What do these three pieces of information add up to: a quote from the founder of a start-up company, an article from Harvard about outsourcing, and a book about peak oil? The answer: a trend worth paying attention to!
In Jeff Rubin‘s Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller, he describes how the inevitable depletion of oil supplies will lead to triple-digit oil prices and make local manufacturing much more attractive because distance will cost money. Unfortunately according to a recent post at the Harvard Review, the US has been losing its ability to manufacture products because they have been outsourcing just about everything. The post rightly makes the link between manufacturing and innovation. The close relationship between applied and theoretical science has historically generated many new ideas.
Fundamentally, what the US (and Canada as well) is losing is a sense of being able to make things. Ten Have, founder of atart-up Ponoko said it beautifully in Inc:
“The ability to make stuff has been leached out of our society. It’s sad. No, it’s worse than sad – it’s almost a criminal act. Because when you think about what has happened – the rendering down of a population to be consumers – what you’re really doing is rendering people unable to think critically.”
His company is essentially trying to bring the ability to make things back to every day people. This feel for creating quality things of value must surely become important again in the near future. It really is a criminal act to “spend” life rather than create it.
Chris Hsiung BSc. CPCC
HUMAN Venture Coaching
Chris Hsiung is the president of U Venture, a consulting practice that helps entrepreneurs and professionals develop their adaptive learning capacities to navigate uncertain times and build meaningful life ventures. He graduated with distinction from the University of Calgary in Electrical Engineering and is an internationally certified coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). He is also a student and teacher of curriculum at Leadership Calgary and at Momentum.