A glance at the future, the way I see it, from Dubai.
A look back in the past, through the eyes of my grandmother.
Three pillars I consider important in my field: ▪️technology, ▪️construction and ▪️HR. The biggest events I attended last month were the Gitex, the Big 5 and the HR Summit. Smaller events related to HR were the Recruitment Tech Mena, to which we were invited as sponsor, and conferences related to Ai and Blockchain such as Global Blockchain Foundation, all attracted international professionals.
Dubai is known as the center of technology and construction. With a population of 3.2 million people, Dubai ranks first in terms of its value and still has many mega projects in the pipeline. For instance, there is the upcoming Hyperloop One project that has really blown away my mind. The partnership with DP World and Virgin gives us the opportunity to travel within 13 minutes from Dubai to Abu Dhabi (a trip that today still takes 1,5 hours by car - without traffic). The Hyperloop technology, propelled by compressed air and induction motors, enables travelling up to 1077 km/h through a vacuum tube.
It's an excellent example of how everything changes into an extremely high speed. Literally and figuratively. 1077 km/hours... 670 mph/h... 299m/s...
I can no longer count how many times I have heard how fast the world is changing.
I'm only 35 (I'm still quite young, right?) but to be honest, I cannot imagine that my grandparents did not say exactly the same thing 35 years ago. Isn't this the same returning old story? Am I the only one who gets a bit bored about this sentence? Or am I really hearing it too much, that it's just my 'mission' to warn others about this fast-going story? Maybe this is just life. Life always changed quickly, but it was just in each generation in a different way...
Curious as I am, I went to my 80 year old grandmother and asked her the question: "Grandma, tell me, isn't this the same old story from 35 years ago, when you were 45 years old, how fast did life go back then?" First reaction was: "Oh dear..., my child, I'm sure if my mother, your great-grandmother, would come back today, she would return immediately."
But I said, "That's not my question, I want to know how you all responded to new technological changes."
To my surprise, and now I know from where I have my curiosity, she responded:
“There was always something new on the market. For us it was like we had gold in our hands, but we weren’t very much impressed after a while..."
She thought about her mother (who died when she was 96, and I can still remember her as a quick and energetic lady), and continued: “Because she wanted to know what everything was, and how it worked, she just bought it all. She always wanted to have the latest things. When she came home with a new electronically device, she did a demonstration for the whole family and neighbourhood."
This part made me laugh. I see myself in her, how I am now, how I always want to explain ideas, give keynotes - and yes, of course - also buy new things. I clearly see the comparison with my great-grandmother: always on the road, always looking for new stuff, and always want to learn new ways to people.
A wonderful story that came to light.
To conclude, my grandmother said: “It's a fact that there was a time when new things were constantly emerging, but it's not comparable to the speed as it is now going. It was going a bit more smoothly and evenly and we got time to adapt."
I must conclude that we were always on a fast lane. It was just in a different shape and with a different mentality. We always thought we had time. And so it was. There was no hurry. Now the game has changed and there are different rules. It's going very fast and there is less time to adapt, actually we have to adapt almost immediately. Luckily, we have several tools to make it easier to adapt and more importantly: to SUCCEED. And it's this last one that we have to bear in mind.
Yes, we have to go fast if we want to succeed in life and especially in business. Because if we don't go fast, our competitor will.
What are you focusing on?
- The past: still thinking there is plenty of time left and refusing to grow up?
- The present: asking the question 'what will it be?' and wondering how much time is left?
- Or do you focus on the future by exploring the boundaries of new possibilities?
Written with nostalgia & focussing on the future,