I just returned from 3 inspiring days at the Singularity University Global Summit, sharing ideas and exploring new pathways with colleagues, friends and technology thought leaders. The event was an incredible gathering, drawing over 1400 attendees from more than 60 countries - all looking for and sharing insights on the future of technology, of the planet, and of the billions of living beings that inhabit her.
Since first joining Singularity U in 2011, I have met some of the world’s most brilliant minds and learned more about the power of exponential technologies for creating global impact than I have in nearly any other leadership community. The innovative breakthroughs and accelerating pace of change never cease to amaze me.
Despite all the growth and opportunities for addressing global challenges – in health, education, energy, food, climate change and more, I become clearer and clearer each time about one of our greatest Global Challenges – building our human capacity to cope and thrive in a world with constantly accelerating rates of change, information overload and exponential increases in disruptive stress.
For there are a few known factors in our highly unpredictable future:
1) Information Overload:
As Jamie Wheal highlighted in his inspired presentation, there is a high volume of information released in a 48 hour period today than there was from the beginning of humankind up through 2012.
2) Exponential Growth In Technological Advances:
Just as Singularity U co-founder and Google’s lead futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted in the Singularity is Near and has proven this time and time again linking exponential growth in computing power and technology to Moore’s law.
3) Exponential Increase in the rate of change and Disruption:
While new, more efficient and transparent models are likely to immerge, creating what X-Prize & SU Founder Peter Diamandis refers to as an age of Abundance, most of the major institutions and legacy systems we have come to know and depend on are likely to collapse.
Possibly the greatest variable at hand is whether humankind can adapt quickly enough, and whether our leadership, as SU VP David Roberts warns, will have the character to choose from a place of inclusion, compassion and wisdom. Our basic human operating system is not equipped to adapt to the volume of information and rate of disruption coming our way, without taking committed measures to develop our inner resources.
To face this human challenge, we need resources and tools for staying balanced, mindful and connected under excessive stress and in the midst of overwhelm and disruption. It is no coincidence that they tend to be the same tools that build good moral character: resilience, creativity, adaptability, discipline, compassion, balance, community, mindfulness, love and wellbeing.
Fortunately, we have the knowledge and resources available to draw from, should we choose to use it. If we look close enough, we can see amazing opportunities for accelerating growth through the mindful convergence of ancient wisdom, neurobiology, inner sciences, new technology, spirituality and modern psychology. We are seeing an explosion in areas like meditation, yoga, personal development, community building, music and tools for global connectivity.
The leadership of the future will be built from the inside out, and those who master the inner skills will become the guides for those who are wandering lost in the storm.
About the Author: In addition to creating original music and films, Frank Fitzpatrick speaks around the world, and consults leaders and organizations, on the Technologies of Emotion; the Power of Music, creating social impact; and leveraging media and technology for good. More at FrankFitzpatrick.com and EarthTones.org.