Technology is making it easier than ever before for people to build things on their own. It gives people an ability to execute on their ideas and to test minimum viable products (MVPs) before launching a fully-fledged solution. You can build a basic website in and evening and build an app in a week. 5G is a reality and having faster access the internet will enable a whole host of developments in the not too distant future.

Technology, data, and the digital economy are spaces that fascinate me and I am continuously building my knowledge of this space. This week’s podcast review is slightly different due to some thinking that I have been doing following listening to the morning session of the Digital Economy Summit, part of the 4IRSA, on Friday. If you want to learn more about what the 4IRSA is, check out this link and keep an eye out for a blog later in the week.

In the information age, we have loads of insights and answers at our finger tips. While this is indeed powerful, we need to understand how we can better use it to improve processes. Machine learning will no doubt play a massive role in helping us utilise the ever growing pool of big data. We need to remember though that humans build the technology so we also need to be given the space to think and collaborate. If we don’t have or create this space, it is very easy to get caught in a hamster wheel as we move through life only concerned about short or medium term processes.

We also need to be conscious of who we are surrounding ourselves with and how our energy is being spent (being aware of the trade-offs we are making).

With this in mind, here are a few questions that I would like us to consider as we think about and build a future together.

  • Are you using technology to address problems or are you using it because you don’t want to get left behind?
  • Can you recall what the world was like prior to smart phones and the launch of the first iPhone?
  • Does technology have the answers we need or do we need to unpack the problems we are facing in a different way to the way we currently are?
  • How do we share access to the information age?
  • How can established businesses contribute to creating a framework to grow curiosity and sustainability for entrepreneurs?
  • What steps does Africa need to take to increase the amount of risk capital available to start-up businesses from investors?
  • What do we need to change in our mindset to think bigger and in a more connected way?

To round off this thinking, before I go down the rabbit whole, I encourage us all to ask my questions and to challenge ourselves to think about the longer term. This doesn’t mean that we need to plan 50 years in advance, it just requires us to ask more questions of who, what, and why.

It is excellent to see the South African government strongly supporting the framework the 4IRSA is creating. We need to include people whose problems this initiative seeks to address in the foundation phase so that we are not just using tech for the ‘sake off’.

Here are a few of the podcasts that I have listened to over the last week. The topics are varied, here’s a quick summary– wearables that use neuroscience to increase our performance; creating creativity and fun marketing; a summary of the next few episode themes of the Mission Daily; is social media having a negative impact on us; video content has changed social media and messaging, what is next; and lastly Marnus chats to the creator of RocoMama’s on Making SMEs Matter.