Mass markets are very powerful, even when the price points are low. So we’re seeing these huge transformations take place, and I think that they can continue, but we need to solve the production problems in order to make these lifestyles sustainable on our planet.
S+B: Can industrial society be sustainable when there are nearly 10 billion people on the planet?
HASELTINE: Yes, if we replace our current generation of wasteful technologies. Biotechnologies will have a significant role in that change. If you look at the full range of what we’ve talked about, we have gone from burning wood to regrowing arteries. That’s a pretty broad span of life sciences, and it’s tremendously exciting.
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Ann Graham is a contributing editor of strategy+business. She is the coauthor, with Larry Rosenberger and John Nash, of The Deciding Factor: The Power of Analytics to Make Every Decision a Winner (Jossey-Bass, 2009).