What’s the future? We, the youth, will shape it, but how it’s gonna look like?
Not only intellectuals, politicians, business leaders, artists but also your friends, family and the man in the street will give you their opinions on how the future will look like. That it will be different, that’s certain, but how it’s gonna look like in detail will nobody predict right. Still it’s topic which interest many students, as we could see on December the 5th when the lunch lecture with Stefan Hyttfors reached full capacity.

Stefan Hyttfors opened with the shocking truth that we don’t know the future, but it doesn’t restrain us to use the sources of the future. From 08/08 this year, we are borrowing resources from the future until 31/12. If we continue this trend, we will use more than 3 times the yearly available resources available in 2050.

He continued with critics on the current solutions proposed to battle the current and future problems. Economists focus on the importance of economic growth. But we have seen that the consumption pattern in Sweden, as a result of the high economic growth, gave Sweden a place in the top ten of countries ranked by ecological footprint per capita(http://www.footprintnetwork.org/ecological_footprint_nations/ecological_per_capita.html). Politicians focus on job creation, but only 13% of the people worldwide say that they are engaged in their work (http://www.gallup.com/poll/165269/worldwide-employees-engaged-work.aspx).

So, what’s the solution? Stefan Hyttfors argues that future solutions must be based on innovation, creating more value with less resources and finding new ways to solve old problems. Still following Moore’s law means that change will never be this slow again and we will need this new technologies to create a better future. Stefan Hyttfors told us that it is predicted that 700 of 1000 biggest incumbent firms today, will disappear in the next 10 years. Mainly because they are not able to change fast enough and disruptive innovations will harm their position. The risk of ignorance, focusing too much on ROI when judging new technologies, is one of the reasons. A well known example is KODAK who didn’t listen to its employee Steve when he came up with the first digital camera, and we all know what happened after.

Stefan Hyttfors argues that the best method of creating more value with less resources is digitalizing. Digitalization means dematerialization and decentralization and involves power shifts. Technology is borderless and more powerful than Politics (limit to a place), money and an idea. It’s likely that technology, especially artificial intelligence, will replace a lot of people and so jobs in the future, another part of our jobs will change drastically.

Stefan Hyttfors gave us an interesting lecture about the innovation part of the future. But as much interesting for me is the social part, will the society be able to deal with this exponentially growing rate of innovation and changes in social structures. And will politics have enough power, courage and knowledge to create the right frame for this?
That’s the topic for another lunch lecture!