Top Tech Expert: The Next Trillion-Dollar Industry Will Be Built on Genetic Code

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Alec Ross served as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s senior advisor for innovation. During that role, he earned unique insight into the changing nature of technology. In his new book, “The Industries of the Future,” Ross not only lays out the key industries that will shape the 21st century, but also provides the geopolitical, cultural and generational contexts out of which they are emerging. Berggruen Institute’s Dawn Nakagawa sat down with Ross to discuss the book.

You assert the importance of a variety of disruptive technologies from robots to genetics to coded money. What in your mind will have the most impact on the day to day lives of our children when compared to how we live?

Commercialization of genomics is going to change the lives of the vast majority of people on Earth. My kids will live longer, healthier lives because of the commercialization of genomics. Today, health care is delivered with a very small degree of customization but that is going to change as genetic screening becomes less and less expensive and we understand better and better what to look for. The last trillion-dollar industry was built on computer code. The next will be built on genetic code.


Commercialization of genomics is going to change the lives of the vast majority of people on Earth.

You also talk about the potential and perils of big data. What is an example of how big data could go awry?

There are a large variety of possibilities, more than we can imagine at this stage of development. But take, for example, the Good2Go app. In response to the rise of sexual violence on college campuses, this app is used to document mutual consent to sexual activity. With an add on, it can also be used —> Read More

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