Career Development Association of New Zealand

Menu

Te Mōhiotanga

BOOK REVIEW Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

By: CDANZ Book Club

Date: 24 Jun 2019

Category: Book reviews

Tags: abundance, book club

BOOK REVIEW Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

 

Author(s)

Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

Date

2002

   

Title

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

Publisher

Free PressTantor Audio

ISBN

9781451614213

Stockists

Print at Book Depository and Amazon

Also available as ebook on Kindle and audiobook on Audible


This book explores practical solutions to addressing the world’s most pressing concerns: overpopulation, food, water, energy, education, health care and freedom. The authors, an innovator and a science writer, document how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, digital manufacturing synthetic biology, and other growing technologies will enable us to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have in the previous 200 years.

Book group review

Although not strictly a ‘careers’ book, the group enjoyed it and felt it had application to our work. Benefits of the book:

  • An incredibly thought provoking and inspiring read - it serves as a great reminder that anything is possible and gives hope for the future of our world and for the world of work.
  • Gives a good insight into exciting new technologies.
  • A great resource to offer clients who could benefit from real examples that change and possibilities that can happen.
  • A great resource to introduce to clients who want be entrepreneurial or work in environmental or cutting-edge technology fields. One member said that knowing about these possibilities has enabled her to point students towards other options and to think of various other things they could do with their studies/knowledge. 

“This book has opened my eyes, had me think more creatively and be more open with ideas about roles for our current and future workforce.” Book group member.

From societal, economic and technological perspectives it was fascinating to read about the innovation and change being created around the world. As we move through the information age where AI and robotics etc are causing concern for some in the workforce, we saw new light cast on this through the ideas that are coming from our scientists, entrepreneurs and researchers. We were inspired to do some research to find out where some of these ideas have come to since the book was written. How many of the things mentioned have become mainstream?

The book explains how abundance to all of the world’s populations can be realised by thinking of the problems we face as an accessibility problem rather than a production problem. For example, why is it that Earth is 70% water, yet one of the key issues for many countries is the availability of safe drinking water? One solution is to use the same technology used for dialysis treatment to purify water. By increasing the efficiency and production of such technology, the cost goes down (just as it has done for computers and smart phone devices).

One Japanese city is now cultivating all the plant food crops needed to feed the entire population of the city in one high-rise building through clever use of light wells, solar power, and hydroponics.

Just as computer technology has exponentially become more available across the world, so has the use of solar energy. Simple portable solar packs are now being used in developing countries along with Internet access, and access to safe drinking water. Medical diagnosis can now take place within hours with the use of simple devices for people in remote places rather than people having to wait weeks for a physician and laboratory test results. 

The key is to raise the standards of living of all people and in turn, as research and history atests, there will be a decrease in the growth of world population, thus putting less pressure on the world’s resources.

The downsides of the book are that it’s not an easy read in parts - there is a lot of detail and for some the sheer volume of facts could be off-putting.

 

CDANZ Book Club

CDANZ Book Club

CDANZ co-ordinates several Book Clubs so members can read, discuss and review salient careers publications. Members come from across New Zealand and meet via online Zoom meetings. If you would like to join a Book Club please email ndm@cdanz.org.nz.