In my last blog, I discussed a set of radical changes that I foresee taking shape in 2018. These include more cooperation among the nations of the world, the emergence of a new generation of leaders, and the reshaping of the global economy. I ended with a promise that I would address the question: How do we get there from here? Now, I plan to deliver on this promise.
Clearly, a large percentage of the world’s population has to believe that such changes are not only possible but also worthwhile. This means finding common ground among billions of people who are separated by geography, language, culture, religion, and politics. At a time when our own country is divided on a number of basic issues, we might jump to the conclusion that global unity is impossible. Even if humanity could agree on something, how would we ever know?
Here is where technology plays a key role. The organizers of the Arab Spring uprisings in 2010 used cell phones to mobilize millions of people. Although these uprisings met with only limited success, they captured the imagination of the world. Now we know that mobile technology can be an important tool for resistance movements on a massive scale.
Today, there are at least 6.8 billion cell phones in use—nearly one per person. Such widespread distribution allows human beings to do things that were never possible until now. For example, we can perform a global survey, finding out how the people of the world feel about issues affecting us all, such as climate change or the distribution of wealth. This is one of the most exciting developments in human history. For the first time ever, we have the capability of discovering what the world wants and needs!
Then there is the question of mobilization. Change will come only through concerted action involving billions of people. This requires an interweaving of high tech and high touch. Global leaders must rise to the challenge, finding ways to inspire others with their ideas, words, and actions. Such leaders will be able to communicate with others through the use of sophisticated mobile applications, which will allow them to send and receive encrypted messages instantly in any language. With the click of a button, calls to action can be delivered to every corner of the world.
Virtually every nation is operating within a social, political, and economic structure that has become severely broken in potentially cataclysmic ways. This structure needs to be replaced with something far more productive: a system that promotes peace, sustainability and balance worldwide. There is only one way to accomplish this end: a global movement of resistance and non-compliance with the status quo. Technology is going to facilitate this dramatic transition in ways that we may not even be able to imagine just yet. Soon, we will discover that cell phones are not just convenient; they are revolutionary!