Exponential Growth & Humanity

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The only thing that is constant is change.  But the PACE of change we are living thru is completely unfathomable.  After spending several days in San Francisco, Singularity University Global Summit, amidst the greatest minds of our time, including Peter Diamandis (founder of SpaceX- aiming to get us mere humans into space) Ray Kurzweil (today’s Albert Einstein), Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen (Inventor, developer of the technology that allows us to visualize our thoughts) and Dr. Vivienne Ming (SOCOS CEO and Neuroscientist, specializing in AI), my mind is blown.  I don’t say this lightly. 

“Tomorrow’s speed of change will make today like we are crawling.” Stated Diamandis, highlighting changes in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Computation and Abundance. He queries “How do you become a Billionaire?  By helping a billion people!”  realizing that today’s greatest problems are also today’s greatest business opportunities. 

We, as a global society are headed towards abundance, there’s nothing we don’t have access to; incredible reduction in diseases due to vaccinations, lengthening life expectancy; reduction in poverty and child mortality due to increased access to resources and technology… “We are alive during a pivotal time in human history.”   

I came home empowered for complete world domination and ready to act on all my learnings, shared below: 

  1. John Hagel.  When the smart people quote this guy, you start paying attention.  He focused on GROWTH, not organic or acquired growth but the concept of “Leveraged Growth” based on the Theory of Destruction.  Sometimes, innovation can’t occur due to the prevailing baggage, so consider starting anew.  Explore establishing a new division, new service line, new organization to begin fresh and permit exponential growth. 

    He also pontificated (love this word!) on Scaling the Edges to drive transformational and exponential growth. Visualize your organization as a linear figure (a box, trapezoid, hexagon), where each line is a product/service.  Now focus on ONE of those edges to drive growth, without distractions.

    And he is a firm believer that Diversity is absolutely necessary to innovation. 
  2. What if YOU are the problem?  David Roberts’ simple question backtracks thru thought-provoking concepts to re-assess the status quo.  What if our assumptions are incorrect? What if our Learning System is wrong? What if the virus that’s supposed to kill us, saves us?   When we unite and leverage our knowledge and expertise, innovation abounds, that’s how the hole in the ozone was fixed.  “The magnificent factor in exponential growth is YOU- YOU have more power than you think.” David’s commentary so moved me, that I went ahead and purchased a cape.     
  3. Improv for Leadership- presented by Robert Poynton, a British scholar living off-the-grid in an olive farm in Spain.  No joke. He made us act out silly theatrical routines based on improvisation to drive leadership improvements-Such as Let Go.  Allowing the situation, the input and feedback from your team to drive innovation and problem solving, often yields tremendous results while increasing engagement. And my favorite, Everything is an Offer, seeking the silver lining in every opportunity. Great reminders for me and other Type-A personalities. 
  4. Stealing Fire- author Jamie Wheal began by stating that the amount of data and content we have created from the dawn of time till 2012 is now being generated every 48 hours.  Read that sentence again.  We are drowning in data and getting to the “Flow,” the point where you perform optimally is a function of balance and understanding.  As humans, we were not built for incessant and overwhelming barrage of data and activities, which today results in over 1 million suicides because we don’t have an OFF switch.

    I was pleased to hear him addressing mental health, in a global summit, with over 1600 live participants and thousands following online.  This is a priority to the continuance of our race, encouraging people to find the balance to function and contribute. 
  5. Climate Change- Paul Hawken, Executive Director of Project Drawndown proposes we can reverse global warming over the next 30 years by listing the top 100 things we can do today (please look up his plan.)  And he chose to emphasize some key actions, including empowering and educating girls.  When girls are educated, the future of the village, the country, the world and climate improves.

I’m knee-deep in awesomeness and then I glance at the news- Charlottesville, Barcelona, Statues, Neo-Nazi…  Amigos, exponential change and innovation cannot happen if we remain blind to injustice, racism and bigotry. 

My children, your children and grandchildren need a world that fosters the brilliance and potential of the human mind and imagination. Not Hatred, Not Violence, Not Intolerance. Period. 

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