1 Material Science - Higher Education - Gang of seven

Many historians point to the second decade of the 21st century as the tipping point for the general decline of higher education. Institutions of learning were often viewed with suspicion. Graduates, lacking useful skills, could not find employment. A sizable minority matriculated with student loans that simply could not be repaid. Schools that had counted on the loyalty of alumni found it was largely missing. And of course with the great debt shakeout there was little government money to be had by anyone, for anything.

Some of the most well known of the techno-wealthy genre had either dropped out of college, or never bothered to attend. However, the large, successful, companies they formed needed educated employees. As colleges began to fail, succumbing to insolvency, inability to maintain accreditation, or just lack of interest, these billionaires slowly and carefully began to invest in education. Sometimes it was a school of their own, often based on a new learning concept; many of those failed. Other experiments were focused on the cost of education, what if a respected course costed less than a six pack of beer? Often it was a partnership with an institution located near where labor was needed and ranging from high schools, to skills based programs in community colleges, all the way up to post doctoral programs.

Sometimes they worked together, the so-called gang of seven being one of the most active and well known. One way or another they had made their fortunes in robotics; what choice did they have? As the opioid epidemic took its toll finding able bodied workers kept getting harder. They all believed in AI, machine learning, data analytics, these were the fields that put the zeros behind their names. But they each had a sense that what got them to the top, would not keep them there. This history of tech is full of companies that had it all, then lost it all. One thing seemed certain to each, if you were going to sell something, it needed to be cool. Being the best meant some amalgamation of art, useful, cutting edge technology and plain dumb luck. The cell phone wars of that era taught very clearly that cutting edge technology depended on top notch ingredients and that leads to the seven's interest in material sciences.

Climate change is destroying the planet, carbon dioxide is a major contributor, something needs to be done to harvest carbon and make it useful such as carbon fiber. Plastic is gumming up the works and lasts forever, so collect it and turn it into an asset such as insulation or building materials. Glass has the potential to be far more than a wine bottle, so let's get to it. The ancient Romans built concrete that lasted two thousand years or more, concrete of that era - closer to twenty years. Why would anyone want to pour concrete more than once? Let's do it forever the first time. And all of this could be trivially monetized.  With the money they made from advances in bits and bytes, they started to fund research into atoms and molecules that could be used to make the products of the future.

Adrian was generally considered to be the spokesman for the group ....

XXX said, Thank you Adrian for such a thoughtful response. She had a way of uttering that phrase that was both disarming and unnerving.  To answer your question, according to a thousand Monte Carlo simulations factoring in all bad things that could happen to our economy, I do have enough saved up, that theoretically, I won't have to work -- but its in my blood to make things happen in the same way I like to court a young man, show my dog, ride a wave or go on a really long hike in one of the last unspoiled wilderness areas.

I agree that I like companies that are agile (0-5 years old or at least small), still teachable, still full of potential, that haven't gone through that awkward organizational teenager stage yet. Trying to find that leader that is like Elon Musk, now that is the challenge.

Adrian looked at XXX. He admired her spunk, her achievements. Nothing is ever the same and I know well enough that has nothing to do with me. ***  I don't think the issue is the super CEO. Back when I was an executive and people were trying to sign on to SANS as senior execs what they had in common is they said we were an attractive team. No CEO, no matter how smart, sees all, knows all - Proverbs 15:22. *** I like and admire the one great idea left in you :) I remember smiling when Marty Roesch came so see me and asked all concerned like, "Do you think I am a one hit wonder, (Snort)." I laughed and told him not a chance and later, even as an executive he created RNA. So believe, go and do and send me a refrigerator magnet from someplace cool some day :)


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