Navigating the Future
Philip Condit, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; The Boeing Company
Description: While he won't provide a definitive answer about Boeing's plans to manufacture a 787 airliner, Phil Condit does make some stark predictions about the future. The current information revolution finds its historic analogy in the industrial revolution, Condit says, which was extremely disruptive, transforming agrarian societies into urban ones--forcing people to find new ways of surviving, or perish. Flash forward to the U.S. today, with its 10 trillion dollar economy. About half of our gross domestic product is defined by transformational activities, such as making airplanes or hamburgers. The other half of the economy is defined by transactional activities information passed back and forth among people. What is happening as technology creates a more efficient transactional economy? Condit cites studies showing that faster computing increases productivity, while drastically decreasing the workforce. And if the employment scene looks grim now, Condit reminds us that we're just at the start of the information revolution, which will speed decision-making, communications and operations in all spheres of the economy. Condit's conclusion: We'll need to rethink the organization of our institutions to ensure that the current economic revolution poses an opportunity as well as a challenge.
About the Speaker(s): Phil Condit pilots the world's largest manufacturer of satellites, commercial jetliners, and military aircraft ($54 billion in revenues in 2002), and heads up a workforce of close to 160,000. Condit joined Boeing in 1965 as an aerodynamics engineer on the Supersonic Transport (SST) program. He was a principal in the development and/or marketing of most of the familiar Boeing jet lines: the 707, 727, 737, 747,757 and 777. He received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1963; a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University in 1965; a master's degree in management from MIT in 1975; and, in 1997, a doctorate in engineering from Science University of Tokyo, where he was the first Westerner to earn such a degree.
Host(s): Office of the Provost, Cambridge-MIT Institute
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