HIGH POINT, N.C., May 11, 2019 – Dr. Michio Kaku, physicist and co-founder of String Field Theory, told 1,100 High Point University graduates and 10,000 friends and family members today that he believes a fourth wave of innovation is near, if it hasn’t already begun.
“I’m a scientist,” said Kaku during today’s HPU’s Commencement ceremony. “We say that the origin – the engine – of progress is science and technology. But science comes in waves.”
“The question for today is, ‘What is the fourth wave of wealth generation?’” Kaku said. “If the first wave was steam power, if the second wave was electricity, if the third wave was computers, what is the engine driving jobs, the economy and your future? What is the fourth wave? I say it’s a combination of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and biotechnology.”
Kaku is a bestselling author and popularizer of science who regularly appears on BBC and the Discovery Channel. His Commencement address comes during a time when HPU’s science majors in biology, chemistry and physics are growing, and the new Wanek School of Natural Sciences is scheduled to open in August.
He told HPU graduates that the timing of it all is beneficial for their future.
“We are witnessing a new era of science and technology, and you are among the winners!” Kaku said. “Every revolution has winners and losers. You are among the winners because you’re graduating from this great university. You’re embarking upon one of the greatest adventures in your life. You have the vision, the vitality and the imagination to seize the initiative.”
When it comes to predicting the future, which many people often ask Kaku to do, he quoted the great philosopher of the western world, Yogi Berra. in noting that “Predictions are hard to do, especially when it’s about the future.”
But he still went on to offer his insight to the audience.
“In the future, when you want to get online, you will put on your contact lenses, and you will blink, and you will be online,” said Kaku. “The internet will be everywhere and nowhere, including your contact lens… Medicine will be turned upside-down in the future. You will swallow a pill. In that pill, there’s a chip with a magnet and a camera. It photographs your stomach. It performs operations inside your body. And, yes, we will grow organs of the body. Today, from your own cells, so there’s no rejection mechanism, we can grow skin, bone, cartilage, noses, ears, blood vessels. We can grow bladders. We can grow entire windpipes. The next organ to be grown — we haven’t done it yet — the next organ to be grown in the laboratory from your own cells is the liver.”
As class president, Emmi Esker, who double majored in sales and marketing and is from Cleveland, Ohio, offered a word of greeting to her classmates.
“I studied in South Africa the summer before entering High Point,” said Esker while looking out at the graduates on Roberts lawn. “While there, I learned a beautiful South African concept called “ubuntu” that means, ‘I am because you are.’ Parents, as your student walks across this stage and into the next chapter of their life, know that it is through your love and support that they have made it here today. They are because you are.”
Esker encouraged her classmates to go into the future by remembering all the blessings they received during their time at HPU and sharing them.
“Today, let us focus on being grateful for the generosity of others,” said Esker. “But tomorrow and every day after, let us focus on being generous to all those we encounter. Let’s live in a way that all of those we meet along our journey towards greatness will be able to sincerely say about us: ‘ubuntu,’ I am because you are.”
As is tradition at HPU’s graduation, a bald eagle soared over the graduates at the end of the ceremony to symbolize the ideals of free enterprise, independence and the ability to pursue new opportunities in America. And every graduate received a blanket after the ceremony to give to their mothers in honor of Mother’s Day.
Graduates also received a powerful Senior Send-Off from HPU President Nido Qubein on May 10, who encouraged them to plant seeds of greatness throughout their life’s journey by turning dreams into actions.
“Graduates, to truly find success in life and to frame it with significance, you must go from being an optimist to an ‘actionist,’” said Qubein during his address to the Class of 2019. “The goodness in this world happens because somebody acts on it. We can’t just be dreamers. Ideas are a dime a dozen. We can have more ideas by noon every day than we can act on in a lifetime. We aren’t looking for ideas. We are looking for a way to carry out that plan. Be an actionist.”