costs of the road among the cars, and the cars themselves wouldn't need as big of batteries, and could be made cheaper. I would think it would be less expensive per vehicle.
They’ll only be around another 3 years. If we dodge the Hillary bullet we’ll be okay.