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Newsletter: 2017 December

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Best December Greetings To You

It is the time to reflect on 2017 and start thinking about what we want for 2018! Yes – the last month of the year – December is here!

Having lived in the northern hemisphere for most of my life, the white snowing picture is familiar as it welcomes us into winter and the year end holiday season!

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A Journey A Month…

Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.

As we prepare to wrap up the year, I started to reflect on our journey in 2017.

This year, we have achieved a number of milestones for TCG. The most significant are definitely the launches of our Youth & Young Adults “Cross-Cultural Competency” (CCC) program and our new website!

The hours spent on transforming TCG into this new “Digital-ready” self were countless. I am very thankful to the team because without them it would not have been possible to realize these projects! November was a whirlwind month – I did not have the time nor the energy to roast a Turkey for Thanksgiving. Now that we have our milestones marked, we shall spend a few days on a beautiful South East Asian island to celebrate our 2017 achievements! (we will snap a photo to feature it in one of our future “Newsletter Photo” contests, and no – it is not Bali…).

Switching back to jotting down my reflective thoughts:

I just attended a conference whereby a group of senior executives and leaders were gathered to discuss about the challenges we face today, and those that we shall face in the future. The conference was organized by one of the world renowned business schools, and the purpose was to examine the future of humanity and the role of leaders in an advancing virtual and connected world.

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With technology, we know we could almost reach anyone, anywhere at anytime! “Think Global” is no longer just a business buzz word, but it will be a part of our everyday life, and a skill our youths will have to embrace and build on.

While the “new” world may seem exciting, there will also be many challenges. Today we see emergence of extremisms in politics and world orders, and times of polarization are creating mistrusts and fears; Tomorrow we can imagine a world aided by the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) replacing the humans with robots…

We really need to ask ourselves : What will the roles be for us and for our youths? What is our future in this world?

The conference was thought provoking and well facilitated. We had the opportunities to try on Augmented Reality VR headsets and experienced life in daily Mumbai street scene; we were even entertained by synchronized dancing drones before cocktails, but what marked me most was the “break-out” session facilitated by a “futurist”.

Futurist? Wikipedia’s definition: Futurists or futurologists are scientists and social scientists whose specialty is futurology or the attempt to systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present, whether that of human society in particular or of life on Earth in general.

Here are some of the key points I have learned in this “futurist” session:

  • Technology will disrupt and transform our world (more rapidly than most people may think).
  • The future is, and will always be uncertain.
  • The only thing we can do is to confront it and take actions (and everybody can!).

After the session, my mind started to swirl with thoughts: of a complex physical global world where people interact beyond boundaries and national borders, and how this same world will intersect with its digital twin, a virtual yet connected world created by the disruptive forces of rapid technology advancements. What will this world be for us as human?

Now, I may have a good idea on what 2018 may be, but it will take me some time to figure out what 2028 will look like for us…

What will our roles (or our youths’ roles) be, on this planet or when we venture out to Mars and beyond? What skills will we need to survive?

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Let me share some of the thoughts from the futurist’s survival list:

  1. One needs to be creative, adaptive and have a problem-solving mindset.
  2. One needs to be able to learn how to learn, and unlearn (because there will be so much data and information available, and things will change fast, very fast).
  3. One needs to have good social skills (human interactions may be with anyone, from anywhere, at anytime).

Looking at those pointers, they seem to be realistic and achievable. In fact, most of them are skills many successful leaders possessed today…Perhaps, the future may not be as daunting after all.

What do you think?

Do you think robots will replace us? What skills do you think we need to equip ourselves? What roles do you think you or our youths will play in 2028 or 2038 or 2088

Let’s not just think of 2018, imagine the future! Ponder over it as we wrap up 2017! Share with us your thoughts.

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Wishing you a very good end of the year and for those residing in the northern hemisphere, a beautiful “white” season to come!