A Message from the MEC FutureTech Conference's Keynote Speaker

A Message from the MEC FutureTech Conference’s Keynote Speaker: Dr. James Canton

I spoke with Dr. Canton, one of the world’s leading technology and business futurists, a digital entrepreneur and author, from his home in California a week before his presentation at the FutureTech Conference to get an idea of his perspective on Charlotte’s status as a technology center and the state of the New Economy in general.

What I learned is that, as a futurist, Dr. Canton has a global view of things to come. One thing we discussed is his belief that future technology centers will be less tied to geography and more tied to talent pool. One of the causes of this trend is that The United States has such high demand for well educated and skilled professionals that we cannot educate people fast enough to fill industry needs.

To resolve this in today’s marketplace we have drawn from the best and brightest around the world to join our industry. We have been able to attract these people because, as a country, we have institutionalized the innovation process and support research and development. Worldwide innovation is often stifled. This stifling takes the form of new venture taxes, regulations and political barriers. Our system allows them to operate in a more beneficial environment for innovation.

Another reason that we have been able to excel as opposed to other countries is that our access to liquidity enables us to support this innovation. As a result, the United States has become the preeminent leader at turning high technology into GNP.

Dr. Canton stressed to me that even with all we have accomplished to date, we are really just getting started in this new economy. He foresees many potential uses for the new technology of our new economy, especially in our antiquated health care system. He also believes that in our search to create a technology center, understanding that we can’t please everyone, our community should set a plan for the next hundred years.

If we can make a plan for that together we will have a better chance of success no matter what direction we go.