Who determines the exit in the modern world?

Posted by on 10:12 PM in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Illsutration Article 08 Final-01

The news of a personal electricity-powered Tesla Model S crashing into a truck as a result of an error of the auto-pilot mode that was activated at the time and killing the driver has prompted people to question yet again whether we are ready to surrender our decision making to machines and to what extent we should trust them with our properties and lives.

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors, has expressed his condolences and stated that this is the first accident ever after the system has been used for more than 130 million miles, while a motor vehicle death occurs every 60 million miles worldwide. In addition, each car notifies its drivers to keep their hands on the wheel the entire time while the auto-pilot mode is on. This incident has shaken the entire driverless industry but also the confidence of many companies and institutes that are developing future vehicles, artificial intelligence, robotic innovation, and other inventions.

Even though there is no definite conclusion at the moment, this serves as a lesson that should prompt every party involved to take a hard and careful look again at the safety of artificial intelligence as decision making in emergencies requires skills, instinct, and consideration of the unusually complex circumstances. Even a leading advocate for innovation like Musk said, “At one point, artificial intelligence might become humanity’s biggest existential threat.” Similarly, a number of institutes have proposed that we should design robots that understand human emotions or possess more humanity and empathy.

Empathy, or the ability to put oneself in others’ shoes and adopt their perspectives, is nothing new. (Read a short history of design thinking here.) When an innovation fails or does not meet the needs of the target group, most of the time, one reason for it is that designers do not investigate consumer behavior and overlook human diversity. Nowadays, empathy-driven design has become an integral instrument for every profession, from executives and automakers to politicians and medical professionals.

José Gomez-Marquez, an avid inventor and medical equipment designer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes that the people who spend more time with patients than doctors and thus witness more problems with medical care are nurses. Therefore, he established a maker space called “MakerNurse” within the University of Texas Medical School, through which doctors and nurses can share work experience, problems, and opinions, not only to seek solutions or create new medical instruments with design thinking but also to enable them to co-design better experience for those visiting the hospital on the basis of empathy.

Even Microsoft, often criticized for developing outdated innovation, has turned its attention to identifying unmet needs. Kat Holmes, the director responsible for the development of the intelligent personal assistant Cortana on Windows OS (an analog of Apple’s Siri), has found that previously the team focused too much on the engineering and forgot to study user behavior and question why anyone would want this personal assistant. Therefore, Holmes has caught the attention of many as one of the new generation of designers who might pull Microsoft through its crisis.

Let’s get back to Elon Musk. Tesla’s plan to create a completely driverless vehicle and SpaceX, Musk’s collaboration with NASA aimed at sending a rocket to Mars for exploration, seem to demonstrate humanity’s hubris and desire to overcome its own limitations. However, the principles behind self-driving cars, energy management, and space exploration for a new habitable world all point to mankind’s desire for survival, better lives, and readiness for future challenges, ranging from extreme climatic patterns to the explosion of human population to over 9.7 billion in 2050 while the need for natural resources, fossil fuels, and biomass will triple by the same year. The world is also being ushered into the era of hyperconnectivity, where hypertransparency in every aspect is called for. As such, the transition to the 4.0 era is accompanied by almost limitless opportunities for life, job creation, and businesses. At the same time, it will represent both capital and risks for manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and consumers to adapt to. However, eventually, all the advancement will amount to nothing if it fails to truly meet the needs of the users.

To shape the direction of the future, it is necessary to study and understand the behavior and needs of individual humans, not just to make the fewest mistakes possible but to imbue technology with more humanity and enable it to correctly identify and satisfy user needs or even help humans make better decisions.

Join us in our quest for new solutions and exits at CU 2016: EXIT this October

“Meet four people helping to design the future of microsoft”
“Tesla has just put in an offer to acquire SolarCity”
“Regulators Open Investigation Into Fatal Crash in Tesla on Autopilot”
“World Population Prospects The 2015 Revision” by the United Nations
“Humanity Can and Must Do More with Less: UNEP 2011” by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)




Micro-Moments: New Consumer Behavior and Changing the Business Game

Posted by on 10:01 PM in 2016 | No Comments

Illsutration Article 08 Final-01

As brands around the world are shaken by the changing consumer behavior—purchase decisions literally in their hands with the help of smartphones that deliver information quickly, the up-to-date speed now doesn’t seem to be fast enough to catch up with the consumers. The emergence of “micro-moments,” or the split seconds of decision-making that lead to huge impacts, compels businesses to promptly adapt themselves. In the end, the brands that can cater to the consumers more quickly and accurately are the ones that have more opportunities.

