Thursday, 23 July 2015

Amplification of Learning Productivity



Continuous fluid learning is now an economic imperative in the context of today’s supra-accelerating technological innovation, and the ensuing exponential increase in related data and know-how. Economies that refuse to accept this reality, are doomed to fiscal and social plight. To compete, let alone get ahead, nations-states must enable faster, smarter, state-of-art human capital.

This is one of the biggest economic deals today, because the education paradigms and models that have hardly changed for millennia, now thwarts economic progress. Go back to ancient Greece and you would witness students sitting in classes, facing a backboard, instructed by teachers and assisted  by tutors. Go to any modern school today, and you would see a similar model. A model that has moved on little more than a shackled 19th century factory.

But now go out of the classroom and you will find that learning is global. The pace hustled, social, custom, and often esoteric. The content ever novel, surprising, discontinuous, disruptive and multidimensional. Application half-life decaying faster, recoiling earlier. Productivity intense, augmented, smart and real-time. The focus futures, opportunities and possibilities. And the activity itself fun, intriguing, curious and absorbing. And all this outside the classroom. What on earth is going on?

If adolescents and not so young adults are not engaged in learning science based futures orientated skills, and acquiring knowledge that enables them to open the door and build and earn a living in the future; large numbers are going to continue be dead in the water!
As I write, United Nation’s International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that close to 75 million 15 to 24 year-olds (12.6 percent) around the world are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). High youth unemployment is one of the principal long-term problems threatening stable societies around the planet.

Only, this situation may be worse. Because these NEET numbers are not only estimated as percentages of people of working age that are able to work and not in education; but also do not include people carrying out any kind of subsistence work (an hour a day delivering newspapers in a Kentish town; sweeping a cow shed in Kansas; or scavenging and reselling from landfill sites in Kenya).

In the coming years, the ILO annual report warns that the world's advanced economies will suffer a lost decade of jobs growth, with more people unemployed for longer. The World of Work predicts that employment rates in advanced economies will not return to pre-crisis (c.2008) levels until after 2017, 10 years after the start of the global financial meltdown.

To add to this, a kind of high frequency cyclic unemployment-reemployment pattern is causing a longer-term difficulty with people dropping out and in, and then out of work again. This has adverse consequences on opportunities to advance in a good job or career, and improve standards of living. For elders, the idea of obtaining a mortgage to buy a home may be seen as a risk; for the younger home buyer, naivety about the long-term repayment of a mortgage and housing bubbles could lead them into debt.
It gets grimmer. In the UK, 9 percent of the 230,000 graduates from 2011-12 are unemployed. Coupled to almost 10 thousand graduates underemployed in elementary occupations, including roles such as office junior, hospital porter, waiter and shelf-stacker. All that academic effort to little avail.


This luminously highlights that unemployment and underemployment is a devastating phenomena in the lives of graduates, and a definite indicators that incumbent employers demand a different employment dynamic. But more, emerging innovative firms require skills that are just not there in sufficient numbers. Again, innovation requires new roles, thus new skills.
From Inert Education to 
Multidimensional Interconnected Learning

Education, in the traditional sense, means formal teaching from experts via sanctioned syllabus. Literally, to instruct the pupil in specific prescribed topics. This means education is a structured process, denoting a formal body of knowledge that is done to the would-be scholar, where a course is tightly manifested in a top town approach.

But here is the snag. Such a top down method limits student enquiry to the boundaries of that subject matter. And that is precisely way business as usual education is not enough anymore. For sure, it is needed as a foundation at early grade levels. But today’s world demands much more. The world is interconnecting not just on the digital stage, nor merely through mass international trade, transit and travel. It is our ideas, our memes, that are crossing boundaries faster and more pervasive than ever. Tangible and tacit knowledge, concentrated information, and even what would have been in the recent past provincial events, criss-cross to form unprecedented and extraordinary archetypes, hybrid situations, and challenging geopolitical affairs.

Hard science too, is grossly affected. The kernels of physics, chemistry and biology used to be strict distinct disciplines in their own right. Then came a watered down version we know as integrated science. And that was the beginning of the end of discrete science. Now, by way of examples, biotechnology, genomics and molecular chemistry tips all that up. Ecology, zoology, and geology, where do these branches of learning begin and end. Much of significant cultural history has always been where boundaries cross intellectually, politically or geographically. But the history of the future will be far more interlinked than we have been used to, and for many, ready to accept. And then comes commerce, design and technology! Hyperinnovation any one?

