The Future of NDTA: As NDTA celebrates and reflects on the past 75 years, it's important to also consider what the future will bring for the organization and its members. To that end, we have asked several members and friends of the association to tell us, 'what do you think the next 75 years will be like for NDTA?'.

Author:Whaley, David A.

Suffice it to say 75 years from now our world will be extremely different in every aspect of business, life, warfare, defense and human existence overall. Below are just a few of the numerous areas of change that may be encountered in the future.

Some change characteristics to ponder:

* The depth, breath and magnitude of change will impact EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY.

* The speed in which change will happen will increase exponentially.

* Humans and technology will nearly merge, in many ways, into one entity. Nano technology combined with genetic engineering will change us. Just think what the cell phone has done to change us.

* Human knowledge and information in general will grow at an ever-increasing rate.

* Everyone and almost everything will be "connected" to each other in one way or another.

* Quantum computers and the next generation thereof will exceed all our analytical speed and application expectations.

* Our day-to-day world will expand beyond the earth and into outer space in every way.

* We must try to manage these forthcoming changes for they WILL happen. We can choose to engage these changes and attempt to manage/shape them or choose to become a victim of them and be left behind.

I suggest that choosing to engage and try to manage/shape the forthcoming changes is the preferred approach. Therefore, the question becomes "WHAT DO WE DO?" NDTA has taken a great first step forward by asking the thought-provoking questions that must be turned into action.

Suggested follow-on actions:

* Include change management and emerging technologies in every organization's mission, vision and values statements, as well as every NDTA educational endeavor, conference, publication, etc.

* Form national and international alliances with tangential interrelated institutions, business and organizations that are causing or leading change, such as other business associations, other governmental agencies, universities, research and development entities (private, corporate and governmental).

* Become a player in emerging technology. Expand NDTA's membership to include more technology organizations and/or form affiliations with them.

* Become the facilitator for current/future membership to engage/shape in the forthcoming "Change Tsunami".

* Include change and technology in every NDTA annual meeting and every conference inviting expert guests to discuss these topics.

* Send representatives to technology-based seminars and conventions, and report to the...

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