People Matter

Dammit, People Matter.

There is little doubt that the coming decade will be filled with radical combinations of digital and technology breakthroughs. There is no doubt between the future thinkers that every industry is going to be re-imagined, including the existing and the up and coming entrepreneurs themselves.

What will most affect the future of humanity?

According to Elon Musk, the Internet; sustainable energy; space exploration, in particular, the permanent extension of life beyond Earth; artificial intelligence; and reprogramming the human genetic code. The opportunities will be immense and extraordinary. I believe Elon Musk is only slightly touching the number of fields that will affect our daily lives in the next ten years, especially in the next five years.

Many of the new disruptive innovations will produce products and services because of existing concepts converging to give birth to new products and services. One example is the petrol-guzzling noisy car, currently transforming itself into sleek, inexpensive, environmentally-friendly electric cars; eventually at half the price of today’s cars.

These electric cars are fast becoming driverless as artificial intelligence (AI) is 90% safer than human drivers and 300 times faster in responding to any alerts.

Already the flying car is in operation, being tested in countries all over the world including Australia and New Zealand. As it has many smaller electric blades compared to one huge gyrating propeller, it will be quieter, safer, and faster than helicopters. And yes, it will not have a pilot onboard but one back home working via the Internet from another location; this could be anywhere in the world. If one or two electric engines die, the flying car will still be able to fly and land safely.

Nearly every aspect of our lives will have a similar convergence of technologies, including the retail and manufacturing industries. These are just two of thousands of industries that will be either transformed or become redundant.

While the industrial technology age has indeed lifted many humans out of poverty and enriched our lives in many ways; it has also made the world increasingly complex and challenging to navigate the changes. With the rapid disruption of many established industries like the taxis, has meant that even the most intelligent and conscientious individuals have had to struggle to stay relevant in the modern ever-changing, globalized, disruptive economy. Many people spend years broke, jobless or stressed out trying to figure out how to make their life meaningful let alone to survive. Many are forced through their circumstances to take dehumanizing repetitive jobs.

People ask the question of how to secure their future with sufficient resources, be able to express their creativity, fulfil a purpose, and feel a sense of belonging to a community within humanity.

Digital technology or digital distribution will be the future. This is the era of Bots and Robots; in other words, artificial intelligence in various forms doing things humans cannot do as efficiently and as quickly.

Society will also change and what we buy will change, but our behaviour towards material possessions “more is better” will not vary; or will it? We are brought up and live, within a consumerism philosophy, driven by our ego. This is made worse by the recent burst of social media. People post and share, hoping to fulfil their need for recognition and friendship. When this does not happen, and people cannot get their ego polished; they become lonely and starved of human affection. This can turn people to become destructive.

If “People matter” then we all win.

Large sectors of society around the world are moving towards a new reality. A reality where they know when “enough is enough”. This philosophy is called sufficiency, where individuals work for the sake of fulfilling personal creativity expressing their talents, helping others do the same, and living a financially adequate life. Ego is replaced with mature selflessness. The attitude is “all together”, where people are behind the core of the advancing digital technologies.

The Digital Distribution society will solve the problems of the increased selfish and wealthy society that has enslaved our society for centuries with consumerism and the attitude of “I need more”. The future is about new sustaining, digital processes, but even more about the people who invent new “things” and those who make a business out of these new inventions. These selfless people are the ones that matter because their priority, is being part of an emerging era where everyone contributes and benefits. These are entrepreneurs who care about people.

2020 with unique events has made people think about the problems in both their life and out in the world. There is still confusion about the future in all aspects of individual experiences and the rumours about advances in AI. In no time at all, cashiers will be replaced in retail outlets. We see the first stage of development in the self-check-out. The next phase is under testing where the check-out will be done away with; the article will check itself out as it is taken off the shelve and put into an AI bag. Payment will be seamless as the shopper leaves the retailer’s doors; the money is automatically transferred. This is taken care of by AI.

AIs will replace tasks that people have been doing for hundreds of years in the next few years. People will lose their jobs, but not necessarily their ability to earn an income by possibly using digital technology, or through new types of work not yet seen in the marketplace.

As more people come to realize that many of the existing manufacturing companies, large mines, even airlines will transform or disappear. These people will start to search for a new niche and start to reskill themselves. Our health system will change using AIs to do most of the diagnosis before an individual falls ill and so he can be kept well. The focus will shift from an illness paradigm to a wellness paradigm. We will also, naturally, be living longing.

Use your imagination and re-imagine the effects of this recent disruptive invention. This 3-D printer can manufacture/print even a house. What will happen to the second-hand car dealer? We can now print spare parts for our car, including the wheels. 3-D printers can use hundreds of different materials including metals, plastics, rubber, glass, concrete, chocolate and even leather. We can now print circuit boards, prosthetic limbs, to jet engines and apartment complexes. This disruptive digital piece of technology does away with supply chains, transportation networks, stockrooms, and warehouses. This innovative invention has threatened the trillion-dollar manufacturing industry and the people working in them. But with the change comes opportunity, perhaps training opportunities or creating your own product that will fit into a new niche market using the 3-D printer.

These innovative digital technologies cannot be halted, and we do not want to stop them. We need a safer, cleaner planet that most digital distribution will bring to us.

We also need the human being to transform or evolve away from his egotistical, materialistic, consumeristic, “I matter”, attitude. To a caring for people, the planet, and an attitude of enough is enough and helping others to live in a sufficiency environment. The new future must be about people, communities and the planet.

My business partner and I are developing an online training process involving videos, podcasts, lectures, interviews, and one-on-one Zoom mentoring. There are interactions with successful entrepreneurs who have achieved the transition to a people-matter, sufficiency, business paradigm. We want to help entrepreneurs move towards the new Digital Distribution with their existing or new enterprise.

Michael Plumstead