Colloquium at Stanford
The Unfinished Revolution


Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 16:03:25 -0500

From:   Henry van Eyken


Subject:   Executive initiative

Couple of quick answers, Jon's letter Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 09:21:36

  1. I am not quite sure about those older executives not "understanding" technology. Besides, the understanding called for, it seems to me, is understanding technology in total, worldwide human context, not in isolation.

  2. Isn't it fair to say that the kind of people we are talking about, i.e. retired executives and managers with a social interest, have during their working lives laid the foundation that permitted some young people to become wealthy in a short time?

  3. Are savvy people of the younger generation willing to chuck the pursuit of personal success in order to work toward solving humankind's most urgent, complex problems? And have they the needed insights and skills to actually make a contribution where it is so urgently needed?

  4. If we don't find people prepared to work hard on developing the methods we need to cope with mankind's urgent problems, might not those savvy, young millionnaires find out one day that their wealth will not do them or anyone else much good?

  5. With accelerating change all around us, those savvy, young millionnaires may find themselves relegated to the scrap heap rather sooner than they bargained for -- 12 years, say, instead of 40. Just imagine, if humans ever make it that far, how the generation that follows them may outpace them in short order.

  6. . Come to think of it, "success" may well turn out to be one of the hardest and most dangerous paradigms ever to dispose of.

Of course, none of these answers eliminate the fact that you offered valid points for consideration.



Henry van Eyken

Post Script

Doug Engelbart is 75. By golly, three years my senior!