For the time-honoured teacher, this derives peculiar ambiguities for both educational content and the way it is delivered. ‘Teacher,’ has some influence here, but only if the role is extended and broken from for the chains of restricted educational frameworks. Because the ‘out-there’ real-world is a country mile away from a provincial academic subject and end of semester exam papers (teachers, I here you scorn).

The multidimensional learning model, however, is more than different from the formal education and teaching mould. It is an altogether different paradigm. It is far from waiting for a expert teacher to step up in front of marker board, or these days, a multimedia screen. It is about learning spontaneously about whatever is of interest, or whatever is relevant, or whatever interrelated issues, topics and narratives one chooses, under one’s own initiative, curiosity and life goals? Teacherless education systems are the shape of things to come. However, tutors, coaches and mentors will be abound in conjunction with ubiquitous computing and networks, natural language search engines and databases, immersive virtual holographic hypermedia, and super smart/expert applications.

Hyperlearning is about doing real things in real context. Interconnected learning that is self-driven that leads to a portfolio of authentic outcomes. A track record of tangible projects, products, designs, books, articles, artworks, musical compositions, dance, gadgets, trophies, and assorted DIYinnovations that can be measured in authentic value (e.g.; win a music contract that goes platinum; build a zero-defect healthcare system; sell 100-billion ‘penny’ biodegradable plastic bags).

And this is no idiosyncratic perspective, because this is how the world and its blog is set to rollout from now on. Without this kind of authentic value outcome; that eleven year of school education and three-to-five year of university education will be wasted and vain effort. And one the day that will leave the graduate with financial dept before he sets off in the big blue and green and now red world.

As set out below, one of the most significant affects the world-wide-web as had, is the democratisation and access to knowledge and information that was extremely difficult, and in many cases, almost impossible to get hold of a mere 20 years ago. In fact, internet tools and applications facilitating instant access to universally distributed databases, is where much of learning takes place today.

But the future of the internet’s learning tools and toys, will make today’s education sites more than jaded. From now on, a hurricane of innovative learning tools, highly novel and more effective learning strategies, and even learning concepts that are so profound in their architecture, that they can be compared to the 13th century enlightenment.

Hence, education as we have known it, is unquestionably re-tooling from exclusion and scarcity to the prospect of learning abundance. Just as Gutenberg press freed the transcribed word, the Internet is liberating knowledge and information. There is a revolution going on in and from education to multidimensional. Creating a brand new multiple GigaIndustries that are about to take off.

Developing ‘Fluid’ Intelligence.

Schooling of old, at least to my mind, leaves out a number of essential topics and disciplines (more later below). One of them is the mediated development and improvement of basic intelligence. In figurative terms, this is about getting the mind into the gymnasium; to get those 100 rep intellectual bench presses.

Incumbent lessons, exercises and project tasks do that to an extent; but far from vigorously engaging pupils in learning processes and supporting tools that essentially stimulates the brain, cultivating a smarter mind.

But there is more to this. Today, individual and teams need to develop particular types of reasoning. As the gait of technological innovation hastens, new and often special kinds of problems and knowledge are being created.

Even in the very recent past, when technological evolution was a great deal more measured and disconnected, a good classic education got you a fair way. Knowledge and experience was a great deal more crystalline. Skills, knowledge, and experience where mostly based on long-term serial education and thinking. This so-called crystallized intellect is, however, experience intel. Your data-base in fact. The ability to access facts from long-term memory. Rules of thumb and general knowledge, largely established through vocabulary, thus improving through experience with age.

Fluid intelligence, on the other hand, is the capacity to solve problems in novel situations, independent of acquired knowledge. This includes pattern recognition and abstract reasoning. Connecting the unconnected. Seeing the funny side of things, and the insight and foresight that comes with this. People with a spontaneous wit, are often great original problem solvers who can see over the horizon.


The problem is that most examinations, tests and work project are measured against quantitative crystalline metrics. Fluid measure, to a large extent, are left out. And this in a time when fluid intelligence is at a premium. Increasingly, everyday situations are made of novel puzzles and questionable riddles. Just think of the stuff you need to continuously learn anew on the internet and its ever growing number of applications, gadgets, and tools. There is not a day goes by that I personally do not have to figure out and learn something new. This is the state of play everywhere and it is not going to bottom out.
What’s Academia Got to Do With It?

