Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, back in 1991 when he was treasurer once said: “This is the recession Australia has to have.” Guess what without sounding too nihilistic and to slight paraphrase “This is the Crisis the World needs to have”.
Last year I attended a conference run by futurist and public speaker Roger James Hamilton on Society 5.0, where the point was raised: By 2029 most manual labour jobs will be replaced by AI and robotics. Freeing up humans for more creative pursuits. It was only in the early days of the Pandemic and after attending one of Roger’s webinars that trend has now been brought forward by 5 years. (Check out his work at https://www.rogerjameshamilton.com/)
It is incredible how a crisis acts as a catalyst for change. Every government department, business, NGO or community group has been forced to scale up digitally thanks to quarantine lockdowns and social distancing. The promise of the World Wide Web when it was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 has now been brought forward, with even the most sworn Luddite or Laggard forced kicking and screaming onto a zoom conference. We are seeing glimpses of the future right now and it seems like the digital genie is fully out of the bottle.
This is not unprecedented, all crisis breeds creativity. The years 1603–1613 during the plague lockdowns Shakespeare was at his peak in terms of writing plays. In 1665 during the Great Plague of London, Sir Isaac Newton invented Calculus and Discovered Gravity. In 1816 Mary Shelly unable to go outside during the volcanic winter wrote Frankenstein. And who cannot forget the huge technological leaps stemming from both World Wars? This crisis should not be any different.
Humanity has come a long way since the 17th and 19th centuries, as we are all locked down and resetting our minds boredom and procrastination takes hold. Necessity it seems is the mother of invention. So expect a huge leap forwards in everything from art, to culture, from science to technology. Ladies and Gents this your Captain Speaking and welcome to Tomorrowland!
Don’t expect normalcy to resume after the pandemic:
“If you have a harvester operated by one person that can do the work of 500 people, why go back to the horse” -Sam Kamani 2020.
This week in my podcast I interviewed Kiwi serial entrepreneur Sam Kamani, who raised a valid point, each time a piece of machinery, that saves time and labour is invented we do not regress back to the old ways. The technological leaps made now should be seen as no different. Forcing thousands of people to work from home has shown that the NBN is up to the task, and has given the planet a respite (though this is far from a climate change solution). To a point where a large tear in the ozone layer above the Arctic has been healing itself according to ABC news.
“Expect to see a lot of Empty Office Buildings” -Samuel Knickerbocker, Host of Fuel Your Legacy Podcast 2020
Working From Home has brought us closer together in a weird paradox. During the pandemic, we can no longer physically touch, yet according to a recent survey more and more Australians are showing community spirit, a sense of common good and showing signs of empathy for the fellow man. Politics through the National Cabinet has returned to the sensible centre and it seems that the Grown-ups are in charge. Experts have started to be respected again, though there are a few conspiracy nuts pushing pseudo-science around still. Even though there is no Footy on why would you go back to how life was in the toxic 2010s?
Instead, we should embrace this brave new world, the so-called Global Spring, if the pandemic is a bushfire that has cleared the undergrowth, recovery efforts has to be seen as rain hitting in the forest and we can see green shoots already. The future is here and once the dust has settled, society has been rebuilt and the economy fired up once again, it is going to be beyond your wildest imagination.
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