Key highlights from Anuraj Gambhir’s Smarter Cities and Consciousness session

CTIN kicked off its Urban Festival 2020 programme with the “Smarter Cities — Consciousness” webinar with Anuraj Gambhir. In the session, Gambhir shared his insights on how we can engage with tech and cities while shifting our consciousness to focus on what matters and is meaningful for humanity to survive and thrive on this planet.

“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed” William Gibson, NPR

The second revolution; electrification began in 1870 where electric power was used to create mass production, improving transportation and communication. In 1970, automation; the third revolution began, and it involved the use of electronics and information technology to automate production, providing improved employment opportunities. The digital revolution, which started during the middle of the 21st century involves the fusion of technologies, connecting devices, data analytics, robotics, augmented reality and artificial intelligence technologies to automate processes further, blurring the lines between digital, physical and biological spheres.

Looking to the future, he spoke about the 5th industrial revolution; personalisation. The fifth industrial revolution will require cities to reimagine and reshape their existence. For urban planners, governments and investors to use intentionality and moral clarity in integrating new technologies into the way citizens live, in order to create new opportunities, improve life and incorporate the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that are central tenets of humanity, purpose and inclusivity.

He spoke about the five emerging technology trends that drive Gartner’s hype cycle 2020: sensing and mobility augmented human technology, quantum computing, digital ecosystems and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics. These technologies will not only drive tech innovation for the next decade but will provide a more seamless experience that improves the health, intelligence and strength of humans. Furthermore, he referred to the Three Horizons model, which if applied, can help us think about the future differently. The Three Horizons model is an adaptable futures tool, an effective method for making sense of and facilitating cultural transformation and exploring innovation in the face of uncertainty.

Gambhir continued to link the way we do business with the SDGs 2030 milestones, which require a new mindset.

Gambhir gave an overview of the history of the industrial revolution, stating that the first industrial revolution began in the 1780s, where water and steam power were used to mechanise production. The second revolution; electrification began in 1870 where electric power was used to create mass production, improving transportation and communication. In 1970, automation; the third revolution began, and it involved the use of electronics and information technology to automate production, providing improved employment opportunities. The digital revolution, which started during the middle of the 21st century involves the fusion of technologies, connecting devices, data analytics, robotics, augmented reality and artificial intelligence technologies to automate processes further, blurring the lines between digital, physical and biological spheres.

Looking to the future, he spoke about the 5th industrial revolution; personalisation. The fifth industrial revolution will require cities to reimagine and reshape their existence. For urban planners, governments and investors to use intentionality and moral clarity in integrating new technologies into the way citizens live, in order to create new opportunities, improve life and incorporate the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that are central tenets of humanity, purpose and inclusivity.

He spoke about the five emerging technology trends that drive Gartner’s hype cycle 2020: sensing and mobility augmented human technology, quantum computing, digital ecosystems and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics. These technologies will not only drive tech innovation for the next decade but will provide a more seamless experience that improves the health, intelligence and strength of humans. Furthermore, he referred to the Three Horizons model, which if applied, can help us think about the future differently. The Three Horizons model is an adaptable futures tool, an effective method for making sense of and facilitating cultural transformation and exploring innovation in the face of uncertainty.

Gambhir continued to link the way we do business with the SDGs 2030 milestones, which require a new mindset. This exponential mindset will see leaders thinking more sustainably, socially, leaner, integrated and circular to build a new world order. Expanding on how to move from linear to an exponential growth trajectory, he referred to Peter Diamandis, co-founder of Singularity University and Steven Kotler’s 6 D’s for exponential organisations. These require organisations to be; Digitised, Deceptive, Disruptive, Demonetised, Dematerialised and Democratised. “The Six Ds are a chain reaction of technological progression, a road map of rapid development that always leads to enormous upheaval and opportunity.” -Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Bold

“…Think frugal, be flexible, generate breakthrough growth” — Jugaad Innovation

 

Furthermore, he implored the participants to read up on the Jugaad Innovation — a frugal, flexible, and inclusive way to grow, a breakthrough growth strategy, which is essentially about the art of overcoming harsh constraints by improvising an effective solution using limited resources. The Jagaad innovation, based on six operating principles requires organisations, cities and citizens to: seek opportunity in adversity, do more with less, think and act flexibly, keep everything about the business simple, tap the margins of society for employees and customers, and most importantly, follow their heart.

“We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” — Roy Amara

 

Progressing into the Fifth industrial revolution will be a gradual process, it will require exponential shifts in the way people live their lives, reimagining and reshaping the ‘world of tomorrow’. A series of interventions will be required to alter how cities and society function. These changes present exciting opportunities in terms of productivity and conscious living, remembering that it has to be “Less about things. More people.”

Anuraj Gambhir is a futurist, speaker, consultant and educator, who is recognised worldwide as a forward-thinking techpreneur. Gambhir has worked with some of the biggest and brightest companies in the world. He now helps businesses transition into innovative organisations through speaking, consulting and educational engagements.

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Mmabatho Montse

 

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