Academic acronyms are abound. On the order of 35 million EU students have graduated in the last decade. Similarly, 25 million degree level diplomas were handed out in the United States. Around South Asia, Africa, and the BRICS nations, it is difficult to track down academic attainment; but 1 hundred million alumni would not be far off. There are more BSc, BAs, MSc, MAs, MBAs, and PhDs in the world than at any other time. But, once again, there is something up. From Thomas Frey’s de Vinci Institute site,

‘Yet, despite having all the cards aligned in their favour, and being presented with one huge opportunity after another, many of these people [graduates] fail. They fail at their jobs, fail in their businesses, and fail to live up to their full potential… A student that enters a classroom will typically find themselves immersed in a academic competition, a competition that pits students against each other to produce results that best match the teacher’s expectations. Only rarely will the work product of a student in a classroom rise to any notable level of significance Reading a book is far different than writing a book, and simply writing a book is far different than writing a book that sells over 10,000 copies…

In much the same way a gamer can become very adept at fighting a simulated battle, it can only partially compare to a real-life battle. Even in a closely comparable situation where a gamer shifts from flying a simulated drone to a real-life drone in the military, many changes will occur. Suddenly the consequences of their action become something real and tangible, and what used to be simulated pain and suffering instantly becomes real pain and suffering. The emotional context is something they begin to feel throughout their entire body.’

Indeed, back in the day, a good fist of academic quals would get you into a career. Only today, the whole notion of a career is in transformation. Reality has hit home. Most know the stories of the school/college dropouts that left school with hardly any academic qualification, yet had a brain full of streetwise know-how, can-do shrewd market sense, that has lead them to GigaAire status (lots more in part 4).

The differential here, tangible, transferable value. Whether currency or true social equitable gain. As Frey declares, accomplishment is a loosely defined term describing everything from a 4th grader’s piano recital to achieving peace between warring nations. For this reason it is important to draw a distinction between a vague accomplishment and a real one. He makes clear that there is a dichotomy between real-life accomplishment and mere symbols of achievements. Hence, an accomplishment-based education is one where the output of every student has concrete, self-evident worth in the marketplace or social system (e.g.; a fifthteen year old lunching a web-based video game getting a million hits a day; versus a nicely framed degree certificate on Grandma’s wall). Harsh? So is one-hundred symbolically educated youths and 50 somethings applying for the same menial job!






Education GigaMarkets

In the face of this, education – from schooling to post graduate university to government and professional training to private sector and self driven courses  – is estimated to be on the order of $7 trillion per annum worldwide. And given the rate of technological innovation against the backdrop of breakthroughs of basic discovery and applied scientific invention, this GigaIndustry is about to take off.

The global market for public (tax payer paid) education is $4.4 trillion from the $7 trillion total, and poised to grow significantly over the next five years, according to an analysis IBIS Capital, a London-based investment bank.

The online learning sector is projected to grow significantly by 23 percent between 2012 and 2017, making it the fastest-growing market in education worldwide (counting K-12, higher education, and corporate and government training programs). There are more than 3,000 online learning firms in Europe alone. This offers a glimpse of the market for online learning, serving 1.4 billion students and 62.5 million educators. Today, just over half of this $4.4 trillion expenditure goes on schools (K-12 or equivalent), 1.8 trillion on post secondary, and the rest on corporate and government. Which means the privet learning sector – personal refreshers, hobbies and interests, new skills, vocational qualifications - operates at around $2.6 trillion worldwide.

Go forward to 2030, it expected that over 90 percent of the world's schooling age will finish primary education, and 55 percent will have completed secondary education; in turn, almost a third of collage age individuals will be in further or higher education. In the OECD countries alone, by 2030, there will be ~ 65 million new students every year.

But as you might expect by now, the biggest strides in literacy and wider education to 2030 will be achieved in the emerging nations. Today, there are still around 3 billion (42 percent) people that lack a thorough elementary education, but that may fall to 2 billion out of 8.3 billion population by 2030 (24 percent). And that is a sea change. The internet, by the trends, will have 6 billion users by 2030, about 3.9 billion more than today. Again, most of the growth in the Internet will come from developing countries over the next 15 years. And this is significant, because most education, or more precisely, learning, will take place over the world-wide-web.


