Humans will weather the technology storm


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History teaches that the human race learns to cope with technological disruption. They just forget that when it’s happening, finds Scott M. Bourke 

Enter Nicklas Bergman. His book Surviving the Tech Storm provides some perspective on our present malaise. Bergman’s ambition is to help the reader gain a broader perspective on, and make more effective sense of, the ‘tech storm’ that is engulfing society. Bergman references a number of case studies to support the points he makes about the intersection of leadership, technology, business strategy and innovation in exploring how we can not only survive, but evolve and move forwards in these times of uncertainty.

The book will obviously be of interest to organizations and those in leadership roles in the areas of business and innovation strategy. But its insights, guidance, and practical recommendations go far beyond these industries. Bergman addresses issues that are part of the ongoing dialogue at the community, political, and business levels of technology – and its future.

During periods of rapid change, emerging technologies tend to become almost overwhelming. While these technologies may transform society for the better in the long-term, they can be very disruptive in the short-term. Bergman’s thoughts on this, and the overall part technologies play in shaping a sustainable future, is a significant contribution to discussions about
the future.

Bergman goes into detail on how society has responded to progress, both technologically and more generally. These changes have been well documented over the years and, when analysed, show that we have responded with a fair degree of consistency throughout history. Yet Bergman also notes that society tends to lose that historical perspective during the disruptive period that often accompanies new technology. With the confusion and challenges to current methodology that emerging technology causes, it’s easy for society to only look forwards – instead of backwards – when trying to effectively resolve these ‘progressive tensions’.

Surviving the Tech Storm is more than just another ‘technology is eating the world’ tome. For individuals, groups and organizations struggling to come to terms with and successfully navigate the tech storm, Bergman’s insights and methodological framework provide the basis of a practical chart that shows the whirlpools, shallows, and protective ports in which to harbour safely.

— Dr Scott M. Bourke is an international innovation adviser and World Smart Cities Forum ambassador