Technological Tipping Points

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting occurred last week in Davos with a theme of responsive and responsible leadership. The session had me thinking back to research conducted by their Global Agenda Council in March 2015 on the Future of Software & Society. The research focused on technological tipping points and the perception of when these tipping points would occur. The responses from a community of over 800 executives and experts from the information and communications technology sector were used to produce a timeline of possible tipping points ranging from 2018 to 2027. The timeline above and the visual that follows were taken from this WEF Deep Shift report:

Our ability to gauge tipping points and understand their intersection and amplifying effects are critical to both business and society. We will be better prepared to deal with the implications of each of these shifts if we both understand the tipping points and appreciate their likely impact. At the time of the survey, results were analyzed to understand the percentage of respondents that expected the tipping point to have occurred by 2025 (10 year window). Eleven of the twenty-one transition points had a high expectation (over 80%) of occurring by this date.

We experienced an exponential pace of progress since this survey was conducted, leaving me to wonder if perceptions have changed. Has the timeline for some of these shortened? What would this survey look like if conducted today? Have leaders embraced the reality of pace? Are we better prepared now then we were over a year ago? I’d love your thoughts on the topic.



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Frank Diana

TCS Executive focused on the rapid evolution of society and business. Fascinated by the view of the world in the next decade and beyond