Rob talks about the future
Interview with TechCast Expert Robert D. Atkinson Print
Dr. Robert D. Atkinson considers his greatest accomplishment to date to be the foundation and growth of ITIF, the Information Technology and Information Foundation. Atkinson created this think tank to develop and promote technology policies for a broad range of issues, including the digital economy, cyber security, and technological productivity. Atkinson's other accomplishments are numerous; he has made media appearances on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and NBC Nightly News; he has received prominent awards for achievements in his field, and has written the State New Economy Index series, Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale, 2012) and The Past and Future of America's Economy: Long Waves of Innovation That Power Cycles of Growth (Edward Elgar, 2005).
When asked about the biggest issues of the modern day, Atkinson believes that there is a growing threat to technological innovation based on three fronts. First, the US government is not increasing funding for science and technological research. He stated, "With the sequester and budget problems, there is a strong chance the US will walk away from being the leader." The second issue, in his opinion, is the growth of cautious tendencies of the modern era. Especially in the US, there is a fear of technological risk—creating attacks in disciplines such as genetic engineering or robotics. Lastly, Atkinson points attention to innovation mercantilism, the trend of countries to manipulate the trading system through strategies such as intellectual property theft or the use of different standards of technology.
Atkinson considers the forecasting and futures industry to be an important player in the information technology field. In his view: "The forecasting community lays out a set of visions and windows to the future. There is value in letting people know what is possible. What's hard is getting the political will to accept risk." He specifically values TechCast Global because of its "unique niche as a crowd-sourced organization made up of experts with the competency to assess and contribute educated knowledge".
Atkinson is excited to see what the future holds and how the experts of TechCast Global will assess the upcoming future. He holds a special fascination in robotics and looks to the other experts of TechCast Global to uncover the future in that field.
Click here to view a full biography of Dr. Robert D. Atkinson. We thank Dr. Atkinson for his time and insight. The TechCast Global team looks forward to hosting other informative interviews with the rest of our expert community.
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