The Future of Business Education

The Future of Business Education Isn’t What You Think It Is: How Cognitive Systems and Industry 4.0 Will Revolutionize Management.

In the age of accelerations, the best way to predict the future is to inspire the next generation of students and early career talent to build a better world (Friedman 2017).  Building a better world requires grit and better building blocks, and perhaps even heroism at times ( Duckworth 2016; Hatch 2013; Lowney 2010; Hannibal, 2017).   Artificial Intelligence/Intelligence augmentation, virtual reality/augmented reality, blockchain/open technologies, and material/energy systems provide these new building blocks (Domingos 2015; Antunes 2012).  In the corner of my garage, there is a stack of boxes my wife is after me to throw out.  Old stereos, sound systems, albums, cameras, video recorders, computers, and more that I paid many thousands of dollars for as a struggling student then early career professional over the years.  Today my smartphone provides all these functions, and more – such as speech translation from other languages – at a fraction of the earlier cost (Gada 2017; Gershuny 2003).   By 2035, no one can yet predict the form factor of your mobile device, but projections indicate that it will have an exascale of computing power – the computing power estimate of one person’s brain (Friedman 2017; Norman 1993). Let’s explore together the implications of cognitive systems and Industry 4.0 on the future of business education. (Hint: Faculty and students will need to become more T-shaped!).


Antunes S (2012) DIY Satellite Platforms: Building a Space-Ready General Base Picosatellite for Any Mission. O’Reilly Media.

Domingos P (2015) The master algorithm: How the quest for the ultimate learning machine will remake our world. Basic Books.

Duckworth A (2016) GRIT: The power of passion and perseverance. NY,NY: Simon & Schuster, Scribner.

Gada, K (2017 forth coming) ATOM: Technology deflation.  ISSIP Business Expert Press.

Gershuny J (2003) Changing times: Work and leisure in postindustrial society. Oxford University Press.

Hannibal, ME (2017) Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction Kindle Edition. The Experiment Press.

Hatch M (2013) The maker movement manifesto: rules for innovation in the new world of crafters, hackers, and tinkerers. McGraw Hill Professional.

Friedman TL (2017) Thank you for being late: An optimist’s guide to thriving in the age of accelerations. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Lowney C (2010) Heroic leadership: Best practices from a 450-year-old company that changed the world. Loyola Press.

Norman DA (1993) Things that make us smart: Defending human attributes in the age of the machine. Basic Books.

For even more readings:

Top 10:

Holiday 2016:

Jobs of the Future:

For relevant presentation see: 

IBM Welcome and Cognitive Futures

Per request of Timothy Keiningham

Zanker Recycling Center

Great tour guide for Zanker Recycling Center: Jerame Renteria (with support from Michael Gross)

Lorenzo Napoleone and Federico Columbro (U Rome Tor Vergata) are working on waste management as a smart service system so we were lucky to get a tour of Zanker Recycling today.

Suited up and ready to get in the van.


Hot compressed air separator


inside the belly of the beast – the digestor – creating methane (and smells) to power Zanker Recycling


75 tons per hour of construction and demolition waste – separated


seagulls on treadmill in background

For those who would like to know more trash talk – I recommend “Stuff You Should Know” podcasts episodes below:

SYSK: How landfills work

SYSK: How plasma waste converters work

SYSK: Recycling and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

SYSK: E-Waste Video

and my presentation on Manufacturing as a Local Recycling Service

also see Circular Economy video

largest anaerobic digestion facility in the world at Zanker Recycling

From IBM Almaden: Jim Spohrer, Federico Columbro, Lorenzo Napoleone, Spike Narayan, Obinna Anya, Barry Eberly.

From SJSU:  Jacob Tsao,  Femi Aluko

Cognitive OpenTech

Whether we know it or not, and most of us don’t, we will all soon be building our own personal cognitive systems.   Nearly everyone is on a journey as a developer/maker/citizen scientist/data wrangler/lifelong learner/T-shaped service scientist…  people with depth for problem solving and breadth for empathy and communication skills, evolving to work better on multidisciplinary, multisystem, multiculture teams to take on larger and larger challenges.

We will build them, and they will know us well, and keep our data private.  We will be able to build them, because the building blocks are getting better fast.   For example, just sixty years ago it required the combined resources of a nation to put a satellite into orbit. And now it is rapidly becoming something that a single teenager can aspire to do – from DIY satellite to DIY rocketry.  Making the world safe and secure, and escaping fear of harm from others is one of the biggest challenges we face.  Making tools to solve our most pressing problems is getting easier and easier as the building blocks get better – rebuilding society from scratch is becoming easier, not harder, to imagine.