Having always served as a link between brands and consumers, Google has coined the term “Micro-Moments” to describe the new consumer behavior. These comprise three main elements: reflexive action, immediate needs, and loyalty to needs. Reflexive action is when consumers act on reflex to consult their smartphones for what they want because smartphones can spontaneously respond to the needs, whether it’s the need to discover, to learn, or to buy. Closely connected to this is the second element of micro-moments, immediate needs. This refers to when consumers’ desire is triggered, and instead of being confined by traditional limitations, consumers now have other options that can respond to their needs in a better and more convenient fashion. Since the consumers of today have high expectations and little patience, businesses need to develop marketing with better quality and efficiency than before. The last element of micro-moments is loyalty. When consumer satisfaction and purchasing power are the origin of micro-moments, brands need to strive to anticipate and respond to these needs in such a way that impresses them enough to make the brands their number one choice.

One business that demonstrates these micro-moments when a business can perfectly and distinctly satisfy consumers is Airbnb. Today’s travelers want experiences that are more than a check-in photo taken at a destination’s landmark, but ones that allow them to access the local feels as much as possible. Often, they search for restaurants, cafés, or galleries frequented by the locals and check the directions on Google Maps before setting foot out of the hostel. For this, local businesses need to design their marketing schemes to attract visitors as quickly as possible and influence and their Google-based decisions or in-the-moment perspectives. Another example is Coca Cola and their focus on the millennials (Gen M), who grew up with technology, like self-expression, and love social media presence. Coca Cola devised a campaign allowing customers to write their names on the bottle labels, which speaks directly to this generation’s needs and renders every ‘share’ more meaningful than ever.

In Thailand, Google has revealed that over 70% of Thai people’s access to the online and multiscreen world is done via smartphones. The searches for specific products on the Internet make up for 35%. Of this, price searches come in first at 51%, followed by promotions and remaining stocks at second and third places. In light of this, brands can then create strategies that give their potential customers the exact information they search for right away.

Consumers’ online navigation today has changed tremendously from before. Their shared information, thoughts, QAs, feedback, reviews, and spontaneous experience are the driving force for a change in the creation of content, commercials, promotions, and marketing schemes. How can a business outshine others among a multitude of players? In what way must brands direct themselves in order to survive? Join us and discover the answer at CU 2016: EXIT this October.

“Micro-Moments“ from thinkwithgoogle.com
“Google’s Micro-Moment: Why It’s A Game Changer For CMOs” from forbes.com
“In-depth Consumer Data (Thailand)” from consumerbarometer.com

Artificial intelligence and the blurred lines

Posted by on 07:54 AM in 2016 | No Comments

Illsutration Article 08 Final-01

The world was gripped by the Terminator, which depicts the future world and the life of a half-robot man, and again in 2013 by Her, where an operating system in the future is shown to be imbued with human qualities. What the two blockbusters have in common is the ability of a machine or artificial intelligence to closely imitate certain human potentials. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a manmade innovation that transcends human limitations and is inching its way into our lives in the forms of Siri and receptionist robots in hotels, with which we can interact with voice commands. It is even said that “Everything invented in the past 150 years will be reinvented using AI within the next 15 years.” All this begs a question: What will happen if many things that used to be merely a fantasy have now been realized in the modern world and there is a possibility that only more will follow suit?

The World Economic Forum has revealed a list of ten world-changing technologies for 2016. Among them is Open AI ecosystem, which bolsters AI’s efficiency with direct data from humans. This echoes the focus of the ADAPT Center of Trinity College, one of the world’s leaders in machine learning. The center studies communication processes, natural language acquisition, deep learning technology, and computational linguistics One of ADAPT’s studies is a collaboration with Prof. Nick Campbell that allows machines, applications, and other digital devices to think and express themselves naturally. As an example, Campbell mentioned the HERMES Project, which involves designing a robot that can converse with the visitors and record the conversations into its database to improve its ability to achieve the most natural speech. This has resulted in a machine or mechanism that can perceive its environment and “socialize” appropriately for the time and place, not blurting out something when silence is welcome or able to interpret signals such as laughter during conversation as the most appropriate and efficient period to convey a message to its interlocutors.

