2020 Vision from North America
Today, we stand on the horizon of a new decade. As we look ahead, there is little doubt that the next one – the 2020s – will be “the decade of blockchain”. We are at the edge knee of the S-curve, collectively heading towards inevitable exponential growth. At the nexus of it all is the convergence of technologies. What we humans are building is the next intelligence greater than its own intelligence, a planetary intelligence. With a planetary intelligence us humans will be driven towards a Type I Civilization, a planetary civilization that can use and store all of the energy available on its planet.
Imagine now that the whole earth is the body, the system of systems, the framework upon which all else is grown from. The first internet is this parent system of systems. The first internet stores, retrieves, and transfers Information. The second internet stores, retrieves, and transfers Value (aka blockchain). With the Internet of Things the Internet of information body gets sensory inputs from the whole, and in new ways never sensed before. With Artificial Intelligence this new planetary intelligence emerging from the convergence starts to make sense of these new data inputs, these new senses… it starts to think, but with an imperfect, changeable, filtration of thoughts. Add blockchain and it now has a perfect, immutable collective memory. For the first time in human history, Winston Churchill’s famous “history is written by the victors” will no longer be true. Now humanity has a communal way that all histories will have a chance to be remembered in their unaltered form. We will all write history together. All perspectives and angles of history will be forever remembered, not just from the victor’s point of view.
Living and traveling the globe one with an open mind will quickly come to realize that there is no Single Source Of Truth that we humans tell ourselves as the original memory, our story. We humans do not remember the same histories from different parts of the world with perfection, without changing or omitting some details whether on purpose or accidentally, and without fault. What was learned in USA’s history class, especially of world events, is not the same stories that have been taught in other schools in Brasil for example. Now, with blockchain, humanity has a chance to help others remember more, more perfectly, and hold each other accountable to the truth, all of them. More truth, and truer and truer trues is progress for all of humanity, together; from separation, towards unity.
That is why this is a delicate time that should take much pause for consideration, and careful responsible experimentation, but a lot of it! In a digital world, how do we build, break, rebuild stronger while remaining responsible to ourselves, to the earth, and to each other? We do it with hackathons!
What if the Governments with problems and challenges, and the Techies with solutions got together for the interest of the public good? What would that look like?
Well, they did! And it looked like this.
In Q4.2019 the state (Georgia Department of Transportation), and county (Forsyth and Cumming), got together at an incubator (Digital Ignition), and proposed their existing challenge around traffic lights, sensors’ data, and intersections to see who could come up with the safest solution crowdsourced from the citizens over a weekend! This winner then received the prize money from GDOT to build out the solution for all of Georgia’s traffic lights! GBA-Atlanta Chapter was honored and proud to co-sponsor the event, and help promote awareness, and recruit hackathon teams such as T-Mobile. There were 15 teams and the ultimate winner was a team of TWO people!
Now, these are my major takeaways from this experience:
- David (a team of 2) can beat Goliath (Fortune 50 companies). This is great for citizens, because that means that the best solution truly can come from the ground up, and not just necessarily those with the biggest marketing budgets who are force-feeding their canned solutions, and clocking billable hours from the top down.
- Government itself can catalyze innovation. While there was a “prize”, in reality, it was a government contract. This could potentially be our greatest demonstration yet of a new system for winning government contracts, and truly the best solution provider will come out on top, not just the ones that know how to game the government contract system the best or the ones with the biggest marketing budgets! This is great for citizens! If anyone has worked with, in, or around the government contracting system surely they will tell you it was a smooth, and absolute delight… NOT! More fluidity in government contracting system is a win for both the public and private sector, which ultimately is to serve its citizens better.
What if GBA’s 100+ international chapters served to help facilitate, and catalyze this progress? What if GBA Chapters become a key ingredient for innovation hubs? What if GBA Chapters become innovation hubs?
Looking back distracts from the now. Now, let us look forward to the future with 2020 Vision!