Cognitive Open Technology building blocks (Cognitive OpenTech) are getting better, and they include a wide range of capabilities as a service: Augmented Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Exoskeleton Clothing, Maker/Rapid Rebuild Tools, etc.

However, there are still many unsolved grand challenges remaining:

These challenges are best approached as an open ecosystem of collaborators, working on technology as a service – see

Regarding Open Technology – if you have 90 minutes, you really should watch this:


Intro animation

Sam Ramji (Google, VP Product Development – Developer and Compute Platform)

Sarah Novotny (Google, Program Manager – Kubernetes Community Development, Google Cloud)

Vint Cerf (Google, VP and Chief Internet Evangelist)

Jim Zemlin (The Linux Foundation, Executive Director)

Eric Brewer (Google, VP Infrastructure)
(26:00 – Thousands of Googlers contributed to 1000’s of open source projects in 2016)

Chris Wright (RedHat, VP and Chief Technologist)

Jeff Dean (Google, Senior Fellow)
(4000 projects use TensorFlow insider Google today)
(I think this means: Google promotes “open” as key to employees, customers, developers, researchers, universities, and citizen science. The distinction between employees and customers may decrease over time as everyone becomes a developer/lifelong learner)

Rajat Monga  (Google, Principle Engineer)
Examples including skin cancer detection and eye disease:

Sam Ramji (Google, VP Product Development – Developer and Compute Platform)
“Best time in history to be a developer – craft is respected”
“Age of open source – fast innovation.”
“Days of committing to a closed ecosystem are over”

Alison Wagonfeld (Google, VP Marketing – Google Cloud)

Will Marshall (Planet, CEO)
Satellites to map the surface of Earth.

Willem Sundblad (Oden Technologies, CEO)
Empowering manufacturers with data

Herman Narula (Improbable, CEO)
SpatialOS – Simulation of cities for policy making, game development platform

Alison Wagonfeld (Google, VP Marketing – Google Cloud)
Anthony Goldbloom (Kaggle, Co-Founder and CEO)
Scaling up to deep learning from simpler machine learning

Alison Wagonfeld (Google, VP Marketing – Google Cloud)
Santi Subotovsky (Emergence Capital, Managing Partner)
Matt Ocko (Data Collective, Managing Partner)
Last ten minutes is VC funding for microservices on cognitive open tech…

Fei-Fei Li (former Stanford, Chief Scientist, Google Cloud for AI)

11:00 “…democratizing compute, algorithms, data, models, talent and expertise.”
12:00 “…model for AI… best papers for AI competition – quickly turned into products and services.”
13:00 “vision API and meta-data from Google search to recognize entities in Google Knowledge Graph”
14:43 “video-intelligence API – Sara Robinson, scene changes in video”
Sheep dogs and mops –

These are also important:

OpenWhisk for serveless microservices

BonnyCI for rapid rebuilding

Jupyter Notebook and used by DSx (Data Science Experience)

Sonnet is open now too.

CIO’s are using AI and Open Technologies to continuously improve their organizations:


Go Nat Friedman – $5K grants for Open AI projects:

Open source AI/ML/DL for smarter/wiser service systems is a passion, including circular economy and rapidly rebuilding from scratch for sustainability and resilience of systems – helping all nations become energy independent is a key first step, and geothermal needs to be 100x cheaper than today, but that is a good challenge to work on….

Some online talks

Some recorded talks:

2016 Almaden – Cognitive Systems:

2015 Almaden – Better Building Blocks:

2015 Italy – Future:

2015 TokyoTech – Smart Service Systems:

2014 Talent from Real World Challenges:

2013 Service Science –

2013 ISSIP – New Member:

2013 Panel – Emerging Technology:

2011 CITRIS – Skills:

2011 MPICT – Skills:

2009 California Hillside –


More here:


and here:

In memory- 20 second mark – Bob Lusch:

Disruption: A service science blog bookmark

(1) On Irene Ng’s “The Markets to Redesign” – personal data, share manufactured things, and drugs/pharma all need disruption for sure, and in next decade human microbiome may disrupt pharma finally and permanently…


Innovation Caucus tool – to help disrupt interconnected path dependent business models in industries:
For more see, 55 Jobs of the future:

The Dismantlers: Prison System Dismantlers, Hospital and Healthcare Dismantlers, Income Tax System Dismantlers, Government Agency Dismantlers


(2)  On Gautam Mahajan’s disruption value tree and disruption of industries, I have also enjoyed these four items a great deal:

(a) Routine labor industry: What will everyone do with 100 digital workers each by 2055?