AI is hardly developed specifically for industries and research, but also for something closer to our daily lives such as the tourism service website Booking.com. The popular website has revealed that its mobile users will encounter an AI that predicts their needs and provides a personalized experience for each of them, based on their prior itinerary patterns recorded in the system. While this has been piloted only in Amsterdam, the system is expected to be launched and accommodate over a million users in the future. AI is a technology that can bring interesting features to a business’s services as it connects the business with its users as well as enables it to quickly learn both specific and in-depth information from the users to be processed efficiently. In the future, the success of a business may be hinged upon its ability to combine its potential to accommodate users with user connectivity.

Currently, AI is still being continuously developed to help and serve in place of humans in some areas where human limitations present a challenge. This is a new exit of the future, where humanity and the potential of machines intersect, forming parts of each other and complementing each other at the same time, resulting in new opportunities for us to reconsider humanity, society, economy, and environment as well as explore possible applications of the technology. AI is, thus, no longer just a figment of our collective imagination portrayed in sci-fi films, but is an information technology that, once its full potential can be tapped, may change our society and economy forever. How will humans co-exist with technology, and what are some of the new opportunities. Join us to find answers at CU 2016: EXIT this October.

“How artificial intelligence will transform your business” from telegraph.co.uk
“How artificial intelligence is the next stage of evolution” from theplaidzebra.com
“Booking.com anticipates mobile users’ purchase intent with AI-driven experience” from mobilecommercedaily.com

Big Data: When data makes the world go round

Posted by on 08:23 PM in 2016 | 3 Comments

Illsutration Article 08 Final-01

Fifteen years ago, the number of internet users was a mere 400 million people. However, this year, that number has shot to a whopping three billion people, with over two billion user accounts across social media platforms. Since people bade farewell to their desktop PCs at home, they have started to make all their online connections via their cell phones, be it their status posts detailing their feelings, news articles shared online, photos of their favorite coffee joints and vacations both in the country and abroad they post, and live recorded video clips, all of which snowball into an avalanche of big data that grows in magnitude each day as users create new content every second.
Let’s have a look at just how massive the amount of data is. Imagine that based on the statistics of what happens in the online world each minute:

• Siri on IOS has to answer 99,206 user questions.
• DropBox users upload 833,333 files to their DropBox.
• Google translated roughly 69,500,000 words.
• Amazon makes 222,283 USD (7-8 million THB).

Every thought and decision of users has transformed into valuable data and created new opportunities for businesses that exploit direct in-depth data they garner from users. However, to increase their value from this data, expertise and new instruments are required. To use an analogy, data is bricks, and in order to build a strong wall, cement, or “data analysis,” is needed to connect these bricks and put them together. Therefore, it is the ability to screen, analyze, and enrich the data at hand that will set a business apart and put it ahead of others. As such, data scientists have risen as a profession to keep our eyes on in the 21st century.

The British government has set a premium on big data as one of the eight world-changing technology as well as allocated budgets to support national development, using the mass amounts of data to enhance the country’s potential. One evident application of big data is Sportify’s ability to select next songs that we will be pleased with. Big data can also be applied to the elevation of quality of life, such as the Route to Diagnosis Project by the National Cancer Intelligence Network, in which patient data from 2006-2013 was collected to inform the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer in risk groups. The data is classified according to the demographic groups, responsible organizations, services provision, and personal information so as to allow searches for patients and appropriate treatment in a timely fashion. Another example is the London-based startup CityMapper, a tourist application that gathers data on buses, trains, subways, and Uber to enable its users to identify the quickest and safest route. Starting out as a humble startup, CityMapper has expanded its services to over 30 countries and become available in cities such as Madrid, Sao Paolo, and San Francisco, boosting its value to 11.4 trillion THB – an astounding growth that owes its capital to user data.

Big data has grown by 90% just in the past two years alone, thanks to the unprecedented variety and swiftness of data flows. As brands can now utilize user data to offer new experience to their customers and marketers and advertising agencies can incorporate the data that they have into the brand’s story, big data has become a tool with which a business can empower itself and create strengths as long as consumer behavior remains inextricable from the online world and this new connectivity continues to link cultures and break through barriers of the old world. Certainly, the use of big data should be informed by ethical awareness of privacy. Similarly, governments and business must also ensure that its utilization of users’ personal data is for the benefit of society – a much-debated topic for the world that is going through a transition. As the digital world is expanding and the rhythm we are familiar with is accelerating like never before, prepare yourself and step into the world revolutionized by data with us at CU 2016: EXIT this October.

