SADC Industrialisation Week 2017 - Post Event Information

Working Group

Day 1 - Duncan Cass-Beggs, OECD s addresses the importance of foresight

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 10 August 2017 7:00 AM SAST
Janice Scheckter photo

An introduction to one scenario being explored at the OECD

We know many of the disruptive factors.

1. Cloud computing

2. The internet of things

3. Artificial Intelligence 

4. Robotics

5. Virtual reality workspaces

6. Blockchain

7. Synthetic biology

8. Telepresence

These are just some of the pieces, but what happens when these pieces all come together. As these technologies rapidly advance, it's not easy to predict what the next disruptive business model is.  

One of the key factors in global value chains - DIME. The digitally intermediated mesh economy - imagine you decide new shoes are needed;

* you photograph your foot and captured is your size, your gait etc. 

* this may go to some designers who then feedback a data file and

* the data is sent through to tasking AI which 

* may look at a local 3D print shop - best bid is chosen and 

* item produces and sent to

* AI logistics and 

* the item is sent to an automated receiving box

What this demonstrates is the kind of transformation that is in the intangible area but it could as easily move into more tangible spaces. So what are the implications? Some possibilities are;

* more virtual workers - in other words, people could live anywhere and chose to work virtually 

On the corporate side it becomes about lean virtual manufacturer. 

This is really about the growth of disruptive new business models. We're familiar with Netflix, Amazon, Airbnb, but we're open to a whole lot more businesses coming. 

We need to consider what this means to free trade between countries and regions as most of lean manufacture takes place locally. 

What these are intended to be is broad 'provocative' assumptions and to get the audience thinking about how there are both gains and disruptions but to ensure that it benefits all. 

So what if:

most global trade is in digital files

most work could be performed from anywhere

This is worth exploring. 

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