11/07/2012 10:23 am ET Updated Jan 07, 2013

The Future of America

With the election behind us, it is time to look forward. It is time to create a rational and inspiring vision of our nation to rally us all behind. This is your historic opportunity Mr. President.

The next chapter of our nation's history will be informed by several critical shift in our world reality.

1) Environmental adaptation. Water, and at times the lack of it, is the greatest threat to our cities, food supply and safety. It is also potentially our greatest economic opportunity. Not since the 1950s has there been an urgent need to rethink the design of our communities. We need to rebuild wetlands and design new systems to manage water.

2) War for talent. The rhetoric about manufacturing is a red herring. There are the same number of industrial jobs in the U.S. as in the 1940s. China isn't the culprit - it is technology. Manufacturing simply isn't the future. We need to envision a future focused on service economy and technical innovation. This means that the strongest economies will be those that attract the top talent. The U.S. most join nations like UK and Australia that make it easy for top talent to patriate. Any scientist or engineer who wants to bring their family to the U.S. should be given a ticket tape parade upon their arrival.

3) Embracing diversity. Diversity divided us for centuries. In our lifetime we have shifted to tolerating diversity to trying to manage diversity. This was a necessary step but has come at a great cost as we struggled to define success in an environment optimized for inclusion that treats everyone the same. Our greatest national treasure is diversity. It is time to take the next step and have the courage to build a society that leverages and embraces diversity and celebrates and exploits difference. Until we do this, our schools will remain mediocre and our society will lack mojo.

4) Food and health. We are not a healthy nation. The issue is simple. We prioritize corporate profits over our children. Companies are defining our food and health care options. The FDA and USDA must be redesigned to separate the health of farming and industry from the health of the American people. The commercial needs of agribusiness and pharma industry should be integrated with the department of commerce's mandate. We need a new department that is measured solely on the health of the people.

This is the path forward we need to embrace and rally the American people to make the hard sacrifices necessary to once again a bold and just nation with a healthy people and economy. Mr. President, now is your moment to help us see the future.