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Tomorrow is good.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 07.51.59In a weekly column, alternately written by Lucien Engelen, Maarten Steinbuch, Carlo van de Weijer and Daan Kersten, E52 tries to find out what the future will look like. All four contributors are – in addition to their ‘normal’ groundbreaking work – linked to the SingularityU The Netherlands, the organization that focuses on spreading knowledge about technologies that can provide solutions to the problems of our time. This Sunday, it’s Maarten Steinbuch‘s turn.

By Maarten Steinbuch

SU SteinbuchTechnology is all around us. The coming years even much more intense than we can imagine now. That’s one of the reasons why I have joined SingularityU Netherlands. Technology is going to change our jobs, the types of labour, our mobility, our energy, our leisure time, our health, our safety. The education system must change as well, our university should be 4.0.


If our children are our age, our mobile phones are thousands of times faster, if there will still be mobile phones existing in that form at all!

raymond-kurzweil-graphBecause we foresee this, and also the economic strength we can gain by educating more people in engineering, we have “4-out-of-10” as the motto of the Technology Pact. In other words: 40% of the new generation of workers will have to be trained through technical or beta schooling.

In fact, this development affects all ministries. But making connections between ministries is tricky, as we see more and more crossovers (such as mobility, ICT and energy). And because the development of technological innovations always has an exponential character, and thus grows very quickly, we must ensure that the policies and politicians are well prepared and can move along in that process.

In this respect, the speech of Peter Hinssen on Our Future Health Congress last year I found very inspiring:

Due to the rapid developments and transitions, I advocate the establishment of a Ministry of Technology and Innovation in the next cabinet period. That ministry is responsible for systematical thinking inside the Cabinet, and shall operate as a binding force between the ministries. Reflecting on the impact and how we can continue to responsibly integrate technology and society. I call on all political parties to think about this before and right after the elections!

PS1: I am not a candidate but I like to think along! PS2: The idea is not new, of course: in the UK, such a ministry already existed in 1964, and more recently the suggestion was made by Yuri van Geest in a conversation with me. PS3: See also this article by STT on the Human of 2050!