Market value wise, this is difficult to speculate. But, a half a billion new students from emerging nations and 65 million from the OECD nations, will quite probably double the total education marketplace to $14 trillion by 2030. Much of which will be outside formal education systems. So there is a lot to discuss and learn here.
Developing Fluid, Creative, 
and Constructive Thinking Skills

John Locke, the English philosopher, regarded considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Sir Francis Bacon, explained that learning was primarily understood through experience only, and that we were born without knowledge. Where knowledge is assembled through experience.

An essential discipline absent from schooling and further education, are fluid, creative and constructive thinking skills. It is simply not true that we born with the innate ability to optimise these thinking strategies. Yes, some are naturally better than others. But across the pool, most never get to realise their full potential. And that is another indictment upon education considering the new challenge graduates and school leavers face.

This absence stunts the fluid thinking skills of deduction, induction, inference, incubation and forensics. Deductive reasoning, for example, is a skill that needs to be both honed and supported with thinking strategies.

Creative and constructive thinking skills also need to be formally developed through practice with technique and tools. Synergism, lateralism, synetics, connectics, counterintuition, contradigms, cause and effect, and poke-yoke (Japanese for fool proofing)  are thinking skills that are just not on the table in most schools and colleges in the west. And ask any youngster, what deductive reasoning or creativity skills and tool do you know? You might well deduce the answer.

Certainly, there are training courses and many books on these fluid thinking disciplines. But that often happens when school’s out. And that, after all, is after the fact. It is by no means too late. But it is much behind schedule when young students could do with such thinking skills from the start.

Edward de Bono, is a prime advocate of these kind of thinking skills. de Bono is one of the very few people in modern history who can be said to have had a major impact on the way we think resourcefully. His special contribution has been to take the mystical subject of creativity and, for the first time in history, to put the subject on a solid basis. The term lateral thinking was introduced by de Bono and is now so much part of language that it is used equally in a physics lecture.

In Venezuela, by law, all school children must spend an hour a week on de Bono programmes. In Singapore 102 secondary schools use his work. In Malaysia the senior science schools have been using Dr de Bono's programmes for the teaching of thinking. Siemens (370,000 employees) is teaching his work across the whole corporation. His work spans from teaching 7 years olds in primary schools to working with senior executives in the world's largest corporations.

He says that traditional (crystalline) thinking is to do with analysis, judgment and argument. In a stable world this was sufficient because it was enough to identify standard situations and to apply standard crystalline thinking and solutions. This is no longer so in a changing world where the standard solutions may not work.

There is a huge need worldwide for thinking that is creative and constructive and can design the way forward. Many of the major problems in the world cannot be solved by identifying and removing the cause. There is a need to design a way forward even if the cause (problem) remains in place.

de Bono has provided the methods and tools for this new thinking. His message: ‘thinking can and should be taught if we are to meet the needs of today's fast-paced and changing world… The earlier that children can be taught to think the greater advantage they will have to understand and assimilate other subjects.’

It is assumed that a person with a high IQ would necessarily be an effective thinker. This does not seem to be the case. Some people with high IQs turn out to be relatively ineffective thinkers and others with much more humble IQs are more effective. If IQ is the innate horsepower of a car then thinking skill is the equivalent to driving skill.

de Bono’s CoRT Thinking is a deliberate attempt to avoid the intelligence trap which occurs when a high IQ is not accompanied by effective thinking skills. To be effective, thinking does require an information base. But it is absurd to suppose that if we have enough information it will do our thinking for us. Only in very rare instances can we ever have such complete information that thinking is superfluous.


And this is where the education to learning paradigm shift begins. But there is much more here, particularly now we are building the systems and tools that are enabling the democratisation of learning.

Thursday, 16 July 2015


Robin-Hanson Singularity Interview 1-on-1




Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Hugo de Garis Professor of Evolutionary AI
Out lines his concept of Artilect Wars


Saturday, 11 July 2015

Look at the size of the world productive economy now and in just 5 years time

                                                   
~$78,000,000,000,000
World nominal GDP 2015

~$91,000,000,000,000
Projected world nominal GDP 2020

By 2025, the consuming class will swell to 4.2 billion people, with annual consumption in emerging markets of $30 trillion; the biggest growth opportunity in the history of world economics

~$20,000,000,000,000
World consumer spending 2014

~$45,000,000,000,000
World consumer spending 2025

There is no excuse under these numbers for you not to create GigaMarkets
The world is interconnecting exponentially
Breakthroughs in technology thought impossible 10 years ago are now in your recycle-bin
African entrepreneurs are now your competition
More than 25 percent of households in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Russia and Malaysia will command incomes above $50,000 a year by 2025
 By 2030 around 80 percent of consumers will live outside the US and Europe

~8,300,000,000

World population by 2030, 87 percent of growth from now on in Asia

Thursday, 9 July 2015

An Interconnected Economy Worldview

The frequent downbeat economic news we all hear, is hounding business leaders and entrepreneurs into a kind of submission that the enormous challenges ahead have few answers. 

