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Episode 45: Juan Enriquez On Technology, Ethics and the Future


Dec 11, 2020

Juan Enriquez has succeeded as a businessman, academic, author and lecturer. For those who
might not have met him via any of his many appearances and
presentations, he can be succinctly described as an authority on
the economic and political impacts of life sciences and a thinker
able to help frame the much needed discussions we all need to have
on ethics.

He serves on the discovery
council at Harvard Medical School and was the founding director of
Harvard Business School’s Life Sciences Project. He are currently
the managing director of Excel Venture Management, a life sciences
VC firm. OODA is a community of practitioners so we want to
underscore that he doesn’t just write and talk about tech, he
founds and leads companies that create tech, including the firm
that made the world’s first synthetic life form.

His many books have all stood the test of time. The now 20 year
old “The Future Catches You” is a very prescient look at the world
of biological sciences is still a good introduction to the field.
The book lead to an important conclusion, that the many changes in
the biological revolution will fundamentally alter everyone’s
relative economic status and life expectancy and this will have
consequences because only a few understand what is coming. He
offered motivation to improve our collective ability to adopt and
adapt to the coming era though agility in ethical, political and
economic actions.

His 2005 “The Untied States of America” provided a new framework
for looking at the many economic, political and social dynamics
underway in North America and started frank discussions on where
polarization and its dynamics were taking us, providing motivation
to mend existing rifts when possible. The book is now important
foundational reading for anyone who wants to understand our
collective situation. It is also a good reminder that just because
something has not changed in a while does not mean it will endure

His book Evolving Ourselves takes on the fact that the old ways
of evolution, driving by natural selection, is not the driver it
used to be. Business leaders today need to understand that
artificial selection and proactive engineering of life are forces
in our new reality.

His latest book, Right/Wrong: How technology transforms our
ethics, makes it clear that technology advancements are connected
to how humanity interprets and applies judgement on what is right
and wrong. Technology changes ethics. So now in an age of
exponential change in technology, we need to understand and prepare
for exponential changes in ethics. Leaders in business and
government, as well as citizens, need to understand this will cause
issues that disrupt markets and
even our legal system. In the past, right and wrong and justice was
something we tried to code into our laws. Laws already can’t keep
up with changing tech and ethics. What will happen to our legal
system when changes in ethics goes exponential?

In this OODAcast, Juan provides his personal context and useful
mental models business leaders can put in place to anticipate how
these many changes can impact business.

For more see:

Excel Venture Management

Right/Wrong: How technology transforms our ethics

The Executives Guide to the Revolution in Biological

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  • Source: http://listen.oodacast.com/episode-45-juan-enriquez-on-technology-ethics-and-the-future

This Post was originally published on Ooda Loop

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