Ninja innovators possess the strength, cunning, intensity, and adaptability needed to outwit or outrun the competition and achieve victory. They assemble a strike force of colleagues committed to creating a better future. They take risks and absorb and learn from setbacks. They lay out a strategy for overcoming obstacles, both known and unknown, but are flexible enough to adjust to changing circumstances. They constantly evaluate the opportunities and threats around them and are poised to take advantage of their surroundings. Ninja innovators never settle, and they are never satisfied. They appreciate what is, but focus on what can be.
This future will be marked by disruption. But the people and organizations who possess these qualities also view the challenges ahead as opportunities to generate a better future—a ninja future. In the midst of social, political, and physical upheaval, they will create progress. Growth. Integration. Diversity. Resilience. But that only scratches the surface. What does the landscape of the ninja future look like, and how do we prepare for it?
It's a daunting challenge—so complex and so fast-moving that it would take a ninja to navigate it. Ninja Future is designed to do just that.
We are entering a new era of innovation. The pace of change is accelerating. More fundamental human problems will be solved in the next two decades than we have solved in the last two centuries. Self-driving vehicles will dramatically reduce the more than one million driving-related fatalities we have each year. Diseases will be cured through focused ultrasound and gene-specific treatments. Production of food and availability of clean water to sustain the world's growing population will increase. We will reduce our reliance on coal and oil. We will outsource dangerous work to robots. Further in the future, artificial intelligence (AI) will match the capacity of a human brain, and robotics will mimic the human body. We may not only avoid extinction—some argue we'll eliminate aging and even death by downloading our minds and relying on indestructible bodies.
Such ideas may terrify some and energize others. Whatever your view, technology already powers nearly everything we do. Just think about how much of your average day is fueled by tech: Your phone tells you how to avoid traffic, helps you buy merchandise, and lets you share your life via social networks. Your watch tells you how far to jog, how many steps you've taken, and when it's time to get up and move—you can even use it to make phone calls. Your home appliances may be powered by a smart speaker, letting you turn up the heat or set your alarm simply by making a verbal request into the air.
This ubiquity means that we can no longer think of innovation in terms of discrete, vertical technology silos like TV, audio, automotive, and smartphones. Think back to Amazon, which now does all this and much more, with monstrous success. The silo approach limits productivity and stymies creativity. All these things are now interconnected, so we need to think horizontally: How can technology power an entire ecosystem, from a home, to a city, to an entire country?
This shift has become increasingly apparent over the years at CES(R), the world's largest and most important tech show, which is owned and produced by CTA. While we organize the show around some distinct silos, new themes emerge that drive myriad innovations. A few years ago, we saw how the Internet of Things (IoT) could connect us in ways we never imagined. Then self-driving cars, robotics, and consumer drones shifted from ideas to reality. Soon voice burst onto the scene as a new way to interface with devices. Most recently, we have seen how AI and 5G open the door to a world of convenience, precision, and high-speed broadband.