50th St. Gallen Symposium "Freedom Revisited": 7–8 May 2020


Row over the disruption

Technology has changed the way we think; the way we function, especially in the last three decades. The change in business, politics, science, or society is so abrupt now that people have stopped foretelling.

Personal computers in the 80s, internet in 90s, smartphones in 2000, disrupted our usual way of life, giving more flexibility, changing the way we do business and living. At the same time, they have created automation, made numerous professions like cashier, bank teller, clerks at fueling stations obsolete. More professions will perish, experts already predict.

We are looking at a future that will continue to disrupt even at faster rates, with its excellent resources, resources that may only exist in numbers. Apps like WeChat will make all other apps irrelevant; bitcoins will make currencies meaningless, and autonomous vehicles like the one’s Ford recently announced, will diminish the demand for certain services.

The technologies and companies that survived over the years through disruptions have the ability to predict future and future demand of consumers and shift accordingly. They are user-friendly, provide security or safety to the users and solve a problem better than most. But, most of them are yearning to achieve universal usability because disrupting ideas with widespread acceptance will revolutionize each and every industry.

But, how fast people can adopt? And are individuals and society ready to accept changes? Take Arab Spring for example. All welcomed the sudden disruption but later accused the Arab Spring of making the whole region unstable. The role technology played during Arab Spring changed the power dynamics and perception. But feeding the present frenzies, may bring you profit but it does not ensure the stability of society or the market.

How to create balance amidst the disruption? You can't stop the innovation-hungry Z generation nor can you keep the X out of the loop. The role of Millenials will be to bridge these two poles and ensure we advance collectively. You can't fight the waves, but you can stir the boat unitedly over the disruption.

You can't fight the waves, but you can stir the boat unitedly over the disruption.