Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘exponential technologies


Raising Kids During Exponential Times

How do you raise kids today during these exponential times?

Should they learn a second language… in a world of instant translation?

Should they ever memorize any fact… in a world of ubiquitous Google?

Will college even exist in 10 years’ time?

Which is more important? Learning to code or learning sports?

As a father of twin 4-year-old boys, these questions are on my mind. (My wife may have a different point of view as an artist).

This blog is one parent’s opinion.

When I was 10 years old…

When I was 10 years old, the first electronic calculators came out, and my dad didn’t want to buy me one because he felt it would weaken my math skills.

Eventually he did buy me one, and rather than dampen my skills, I learned programming on my Texas Instruments TI-58.

But times do change.

Compared to the basic curriculum 100 years ago, the basics no longer include:

  • Growing our own food
  • Making our own clothing… needlework
  • Greek, Latin or type setting

If predictions come true, namely that robotics and artificial intelligence will displace 50 percent of today’s jobs in 20 years’ time, what should your kid(s) study today?

I often keynote Fortune 500 events and one persistent question from the audience is: “So, Peter, what will you teach your kids given this explosion of exponential technologies?”

Near-Term… Coding, machine learning, or Physics

In the near term (this next decade) the lingua franca is coding and machine learning. Any kid graduating college with these skills today can get a job.

But this too, will be disrupted in the near future by A.I.

Long-Term… It’s Passion, Curiosity, Imagination, Critical Thinking, and Grit

I imagine a future in which robotics and A.I. will allow any of us, from ages 18 to 108, to easily and quickly find answers, create products and accomplish tasks, all simply by expressing our desires.

From “mind to manufactured in moments” – in short, we’ll be able to do and create almost whatever we want.

In such a future, I believe there are five critical attributes our children need to learn to become successful in their adult life:

1. PASSION: You’d be amazed at how many people don’t have a mission in life. A calling, something to jolt them out of bed every morning.

For my kids, I want to support them in finding their passion or purpose. Something uniquely theirs.

For me, it was exploring outer space. I LOVE space. Apollo and Star Trek ignited my flames. As much as my parents wanted me to become a physician, I was truly (and still am) a space cadet.

My goal for my 4-year-olds is to expose them to as many ideas as I can, and then fan the flames on whatever they want to do.

(One of my closest friends loved playing video games in high school. Today he’s one of the world’s top video game designers. You can create a career from any passion!)

2. CURIOSITY: The next attribute that is critical during exponential times is curiosity. It is something that is innate in kids and yet something that most people lose over time.

In a world of Google, robots and A.I., raising a kid that is constantly asking questions and running “what if” experiments can be extremely valuable.

This is mostly because running constant experiments is fundamentally necessary on the path to success.

As Jeff Bezos said about success and innovation: “The way I think about it, if you want to invent, if you want to do any innovation, anything new, you’re going to have failures because you need to experiment. I think the amount of useful invention you do is directly proportional to the number of experiments you can run per week per month per year.”

I constantly ask my kids “what if” questions.

And if they ask, “What if…?” encourage them. Help paint the picture…

And try to help them create an experiment to test that hypothetical situation.

3. IMAGINATION: Entrepreneurs and visionaries imagine the world (and the future) they want to live in, and then they create it. Kids happen to be some of the most imaginative humans around… it is critical that they know how important and liberating imagination can be.

Imagination goes hand in hand with curiosity and passion.

Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, writes: “Imagination is one of humanity’s greatest qualities – without it, there would be no innovation, advancement or technology, and the world would be a very dull place.”

To my kids, the world is certainly not a dull place.

4. CRITICAL THINKING: In a world flooded with often-conflicting ideas, baseless claims, misleading headlines, negative news and misinformation, you have to think critically to find the signal in the noise.

Critical thinking is probably the hardest lesson to teach kids.

It takes time and experience, and you have to reinforce habits like investigation, curiosity, skepticism, and so on.

If you have ever talked to four-year-olds, you’re probably familiar with the “Why?” game.

It goes something like this:

Parent (enthusiastically): “It’s time to go to school!”

Kid: “Why?”

Parent: “Because you have to learn how to read and do math.”

Kid: “Why?”

Parent: “Because knowing how to read and do math is important.”

Kid: “Why?”

Parent (starts to get agitated): “Because… I said so!”

Kid: “Why?”

You get the idea.

My advice: Try not to BS them! Try to play this game and help them reason through complicated ideas and topics.

This game, though they don’t even know it, is the basis for critical thinking, and it’s up to you as a parent to encourage them and guide them through the questions.

