Image by Comfreak from Pixabay

Climate change and unaligned AI pose a greater existential risk than a pandemic. Could we muster the will to prevent them?

A decade and a half ago, in August of 2005, an unprecedented disaster hit the U.S. Gulf Coast. Even though its impact was more localized than the upheaval we are facing now, Hurricane Katrina caused tremendous devastation and suffering. There wasn’t much we could do to hold off the storm’s landfall, but the maintenance of levees, investment in water management, early allocation of resources commensurate with the level of risk was surely up to us.

The estimated economic cost of Katrina exceeded $161 billion, or…

Can tech enterprises really do well by doing good? Yes, they can!

A 2.6 Trillion Dollar Question We Often Forget To Ask.

Let me tell you a story of Innisfil — a little town in the middle of Canada.

It’s a quaint place in the state of Ontario — beautiful nature, terrible weather in the winter, and a peculiar urban-planning failure common to North America — a suburban sprawl.

In 2014, the city elected a new mayor, Mr. Gord Wauchope. And what the mayor soon discovered is that he had a serious public transport problem on his hands. Getting around town without a car for his 40,000 people community was no easy feat.

Keynote by Andrew Chakhoyan at Web Summit 2019. …

Proactive engagement is everything

In the age of tech-assured transparency, ‘doing well by doing good’ is bound to transform from aspiration of a few to an imperative for all. Corporate diplomats will lead the way.

The world could be a better place if only we knew when to scrap useless vocabulary and jettison antiquated ideas…

Peter Gibbons worked as a computer programmer at IniTech and he didn’t like his job. OK, let’s be frank. He really hated it. And more than that he despised his management. Well, it’s a small wonder, he reported to eight different bosses.

This misery at the office trickled into his home and his romantic relationship began to unravel. Desperate times called for desperate measures. So Peter Gibbons signed up for an occupational hypnotherapy session.

It went terribly wrong! It was a disaster! The pent-up frustration that Peter brought into the therapy session was too much for the hypnotist to take.

Corporate Wealth vs. Public Good. Could Tech Platforms Deliver Both?

Have you ever wondered how much public trust in the Tech Sector is worth? Now we know. It is at least half a trillion dollars — the amount of losses spanning the two weeks following the first revelations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. With so much value at stake, this is a moment of reckoning for the giants of Silicon Valley. It is also our chance to reimagine how the digital commons are organized and administered.

Why the Hierarchical Organization is No Longer Suited For the Challenges of the Modern Economy.

Ever wondered how did the low-budget comedy Office Space earned its cult following? It’s become a generation-defining film not for a star-studded cast or great jokes, but because it held a mirror to the contemporary society and pinpointed a problem with the workplace culture that we have all long suspected. The idea of management, as it was inherited from the industrial era, has outlived itself.

The World Bank estimates the global workforce at about 3.5 billion, and by no means would I expect, much less advocate, that those who are employed today will transition into a management-free structure in…

We’d all be better off.

The mythology of the startup world is full of epic stories. Stories of struggle, serendipity, failure, perseverance, and the journeys through the dire straits to wealth and glory. Everyone’s favorite is of course the Gates-Zuckerberg fable. You start by getting into a prestigious program just so you could drop out, launch a startup from a dorm room, and then… the tech giants of the century are born.

A less well-known story is that of Marc Benioff, who showed exceptional abilities from a young age — joining Oracle at 23 as a “Rookie of the Year” and landing a VP role…

If data are the new oil, can time be the new data?

Nimses turns your time into digital coins

Released in 2011, Justin Timberlake’s film In Time was mediocre at best. Set in 2169, it painted a grim future, where the rich are virtually immortal, as time became money, literally. In the best tradition of science fiction, this film exaggerated an idea that will likely turn into mundane reality of tomorrow and made it seem suspenseful and apocalyptic.

Yet In Time’s premise is both simple and radical: the future unit of exchange is not a dollar or Bitcoin. It is a minute of human life. …

If the future is no longer predictable, is it still imaginable?

How soon before we are economically useless?

No stranger to controversy, a Tony Stark reincarnate — Elon Musk — came out with an ominous prediction recently. “Forget North Korea, AI will start World War III” read the CNN headline. Elon Musk is not alone in fearing unintended consequences of the race to develop algorithms that we may or may not be able to control. Once a new technology is introduced it can’t be uninvented — Sam Harris points out in his viral TED talk. He argues that it’ll be impossible to halt the pace of progress, even if humankind could collectively make such a decision.

Andrew Chakhoyan

Business is “on the brink of distrust”, declared Edelman’s Barometer earlier this year. It is both telling and alarming that trust in all four institutions — government, media, business and NGOs — has deteriorated in 2017 from 2016. This trend reversal is significant given that we’ve witnessed a major rebound of trust following the financial crisis of 2008 and saw the index climb to post-recession highs — until now.

Andrew Chakhoyan

Global citizen, idealist, optimist, keynote speaker. Founder of Write for @WEF and @Futurism. Thanks for following 🙏

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