2016 Conference

Invited Workshop: The International Council for Small Business [ICSB] and Entrepreneurship

Invited workshop to be presented at GW October 2016 on Friday, October 14, 2016 from 11:00am-12.30pm at GW School of Business, Duques Hall, Room TBD.

G. Dale Meyer, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Founding Director, Deming Center for Entrepreneurship
Hazel Barnes Award for Lifetime Excellence in Teaching & Research
President’s Teaching Scholar
University of Colorado – Boulder USA
Founder and Chairman, Western Partners Worldwide
[Division of The Meyer Group, Inc. – founded 1980]
President, Dale Meyer Foundation

It behooves the United States leaders and population to be interested in robots and artificial intelligence [AI] to understand the (1) increasing progression of robots doing more and more activities efficiently so as to replace people, (2) percentage of particular middle class paying jobs that robots and AI will permanently replace, (3) types of training that can be offered by two year colleges that will help those whose jobs are replaced, (4) percentage of working age people will be incapable of finding work or only work that leaves them in a poverty circumstance, and (5) determination that the federal government support the jobless poor. The big question is how will the federal government respond to these difficult but critical socioeconomic problems? As robots/AI absorb products and services that small businesses have previously delivered what is the recourse? What follows is a challenge for the ICSB to engage in providing answers to the questions posed above. After all, the original and continuing work of ICSB includes SB or Small Business so this organization has some responsibility to consider how robotics/AI are replacing many of these small business entities. This short introduction is produced and delivered in the role of a CATALYST [see below] for consideration [or not] by the ICSB members and leaders. Let’s begin

After persistent actions, my team and I have located and developed relations with two large charitable foundations that are open to funding rigorous research about the Future of Work in the Western World. Two factors that are and will continue to grow [mentioned in the paragraph above]: Robotics and AI related to diminished human jobs. The Executive Directors of these Foundations are aware that I have been reading intensely about these two factors plus attending trade shows to meet people deeply involved in Robotics and AI.

My dedicated reading and conversations with wise “on-the-ground” experts has produced quite a number of open questions that focus on change regarding (a) the time-related future of how Robotics and AI will revolutionize employment/jobs, (b) whether middle class jobs and earnings will be replaced, and (c) how entrepreneurship,/ entrepreneurs, and small business enterprises can create many new markets that will provide important employment solutions as jobs are being absorbed by Robots and AI [just as such new companies created jobs that served the immigrants is the early history of the United States through so-called Yankee Ingenuity.]

Since the late 1970’s many Universities, non-profit organizations, and governmental entities have focused person power and money on education and training to create and support effective entrepreneurship programs. As was mentioned above, at this time I am interacting with two highly endowed Foundations that would like to support research on several major issues related to The Future of Work; for example [1] How many of today’s middle class paying jobs will be eliminated by Robots and Artificial Intelligence [AI] over what time period; [2] How could carefully designed training and support for increasing numbers of SME and Entrepreneurship startups replace jobs that are lost to Robots and AI; [3]

When our deal with the Foundation mentioned above is signed we will begin creating Request for Proposals [RFPs] for research to (a) Determine how Robotics and AI will affect today’s middle class jobs, (b) What and how society can mobilize training and education for replacing jobs taken by Robots and AI, (c) Time, methods and means to train and encourage many more people to start their own creatively oriented businesses, (d) determine whether the federal government can be convinced to support this critical long-range effort.

CATALYST DEFINED: One that precipitates a process, especially without being involved [e.g. ICSB proves interested or not interested as determined by action or inaction.]

Books that we have found useful in understanding the “new” focus on Robotics and AI: There exist scores of books focusing of this topic.

  • Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. Late 2014. The Second Machine Age; See McFee TED Talk 2013 updated in 2016 “What will the future jobs look like”
  • Klaus Schwab. 2016. The Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Jim Clifton [Chairman of Gallup] 2011.The Coming Jobs War.