5. GRIT: One of my favorite phrases these days is from Ray Kurzweil: “You’ve just got to live long enough to live forever.”

Though I take it quite literally, it’s also a metaphor for persisting through challenges until you succeed.

Grit is seen as “passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals,” and it has recently been widely acknowledged as one of the most important predictors of and contributors to success.

Teaching your kids that they can’t fail… is critical.

Heck, much of my success comes from not giving up. I joke that both XPRIZE and Zero-G were both “overnight successes after 10 years of hard work.”

You have to make a conscious effort to encourage your kids to keep trying, even if they mess up.

Join Me

Our kids are growing up in the most exciting time ever. You’re living in it too.

This is the sort of conversation we discuss at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360.

The program is highly selective and we’re almost full, looking for a few last CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. You can apply here.

Share this email with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.

P.S. I’ve just released a podcast with my dear friend Dan Sullivan called Exponential Wisdom.

Our conversations focus on the exponential technologies creating abundance, the human-technology collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Head here to listen and subscribe:

P.P.S. Every weekend I send out a “Tech Blog” like this one. If you want to sign up, go to and sign up for this and my Abundance blogs.

Patsy Z shared this link on July 22, 2015

For all parents out there. Please read this blog post written by Peter H. Diamandis himself, as a visionary man and as a father…
It’s extremely helpful, especially when you think about the eternal question:

“what will you teach your kids given this explosion of exponential technologies?”

How do you raise kids today during these exponential times?
Should they learn a second language… in a world of instant translation?
Should they ever memorize any fact… in a world of ubiquitous…


One Week at Singularity University

Sitting at the lounge in San Francisco airport, alone, after one week at Singularity University, feels weird.

It went so fast, was so dense that if feels like it’s been 1 month. I still need to digest this experience but here are my feelings, raw, no filter.

Written  by Jeremie Moritz

For those of you who haven’t heard about SU, their purpose is quite clear:

“Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.”

Sound simple, doesnt it?

Exponential is one the the two important words here. (And the least feasible in real life)

It all started with the meeting of Ray Kurzweil Singularity concept and Peter Diamandis optimistic take on our world, abundance.

The other important word here is Humanity.

Even if Singularity University is all about the impact of exponential technologies in all its form (biotech, nanotech, artificial intelligence…), it is not for the sake of science but with a clear intention to enhance humanity.

People call that transhumanism or life extension but I see this as an acceptation that our future will be transcending borders, nationalities, races and that solutions (and problems) are global.

What makes it interesting is that people can really change the world at a global scale and pretty fast. (Start fast on the local level)

And this is where I really felt this week of Executive Program at SU is a unique and transformative experience I will never forget. Why?

Some of my friends got jealous when they saw some photos of the SU lab with Oculus Rift Goggle or some (already old) robots. But it’s clearly not the gadgets and machines I will remember.

Actually it’s cheaper and easier to buy them yourself or go to a Google event near you than flying all the way to San Francisco for this.

If I had to pitch SU in 1 minute it would go like this: Imagine you spend 1 week on a NASA facility with 70 people from 30 countries, 30 industries. Then add 15 of the world’s best experts AND speakers on topics from Artificial Intelligence to Ethics and Environment. Mix everything, add some wine (Irish Whiskey in my case 🙂 ) and you get Singularity University Executive Program Experience.

It is fascinating to be able to spend that much time with people who took the decision the leave their family, job, friends for 1 week to dive into the impact of technology on our future and what it means for everyone one of us.

Discussions are exploding from 8 AM to 3AM and believe me, it’s far from being nerds talking about their computer CPU Speed! ethics, human condition, project ideas, life events…

You definitely find here the opportunity to discuss topics rarely touched in your business, family or friends circles. Not saying it does not happen but the environment at SU definitely helps.

People spend 1 week in the NASA Campus basic rooms. This is part of the experience. Having the same time in a 4 seasons would definitely be too comfortable.

My last “hot” feedback is on the format of the sessions we have. The 2 reasons why it’s unique: speakers and data.

Not only you get world experts in more than 15 different topics but all their sessions are backed with an enormous amount of data.

It is a key point and prevent people from focusing on the form only to convince you. Data is objective, without any feeling and globally relevant.

That’s it for now.

I need to digest this incredible week with incredible people. And rest too, SU can also mean Sleepless University 🙂

My thoughts are especially going to one of our fellow attendee who sold his house a few months ago and decided to stay a few more weeks on the campus to pursue an idea. And possibly decide where his life will go next. Talking about being bold…

Read more about these Immortal mortals




January 2023

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