My background and experience over a long lifetime covers both technology and horticulture. My blogging beat now covers the field of urban horticulture or what I call urban greenscaping. It reveals very few "untouchables" as defined by Tom Friedman in his op-ed column.
Most of the institutions involved in urban greenscaping and the media covering it are living in a prior century, a "drain hole century" if you will.
The good news is that there are terrific career opportunities for creative minds willing to explore new ways of bringing the natural world of plants into the built environment. The door is wide open for "new untouchables" to walk through.
The New Untouchables
But those who have the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work were being retained. They are the new untouchables.
That is the key to understanding our full education challenge today. Those who are waiting for this recession to end so someone can again hand them work could have a long wait. Those with the imagination to make themselves untouchables — to invent smarter ways to do old jobs, energy-saving ways to provide new services, new ways to attract old customers or new ways to combine existing technologies — will thrive. Therefore, we not only need a higher percentage of our kids graduating from high school and college — more education — but we need more of them with the right education.
Just being an average accountant, lawyer, contractor or assembly-line worker is not the ticket it used to be. As Daniel Pink, the author of “A Whole New Mind,” puts it: In a world in which more and more average work can be done by a computer, robot or talented foreigner faster, cheaper “and just as well,” vanilla doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s all about what chocolate sauce, whipped cream and cherry you can put on top. So our schools have a doubly hard task now — not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.
Bottom line: We’re not going back to the good old days without fixing our schools as well as our banks.