“The big data explosion sets us profound challenges – how can we keep up?” from theguardian.com
“The total network: how the internet of things is reshaping our world” from theengineer.co.uk
Cambridge Big Data Project from bigdata.cam.ac.uk

E-Marketplace: Opportunity amid Changing Business Trends — What Have We Learned from the Success of Etsy?

Posted by on 07:06 PM in 2016 | One Comment


Amid the uncertain global situations, the digital market is still the foundation of 2016’s economy, connecting producers, consumers, and entrepreneurs around the world, while emerging platforms and online markets have the potential to compete with, and triumphing over, old businesses in satisfying specific unfulfilled needs of the consumers. Today, we see the growth of service businesses offered by unfamiliar names like Airbnb, Didi — China’s taxi service application with 80% market share and over one billion USD investment from Apple, or streaming media like Netflix. This combination of technology and service design demonstrates that, even without ownership, a wider range of people can access particular products simultaneously. This also means lower costs and production resources compared to industrial manufacturing. Since everyone can be both entrepreneurs and customers, the business model has grown exponentially complicated, which is a challenge that the entrepreneurs of today need to crack.

In the golden age of the three musketeers of e-commerce like Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay, Etsy is one of the few online markets that has emerged to the forefront of the industry. It has approximately 25 million members, of which around 1.6 million are active individual producers, and boasts around 2.39 billion USD revenues from product sales per year . In fact, Etsy’s success derives from providing people with an online platform to start their own business at a cheaper cost, complete with online storefronts to communicate with customers and exchange ideas with other entrepreneurs. Also, Etsy’s focus on the niche market of arts and crafts gives the website its brand identity as “a community for arts and crafts lovers around the world.” Its strong craft culture has created a “people-powered economy,” or an economy driven by small groups of individuals, and contributed to the website’s reputation as the leader of the maker culture today.

Apart from that, Etsy has also cracked the code that in order to expand the business further, it needs an ecosystem that is conducive to long-term business growth. Realizing the limitations of handmade products, such as lengthy production periods, Etsy has developed its second-phase platforms called “Etsy Wholesale” and “Etsy Manufacturing.” Etsy Wholesale connects entrepreneurs to wholesaler networks with the purpose of expanding customer bases, while Etsy Manufacturing serves as a directory of individual producers. These two platforms are launched first in USA and Canada to maximize the entrepreneurs’ capacity to meet the rapidly increasing demand. Another new feature aimed at connecting online users with the offline world is “Etsy Local,” which shares updates on users who attend community events all over the world. Furthermore, with a vision that the new generation has shown a tendency to start businesses and, in turn, play a significant role in this market, Etsy has launched the “Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship” program, in which the new generation can learn directly from Etsy entrepreneurs how to transform their crafts into real businesses.

As for Thailand, Bain & Co. has predicted that online stores and e-commerce in Thailand will show a prospect of growth and generate as much as 15% of domestic retail revenues by 2024, as proportionate to the increase in smartphone users to 58 percent of all cellphone users in 2015 (Nielsen Thailand, 2015). However, Alibaba’s advance into the Southeast Asian market and its recent purchase of Lazada, a big e-commerce business in the region, have stirred anxiety among businesses and individual entrepreneurs in Thailand about losing regional growth opportunities and market shares to the Chinese giant as Alibaba has advantages in much higher manufacturing capacity and cheaper costs. At the same time, in preparation for a full-scale headway into the online market, the Central Group has prepared for the competition by purchasing Zalora, a fashion e-commerce operating in Thailand and Vietnam. Nevertheless, the pattern of consumption these days has grown more and more complex; purchase decisions are not made spontaneously whether in virtual or physical stores. Consumers gather their information through research online and at storefronts prior to making their decision to buy an item. The final channel of buying then depends on the convenience and price that are satisfactory to them.

This means that without insights into consumer behavior, even an online giant like Alibaba will not be able to fully dominate this market. Most importantly, consumers are always seeking new alternatives that better satisfy their specific needs. This is the challenge of the online market that requires businesses to discover and find their own niche like Etsy, employ big data analyses to adjust their business strategies that cater to the consumers, as well as develop omnichannels to reach customers, or simply band together to create a ‘new way out’ once again.

After all, nothing is set in stone, and history keeps reminding us that the mighty can always fall.

For more information, join us at CU 2016: EXIT this October.


