Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Sixth Wave by James Bradfield Moody & Bianca Nogrady

ABC New Inventors Judge and CSIRO director of Innovation, James B Moody, has entered the foretelling business with this brave new book. According to the authors a study of innovation shows that progress occurs in long waves which disrupt our society, economy & technology beyond recognition. Over the last thirty years we all have been thrust into the Fifth wave - the Information Technology revolution. The development of personal computing and internet services has changed our work, our institutions and our economy. Think Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon - businesses which didn't exist 40 years ago and are now giants.

"The Sixth Wave", subtitled "how to succeed in a resource limited world" gives a clue to the central thesis of the book. The marriage of Internet and Sensing technology, placing of economic value on waste, pollution and essential ecological services (think trees) and the reality of resource limitation will lead to change on an equally massive scale as the recent IT change. This book is of big ideas and possibilities, as well as a fair amount of hope and thoughtful research. If the authors are correct we may be able to correct the serious environmental imbalances that are occurring all around us. If not, well then it may be unspeakable. Read at your leisure and think deeply.


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