Educator Karl Fisch, creator of the “Shift Happens” video, first reported on a Fortune magazine article about how King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is investing $22.5 billion on a new graduate research university.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the country that sits on 25% of the planet’s oil, knows that oil is not his country’s future. That’s why he’s spending $12.5 billion to found a graduate research university, which he’ll endow with $10 billion – as big an endowment on day one as MIT has built in 142 years. The point of this project, on a grand scale even by Saudi standards: to attract the best researchers in science and technology.
The article talks about how, in the past, the fight for human capital was comprised mostly of the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. Now the playing field is opening up to many more countries, such as Saudi Arabia, who are more serious about winning over the world’s top talent.
One day the U.S. will wake up and realize that their top researchers and entrepreneurs have moved to other countries that better support their efforts because they recognize that human capital will be the competitive advantage of the not-to-distant future.