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How Bill Gates became a rich man: Why flexing mental maps could change the world

08 February 2016


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As a rocket scientist and consultant on movies like ‘Deep Impact’ and ‘Minority Report’, Peter Schwartz, Futurist & Senior VP of Strategic Planning at Salesforce, recommended delegates at the World Government Summit, to adjust their mental maps.

“Mental maps are very hard to change, the problem in almost every government agency, failure to challenge our own belief systems,” he highlighted, equally pointing to business downfalls in this regard. “Kodak didn’t see the digital camera revolution and IBM in 1980 thought the personal computer would be short-loved – a $200 billion error – which they managed to correct, and Bill Gates foresight made him the rich man he is today.”

The point being, that everything was predictable using rigorous analysis and imagination, one just needed to ask the uncomfortable question.

“Governments need to improve strategic conversations – Singapore, Dubai, the UK and France do that well – the US and other governments not so much. They need to act in time with courage, very few do that,” he added.

Innovations to look out for include fusion power – which could become the world’s ultimate source of clean energy – as well as CRISPE, which edits genes and could erase diseases.

“We’re already partly there,” he said. Hip replacement was evolving into limbs, which can be controlled by the brain. 

“And soon we’ll genetically enhance young people. Before long they will be taking breakfast with neural drugs to enhance their performance at school and they will look at cars like we look at horses [for transport] today,” he concluded.