“Optimism is your opportunity!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
What a day in Marrakech yesterday as I opened the 2nd International Finance Corporation Global Manufacturing Conference, with a talk on the future opportunities for emerging economies within the manufacturing sector. (I also got to ride a camel in the desert!) Part of my message revolved around the theme that with future trends in manufacturing, there are fewer reasons for emerging economies to be excluded from global opportunities – and in fact, those opportunities are growing.
There are a massive number of trends in the sector coming together all at once which spell opportunity. Those that comes from massive industry transformation in the energy, transportation and other sectors; the arrival of new faster iterative prototyping and design methodologies; the acceleration of material science and the new markets that are emerging. I’m going to have a lengthy blog post on what I covered, but there is a lot of this insight in the manufacturing section of my Web site already:
Key message? It’s one that you can carry around with you in your every day life – the future is what you make it.
It’s an important theme, particularly given the current worry and concern over AI, automation and robotics. Many of the senior executives and government officials in the room are spooked by the big, scary headlines related to the future and automation: “800 million people world-wide to lose their jobs to robots!” Guess what – we saw the same headlines in the 1930’s in magazines such as Popular Mechanix and Popular Science!
What they didn’t cover back then – and what is not covered today – are the new jobs, new careers, new opportunities that are being defined in this space.
So rather than focus on the negative portrayal of the future, understand what the trends are really telling you.
And use that as a springboard for action based on optimism!
Because your optimism will best define what you do next!