(b) Efficiency of different types of capital for disruption and better explanations:
Hunter Hastings (with Jeff Saperstein) ISSIP BEP book author – writes, presents, and speaks about…
Entrepreneurial super intelligence:
Ray Dalio (BridgeWater):
George Gilder (Scandal of Money):
Hunter wrote: “A major thought of his [Gilder] is that trading financial assets does not add new knowledge to the economy, and it is new knowledge that makes the economy grow, and creates jobs. Entrepreneurs are engaged in conducting what he calls falsifiable experiments that become learning and knowledge. Therefore, venture capital is the most valuable money in the economy. He quotes Peter Thiel’s numbers: venture capital is less than 0.2% of total capital, but has seeded companies that now produce 21% of GDP, 65% of market capitalization and 17% of all jobs (that last number is probably under-estimated, notes Gilder).”
David Deutsch (Beginning of Infinity):
Robert Wright (Evolution of God):

(c) Government funding needed – taxes can go away by 2035: technology deflation: salvation or death trap…

(d) Government enforces responsible behavior – innovate responsibility – complex system have capabilities and constraints; service systems have rights and responsibilities, too:


Built on top of:

(1) Irene Ng’s Value and Worth (price – money – what people are willing to pay for something) is a helpful framework for your work in my mind.

(2) The tree-diagrams that lead to industries is also a nice direction to pursue to highlight some aspects of the systems dynamics.   I like the the work of John Sterman for modeling some of these disruptinve dynamics…

(3) The industry level analysis might also benefit from looking at Basole and Rouse:

(4) Paul Maglio and I are approaching the problem from the perspective of a simulation of the evolving ecology of service system entities – we have been brainstorming for years about how units-analysis (miles/gallon, bits/joule) etc. and other units based key performance indicators of smarter service systems evolve over time.   There is still a lot of work to do on this, but my inspiration for keeping at the task is the inspiration I draw from Kline’s book below – which discuss human-techno-extension factors and socio-technical-system design loops accelerating as more units get integrated into systems…

Kline SJ (1995) Conceptual foundations for multidisciplinary thinking. Stanford University Press.  OK, summary here – but the book is much better:

The following book is the best treatment of B2B KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) I have read across industries, and also highlights the importance of units analysis in B2B KPIs… businesses that can intelligently evolve their KPIs over time, do better as disruptive innovators, than those who use overly simplistics KPIs that do not evolve, in general.

My current service science projects

I am currently working with ISSIP colleagues globally (…

My projects include:

(1) working to design a framework for  smarter/wiser service systems – see:

– key is everyone has a cognitive mediator (digital cognitive system) – see:

– working to have IBM and open source AI community build above – see:

– trust will be key (cartoon) – see:

– MAK. Siddike (JAIST) and sensei, K. Iwano (Mitsubishi), K. Hidaka (TokyoTech), etc. are some key collaborators on this

(2) in discussion with Paul Maglio (UC Merced) on service science textbook:

– based on a “world simulator” idea  – the evolving ecology of service system entities – past, present, future(s) (need to write up better)

– types of innovation (increment, radical, super-radical) based on units analysis (need to write up)

– exploration of ideas of alternative past(s) based on rapidly rebuilding from scratch in wiser service systems (need to write up better).

(3) working with Haluk Demirkan (U Washington) on too many projects to mention all:

– ISSIP BEP book collection on service systems and innovation for business and society – see:

– Weekly Speaker Series – see:

– Closely related Speaker Series lead by Dianne Fodell – see:

– T-shaped work, this include Lou Freund (SJSU) and Phil Gardner (MSU) on several related projects – see:

– Future-ready T-shaped adaptive innovators also connects to several platform and startup and mentoring efforts – based on the concept of better building blocks for smarter/wiser service systems – see:

– AEIOU (Abstract Entity Interaction Outcome Universals) framework (need to write up better)

The goal is to advance service science and cognitive science to realize smarter/wiser service systems.



Trust – civilization is built on it – not to mention the evolving ecology of service system entities.

Subscribe to the Economist:

Economist Cartoon


Partnership on AI Tenets:
Ensuring that AI research and technology is robust, reliable, trustworthy, and operates within secure constraints.

