There’s another problem with older people too. As I’ve said already, developed nations have ageing populations and older people tend to be conservative and less productive. In contrast, developing nations, particularly those in Asia, have a vast surplus of younger people who by most historical measures are the most likely future innovators. One reason that it’s now fashionable to outsource R&D to countries like Thailand, Brazil and Eastern Europe is because it’s cheaper. But it’s also to do with the lack of skilled workers in developed nations. In 2005 for instance the US graduated 220,000 engineers. China, in contrast, graduated 660,000 and according to a Booz Allen/NASSCOM survey there are now as many as 6 million engineers available for hire in emerging markets like Asia. But low-cost is only half the story. Young brains drive innovation. They are hungry and in certain circumstances adversity drives invention too so these regions will become the new powerhouses of innovation and change.