Dec 22, 2018

Why Bill Gates and Yuval Noah Harari Think It's Important to Study Change

“To the degree you like science, engineering and economics, pick as much of that as you have an appetite for because those are the agents of change for all institutions.”
~
Bill Gates



Bill Gates talking to LinkedIn:

"I do think basic knowledge of the sciences, math skills, economics lot of careers in the future will be demanding on those things. It's not necessary that you will not be writing codes but you have to understand what engineers can do and what they cannot do. How are they likely to revolutionize the field you are in even if you are thinking about sales or marketing the rules of the game will be changed by the digital revolution.
And that is only one revolution. Genetic revolution is coming along. More people are trying to get a sense of that. Energy revolution will surprise people in terms of what that provides. Having the frameworks to look at change and understand the impact of the rate of invention that is faster than ever before. People who can adjust to that, help their organisations figure out how to take advantage of the change, that will be there in different job areas. 
“To the degree you like science, engineering and economics, pick as much of that as you have an appetite for because those are the agents of change for all institutions.”

~

"Historians are specialists in change."
~
Yuval Noah Harari



Yuval Noah Harari talking to Al Jazeera:
"I don't think that historians are specialists in the past. Historians are specialists in change, in how things change and they learn the nature of change by looking at the past. But, you know, the past is gone. Everybody who lived in the past is dead. Nobody really cares about Kings who lived thousands of years ago, in battles that ended centuries ago. The real question is what is happening right now. What can we learn from the past about the future changes and what we should be doing and thinking today. And I see my job as trying to bring more clarity to the public discussion because what I see today in the world is that people are overwhelmed by information, by misinformation, by distraction and they don't realize often what are the most important challenges and changes that we are facing."

My big takeaway: As journalists we are in the business of tracking change. We spend a lot of time and energy to track changes in the areas we cover. Bill Gates' point about having frameworks to understand change and the impact of disruptive tech; and Yuval Harari's point about past being a guide for the future are pertinent. Something that we don't think much about. 

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