      Prophecies about continued heavy international debt, trade imbalance, snail-like market growth, unstable currencies and slow employment gain must give one hell of migraine. And please do not misunderstand me; we can fully count on more unexpected flare-ups and discontinuities that will ill-inform our instincts to pack-up shop.

Only, the big interconnected picture is quite different; since beyond the glum newscast headlines of macroeconomic inertia and viscous microeconomic activity, there are unsung markets, industries, geographic regions and nation-states that are not only growing, but energizing their economies for yet more growth. There are thrilling opportunities in emerging markets, even amazing prospects in mature markets where hack commentators see no light.

I will highlight and examine many first-class endeavours and achievements taking place in and between continents and sovereign-states. Intercontinental alliances, union initiatives and joint strategic ambitions that are unprecedented. All of this in the face of ostensibly restrained                                                   economic growth and ambiguity.

GigaFacts by the Trends.

Whilst much of Rome is ablaze, personal wealth, enterprise revenue and national GDP has grown in specific global neighbourhoods. Continental regions, nation-states, megacities, even independent households that have experienced a boom in both wealth creation and value appreciation in recent years. Parts of the world that that are right smack bang in front of your eyes. All it takes is to open them and look!
Here is a short eye-opening inventory of economic trends and commentary that act as a wind-vein for strategic decision making. And it is true, if you refer back to this account in years to come, that the figures will have moved on, but the integral patterns of such meta-economic trends will be cogent:

·    The big fat fact: The World Bank reports that the productive financial wealth (the nominal GDP) of the world grew from $31.4 trillion in 2000 to ~$78 trillion by end of 2014. Representing ~135 percent aggregate growth over that period!

·  The future global economy is estimated to grow by an average ~3.6 percent annual productivity rate, resulting in world nominal GDP swelling to ~$90 trillion by 2020; ~16 percent larger than it is today according to Bain & Company’s much acclaimed ‘8 trillion trends report .’

·      ‘By 2025, more than half of the world’s population - 4.2 billion people - will have joined the consuming classes, driving annual consumption in emerging markets to $30 trillion...’ That is, well over half the world’s consumption will occur within emerging economies, claims McKinsey’s energizing report, Winning the $30 trillion decathlon: Going for gold in emerging markets.

·     By 2020, China is expected to be the world’s largest economy. With a nominal GDP of $7.3 trillion in 2012 to an estimated $24 trillion in 2020 (this median estimate diverges with the array of available institutional projections from the likes of The World bank, IMF, UN, etc. In fact, Hu Angang, dean of the Institute for Contemporary China Studies, says China will become the largest economy in terms of PPP GDP by 2017; and by 2027 in terms of market exchange rates.

·    Over the past 20 years, China has seen its GDP increase 16 times over, and its share of global manufacturing industry go from 2.9 percent to a colossal 20 percent. It moved from being the 10th largest economy in the world to the 2nd largest, lifting 500 million people out of poverty (World Competitiveness Yearbook).

·      In 2010 China had 18 million households with an annual income of above $16,000. By 2020 this number is expected to be 167 million households. (McKinsey Institute report, March 2012).

·    GDP of emerging and developing economies accounted for 36 percent global GDP in 2012. Global emerging nation’s relative middle-class now stands at ~2 billion people, collectively spending $6.9-trillion a year. Over a billion new consumers will join the global marketplace by 2015. Spending is expected to rise to $20 trillion by 2020. Twice current US consumption (McKinsey report, July 2010).

·     Developing economies have accounted for nearly 70 percent of world growth over the past five years. The GDP of emerging economies accounted for 20 percent of world GDP in 2000, 34 percent in 2010, and an estimated 39 percent by end of 2015, according to the IMF report, 2010.

·   By 2020, many emerging countries will see more than 80 percent of their population with annual disposable incomes in excess of $10,000. More than 25 percent of households in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Argentina, Iran, Russia and Malaysia will command incomes above $50,000 a year (Roland Berger 8 Billion fifth report).

