Is America on the verge of a new era? In an article for The American, James Bennett and Michael Lotus argue that we’re nearing an “America 3.0”—a structural transformation brought on by technological change. By 2040, the authors believe we’ll be enjoying a dramatically freer and more prosperous society bolstered by innovative forces.
Since innovation is essentially the only force able to bring America 3.0 about, what should we pin our hopes on? Bennett and Lotus point to 5 changes:
- Better network and mobile technologies
- Driverless cars and other transportation innovations
- 3D printing and other localized, customizing manufacturing tools
- Medical advancements, especially in genetics
- Improved digital education platforms
Of course, just as much as there are unforeseen innovations that may yet surpass these 5 areas of innovation, we could also face years of continued stagnation if we don’t take private risks and make public reforms.
The authors believe that the American people have the capacity to direct their “will and leadership to build something better.” That we can tap into that potential by devolving much of our public decision-making to private citizens.
Clearly, a lot must change for us to reach America 3.0. McKinsey has already laid out our economic potential both here and here, but what Lotus and Bennett describes goes deeper to changes in the American way of life. Whether that’s achievable in the coming years waits to be seen.