Futurism 6.0: The Repercussions of Covid-19 on the New World Order
The time, or to put it more correctly, the time-space concept is a subjective one. "There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen", says Lenin. It feels forever when we happen to touch a hot saucepan, but like a second when we touch our beloved ones. We now have to think linear in the new world order of exponential changes. While the speed of change increases every day, it also brings along amazing opportunities. While it used to take a century for knowledge to double in 1900s, this period fell to 40 years in 60s and 13 months in 2015. Today, it takes less than a year. Soon it will take only 12 hours for knowledge to double. Change is the only constant in life...
We Have Seen Only the Tip of the Iceberg Yet
The evolution of technologies and our race toward the singularity got accelerated together with Covid-19. Now, we are all turning into biological-technological structures. Phones will get into our blood cells, eyeglasses into our retina, and our brains will be loaded on neurological webs sooner than we can imagine. We have seen only the tip of the iceberg yet. Biotechnology is becoming cheaper 100.000 times in seven years, 3-D printers 400 times in seven years, sensors 250 times in five years, robots 23 times in five years, and are all integrated in our daily life. The price of nanotechnology fell 80% in the last six years. Solar energy has become cheaper 200 times in 30 years, and neurotechnology 45 times in five years. While these examples reveal the developments in the past, today's figures are quite lower than the future figures to come. Computing power is expected to exceed brain power in 2023, and to become stronger than the brain force of the humankind by 2045. While we grow into cognitive creatures, our structures and systems will differentiate quite faster compared to the pre-Covid-19 period. Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event experienced within the last 100 years, and will probably cause the biggest economic damage. The fact that no living person has had a similar experience results in fear and stress, which stimulates our limbic brain. Status quo drives change faster when it is a painful process. Nothing will be like before. It is obvious that it will have permanent psychological, sociological and economic impact. Transformation into responsible bodies and acceleration of digital transformation are inevitable for all kinds of organizations and companies in the near future.
Attention Should Be Paid to Three Processes
With all kinds of production and working methods changing together with digitalization, we are gaining agility and proceeding towards the sharing economy. This evolution consists of a cultural, strategic and process-based transformation. An exciting period may start for cognitive organizations as they focus on innovation, creativity, entrepreuneurship, politeness and integrity. I believe that we can shape the future by focusing on purpose rather than profitability, network management rather than hierarchy, gaining authority rather than control, experimentally rather than planning and fear, and transparency rather than privacy. The first and the most important asset is human... Since transformation is managed by human, we should focus on new-generation principles, organizational memory and change management especially nowadays. We should redetermine the organization of the work and our life, identify who will carry out which functions, and redesign the employee experience. The second thing to which we need to pay attention is to create innovative working models. Whatever we do, we should create omni-channel platform-based and data-based smart systems. Today, unfortunately 94% of data are not interpreted. We can win by interpreting, and ascribing meaning to, our data. We can gather insights on integrated stakeholder practices and an improved mobile experience by obtaining real-time data and shaping our business models. We and our business models are smarter and more efficient now with our infrastructure, process and innovation management.
For a Sustainable World
The third issue is the tools that will make all these possible. In fact, all Industry 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, blockchain, cloud, robotics, big data and 5G are our tools. The purpose of these tools, which are interrelated, will be determined by the humankind nowadays. The Japan has predicted all these developments in 2017, and chose to use the term Society 5.0, "super-smart society", instead of Industry 4.0. Yes, these also refer to industry, algorithm and technology, but they should all be designed with a focus on sustainable world, environment, animals, children, knowledge, science and future. If everyone was to think of their short-term benefits in the world of savage capitalism and did not engage in any cooperation, there would not be left a nature for our grandchildren to live in. Then, what would all these be about? Today, we have seen during the Covid-19 management period that reactive approaches built on the idea that "Our interests matter more than myself and my colleagues" cause all countries to be closed down late, resulting in the faster transmission of the disease and payment of a higher toll by the global economic system.
The Most Essential Building Blocks: Modern Education, Values and Ecosystems
A true nationalist should also be a globalist. This is because a threat to others means a threat also to ourselves. A real leader should make himself/herself completely redundant, and encourage others rather than only rewarding them. By 2025, 76% of the labor force will comprise Generations Y and Z and Alpha. New generations have been differentiated, and are now about to reveal the leaders among themselves. In this age, real leadership is accomplished by ensuring that different leaders act in collaboration with each other. Reals success is achieved by making others lead. However, the youth becomes disappointed because of their idealist nature and entrepreneurial spirit. Attributes of relevance, politeness, empathy, clarity and inspiration are more important than ever. Team spirit, vision and human-oriented competencies are what will manage the crisis and the future. While 89% of leaders are aware that change is necessary, only 11% of them say that they are aware of what needs to be down. There is no favorable wind for the sailor who doesn't know where to go. Proactive scenarios, financial resilience analyses, stakeholder engagement and management of supply and demand chains are of vital importance during the Covid-19 outbreak. However, what is more important above all is to determine the common purpose while shaping the future. In this connection, the most essential building blocks are modern education, values and ecosystems. We should treat new technologies as a blessing to avoid any backlash in future.
We Need to Focus on Smart Business Models
Today, the biggest obstacle before determining a common purpose is the lack of trust and cooperation. There is a probability for the creation of digital dictatorships, totalitarian structures and data colonies. As regards the choice made between health or privacy, we realize that biosurveillance gains momentum in some countries. There are tight control systems in use all over the world such as the use of a barcode for permission to use public spaces and leave home in China and imposition of a fine on those who do not adhere to quarantine using face screening technologies in Russia. Did you know that social platforms know us better than our spouses when we hit the like button for more than 300 times. Soon, they will be able to manipulate us going far more beyond knowing how we feel and what we think. In short, while these technological tools can be a great source of hope, they may also cause giant problems which we cannot predict yet. However, there is no need to worry as these paradoxes fuel each other. We cannot know what leads into what. Nothing is totally bad or good. It all depends on how we perceive things. Things that seem to be positive developments might result in negative consequences, while challenging processes may give rise to positive opportunities. Just as parents reap their efforts in raising their children, we will also race toward the singularity in the same manner we attribute meaning to these algorithms. We have all the technologies and tools required for turning the crisis into an opportunity during these times of uncertainty. As we make use of these resources, we should focus on human and education first, and head towards smart business models.
"We" comes before "Me".
The most valuable assets of a company are human and data, and the most valuable asset is time for people. In addition to interpreting data, we should also attribute new values to data, and design strategies with the aim of benefiting humankind, nature and society in everything we do. There is no better time to redesign our leadership and success approach. I believe that each of us should become a strategist and indirectly a futurist. Instead of engaging in vicious circles, we should be optimistic by adopting proactive methods. We should leverage each other's strengths as we move towards Futurism 6.0 in line with the principles of Society 5.0. We need to move from "we" to "us", from "leaders" to "leadership", and from "personal benefit" to a "collective conscience. Nowadays, even though we are far from each other, actually we are closer in some aspects. Both beliefs and fears come true. Both those who say "I can" and those who say "I can't" are usually right in their own perspective. We have the chance to determine the route in the new world order that is focused on purpose and the promising sustainable structures within the scope of our ecosystem. In the race of artificial intelligence, digital transformation has arrived like a tsunami with Covid-19 outbreak. Turkey has well-equipped mentors and dedicated young people. This is what gives me hope. It is now the time to address the invisible portion of the iceberg. "We" comes before "Me"...