Upcoming Talk at Computer History Museum by Grady Booch “I’m Sorry, Dave. I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That”

Coming to an open source AI download site near you – GitHub’s DIY AI Friend is an interesting concept. Already being marketed by several companies:

Not to mention a crisis in trust of institutions:

Talent hunt

Looking for early career and second career talent who would like to spend a year in Silicon Valley working on open source AI (artificial intelligence) projects, such as:
(1) software-defined data-centers for AI workloads
(2) open source AI smartphone assistance for automatic generation of resume/CV/annual-performance review writeups
(3) predicting scientific discoveries and redoing re-discovery with open/fewer resources
(4) open source AI smartphone apps and startup ideas
(5) individuals owning and monetizing all their personal data and citizen science twist
(6) trust, privacy, and security of personal AI data systems
(7) grand challenges of AI:
(7a) experience traces – external and internal representation of all experiences
(7b) episodic memory – trusted and socially acceptable store for all a person’s experience
(7c) commonsense reasoning – fast general understanding of physical and social worlds
(7d) social interactions – requires social commonsense
(7e) conversational search – better than keyword search conversations on any topic
(7f) ingest textbooks – ingest and apply academic knowledge
(7g) ingest lawbooks – ingest and apply institutional knowledge
(7h) collaborative coaching – people perform better when tool removed

Applicants should have deep knowledge and experience using an open source AI system, such as:


Some open source AI systems and communities

Ideal for a career transition/resume building experience.

Looking for open source AI projects related to smarter food service systems

For example, most of the fish we eat are mislabeled….

What if someone did an open source AI project similiar to what Thrun did for skin cancer for recognizing fish after different food process stages?

I am curious especially about open AI for food-related projects done by:

And any connections to open source AI communities:



Some open source AI systems and communities

Books: Life, Death, Neurotribes, Medicine Creative Destruction, Systems Research, Regulations, Service Process Design

1. Christensen CM (2007) How will you measure your life. Havard Business Review Classics. Boston MA.
Christensen CM (2010) How will you measure your life. harvard business review. Jul 1;88(7-8):46-51.

“On the last day of class, I ask my strudents to turn those theoretical lenses on themselves, yo find cogent answers to three questions: First, how can I be sure that I;ll be happy in my career? How, how can I be sure that my relationship with my spouse and family will become an enduring source of happiness? Third, how can I be sure I will stay out of jail?” (p. 5)

“… from Frederick Herberg, who asserts that the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements.” (p. 6)

“Create A Strategy For Your Life: … If a company’s resource allocation process is not managed masterfully, what emerges from it can be very different from what management intended…. They didn’t keep the purpose of theur lives front and center as they decided how to spend their time, talents, and energy.” (p.8-10)

“I promise my students that if they take the time to figure out their life purpose, they’ll look back on it as the most important thing they discovered at HBS.  If they don’t figure it out, they will just sail off without a rudder and get buffeted in thevery rough seas of life.” (p. 12)

“Allocate Your Resources: … In contrast, investing time and energy in your relationship with your spouse and children typically doesn’t offer that immediate sense of achievement… If you study the root causes of business disasters, over and over you’ll find this predisposition toward endeavors that offer immediate gratification.” (p. 16 – 17)

“Create A Culture: … The theory arrays these tools along two dimensions – the extent to which members of the organization agree on what they want from their participation in the enterprise, and the extent to which they agree on what actions will produce desired results.” (p. 18)

“Like employees, children build self-esteem by doing things that are hard and learning what works.” (p. 21)

“Avoid The “Marginal Costs” Mistake: … If we knew the future would be exactly the same thing as the bast, that approach would be fine. … The marginal cost of doing something wrong ‘just this once’ always seems alluringly low.” (p. 22)

“Remember The Importance Of Humility: … We all decided that humility was defined not by self-deprecating behavior ot attitudes but by the esteem with which you regard others.” (p. 26-27)

“Choose The Right Yardstick: … Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence youhave achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.” (p. 29-30).

2. Rinpoche S (1992) The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, ed. P. Gaffney and A. Harvey (San Francisco: HarperOne).

“Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama; … In this timely book, Sogyal Rinpoche focuses on how to understand the true meaning of life, how to accept death, and how to help the dying, and the dead.” (p. ix)

“Samten’s death was not an easy one. The sound of his labored breathing followed us everywhere, and we could smell his body decaying.” (p. 3)

“What all of this is showing us, with painful clarity, is that now more than ever before we need a fundamental change in our attitude to death and dying.” (p. 10)

“So from the Tibetan Bddhist point of view, we can divide our entire existence into four continuously interlinked realities: (1) life, (2) dying and death, (3) after death, and (4) rebirth.  These are known as the four bardos: (1) the natural bardo of life, (2) the painful bardo of dying, and (3) the luminous bard of dharmata, and (4) the karmic badro of becoming.” (p. 12)

“Death is a vast mystery, but there are two things we can say about it: It is absolutely certain that we will die, and it is uncertain when or how we will die.” (p. 15)

“Bar mean ‘in between’ and do means ‘suspended’ or ‘thrown.'” (p. 102)

“Masters often use this particular comparison to show how difficult it is to maintain awareness during bardo states. … By following the training of these practices, it is actually possible to realize the states of mind while we are still alive.” (p. 108-109)

“Of all the ways I know of helping people to realize the nature of the mind, that of the practice of Dzogchen, the most ancient and direct stream of wisdom within the teaching of Buddhism, and the source of the bardo teaching themselves, is the clearest, most effective, amd most relevant to the environment and needs of today… Human beings have come to a critical place in their evolution, and this stage of extreme confusion demands a teaching of comparably extreme power and clarity… The Dzogchen masters are acutely aware of the dangers of confusing the absolute with the relative… What this means is that the entire range of all possible appearances, and all possible phenomena ina all the different realities, whether sansara or nirvana, all of these without exception have always been and will always be perfect and complete, within the vast and boundless expanse of the nature of mind.” (p. 150-153)

“When people ask me how best to give someone permission to die, I tell them to imagine themselves standing by the bedside of the person they love and saying with the deepest most sincere tenderness: ‘I am here with you and I love you.  You are dying, and that is completely natural; it happens to everyone.  I wish you could stay here with me, but I don’t want you to suffer any more.  The time we have had together has been enough, and I shall aways cherish it.  Please now don’t hold onto life any longer.  Let go. I give you my full and heartfelt permission to die. You are not alone, now or ever.   You have all my love.” (p. 183)

3. Silberman S (2015) Neurotribes: The legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity. Penguin.

“One of the hardest things about having a child with autism, parents told me, was struggling to maintain hope in the face of dire predictions from doctors, school administrators, and other professionals who were supposed to be on their side.  When Leah was diagnosed, an autism specialist told Marnin, ‘There is very little difference between your daughter and an animal.’ ” (p. 9)

“One of the most promising developments since the publication of ‘The Geek Syndrome’ has been the emergence of the concept of neurodiversity: the notion that conditions like autism, dyslexia, and attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD) should be regarded as naturally occurring cognitive variations with distinctive strengths that have contributed to the evolution of technology and culture rather than mere checklists of deficits and dysfunctions.” (p. 16)

“Autism made its debut in the first edition of the bible of psychiatry, the DSM-I, in 1952, as ‘schizophrenic reaction, childhood type.” (p. 381)

4. Topol E (2013) The creative destruction of medicine: How the digital revolution will create better health care. Basic Books.

“These extraordinary accomplishments, from dissecting and defining DNA to creating such pervasive electronic technologies that immediately and intimately connect most individuals around the world  [discover of DNA, cellphone, personal computer, internet, digital devices, social networks, sequencing], have unwittingly set up a profound digital disruption of medicine… This really boils down to a story of big convergence: a convergence of all six of the major technological avances, likely representing the greatest convergence in the history of humankind…” (p. 5)

“The holy grail of evidence-based medicine is the large-scale randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial performed under the most rigorous considtions.  This means that typically 100,000 or more patients are randomly assigned…” (p. 21)

5.  Edson MC, Henning PB, Sankaran S (2017) A guide to systems research: Philosophy, Processes, and Practice. Translational Systems Sciences, Springer.

“This chapter services as an introduction to the evolution of systems theory and practice in order to articulate a framework for systems research.” (p. 1)

“A central challenge of systems research is expressing implicit understanding of change and making that explicit.” (p. 199)

6.  Freij A (2017) Mastering the impact of regulatory change: The capability of financial services firms to manage interaces.

“Framing the research problem: This chapter explains the importance of gaining a better understanding of what firms do to manage new requirements resulting from regulatory changes, what actions they take to implement the requirements and what separates successful firms in the market from others in this regard.” (p. 1)

7. Field J (2017). Designing service processes to unlock value. Second Edition.  Business Expert Press.

“We then delve further into the concept of value and what it means to each of the participants in the service process.  The value co-creation framwork…” (p. 7)