“Is the e-commerce shopper journey truly digital?” by Nielsen Co., Ltd. (Thailand)



FinTech is coming: The new financial technology in the startup age

Posted by on 05:48 PM in 2016 | 2 Comments


Just as the advent of Uber sent a shockwave through the entire chain of transportation systems around the world, FinTech is here to disrupt every finance-related activity, potentially giving the financial industry and banks a run for their money.

Nowadays, all eyes are on Southeast Asia as a new market for startups and e-commerce boasting a potential that rivals that of China thanks to its population of over 630 million people, no less than 250 of whom are internet users. While Indonesia has the largest population and in turn the highest demand, startups in Singapore have drawn in tremendous amounts of international capitals. In Thailand, startups have started to burgeon and attracted more investments, growing exponentially from 1-2 startups to 71 and successfully raising approximately 18 million dollars in the first trimester this year. This demonstrates that ample opportunities are awaiting newcomers, and among those is FinTech or financial technology.

FinTech has gained serious momentum as a result of the growth of online shopping businesses and startups, which has prompted manufacturers, consumers, and even investors to seek alternatives that meet their needs for niche services and cater to their daily lives through the screen everywhere around the clock.
In fact, FinTech is a startup business that provides financial services, incorporating the internet and cloud computing to enhance financial transactions ranging from payments, transfers, savings, loaning, and fundraising to financial consultancy and insurance sales for greater convenience and compatibility with digital economy. Scholars and financial institutes predict that this innovation will soon replace the financial services provided by banks as the same services are offered with greater efficiency and at lower fees, if any. An example is LINE Pay’s payment and transfer services that home in on online vendors. Likewise, commercial banks and private companies are also adjusting to the trend and rolling out services such as AIS’s mPAY and True’s TrueMoney, while UOB Bank has joined forces with 2P2C, one of Thailand’s first FinTechs, to develop software and applications for online payments.

FinTech has taken a step forward by creating online-to-offline linkage. For instance, Rabbit LINE Pay has initiated a joint venture with BTS Holdings Co., Ltd., the provider of BTS Skytrain’s Rabbit Cards, to launch Rabbit Line, which converges online and offline payment and enables customers to shop online or with offline merchants that participate in the program as well as pay BTS fares via smartphones.

The burgeoning of sharing economy has also given rise to financial service businesses that create more access to funding and loans/credit via online platforms, such as Online crowdfunding such as Asiola and MeeFund, Equity-based crowdfunding such as DreamakerEquity, in which dividends are paid in the form of the startup’s shares and partnership and Peer-to-Peer lending such as PeerPower, in which lenders and borrowers may engage in a direct exchange and determine their own interest rates and periods of payment.

FinTech also provides a solution for modern businesses, where agility is required to adjust the products and services to meet users’ needs and to exploit big data to increase the accuracy of investment analyses to handle risks without biases. Startups are also given more alternatives in various phases of crowdfunding, from capital injection and scale expansion to profit generation. At the same time, the scenario presents a true challenge for private companies and the governmental sector, which need to quickly adapt to consumers’ shifting behavior in using financial services. An example of such an effort is the government’s digital banking 4.0 policy. Collaborations with FinTech have increased investment opportunities for overseas joint ventures. In this era, those who underestimate or turn a blind eye to the trend may have their market share stolen and even get dethroned with ease, especially as online blockchain transaction systems are dominating the world and will eventually replace cash with digital currencies.

For more information, join us at CU 2016 this October.

Article: “PwC says FinTech is a game changer in Thailand’s financial industry, suggesting immediate adjustment”

Smart City: the future for greater quality of life

Posted by on 09:01 AM in 2016 | No Comments


Singapore is utilizing technology to advance its urban planning by “upgrading” its city, creating 3D models of its entirety with data collected from real-time cameras in order to handle traffic problems or potential disasters. In so doing, this island country has shown that developing a “smart city” does not necessarily involve advances that are at odds with the residents, but can be achieved with innovation that is accessible and practical for people in every social milieu.

A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate and utilize information and communication technology to manage a city’s assets, with the chief goal of enhancing the quality of life of the citizens by improving the services to better satisfy their needs through communication technology. This idea, however, is hardly a ready-for-use toolset that is readily applicable to every city in the world as each has its own unique conditions in terms of the development level, the citizens’ willingness to cooperate and create changes, resource limitations, and cultural differences. Therefore, the development of a smart city requires four development factors, namely institutional, physical, social, and economic infrastructures, to attain its goals and sustainability, using smart technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to drive the development. The results of this type of urban development manifest themselves in the better quality of life of the citizens thanks to the clean and sustainable environment, better educational institutes, libraries, public transport systems, hospitals, power generation facilities, water supply networks, waste management, and more efficient, innovation-driven community services.

