Making predictions about the future is a dangerous game,
particularly when that future has never looked more uncertain. Natural
resources are dwindling and we are wasting the resources we do have at
an unparalleled rate. Climate change threatens our way of life and
digital technology is advancing at such a rate as to leave many of us
baffled. But far from being all 'doom and gloom', these signs point to
the emergence of an exciting new wave of innovation.
Throughout modern history, the tide of innovation and progress has
ebbed and flowed but a clear pattern exists - five waves of innovation,
beginning with the Industrial Revolution, have each transformed
society, economies and industry. The fifth wave was dominated by
information and communications technology but its peak is beginning to
fade and a new, brighter star is emerging.
The sixth wave of innovation will be about resources - natural
resources, human resources and information. With the challenge of a
planet running out of essential supplies and a population staring down
the barrel of Malthus' dire predictions, the sixth wave will see
humanity finally make the break away from resource-dependence. Economic
growth will no longer be tied to resource consumption or waste
production (such as carbon) and industry will no longer think in terms
of products but in terms of services. Everything, from the smallest
leaf and light switch to the largest cities and online communities,
will have a value that can be measured, so nothing is ever wasted.
Driving this will be a spectacular boom in technologies ranging from
clean technology to digital mapping to online collaboration.
Traditional physical and geographical boundaries will mean nothing in a
world where everything and everyone is online.
This book is for anyone who is interested in understanding how all of
the massive changes in the world fit together. In particular it is for
those of us who wish to understand and take advantage of the changes
that are occurring around us.
THE SIXTH WAVE is a business book, a motivational book, a popular
science title, a bold prediction and a roadmap for the future all in
'Exactly right for the times and very nicely written.' - Narelle
Hooper AFRBOSS magazine
'Bold, timely and inspiring - this book could change your thinking
about innovation and the future' - Dr Geoff Garrett, CSIRO Chief
About the Author
James Bradfield Moody is a general manager of International Development at the CSIRO and a judge on ABC TV's The New Inventors. James sits on a number of company, association and advisory councils and boards, including the Brisbane Institute and the National Australia Day Council, the Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Bureau of Statistics. In the early part of the decade, James Moody was involved with the United Nations, and from 2000 to 2002 was co-facilitator and Australian representative of the youth advisory council to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). In 2000 James was also awarded Young Queenslander of the Year and in 2001 was a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year awards, in the Science and Technology category and is a member of the Federal Government's National Environmental Education Council. Bianca Nogrady is a science communicator and journalist.