Kevin Coleman is a senior fellow at the Technolytics Institute and former chief strategist at Netscape. (File)
Many traditional thinkers still believe that geopolitical, social and economic forces will continue to dictate the global balances of power. That is outdated thinking. The pervasiveness and penetration of hot new technologies is arguably the most critical component in the rapid transformation of the world in which we live.
Need more evidence? According to the Global Trends 2030 report issued by the U.S. National Intelligence Council, technology is the biggest driver behind the scenes for the next 2030 years.
Technology has become much more than just another force that is having a significant influence on the balance of power. Those who possess the best technology will undoubtedly become one of — if not the most — dominant forces, and therefore must be factored into the U.S. strategy. Those who create, acquire, leverage and embrace technology will flourish due to the advantages technology brings.
Just consider the emergence of virtual-states as one example. At this point, virtual-states are relatively small when compared to a nation-state and have substantially less funding. This new entity leverages technology as a source of power and influence. Their C4ISR is the Internet and social networking sites provide the venue to recruit and communicate their message. While smaller and with limited funds, virtual-states have been able to demonstrate their displeasure with nation-states’ actions — in some cases, much more effectively than traditional nation-states.
Technology has become an extremely valuable source of income and security as well as the weapon of choice in modern conflict. Given all that is at stake, we can’t afford traditional thinking. We not only need the best and brightest to be working on the challenge of creating the next great technology, but we need the most creative and innovative thinkers to join the effort.
The U.S. can’t afford to be anything but first!