·     Russia could overtake Germany to become the largest European economy before 2020 in PPP terms and by around 2035 at market exchange rates. Emerging economies such as Mexico and Indonesia could be larger than the UK and France by 2050, and Turkey larger than Italy.

·   Vietnam, Malaysia and Nigeria all have strong long-term growth potential, while you may be surprised that Poland should comfortably outpace the large Western European economies for the next couple of decades, according to PwC’s ‘World in 2050’ report.

·   By 2030, an approximate 66 percent of the world's middle-class will live in Asia, compared to just 21 percent in Europe and the United States.

·      Brazil, Russia, India and China’s share of global GDP was 8 percent in 2000; a decade later that share increased to 25 percent (CME Group, Market Insight July 2012). India is forecast to be close to 90 percent the size of US GDP in 2025.

·  Global R&D spending hit more than $1.4 trillion in 2012, up ~5.5 percent from 2011. However, the global R&D landscape is shifting both south and east according to a Roland Berger Strategy Consultants report ‘Global topic 8 billion.’ ‘Emerging markets are advancing from production sites and work benches to become important innovation hubs. Many emerging countries have not only increased R&D investments but also moved up the global innovator league tables.’ R&D spending will clearly rise as emerging economies grow; however, China, India and Brazil already rank among the Top 20 of Forbes R&D table.

·     A quite astounding number of new billionaires in the world grew from 441 in 1987 to a record 1,396 billionaires in May 2013. The combined net worth of the GigaRich is $5.429-trillion. There were almost as many not so billionaire club members who lost wealth (441) as those who gained (460). 180 held steady and 128 new (Forbes.com began the authoritative pursuit of the world’s billionaires 25 years ago).

·     The combined wealth of the world’s millionaires increased by 10 percent in 2012 to $46.2 trillion. This is more than three times the annual economic output in the US.

·   1 Nuevo-millionaire being born at a rate of one every 30 seconds; or on the order of one million new millionaires in the making in 2012.

·  175,000 of those new millionaires listed in Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) 2012 Wealth Report come from Asian economies. As the Eurozone plunged into crisis and unemployment soared across the globe, 175,000 Asian people still made enough cash last year to join the global millionaires' club.

·   The new entrants, mostly from China and India, bring the number of millionaire households across the world to 12.6 million, according to the BCG report. The US still boasts the most millionaires with 5.13 million households in the top bracket, despite a fall of 129,000. China, which added 193,000 to 1.4 million, is within touching distance of Japan, which is in second place with 1.58 million. Britain is in fourth place with 411,000 millionaires.

·    The largest number of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) who lived in Asia in 2012, grew by 1.6 percent to 3.37 million households. US HNWI population is 3.35 million households. However, US remained the largest region of aggregate HNWI wealth at $11.4 trillion. And $10.7 trillion in the Asia (Google 16th annual World Wealth Report).

·  As economies mature they exhibit a turndown in the production of new consumers. Conversely, emerging nations overtly generate new-found consumers at a blistering pace. ‘The Next 4 Billion’ a new buzz term for the fact that 4 out of 7 billion consumers reside in India, China, Indonesia and parts of Africa and Latin America (E4-B-C Brands anyone?).

·   There are 2.3 billion emerging nation consumers that lay between mature middle income and lower income segment. By 2021, global value is expected to exceed $6-trillion, and in India alone $1-trillion (PwC’s report ‘Profitable growth strategies for the Global Emerging Middle: Learning from the ‘Next 4 Billion.’

·    Leading companies emanating from mature markets earn merely ~17 percent of revenues from emerging markets, even though these markets represent ~36 percent of global GDP.

·    Asia holds ~60 percent of the world’s population, at 4.2 billion people, living in 46 different states (6 more states lay partly in Asia, but economically and politically considered another region).

·   The sources of economic growth will tilt increasingly toward emerging economies. Whereas the advanced economies currently generate two-thirds of global GDP, developing and emerging economies will contribute an outsized share of the growth in the future. By 2020, the advanced economies proportion of world GDP will drop to 58 percent, a sizable change over relatively short period (Bain & Company report 8 trillion trends).

