At People Matters TechHR 2022, it has been my pleasure to invite leaders to rethink what is possible; to look at our present with fresh eyes and reimagine a new future; to create, as a community together, a new narrative about how we want to rewrite the future of people and work.
The pandemic has been a portal, or maybe even multiple portals open in parallel, a gateway to a new possible future. As a collective, it is our choice and indeed our responsibility to boldly enter this gateway: to reimagine a new economic model, a new way of living, a new way of defining work.
In this new world, technologies are converging to change our world forever, combining to create entirely new phenomena across all fields. We’re seeing technologies like 3D printing; 5G; artificial intelligence; voice recognition, augmented reality and virtual reality; blockchain technologies; DAO evolve as computing power increases, costs of storage reduces, and graphics cards become better and better.
With so much change around us, how do we embrace possibilities with a positive mindset? Remember what Steve Jobs said: “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.” Those organizations, leaders, and professionals that embrace this mindset will find themselves with an unprecedented opportunity to engage employees, enhance customer loyalty, reduce risk, and enhance competitive edge.
The key ingredients of Rethinking What’s Possible
Firstly, we must become exposed to what’s happening around us and what it can mean to us. One of the very important trends today is the exponential growth of science and technology. In the 5th Industrial Revolution, some of the emergent technologies converging are:
The metaverse: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates believes meetings will be done via personal avatars in the metaverse by 2024. Today, there are more kids who play Fortnite than little league basketball and football combined. A nine-minute digital concert in Fortnight grossed Travis Scott roughly $20million including merchandise sales, 20 times more per show than his four-month-long, 56-stop Astroworld tour from 2018 to 2019. Organizations like PwC, JP Morgan, Samsung are buying land on top virtual worlds – Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, Somnium – that have cornered the metaverse real estate market.
Crypto and NFTs: all of our assets are moving online. The aforementioned virtual worlds allow users to buy plots of land that they can navigate, build upon, and monetise, and they sell these plots as NFTs or non-fungible tokens, making them unique, tradeable digital assets, the ownership of which is recorded on the blockchain. In fact, NFTs are one of the most-used cases for blockchain technology beyond cryptocurrency. NFTs are guaranteed proof of origination and ownership. For an illustration of how that works, it is the difference between the value of the guaranteed original Mona Lisa painting versus the value of a Mona Lisa painting that you bought at Target.
This is the beginning of a new asset class: Digital Art or Digital Flexes. As we spend more of our time online, status symbols like BMWs and Rolexes start to matter less and our digital flexes start to matter more. And so it’s with great excitement that we have announced the unveiling of the first-ever People & Work CryptoPunk NFT Avatar series at this year's People Matters TechHR India, welcoming our community to experiment and learn with emerging technology. You can get your PFP designed and minted and be part of this unique art piece - I have got mine already! At TechHR in the next 2 days you can get your NFT avatar created and included in this art piece. Visit the People Matters booth at the conference and be part of this initiative.
The second ingredient of #RethinkWhatsPossible is that we must reflect on our contribution to the story as professionals redefining the future of people and work. In a previous blog post, I shared my reflections on a legendary speech that the late Professor Sumantra Ghoshal made at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He described how a company's context, which he calls the smell of the place, evokes a very different energy and behavior in people. And he asked this very pertinent question: how do we create inside a company the vibrant energy of a forest in spring rather than the energy-draining heat of a scorching summer?
As culture designers and as organizational builders, we have the opportunity to create a beautiful “forest in spring” environment where our teams feel committed, energized, and connected to our impact.
How do we design the ‘Smell of the Place’ at People Matters TechHR?
At this year’s TechHR India, it’s our pleasure to bring you an agenda that ignites, giving unique access to trends, information, and innovations across industries. Our four distinctive content tracks discuss the intricacies of digital business, the aspirational worldview of ‘Future is Now’, the practicalities of ‘Tech for Impact’, and the ever-burning question of ‘How to Accelerate’.
We bring you a buffet of formats in which to engage with our content: regular conference sessions are just the beginning, you can choose to attend the Unconference, hone your skills at experiential learning Masterclasses, or size up the businesses of the future at the Startup Program.
And of course there is you, the participant, whose presence is essential to complete the most enticing smell of TechHR. We invite you to engage with us on LinkedIn, to share your reflections on Twitter, to capture essential moments and display them on Instagram, to take our logo and make it your own in all manner of creative ways. Because TechHR is not a conference, TechHR is an experience, and YOU make it unique and impactful.
To reiterate what I have said earlier: today’s reality is a portal, a gateway to a new possible future, an opportunity to reimagine the world anew, a transition between the old and the next. But it is we, collectively, standing in this gateway, who seize the opportunity offered to us: to reimagine a new future and create a new essence of work that enables every individual to flourish.