In Thailand, if we look at a smaller scale like a “district,” we can see a prototype of a creative district in the project “Co-Create Charoenkrung,” which applies design thinking to co-creation between creative urban experts, designers, and stakeholders in the district, who have, for the first time, come together to help define the “creative district.” They do so by creating 1:1 scale models on the actual site so that both residents and visitors could use them and contribute to their development. The five attendant creative projects include Re-Creating Public Riverfront, which aims to create an identity for the zone and raise public awareness of the area as a new destination; the Adaptive Re-use of Abandoned Shop Houses, which results in an incubator for creative citizens through various activities; the Green Pocket Landscape, which creates a network of green areas for people; Reconnecting Local Alleys, which aims to develop a convenient commuting network to attract visitors and stimulate the local economy; and Signage for a Walkable District, which results in signage that not only gives visitors information of the landmarks in the area but also captures the district’s identity. Although these are merely prototypes, they can serve as an inspiration for other districts that wish to boost their competitive advantage in the new economy. The best part is everyone can take part in this type of creative district design effort.

Join us to find new answers and solutions at CU 2016 this October

บทความ What is Smart city จาก smartcities.gov.in
บทความ Urban planning tools synthesize and collect data to improve the quality of city life โดย Jennifer Formichelli
บทความ Smart cities will be necessary for our survival โดย Madhumita Venkataramanan

Are skills the answer amidst future robot-human competition?

Posted by on 08:06 PM in 2016 | No Comments


It can hardly be denied that a shift towards a digital world has irrevocably altered every aspect of life in the 21st century. Our daily activities are fed into digital systems that are connected via information networks. Along the same vein, IBM’s product that generates buzz is no longer a mere computer, but a super computer called IBM Watson that boasts human-like cognition. So, it comes as no surprise that intelligent technologies and automatic systems are creeping in and gradually replacing human labor, rendering the prospect of having machines as colleagues a real possibility and a common sight in the near future. On the other hand, technology with greater intelligence has also allowed designers and those in other spheres to apply other disciplines to their existing knowledge or engage in interdisciplinary collaboration in order to create innovation, which helps expand their roles and capacity to keep up with shifts in needs in the market and manufacturing.

Early this year, the World Economic Forum published a Human Capital Report, predicting that over seven million jobs might disappear by 2020 due to the advancement of digital technology, the emergence of aging societies, resource shortages, and other environmental factors. At the same time, approximately 2.1 million jobs will arise, all of which will be related to new technology, namely artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and big data management. For instance, the requirements for a good executive in the future may no longer be restricted to managerial skills or human resources development skills but will expand to planning anthropologically-oriented work systems among employees, machines, and tools as well as developing the organization to ensure its relevance. Surgeons, for example, may collaborate with organ designers and material researchers in transplanting a 3D-printed organ. Similarly, we may see more user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designers who develop AR- and VR-integrated multimedia in our everyday lives, as accomplished by Pokemon Go.The report also states that future employment will rely chiefly on an individual’s skills, knowledge, and expertise. “Job positions” will play a much less significant role and may no longer have a clear definition as each job requires a skillset rather than a skill. In other words, it is skills that will indicate who holds the potential to be further developed for the world in the future.

Among professions that are on the rise, the one that we would keep our eyes on is data scientists. Managing the scattered constellation of both offline and online data, they are experts on creating mathematical models from data or machine learning analyses to predict future trends as data holds the key to the development of products and services that remain current, reach the target group, and help distinguish a business from its competitors.An interesting question is where humans fit in the future labor market when every element in the urban life is interconnected and communicates among itself freely and when machines will become our equals or even exceed us. Even a leader of robotic technology development like Japan, like many countries that are becoming aging societies, is experiencing a shortage of working age population, especially workers with skills sought after by organizations. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed in its survey in 2014 that up to 81 percent of Japan’s companies are besieged by this problem, while most employees are under the impression that they lack the skills necessary for their lines of work.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In its Human Capital Report, the World Economic Forum analyzed that we are heading towards collaboration rather than competition. However, a new generation of labor must continue to boost their potential to keep up with the shift and equip themselves with problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creativity, human management skills, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, decision-making skills, service-oriented mind, negotiation skills, and cognitive flexibility – skills that capture the essence of humanity that artificial intelligence has yet to achieve.

