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The world is flat, fast and smart

In 2005, Pulitzer winner Thomas Friedman observed that he then lived in a world where he can touch everyone and everyone can touch him. Hence, he ended up writing a book called The World is Flat. Fourteen years later, the world has evolved with three key forces guiding it—Market which is digital globalization, Mother Nature which is climate change and third is Moore’s Law.

The world is moving fast and also becoming smarter with machines which now have all the five senses. A cognitive learning machine called IBM Watson took 2.5 seconds to solve a riddle, defeating two all-time champions of a quiz show called Jeopardy. The world is getting faster and smarter, after it turned flat. When did this change start? In 2007.

What the hell happened in 2007?

In 2007, Steve Jobs launched the iPhone which has as much computing power as a space mission. The very same year, Facebook opened its platform to anyone who had an e-mail, vMware went public, Google bought YouTube and IBM created Watson, Netflix streamed its first video, an anonymous Japanese cryptographer came up with a paper on a currency called Bitcoin.

“2007 is the year which saw the greatest tech inflections of all times since Gutenberg. But it was all masked by what happened in 2008 which saw a deep recession,” said Friedman speaking at Nasscom 2019, and giving an insight into his new book, ‘Thank You for being Late’. He believes when the world is moving at a tremendous pace, it is important to slow down, reflect and reinvent. One thing that needs reflection is the climate change.

Mother Nature’s Killer App

Climate change is everywhere. Environmentally, the world is at a state where ‘later is now’. Anything that has to be done to save the environment, has to be done now, or else it will be too late. The economic climate has changed too where we live in an inter-dependent world instead of an inter-connected world. When China’s growth rate changes, it affects citizens in America; making the well-being of rivals as important as that of friends.

The climate of business is evolving too where companies now can use data to find needle in a haystack. But how can the world remain resilient to climate change of all sorts? The answer comes from Mother Nature which survived many changes. She has a few survival strategies up her sleeve. She is incredibly adaptive; she is entrepreneurial as she fills every blind spot with flora or fauna; she is diverse, sustainable, and experimental as she can match any soil with any plant or an animal. More importantly, she believes in the laws of bankruptcy and kill all failures, and derives energy for them to survive!

The principles of Mother Nature are fundamental and necessary now more than ever. As the world evolves at a rapid pace, many businesses, countries and even people are all set to turn irrelevant. Especially those who are not agile enough to outlast the most fundamental principle of universe, which is natural selection.

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