Many companies have a problematic or fatalistic relationship with the future and must change it

This specialist used to talk about the future, trends related to the world of work and sustainability.

By Daniel Zwers – Strategy and Business Magazine

His word is heard and respected when dealing with issues such as the fourth industrial revolution, sustainability or artificial intelligence (AI), and impacts on the opportunities companies have – connected to these aspects – in an ever-changing world like the one we live in. .

The futuristic and cosmopolitan vision of this Swiss must be characterized by the upbringing between Italy, the United States and Canada. Professor at Harvard University, advisor to the World Economic Forum and co-founder of Nexus TechFrontier – a company dedicated to scaling artificial intelligence, helping companies be more efficient and competitive – as highlighted by the Thinkers 50, in 2016, as one of the 30 leading The world’s emerging business thinkers.

He created a framework with five corporate megatrends to better understand the world, DRIVE (Demographics, Resources, Inequality, Volatility, Firms and Their Dynamics) which is designed to help organizations and governments navigate today’s complex world, noting some of the key trajectories of social and economic events and their impact into the future.

Esposito spoke with E&N in Costa Rica, where he was giving a conference this past June.

Should the future of companies depend on technological transformation and sustainability?

sure. What happens is that we have historically focused on one or the other, imagining that they were two separate transformations that also needed separate efforts. Today, we understand that technology is a means of acceleration, transformation, not only technological, but also what the goals of sustainability are.

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Is rethinking the economy a thing happening?

I think so, on an ideological level, yes. There’s a lot of conversation today about wanting to be able to have a new growth narrative, one that no longer evolves linearly and exponentially. We are also more aware of what the planetary boundaries are, and we know that we are a finite system that does not allow for an exponential system.

We are very susceptible to this kind of ideology. At the level of inference and practice, it is much more difficult to be able to implement it because we are used to a very financial way to grow for a long time.

We need some form of transformation that is many measures, not just financial, and I think that over time some of the smaller countries – which initially started with fewer resources – have an interest in being able to prove that they can compete globally. But not in the same way that we competed in the past, with the large numbers of large countries, which had a GDP proportional to size.

And I think there is almost a common desire, globally, for an economy that can work for more people. Today we face a very powerful structural inequality problem.

You’re talking about DRIVE, about those five big trends.What should Central American companies watch closely, or should they go hand in hand?

In Central America, the demographic problem is less felt at the moment. What happens is that the problem of inequality is very significant. Technological transformation occurs as a value that people do not discuss. But we will not turn that digitization into equality.

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There is a problem: Many times we imagine that technology is enough to fix some of the problems we have encountered before.

With DRIVE, we have an inequality, which is very important, because we live in a world where the difference between what you have and what you don’t have is becoming more and more important.

R (lack of resources) and I would be the two most important measures of the megatrend in the Mesoamerican context.

Are companies failing to turn this into strategy?

What happens is that they often think that proposing a technology should be universal, simply because it has worked in the analog world, and it can also work in the technological world.

But technology does not have the same concept of trust that exists in physical systems, so we have to imagine shifting to what is the adaptation of the technological concept and social systems.

When this happens, we can imagine avoiding mistakes – which happen a lot with algorithms – in digitizing inequalities, which is what happens with many AI algorithms.

Is Central America far behind in social innovation?

For now it is still an underdeveloped area. Consumers of the service, not necessarily the establishment of the service. The cost of innovation in Central America is very high, we don’t have homegrown technology companies, and we have to import a lot.

And there are also restrictions for countries that are really small in context. There is a structural problem that prevents the region from being an innovation powerhouse.

At a time when businessmen seek to reposition themselves more in the region, there is a financial and monetary policy that helps the movement of money so that it is more open to foreign investment, and there is a policy of accepting cryptocurrencies, so, a number of investors can move to this region.

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Do Latin American companies still look back a lot, are they aware of their income statements?

There is a psychological problem that information from the past determines the perception of the future, it is an illusion of control. We need a culture that will greatly value the creation of the future as non-deterministic of the past.

Many companies have a problematic relationship with the future, and sometimes it can be fatal. I think this is what we have to change. It’s also a cultural problem.

Artificial Intelligence: Necessary Regulation

Mark Esposito believes it is necessary to “protect ourselves from the scant understanding we have of technology that moves much faster than legal systems,” as well as how other industries are regulated. “You have to protect some social structures,” he says.

“It’s a wild area now, and there are no rules.” The other big problem is information, “information, often miserable, of potential impact on business” and implies that we should imagine integrating AI into business contexts “to expand the personnel profile, not replace it.”

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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