cover image The Industries of the Future

The Industries of the Future

Alec Ross. Simon & Schuster, $28 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4767-5365-2

Ross, who served as an advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, predicts the coming decade’s breakthrough industrial developments in this intriguing survey. While working for Clinton, Ross had the opportunity to travel to numerous countries and learn about recent and upcoming innovations. Based on his findings, he describes how Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Mexico are positioning themselves in the global economy. He predicts that the near future will provide amazing inventions, including suits that enable paraplegics to walk and drugs that cure some kinds of cancer. Identifying certain industries as key drivers of changes, Ross devotes individual chapters to robotics, advanced life sciences, and cyberwarfare. He also shows that the empowerment of women, both economically and politically, is a key indicator of impending success. Acknowledging the perils as well as the promise of what he calls the next economy, Ross discusses the threat to the middle class posed by increased income inequality. Lastly, he covers how best to prepare children to enter the vastly changed workplace ahead. This astute and enlightening book is generous with insight about what the future holds and how best to prepare for it. (Feb.)