A Systems Approach
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is underway and your organisation is right, smack in the middle of the revolution. There is no way to avoid its impact.
Future operations will be impacted upon a digital cocktail of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things, remote driven vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, energy solutions and quantum computing.
The World Economic Forum have set out four principles to guide policy and practice as you become more and more involved in this revolution
The first of these principles is to focus upon systems rather than technology. Too often our focus is upon a specific piece of technology or application. This skews the conversation towards features and away from benefits.
The second principle is to empower every person within your organisation to master new and emerging technologies. In this way their perspectives are formed from experience, rather than the influences of other, often less empowered individuals. This suggests a shift in how you develop competencies; away from teaching people to use existing technologies to enabling them to experiment with emerging technologies and then applying their knowledge to your operations.
The third principle is to prioritise future design rather than relying upon the default outcome. To paraphrase Goethe, we become what we visualise. A designed future suggests that everyone within your organisation, from board members to volunteers is empowered to contribute to that vision.
The fourth principle is that these emerging technologies should be used to make the world a better place. Making the world a better place is not the sole domain of the nonprofit sector. Increasingly, technology creates opportunities for the corporate sector, public sector and third sector to collectively utilise resources towards making our world a better place.
Dr Schwab, from the World Economic Forum is quoted as saying "In its most pessimistic, dehumanized form, the Fourth Industrial Revolution may indeed have the potential to robotize humanity. But as a complement to the best parts of human nature - creativity, empathy, stewardship - it can also lift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny. It is incumbent on us all to make sure the latter prevails."