Remember when it was impossible to attend two conferences at the same time? Ahh, the good ol’ days. For the past seven days I’ve been interacting with my computer screen while attending SXSW (South By Southwest, usually in Austin, Texas), RCA+ (the Research Chefs Association’s annual conference that was scheduled to be in Atlanta) and AMC (the Annual Meat Conference that was scheduled to take place in Dallas). I will share some key highlights.
Chris Riddell, an innovation and futurist speaker from Australia, kicked off AMC by telling attendees to expect massive disruption, continued uncertainty and an unlikely return to the “old normal.” In other words, if you thought 2020 was insane, the next 12 months or so will bring even more change as some businesses—and ways of doing business--go away while others start up to reinvent experiences that consumers crave.
“The question becomes what’s going to replace [the old normal]? The truth is, we actually don’t know,” he said. “And this…is the most important thing we have to get used to going into the future. It’s this constant level of uncertainty about the future.”
“You cannot have a finite mindset [in the way you approach your business],” he said. “Innovation is no longer a luxury.”
Ridell described 2020 as simply a warm-up act for what is to come. Businesses must brace for seismic shocks. Most of these will be technological in nature and will have a profound impact on how we live, learn and work.
“Here’s my view for the future. If it took a decade for digital to become normal, then the real disruption is yet to happen,” he said. “Strap in and brace yourself for the next decade, because we’re going to see fundamental disruption in health and energy and food and agriculture.”
He explained that we now live in a non-linear world, as no one stays in their lane anymore. And, if you are staying in your lane to maintain legacy—the way it was always done—you will not make it.