Join us to find new answers and solutions at CU 2016 on October 27-30, 2016.



“The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution” for 2016 by the World Economic Forum

“The Human Capital Report 2016” by the World Economic Forum

“The Future of Work: A Journey to 2022” by PricewaterhouseCoopers

When VR technology can give us a closer look at humanity

Posted by on 10:13 AM in 2016 | No Comments

Opportunities in transition: When the digital world is the new chapter in human history

After Mark Zuckerberg announced his decision to acquire the renowned virtual reality (VR) device startup Oculus for two billion dollars, the tech industry and media have all turned their eyes back on the virtual reality and augmented reality market, which has seen cheaper production and a capability to satisfy a wider range of needs. This is despite the current dominance of smartphones in the handheld segment, which boasted over 2.6 billion users last year.

Late last year, NextVR, an entertainment and live-streaming service startup with a conviction that VR technology will revolutionize the entertainment industry, raised $ 30.5 million of Series A funding, and has announced this year that it will join forces with Live Nation, a global entertainment company, to broadcast major concerts via applications connected to the Oculus Rift and Samsung’s Gear VR to offer a new concert experience. NextVR has previously livestreamed NBA matches and US Golf Tournament with VR technology as well.

The Facebook tycoon and NextVR are hardly the only two people who believe this technology can be a platform of the future that will replace cellphones. Chris Milk, a well-known music video director and CEO of IT Within (previously known as Verse) who has incorporated VR in filmmaking, is convinced that this technology can venture far beyond its current role as a money maker in the entertainment industry. He recounted his work experience in TED 2015 that VR is a powerful tool in creating empathy and deepening our understanding of fellow human beings.

Clouds Over Sidra is the world’s first documentary film to be shot with VR technology. Directed by Chris and Gabo Arora, a Senior Advisor at the United Nations, the film shows the life of a Syrian girl named Sidra, who was in a refugee camp in Jordan with her family for a year and a half. The film was premiered at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland and exploited the ability of VR technology to simulate a realistic 360O environment, immersing the political and economic leaders around the world in the virtual environment of the refugee camp and giving them a taste of the life there in the hope that they would finally make genuine efforts to solve the problem.

The film succeeded in expanding the dimensions of storytelling, divulging social issues, and changing the commonly held attitude that VR traps people in the world of illusion. Chris once stated in an interview that the role of VR would advance once everyone could access the ‘experience’ the way the internet gave us access to information and enabled us to transcend all the boundaries. “Once you outgrow the hype, you will find that VR is a medium for human experience.”

AR/VR also gives a light of hope for the fields of medicine and education. MIT, for instance, used VR devices to simulate underwater experience to study deafness, while researchers at the University of Pennsylvania made use of VR to study patients with mental disorders and depression.

In the near future, it is possible that interactions on social media through images and texts may be replaced with VR-driven ones. Also, we might see TV and Hollywood producers meet their demise or move to niche markets because they cannot adapt quickly enough and catch up with the ability of 3D VR technology to fulfill new entertainment demands. Similarly, movie theaters might also shutter their businesses as VR technology brings new-release movies right into our living rooms, obviating our needs to leave our homes to get tickets. Current technological advances have proven that regardless of the extent to which they can venture and expand the boundaries of possibilities, they will eventually be brought back to satisfy our growing and infinite needs.

Find more information at the annual symposium CU 2016: EXIT this October.

TED Talk – “Chris Milk: How virtual reality can create the ultimate empathy machine”
TED Talk – “Chris Milk: The birth of virtual reality as an art form”
“Disability-Simulating VR Promotes Empathy” by Christina Couch
“Live Nation & NextVR to Broadcast Hundreds of Live Performances in VR” by Scott Hayden

Opportunities in transition: When the digital world is the new chapter in human history

Posted by on 07:47 PM in 2016 | No Comments

Opportunities in transition: When the digital world is the new chapter in human history

If the steam engine of the mid-18th century was the trailblazer of the technological advances that have taken humanity beyond its wildest dreams, new innovations that are becoming more familiar and evolving at the rate we can barely catch up with, ranging from robotics and artificial intelligence to driver-free cars, genetic engineering, and 3D-printed organs, have promised to bring even greater changes. Read more

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