Alec Ross stood before a window on the 16th floor of Baltimore’s Transamerica Tower trying to peer through the clouds and identify what lay just out of sight.
Then the 44-year-old Homeland man turned, walked to the podium at the Center Club of Baltimore and began forecasting the future.
“I genuinely believe that billion-dollar companies will be created in Baltimore,” Ross told 120 local business leaders at the club’s City Genius speaker series this spring. “Baltimore has a very specific set of assets that map well to where future growth will come from.”
Just as the Transamerica Tower provided Ross a vantage point to survey a vast swath of the landscape, the author of “The Industries of the Future,” a New York Times best-seller on coming marketplace advances and challenges, is using his background — including work on Barack Obama‘s 2008 presidential campaign and travel to more than 40 countries as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s innovation czar — to spot nascent industries that will drive the global economy in the next two decades.
Those experiences, and the ideas he has developed from them, have gained Ross an influential international audience. Ross discussed his book last week with Prince William, second in line to the British throne, and is scheduled to appear in Rome this week for a public dialogue with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.