Liam Wadsworth, president of the Technology, Media and Telecoms Club at Manchester Business School, tells us why he thinks 3D printing and wearable tech will be the next most important technological advancements in the human race, and whether governments or the private sector should fund them.
What is the main aim of the Technology, Media and Telecoms Club?
To help the members position themselves well to enter the MBA job market after graduation, as well as to help build their networks.
What do you see yourself doing after you complete your MBA?
I want to work in either strategy and business development, or marketing within a technology firm. When I say technology I don't mean only high-technology firms such as Google, but also the companies that build their core competencies around using technology better than their rivals. That opens many fields up to me.
Who has been your most exciting speaker this year?
We just held our "Tech panel", which was a panel discussion on cloud computing. The panel had directors from Microsoft and Oracle, the CEO of DataCentred and a leading intelligent systems academic. It was a fascinating discussion that lasted nearly two hours.
Which new technologies do you think will make the biggest difference to the human race in the next decade?
I think it will be a close race between wearable technology and 3D printing. We are still waiting for the first killer piece of wearable technology that puts the tech into general use – in the same way the iPhone did for phones. Once that has happened I think we will see an explosion of good wearable technology, which leads to significant changes in how we exist – especially when you factor in "the Internet of things".
With 3D printing it is just a case of the costs coming down and then I think we will benefit in ways that have not yet been thought of.
Do you think it’s the responsibility of the government to fund advances in technology?
Yes – but in an indirect manner. I think the government should generate an environment where the private sector benefits from pursuing the advances, be it special tax zones or other mechanisms.
The key is to make sure that, in the end; it is the free market that makes the choice. I think there is a benefit. The market will always drive what is required and with technology I think that drives us forward. Leaving it in the hands of the public sector will also drive competition between them, which is also beneficial.