Perhaps one of the most daunting aspects of this unprecedented time in which we find ourselves, is just how quickly things change, particularly in the area of technology.
Never in our history has there been such a disruptive and innovative time, with new inventions and creations that would have previously been unimaginable now being churned out on what feels like a daily basis.
It can be so easy to find ourselves bogged down by this seemingly never-ending change that we can sometimes forget to ask ourselves, what is missing from the digital conversation around technology and computing?
The Conversation on Banking
One of the biggest trends of the last few years has been the mainstream emergence of cryptocurrency, most notably Bitcoin. The exponential growth of these currencies on the financial markets has invited millions of amateur investors, but a lot of time the discovery of Bitcoin begs more questions than it does answers, and sometimes it can be hard to grasp the full vision of what these cryptocurrencies represent.
Most of the time, the conversation relates really to value & how something with no physical form, or real function as of now.
What we need to be talking about is the future effect that cryptocurrencies and blockchain might have on banking and financial services. This decentralized and encrypted model has the potential to completely rebuild the banking model from the ground up and it’s something we need to talk about.
The Conversation on Work Environments
One of the most disruptive aspects of the unprecedented times we find ourselves in is the effect on workplaces and office environments.
The age of Remote Learning and well and truly swept through with millions of people forced to set up shop in a home office for what is now over a year.
But after the pandemic is over, and everything is back to “normal”, what happens then? Does everybody just go back to the office like nothing ever happened?
The clear answer to this is, no. It’s very clear that remote working is not going anywhere, anytime soon, particularly as many companies have already taken the step to give employees extended time to remote work and some of have even moved to allow employees to permanently fixate some form of remote work on their contracts.
The growing area of Co-Working Spaces and Hot Desks has seen a massive rise during the pandemic & it’s very clear that these environments offer a glimpse into our future, too.
The question of how this age of remote work will affect large urban areas and economic hubs, where physical presence was once required remains to be seen, but it’s something we need to be talking about.
The Conversation on Media Consumption
10 years ago, Netflix was available in two countries. Today, that number stands at 190 and over 400,000 hours of content are streamed per minute… and that’s just one service!
The way in which we consume our media has changed so drastically over the last decade that sometimes it is hard to stop, reflect and actually question; what did we do before this?
The scary thing is, there is so much more change to come over the next 10 years that we could be having this same conversation again in a completely different light… Definitely something worth talking about.
The mass shutdown of cinemas worldwide over the last 12 months has prompted many film studios to start distributing their films direct to streaming services or in a slightly more sustainable move, in line with theatrical releases.
Whilst shock and anguish might be felt from the hardcore cinema buffs, many do feel that keeping theatres in the conversation at all is merely delaying the inevitable and it’s important to ask ourselves, after all, that’s changed so far, what’s coming next?
The Conversation on Ownership
Another trend that is beginning to bubble into the mainstream as of recent weeks surrounds the area of Digital Ownership and NFTs.
NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens are not dissimilar to that of cryptocurrency in that they are non-physical and based on blockchain however where NFTs differ is where their primary function lies. Every single NFT is unique, bar none.
This concept has recently allowed many digital creators or artists to sell their original pieces as digital NFTs and despite some skepticism on the value of a virtual image that people can view and download for free, the phase has well and truly kicked off, with some pieces garnering up to $69,000,000 and mainstream artists such as Kings Of Leon selling the rights to their album. Some people are even selling their tweets!
Whilst it’s certainly too early to predict what might come from these NFTs, it is important we start discussing the disruption this could cause on established industries around ownership and independence, particularly when we look at Record Labels or Art Galleries, but this remains to be seen.
As we can see from above, we are missing a lot when it comes to the discussions and conversations about the worldwide digital conversation.
Whilst we may skim over these areas, or hop on the phase when we might see a profit, we sometimes tend to skip the fundamental meaning behind each of these areas and the potential change and disruption they could cause down the line.