27 Aug 18|Innovation

Why are we here, what are we contributing to make the planet a better home, and how are we ensuring safe, prosperous, diverse and inclusive communities?

We are now emerging into the era of the entrepreneur, where entrepreneurship is the new workforce.

I’m writing this article from San Francisco. Robin Williams once said of the west coast city: "I can walk down the streets of San Francisco, and here I'm normal." I can relate.

I have been here for a week, immersed in the wisdom and knowledge of SingularityU, an organisation with a purpose: to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technology to address humanities’ grand challenges.

It’s appropriate that SingularityU is based here.

At the same time, I have never been confronted by such a concentration of homelessness. 

San Francisco has been described as a tolerant and generous city. 

There are shower vans that drive around, an allowance given to those in need and food stations pop up in the mornings and in the evenings.

It is also the city where most things that are possible have found their funding, passed through on their way to greatness or closure, or have opened a head office.  

Back to SingularityU. The fear of artificial intelligence taking all our jobs may not be the mantra we should be listening to. The emerging workplace theme? Purpose. 

Why are we here, what are we contributing to make the planet a better home, and how are we ensuring safe, prosperous, diverse and inclusive communities?

The truth is, anyone that is telling you what jobs will be like in 10 years’ time is at best speculating and at worst an imposter. 

Ten years ago, the iPhone hit the market, and no-one had any idea the disruption it would cause.

Looking ahead, will there be a settlement in space? Probably. 

Will we be living longer and healthier? Plausible. What jobs will be required to get us there? Not sure. 

Which skills will be required? Creativity, problem solving, courage and bravery.

The industrial age saw an abundance of monotonous and repetitive (may I say, robotic) tasks in the workplace and education was delivered through (monotonous) standard testing and rote learning. Not much has changed.

Occasionally an entrepreneur would pop up and, if they weren’t beaten down, would cause a minor disruption somewhere.

We are now emerging into the era of the entrepreneur, where entrepreneurship is the new workforce.

It will be through the era of entrepreneurship that humanities’ greatest challenges will be solved. In order to create the number of entrepreneurs (or intrapreneurs) required for these tasks, the strengths and interests, skills and purpose of individuals need to be discovered, unwrapped and unleashed. 

How do you discover your purpose? By being you! Sounds cliché? Yes, but it’s not. Vivienne Ming, founder and executive scientist at Socos, has read the future of work reports from every organisation, Deloitte to McKinsey. According to Ming, there is only be one job description required: “Creative, adaptive problem explorer”.

So, who’s game?

We are now emerging into the era of the entrepreneur, where entrepreneurship is the new workforce.

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