This past January, at over 1.500 meters and with negative temperatures, the World elites of both public and private sector met in Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. This is a very relevant organization trying to propose an agenda for world leaders, and these same leaders are happy to participate.
In 2016 the big theme was “Industry 4.0” but it was clear that a re-focus on the human rather than the technology was required. That said, this year the theme was “Responsible and responsive leadership”. Focusing on the human being and its actions right at the title was dully required. I would still go for “pro-active” rather than “responsive”, because I believe leaders should be pro-active.
It is this “small detail”, being “pro-active”, always looking for problems to solve and relentlessly going after the solution, that actually propels the world into change and, one hopes, into a better general state. This is what the entrepreneurs present the world with. This is what most leaders need to learn from these new innovation led SMEs.
In an ever changing world with growing levels of instability cutting across all walks of life, there are a number of opportunities around the corner. This is becoming a moment of re-organization at a global level. A general shake up that will make markets open cracks that can turn out to be very big opportunities. Let us look at some of these;
1.) Education: From 1 teacher and 30 kids to 1-to-1. #VR and #AR (mixed reality included) will open the doors of specialized education to most. People must be equipped with purposeful skills not what a number of parasitical academics decide. Access to information search & display terminals will grow (laptops, mobiles; tablets, goggles, etc..). In an age where everyone wants to follow Finland’s model, finish government already said their model is to be changed immediately. This is being on the forefront of innovation.
2.) Food: From new planting techniques (hydroponics, Aeroponics, Fogponics, aquaponics, etc) to new distribution channels (eg; online bio production market). As well, a slight anti-globalization policies are well in reach of today’s leaders. Producing locally can, again, become an advantage.
3.) Water: Being in a planet mostly covered by water, it is clearly because people are being “re-active” and not pro-active that there is a huge part of the population without access to drinkable water. Yes, on the XXI century.
4.) Urban mobility: We have cars, subways, trains, helicopters, flying cars, Hyperloop project, SpaceX – but we still have an incalculable amount of man hours spent on commuting. Managing the ever growing mass of people in cities isn’t getting any easier. Mobility at work is rightfully so becoming unavoidable.
5.) Social organization: New models/platforms of social organization and value exchange. We are clearly strolling towards a cashless world (for several different reasons). People will start exchanging products for values other than paper currency. A market place which allows products to be marketed in exchange for either physical value or cyber currency denominations as well as any other value as perceived by the market will be needed.
There are a number of organizations pushing for some of these changes, but they can never have enough help. In an organized way, or not, support positive change. If you are launching a new business, be sure that it actually solves an unbalance in the market. Be sure that on an extreme, your service will make the world a better place or, at least and equally important, it will not make it a worse place. Instead of creating the next me-too product, don’t be afraid to formulate and follow a bold mission.
Focus on the solution. Big or small. If you solve a true problem (eg: food and water security, education, social organization, etc.) you will surely be handsomely rewarded. Don’t follow the flock, make your own way.