John Sanei On The Four Ways Disruption is Transforming Our World

Updated on 1 November 2017

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John Sanei On The Four Ways Disruption is Transforming Our World

Business innovation strategist, trend specialist and futurist John Sanei has been invited to join Singularity University’s (SU’s) panel of global speakers.

The panel includes the world’s top minds in exponential technologies, global grand challenges, entrepreneurship, and organisational innovation. The likes of  Peter Diamandis, co-founder and chairman of Singularity University, Rey Kurzwei one of the world leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, Anousheh Ansari, electronics and computer engineer, entrepreneur and first female space tourist, Anja Boisen, professor and head of Nanoprobes, Neil Jacobstein chairman of  the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Track in the Singularity University research group and many others from around the world. Singularity University is a collection of some of the world’s best minds in tech.

“It’s an honour to be included on the list of innovators and futurists creating and decoding the fourth industrial revolution. Technology is disrupting our world as we know it; turning it upside-down; and allowing for the possibility of solving global grand challenges,” says Sanei who was recently in San Francisco at Singularity University.

Find out what makes Sanei one of the most sought after innovation, technology and trends specialists, below he shares ‘Four Ways Disruption is Transforming Our World’

If it feels like your head’s spinning, it’s because the world is changing at a rapid rate, fueled by the furious pace of tech-driven industry disruption.

While not a new concept by any means, human ingenuity has spurred transformational changes within industries throughout modern history. Trying to keep step with the current rate of technological advancement can seem overwhelming.

To continue to thrive, companies must become masters of disruption, or risk being overrun by their more agile counterparts. With this in mind, I recently immersed myself in a week of exponential thinking at Singularity University.

The experience highlighted cutting-edge disruptive trends that are emerging around the globe. To demonstrate why you need to embrace disruption now, or risk perishing while you stubbornly resist change, I explore the top trends, along with one of the earliest examples of disruption, tracing its often nefarious tendencies back to the era of the Spice Trade.

1. Ice Disrupts Spice
In the quintessential example of early disruption, Frederic Tudor figured out how to store ice for long periods of time, earning him the rather obvious nickname “The Ice King”. This revolutionised food preservation – along with our predilection for chilled beverages and icy desserts. Within two decades, shipping blocks of ice around the globe had surpassed the once lucrative spice trade. Basically, ice disrupted spice!

It wasn’t long after that when the “iceman” – the guy who delivered ice blocks to your doorstep for ice boxes (cupboards containing a block of ice and enough space for a few perishables) – was out of a job. By the 1930s, methods of refrigeration and artificial ice production had progressed to the point that ice harvesting faded into the history books.

2. AI-driven Bots Disrupting Customer Service
As machine learning continues to advance at breakneck speed, AI-enabled bots are becoming smarter and are increasingly augmenting the human-to-human interface. Through web and mobile interfaces, customers can now engage with bots for instant access to advice or information. We’re also able to log service requests, or buy stuff online without ever speaking to another person. Bots have effectively made consultants who answer the same questions day in and day out, redundant.

As AI capabilities evolve, call centres, front-line service staff and even specialist industry advisors will become immaterial to everyday business operations. Heck, even your GP may be out of a job soon, thanks to AI-enabled medical diagnostics. The fact is that technology is already better at performing certain tasks, especially where human emotions influence decisions or impact on service delivery.

3. Self-Driving Cars Disrupt Public Transport
Ride-hailing platforms have already disrupted traditional taxi and public transport industries across the globe. And while the car itself was a worthy disruptor of the trusty steed, combining self-driving cars with ride-hailing platforms will revolutionise public transport.

Most auto-giants already have plans to reach Level 3-4 (Conditional to High Automation) within the next three years, with ride-hailing services at the forefront of driverless car adoption. This development will cut drivers from the equation and will have far-reaching effects on a number of other related jobs.

However, there’ll also be a massive up-side to our pending driverless future, with the potential for fewer accidents, improved traffic flow and less congestion, and a complete overhaul of the vehicle ownership model.

4. Drones Will Disrupt Everything
It all seems very sci-fi if you’re not living in San Francisco, but drone commerce is real. Amazon and Walmart are dreaming up floating warehouses (blimps), where drones will be able to pick up a variety of goods, including fresh produce, and deliver it to your door within minutes.

Commercial drones are also set to revolutionise the global security and surveillance industry, once again removing humans from their once dominant role. They’re also set to disrupt the agricultural sector, exploration and prospecting, construction and quantity surveying, and ecological surveying, to name just a few.

With the application of these technologies often only limited to mankind’s imagination, expect tech-driven business disruption to accelerate. The question you need to be asking yourself now is: On what side of the disruption curve will your business fall?

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