Friday, March 15, 2013

Confederation of Industries Annual Meeting gives us a peek into the future

The annual meeting of the Confederation of Industries gave attendees an opportunity to peek into the future. One of the three keynote speeches was given by Dr. Laurence Smith from UCLA, who gave us a snapshot of the future based on key drivers such as demographics, natural resources, climate change, and globalization. He painted a picture in which Arctic states, which he dubs the NORCs (the United States, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Canada, and Russia), become more important as the high north emerges as a key geostrategic region by mid-century. He noted that Arctic nations have moved smartly to work cooperatively in preparing for such a future. One of the other keynote speeches was given by Brad Burnham, a New York-based venture capitalist, who encouraged Iceland to pursue digital network-based investment to take advantage of its geographic location, digital entrepreneurship, and high level of internet penetration. He also urged that industry and government support the work of the Internet Policy Institute at the University of Reykjavik.