A Look Into The Future

Robert McQueen | The Tech | October 21, 2011

It’s now official: the information age will drastically change the world. Emerging technologies converged at MIT this week in a showcase to demonstrate how untapped industries could radically shape our future.

Dozens of companies flocked to MIT’s Media Lab last Tuesday and Wednesday for MIT Technology Review’s 11th annual Emerging Technologies (EmTech) Conference. Throughout the conference, more than 60 presentations were given, addressing a wide range of topics including selective genetics, open source platforms, cloud technology integration, mobile healthcare, and more.

Steven B. Johnson, author of the best-selling book Where Good Ideas Come From, kicked off the conference with a talk that set the central theme of the conference: community innovation. Johnson says that he has been studying the science behind what makes environments innovative for most of his life. What he learned was that while large-market companies like Microsoft and Apple have conquered the technology landscape, they are not hubs of innovation. Instead, the most innovative environments are non-market communities where ideas are continuously shared. “It is more than just a technology space,” Johnson said...