Rapid acceleration

Exponential technological progress

“We live in exciting times of fundamental technological change” wrote Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce, in the Foreword to 2014’s The Fourth Industrial Revolution [4], by Klaus Schwab.

Exciting times, indeed. In fact, according to Schwab, the fourth industrial revolution will fundamentally, “alter the way we live, work and relate to one another. In its scale, scope and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.”

To get a sense of what the future will look like, consider this: In the Future Is Faster Than You Think [5], authors Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler describe Uber’s plan to solve the urban mobility problem through aerial ridesharing. If successful, Uber’s plan is to provide the service in key U.S. cities by 2023. Ultimately, Uber’s goal is to make owning a personal vehicle economically irrational, and they believe they can do this using technology to continually reduce the cost per mile of aerial ridesharing.

But flying vehicles are just the tip of the iceberg, and many experts believe we are now at the tipping point of convergence, a point at which formerly independent streams of technology begin to come together to exponentially scale, enabling innovation to occur in ways we can’t even fully comprehend yet. This means that as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, virtual reality and nanotechnology scale, so too will opportunities for leading organizations to catch the next wave of innovation that enables them to develop provocative new business models, products and services.

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