As a flexible PCB manufacturer, it is our job to provide critical components to our clients all around the world. We customize and fabricate parts, always following industry leading specifications to ensure the highest quality possible. We go beyond creating products, though, and reach out to the community with our annual Chuan Ai Lu Engstrom Memorial Scholarship. This year, we received an enormous number of outstanding applications, and while they can’t all be winners, we would like to honor Dalvin Aboagye for his outstanding essay.
A prospective journalism major at Stony Brook University, Dalvin is excited about expanding his worldview at college. Like so many people before him, he understands the bubble that people live in during their high school years, and he is ready to burst out of it and see what the world has to offer. The world should also be ready for what Dalvin has to offer as well. This young man shows great promise. To borrow from his scholarship essay, “Going on underneath the surface of society, a revolution is occurring.” Don’t be surprised if Dalvin helps lead that revolution.
If you allow yourself some peace and quiet and put your ears to the ground you can hear something unseen. Going on underneath the surface of society, a revolution is occurring. This revolution is one based on the concept of the global economy and how our current habits of buying and selling and past models of doing business are slowly being rocked to their core. New advancements in technology, increased worldwide communication and collaboration, and the supposed democratization of formerly privatized industries, are some of the major factors driving this stampede forward. So please, just for second, put your ears to the ground and listen to whats coming in from the distance.
The aftermath of the 2009 financial crisis has given way to a climate of suspicion and lack of risk amongst wealthy investors and common men alike. The working class especially have been hit the hardest and as a result have taken up the habit of finding new ways of removing any roadblocks in their way and avoiding the middle man. More and more people are becoming well-versed in a variety of different skills, giving way to a “gig economy” where people will jump at multiple small jobs as a supplement to their main income. This trend is growing with the so-called millennial generation as a way of fighting back against rampant student loan debt. As a result, companies are now taking advantage of this new group of needy up and comers with the help of 21st century technology.
Uber, a company that has recently been hit with a barrage of controversy, has had a bit of interesting effect on the transportation industry thanks to the unorthodox way they handle their business. Unlike traditional taxi services consisting of designated stops, employees, and maintained fleet of cars, Uber calls upon a collection of compensated volunteers to act as drivers for complete strangers in exchange for a split of the profits. The ease at which said person can become a payed participant is extremely simple if not a bit frightening, all done through the use of a single app utilized by both parties. While many traditional taxi companies and city officials protesting the service often refer to the understandably problematic safety procedures as their main concern, at the heart of it they are more concerned with the potential billions of dollars in profits and tax revenue being lost by its existence.
Uber is just one example of the recent wave of new services that are shattering archaic standards set by established industries, following alongside the likes of AirBNB and Fiverr. All industries are feeling the effects of the technology-assisted grassroots movements popping up on the daily. The entertainment industry has been hit hardest by the advent of the internet and the ease at which content like music, movies and TV shows can be distributed worldwide. Subscription platforms like Netflix with their never-ending wave of original programming and ad-based services like YouTube and their endless library of user-made video now have a heavy hand in influencing future decisions in the industry. Consumers are becoming increasing picky on what to give their time to and want to make sure that only the best is available to them, wherever and whenever they want.
Shifting focus to goods rather than services, the manufacture and distribution of most physical items are going to have to deal with drastic change in the next few years to a decade. Three-dimensional printing, known simply as 3D printing, has the possibility to usher in a new age in which products can be created on site at an unprecedented rate of speed and efficiency. Every facet of business will either have to adapt or subsequently bow down at the knees of this subversive game-changer. Brick-and-mortar stores may cower at the sight of smaller, consumer grade 3D printers that, with the help of online services, will allow consumers to create a bevy of products from cutlery to coffee mugs. On the charitable side of things, the cost of medical supplies in impoverished areas abroad will decline and hopefully lead to better turnouts in relief efforts.
Currency might be the only thing that won’t succumb to any sort of substantial change in the far of future of the global economy. The use of credit and debit cards for transactions will most likely rise but physical currency won’t be heading out the door anytime soon. The necessity for having at least a couple of dollars on you at all times is still as important as ever and the only real change that might be on the horizon is the abandonment of change itself, an action that has already been done in Canada with their decision to stop minting pennies. Aptly named crypto-currencies like Bitcoin aren’t predicted to be taking off any time soon being that the technology is still hard for the everyday person to get their hands, let alone their minds, on. Promises of completely private transactions, a claim that cannot possibly hold up in this day and age, isn’t going to be drawing in the masses any time soon.
After taking your ears off the soil and placing yourself back into the now, its time to brace for impact. The future of the economy will be built around a culture that relies on expedience and accessibility, a world where everything and anything is available at all times. Whether or not this new era of significant change will be a positive or negative for man remains to be seen. The only thing we can be assured of is that once the tsunami of change hits the shore, it will hit hard.