Water and steam powered the first industrial revolution. Think water powered mills and the steam engine. Cyberintelligence is driving the fourth. However, many are questioning the wisdom of so much emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to the exclusion of other disciplines that supposedly promise to get us to the promised land of equitable prosperity.
It's time to recreate STEAM (social sciences, technology, english, arts and media) and here are the reasons why:
- The most creative innovations of the digital age came from those who were able to connect the arts and sciences.
- Technology industries, like most industries, cannot be fixed from inside. The next phase of the digital revolution will bring a true fusion of technology with the creative industries, such as media, fashion, music, entertainment, education, literature and the arts.
- Artists are better at seeing around corners and separating the signal from the noise.
- Two key components of the innovator's DNA are observing and associating.
- We need better story tellers, particularly those that know how to do it using cutting edge information and communications technologies.
- Customers buy emotionally and justify rationally. We need entrepreneurs who know how to appeal to the heart and soul, not the head, or hire someone who does.
- New ideas come from the collision of disparate industries at the edge.
- Mindset, creativity and imagination are the foundation of innovation.
- Stories matter. What people tell each other can have profound implications on markets — and the overall economy.
- It is a myth that new STEAMers make less money or are unhappier than techies, engineers, or scientists. Just ask your molecular biologist daughter -in-law who is doing her 3rd postdoc. The MFA is the new MBA.
- The new healthcare workforce needs more than biomedical knowledge; it needs empathetic team players at all levels who can support patients holistically.
Here is how and what we need to teach students to win the 4th industrial revolution. We need to reinvent the STEAM economic engine.
Arlen Meyers,MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship.