Is it any wonder that leaders are overwhelmed? It’s not just the pace of change, extreme events, or challenges to existing mental models. It is the sheer number of building blocks that currently exist, and those that are emerging. Factor in convergence occurring across these building blocks, and you have a recipe for uncertainty, unpredictability and an overwhelming number of possibilities. It was the book titled The Second Machine Age written by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, where the point was underscored.
I use the visual below to identify several of the building blocks associated with science and technology. Every time you look up, the list grows. An example of that phenomenon is reflected in yet another article that identifies emerging advances. The article via Adrien Book identifies ten technologies that he believes most have probably never heard of. The ten are:
- Femtosecond Projection Two-Photon Lithography
- Energy-storing Bricks
- Robotic bees
- Unnamed Dynamic Neural Networks technology
- Seawater fuel
- 20-minute Water
- Zero-knowledge proof
But as the authors of the second machine age described, it is the combinatorial nature of the environment that amplifies complexity and likely transforms our world. The article describes each technology and how the author believes it will change the world – emphasis on the last piece. When you consider that the visual below represents science and technology building blocks, not the building blocks that span geopolitics, society, economics, environment, and philosophy – or the future scenarios they spawn – how could the rapid convergence across them all not transform the world?