Embrace the fluid future

As organisations struggle with the implications of social networking and increasingly intelligent mobile tools, those who watch the future for a living warn of even bigger changes ahead. How to come to terms with this new paradigm? Forget control, writes futurist and digital ethnographer, Venessa Miemis, because “business will not return to usual”. To get a handle on the “superfluid economy”, she says, it’s critical to understand four fundamental shifts. The relentless drive to use technology to map everything will accelerate, and cheaper devices mean most of the world will soon be online, enabling users to self-organise on everything from toppling governments to neighbourhood projects. Add to that a huge question mark over the future of money amid proliferating peer-to-peer marketplaces and you have old-style capitalism on the ropes, something Michael Porter and Mark Kramer allude to in a recent call to redefine the corporation. “The legitimacy of business has fallen to levels not seen in recent history,” they write, suggesting that “shared value – which focuses on the connections between societal and economic progress – has the power to unleash the next wave of global growth”.

 

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