·    0.266 new babies per second!? Even though birth rates have fallen since the mid 20th century, at present, global, yearly births sits at 140 million versus 57 million deaths, resulting in a net growth of 83 million people per annum. That is the equivalent of the aggregate population of all of London, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghia, Guangzhou, Mexico City, and San Palo being born in as little as 365 days; or ~23 thousand a day; or 1 newborn sweetie ever 4 seconds! Interestingly, nearly all of it originating in developing and emerging economies, who will shunt-up and account for about one-quarter of the rise in GDP by 2020. And by ~2050, there will be ~10 billion people on this plant.

·    600 cities today generate 60 percent of the world’s nominal GDP. Sao Paulo makes up 13 percent of Brazil’s total GDP. Moscow 18, Shanghai 12, Johannesburg 20 percent respectively, contributing to their nations total GDP. By 2025 136 new cities will emerge in the developing world, one-hundred of which will be in China contributing $24 trillion or 26 percent of $91 trillion global nominal GDP.

·    In 2012, a quarter of total commercial trade happened across borders. By 2020 almost a half of world trade will be racing across borders. By then, 70 percent of the activity will be in Asia and Latin America. However, by year 2030, 70 percent of world trade will be shipped or zipped across territorial lines every year; or half a $ trillion a day; or 48.6 million dollars every second rocketing in multigeographic directions. Again most of it in Asia!

·   An influx of oligarchs and other wealthy foreigners enabled the UK to boast the second highest number of Ultra-HNWI individuals, with 1,125 households holding financial assets in excess of $100 billion (£65b)

·    One in 25,000 UK households is now worth more than $100 million, says BCG's report, which does not include property and other non-financial assets. If property were included, the number of UK millionaire and super-millionaire households would dramatically increase.

·    Amazingly 17.1 percent of Singapore households are worth more than $1 million, while 1100 out of 100,000 households in Switzerland are worth $100 million or more.

·    And to end the beginning of the statistical trends. The world's richest people are also getting richer faster than everyone else. While the world's total privately held wealth (again not the same as GDP) increased by 1.8 percent to $122.8 trillion in 2012, UHNWs' wealth increased by 3.6 percent to $7.1 trillion. The BCG report predicts that UNHWs' wealth will rise to $10.3 trillion, or 6.8 percent of the world's total wealth, by 2016.

Well, as is clear, whilst some of Rome is in flames, wealth has and is growing in specific geographic quarters and proprietary households. Continental regions, nation-states, megacities, even independent households that have experienced a boom in wealth creation and appreciation in recent times. In short, both magnitude and speed of aggregate economic growth is accelerating (one of the most acute aggregate economic measures I can think of).

But please be certain, the future projections of these numbers are fungible. They are not written in stone. Governments, policymakers and the private sector wherever in the world, can put into action strategies that could temper or accelerate the numbers.


Only! You do need too seriously consider what follows: from the furthest Far East to the deepest South of the equator, global GigaMarkets are interconnecting at a pace and magnitude not seen before. Only time will tell, but as I said above, there is no time to rest on yourlaurels. 

GigaMarkets are where we must focus.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

MENA Scorpion Economies:
A Sting in the Tale!

And there is one hell of an unexpected story, for many, here:

MENA, the acronym referring to the Middle East and North Africa region, includes 16 emerging nation-states all in a different gear; all with different problems to solve; yet all with have one thing in common: to innovate and progress their societies and cultures where each citizen may live a good quality, safe and happy life.

Considering the upheavals, hostilities, political revolutions and often dispassion between some MENA nations, you might think at this point that it going to be a while – a long while – before the regions joins the GigaMarket Olympics. But have faith; you never known what might emerge sooner rather than later

I will start with Israel; a young nation founded just over six decades ago. Back then, it was little more than a desolate country with no access to natural resources and very little agriculture; with more than half of the land arid desert. But 65 years on, the Israelis have turned their country into an oasis of discovery, technology and innovation; a strategic infrastructure development that matches world-class standards.

Back in 2010 Israel joined the growing number of advanced market economies by OECD benchmarks. And considering Israel's lack of natural resources over the last half a century, this has been achieved via Israeli ingenuity and wits.

This relatively young nation has fast developing high-end technology and service provision ranging across sophisticated electronics, advanced biomedical equipment, breakthrough genetic analysis, meta-chemicals, integrated solar-power systems, nanotechnology research, advanced software algorithms and telecommunication systems.

There are a notable number of cultural and commercial initiatives that begins to make sense of the Israeli transformation. For example, the percentage of Israelis engaged in scientific discovery; and the investment in R&D in relation to GDP, are amongst the highest in the world.

