Through history humans have evolved. We have adapted to change; invented new processes; changed systems; learnt to fly; built refrigerators; domesticated animals; developed health care and biological drugs; and we have even built a completely virtual world for interactions (think eSports and online shopping).
A few people spend a lot of time talking about the future – we write books, host conferences, and envisage what skills we will need to navigate it. There is no doubt in my mind that technology is a huge enabler and is a significant part of our future. If you unpack the rate of change over the last 20 years, it is clear that things are moving at a rapid pace.
When things change, systems are disrupted, constants are altered, and we are challenged to think. Being a tech and digital nerd, I find future thinking fascinating and I have love unpacking challenging questions. Pushing yourself to think a few levels deeper, rather than just skimming the surface can unlock a different set of possibilities. Keep in mind though that you don’t always have to enter into deep thinking, controlling it is a valuable tool.
Bringing it back to home/reality. The media in South Africa is a buzz with views from a few prominent figures in the business world on the future of our country. When you read the words “prominent figures”, who are some of the people that spring to mind? I am not going to list the people that I am referring to, but rather encourage you to spend time gaining different views on the environment that we are currently in. The environment in which we surround ourselves can influence the perceptions that we have on the future.
The systems around the world go through feedback loops and things change on frequent basis. Through change, they adapt and improve the efficiencies in which they operate. Buzz words are used to describe improvements vary – from natural selection, innovation, disruption, survival of the fittest, and many others.
There is a lot of talk and hype about the 4th Industrial Revolution in South Africa (4IRSA). The information age means we have a lot of tech and digital solutions at our finger tips. It also offers us exciting tools to address problems that we are facing as people and a country. While this revolution is an important part of our future, we need to ensure that it is applied mindfully and not for the “sake of” to try fast track our development.
Micro changes are definitely influenced by the macro environment. So, let’s be conscious of the role we can play in our future. Things are far more connected than they may first appear, the saying of “it’s such a small world” is very literal in meaning. The future is now and as we navigate it, models will change and we will need to adapt. Learning along the way and growing into the new spaces that open.
With this in mind, here is something to ponder. Our brains are extremely powerful, full of intelligence and at least for now (and for some time to come) they are the most intelligent technology on the planet. Giving them time to reboot and upgrade is vital to the evolution of the future. Allow yourself the time to think bigger, to read, and to process everything that is on the go.