PLEDGE NOW
Will Innovation Save Us?

X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis says innovation will save us and “The Future Is Better Than You Think.”

This Oct. 4, 2004 file photo shows SpaceShipOne and X Prize team members posing with a U.S. flag carried aboard the spacecraft after its successful flight into space and landing at Mojave, Calif. From left are prize sponsors Anousheh Ansari and her brother-in-law, Amir Ansari, Peter Diamandis, chairman of the Ansari X Prize Foundation, project backer Paul Allen, SpaceShipOne creator Burt Rutan, pilot Brian Binnie and Sir Richard Branson.   (AP)

This Oct. 4, 2004 file photo shows SpaceShipOne and X Prize team members posing with a U.S. flag carried aboard the spacecraft after its successful flight into space and landing at Mojave, Calif. From left are prize sponsors Anousheh Ansari and her brother-in-law, Amir Ansari, Peter Diamandis, chairman of the Ansari X Prize Foundation, project backer Paul Allen, SpaceShipOne creator Burt Rutan, pilot Brian Binnie and Sir Richard Branson. (AP)

Between global warming and gas prices and melting ice caps and the Mayan calendar of apocalypse, it’s awfully easy to slide into a funk on the future these days.  Peter Diamandis says cut it out.

The doomsayers, he says, don’t factor in innovation.  And innovation is going to save our bacon.  Bring us an age of abundance.  It’s in gear already.  It’s going to get better.  But is it?  Are we lined up, fundamentally, to innovate our way out of drought and food shortage and energy crisis and over-population?

This hour, On Point:  big innovation, and the road ahead.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X-Prize Foundation and author of the new book The Future Is Better Than You Think.

Robert Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “But we idealize America’s present culture of innovation too much. In fact, our trailblazing digital firms may not be the hothouse environments for creativity we might think. I find myself arriving at these doubts after spending five years looking at the innovative process at Bell Labs, the onetime research and development organization of the country’s formerly monopolistic telephone company, AT&T. ”

Wall Street Journal “The timing of “Abundance” is propitious. Given that we are besieged by Christian end-times soothsayers, Mayan-calendar doomsayers, gloomy environmentalists and the warnings of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which just advanced its Doomsday clock to five minutes to midnight, how can anyone be optimistic? With seven billion people now pressing up against the Earth’s carrying capacity, certain problems can seem intractable. Isn’t pessimism the appropriate response? Who is right, the optimists or the pessimists?”

 HuffingtonPost “As we move further into the presidential campaign, we’re going to hear a lot about the ways we’re lacking and where we fall short. And though the conversation has rightly and finally shifted to the need to grow the economy, much of it is still dominated by hysterical and destructive demands to impose deficit-cutting austerity even before the economy gets back on its feet (which would only increase, not cut, the deficit).”

Excerpt: The Future Is Better Than You Think

[Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.]

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 8, 2016
Sign stands outside property for rent Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in south Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

If it feels like rents are sky-high, you’re right. Some now paying more than half their income on rent. Some say crisis. We’ll dig in.

Feb 8, 2016
Legendary film critic  Roger Ebert in an archival image from his early days at the Chicago Sun-Times. (Flickr / WikiCommons)

The critic speaks. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott on how to think about art, pleasure, beauty and truth.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 5, 2016
A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

 
Feb 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Jack Beatty recounts an evening rally with Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, and wonders if the billionaire businessman is really looking for an exit.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 5, 2016
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Spread the word — we FINALLY have both a new website (in beta) and a new newsletter. Sign up, visit and see what’s happening in the On Point digital universe.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #3: Jeb Bush — Cry for Me, America!
Thursday, Feb 4, 2016

Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) asked a New Hampshire audience to clap for him — and our own Jack Beatty was there to hear it.

More »
Comment