Why write this book Youthquake 4.0?
As 2017 was drawing to a close, I was saddened by the illnesses impacting my family and friends. I couldn’t wait for the year to end. Serendipitously, it was announced that the term ‘Youthquake’ was the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2017. The word not only reflected the ethos, mood and preoccupations of 2017, but was also judged as having lasting potential as a word of cultural significance. My sadness immediately dissipated, replaced by an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness. Yes, I thought, the world finally gets that it’s their (Millennials) time, and this juvenescence is a singularity for us all to embrace and celebrate.
As heartbreaking as it is witnessing loved ones’ lives evaporating, it’s important and joyous to imagine what life can be. My life’s purpose is to make the world a better place through thought leadership and those personal experiences presented me, in that moment, the gift of Youthquake. As an ambassador of this amazing Millennial generation, this was just the best news. Thoughts of Youthquake then became my happiness sanctuary.
Through this book I will explain how this remarkable generation, equipped with the most exciting technological advancements of the fourth industrial revolution, will impact all facets of our society making our world a better place.
For many years, I’ve been privileged to research how Millennials and digital technology are impacting our world. Importantly, we have now crossed two major inextricably linked inflection points that require new thinking and leadership about human and technological adaptation. The Millennial demographic has now become the largest demographic on the planet and a global phenomenon, together with next generation technologies, in shaping humanity with the fourth industrial revolution.
I’m often surprised by the number of organisations that report they are ‘customer centric’, ‘employees are engaged’, ‘stakeholders consulted’ ‘investor aligned’ and ‘technologically transformed’ yet what’s missing is an integrated strategy that puts a ‘face’ to those customers, employees, policy makers, partners and investors. If it’s about customer acquisition, ‘well that’s marketing’s area’, if it’s about employment, ‘well that’s human resources’ area’, if it’s about innovation, ‘well that’s digital’s or IT’s area’. Millennials are treated as though they have multiple lives, but they are the same people, they just don’t compartmentalise their lives like previous generations; they expect their lives to be intertwined.
I’m equally intrigued by the simultaneous fascination and anxiety that leaders have around disruption, innovation, and transformation and the treatment of these forces as though they are mutually exclusive from human capital and demographic change. Digital is often referred to it as a contemporary descriptor for the IT department.
Or what marketing and sales does to attract and sell to customers. Or what operations does to improve productivity or efficiency. What’s missing is a wholistic view and strategy on what digital means to their customers, employees, business model, the industry ecosystem within which they exist, and what this means to their organisation’s purpose in society.
These forces are not mutually exclusive, but rather symbiotic.
This book aims to be the Desiderata of how the Millennials and the fourth industrial revolution collectively influence the way we think about our social, cultural, economic and technological future – ‘a whole generation, with a new industrial revolution and they are both in motion’. I will analyse the confluence of these two inextricably linked global forces leveraging research from world-leading institutions and thought leaders to provide insights toward global challenges, economics, society, technology and innovation as we enter the fourth industrial revolution. It will transform the way you think about this remarkable generation and the influence they have and will increasingly have. It will invoke excitement to the unimaginable innovation that awaits us in the fourth industrial revolution and the many opportunities for citizens, societies and businesses that will result.
The insights in this book are for individuals, leaders and policy makers seeking to unlock opportunities by developing specific adaption or transformation strategies on the interplay between the Millennial mind and the emerging technologies in the fourth industrial revolution, as it will be these people and these emerging technologies that will influence the transformation opportunities for your organisation. Importantly, I hope these insights inspire you to consider the role you can play in adapting your organisation’s immune system that today may be resisting change. For individuals, the pursuit to make the world a better place might be one of your most rewarding life experiences. Organisations that get their juvenescence on, will become the beneficiaries of the future sources of leadership, skills, entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and pioneers of innovation and resulting profit.
Last modified: October 19, 2018