Just as our community is enriched by the wide range of student interests, it is enhanced by the vast knowledge and expertise of our parents. Dr. Reggie Brothers, father of Jasmine ’24, recently spoke to our high school students and our parents in separate presentations about the future of human technology.

Dr. Brothers is a former Under Secretary for Science and Technology for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Peraton. His presentation, “The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier,” was adapted from work he did for the National Science Foundation on one of its 10 Big Ideas.

His presentation for parents focused on how we can educate students so they are prepared for the workforce of the future. With students, he highlighted what they can do to be prepared for the fast-paced unknown innovation and technology of the future.

Brothers

Dr. Brothers presented the history of technology and the rate of adoption to illustrate how innovations are more than simply inventions and create the fast pace of technology today. He engaged both audiences in a discussion about the difference between invention and innovation.

Innovation, he said, has value beyond just an invention, and that it is the convergence of different emerging technologies and sciences that are creating the innovation of today. Synthetic biology, blockchain, 3D printing, quantum computing, robotics, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the emerging technologies that he is watching. He used an example from his time at Homeland Security, a drone landing on the White House lawn, to show the junction of technology, policy, law, and ethics.

“I would argue this is the age of the algorithm,” said Dr. Brothers. “It’s all about making better decisions faster.”

Dr. Brothers advised the students that they will need to have a good EQ (emotional quotient) and AQ (adaptability quotient). Machines will have high IQs (intelligent quotient), so students need to be able to work with others and adapt across disciplines in order to innovate. He told parents that adaptability was the way to ensure our students will be successful in the future.

During both presentations, Dr. Brothers noted that he must be at BASIS Independent McLean because of how well our high school students could answer questions about complex topics; he noted that not all adults he talks to can do the same.

Thank you, Dr. Brothers, for sharing your expertise and passion with our community. If you, or someone you know has, have an expertise or skill you would like to share with our community, we’d love to have you! Please email our Director of Operations Trisch Aust to join our list. We hope to host more parent and student education speakers next year.