Then there is the fact that the Israeli economy is ranked as the world's most durable economy in the face of the 2008 calamity. The Bank of Israel was ranked first among central banks for its efficient functioning. In fact, it is interesting that Israel, even before the 2008 crises, had policies in place that buffered off the pressure of banks to appropriate large sums of public money; plus, decoupling the banking depository and investment banking activities!
In recent years, record figures in foreign investment totalled $13 billion. And while Israel's total external debt is ~40 percent of GDP since 2001; it has now a net lender in terms of external debt, which as of June 2012[update] stood at a significant surplus of $60 billion.

Investment in business incubators and focus on high-technology innovation has attracted much attention from the Venture Capital (VC) world. Around 70 active VC funds (14 international) have set up in Israel. Between 1991 and 2000, Israel's annual venture-capital expenditure rose nearly 60-fold, from a mere $58 million to $3.3 billion. Information-technology revenues rose from $1.6 billion to $12.5 billion in that time; setting a straight investment course for the future.

Today, Israel leads the world in the share of its growth accredited to high-tech ventures. On the order of 70 percent in fact. Recent figures show that the total VC investment in high-tech ventures alone stands at $100 billion in 2012, when many nation-states suffer shear investment hardship.

Israel has excellent trade agreements with much of the world. The European Union, United States, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Jordan, Egypt and became the first non-Latin-American country to sign a free trade agreement with the Mercosur trade bloc.

Two-way trade between the USA and Israel totalled some $24.5 billion in 2010 alone, doubling from 1997. Israel's chief exports to America comprises of integrated circuits, printing machinery, telecoms equipment to name just a few. In regional terms, the European Union is the top destination. Israel exported goods totalling $5 billion to the EU between October 2011 and January 2012. Exports to the Far East came in at $3.1 billion at that time.

So now, to business! I find that Israel has a surprising number of innovative technological businesses considering its youth and the scenes with see on the late evening news.

One of my specialities: Rapid Manufacturing. Israeli 3D printer maker Objet, mergered with American 3D printer producer Stratasys. Now a $1.4 billion company with headquarters in Minnesota and Israel. Founded by Israeli printing engineer, the company has about 440 employees, more than half of whom work in Israel.

Next, Disk-on-Key, developed by M-Systems, a company founded by three Israelis. A digital data storage device launched back 2000; since then the little gadget is as ubiquitous worldwide as post-it notes. PC World has called the device one of the world's top 10 gadgets in the last 50 years. Now M-Systems is part of SanDisk; who seem to be very happy indeed.

PrimeSense transformed human interfacing with digital devices with haptic and gesture reconviction technologies. By seeing in 3D, control interfacing went from physical games controllers to dynamic hands free and body gesture. Today the Tel Aviv company is the leading business provider of low-cost, high-performance 3D machine vision technologies for Kinetic gaming systems.

Intel was one of the first hypernationals to land in Haifa, Israel. Constructing a chip design house in 1974. Today Intel Israel employs 7,800 people, and has its headquarters for wireless technology R&D there. The famous (if you are an engineer) ‘8088 processor Centrino’ and the ‘SandyBridge’ owe their birth right there. In 2011, Intel Israel's exports maxed at $2.2 billion.

The Java platform inside Amazon's best-selling Kindle is Jewish! Sun Computing, now part of Oracle, developed the platform to run the software in a new e-book reader. Sun handed the project on to its Israeli R&D office in Herzliya, and the rest is history. Amazon is now the undisputed leader in the e-reader category.

 And surprise, surprise! Facebook is being given a Facelift in Israel! A small firm called Shaker has invented an award-winning virtual bar application. The Facebook app recreates social experiences online, allowing people to socialize and meet around mutual friends with shared interests. Recently Shaker has raised more than $17 million in financing from investors. A now winning the prestigious Startup Battlefield contest held at TechCrunch
Disrupt USA. Take a look out for the NBA Basketball Arena Interface!

I like this one. Developed by Wizcom Technologies ‘Quicktionary’ a portable electronic pen that can scan printed text and immediately translate it word for word into other languages. The translation is displayed on an LCD screen and kept in the memory so that it can be transferred to a computer.


So in sum, Israel has the third highest number of patents and the highest number of startups per capita, worldwide. So it may be seen that Israel has become one of the leading contenders in terms of high-tech Hyperinnovation, attracting global giants to its shores.