Knowledge is the most powerful weapon to fight geographical, social and economic adversity.
Demographics and climate change are the two key factors that will shape the world a century ahead from now, mainly due to the movement of people looking for better opportunities and survival. In half of the top ten countries that will be the most populated by 2100, the level of illiteracy is today ranging between 30 to more than 50%. Politically organized illiteracy as it still exists creates a risk of potential chaos and removes the hope for a worldwide democracy. In such countries, human rights are a fragile paper ship floating on an ocean where the top surfers are corruption, exploitation of the workers, and personal enrichment of a happy few or mafias and dictatorship.
So, my first dream lies in the hope that within 50 years from now, all the citizens of those highly populated countries, and especially women, will reach the education level existing today in the countries which have less than 10% illiterate people in their population.
Knowledge is the most powerful weapon to fight geographical, social and economic adversity. I foresee new nomadic flows, whether imposed by the local context or chosen by the people. I wish that those people will be able either to organize a decent survival from a health and food point of view, because they will know how to handle their local ecosystem and develop local businesses thanks to technology. For those for whom it is a chosen way of life, I wish that their highly valued skills will enable them to comply with their choice of life in any part of the world.
My second hope is to find the way to massively and durably empower people across the globe to use ICT to link to each other and create activities that will improve their living conditions. Technology has the wonderful ability to connect people who want to achieve a common goal. Citizens represent an emerging power, having the capacity of being self-organized as groups, capable and swift to reorganize themselves in seconds when they agree on a new common goal. This behavior is in total contradiction with most old fashioned organizational and managerial corporate systems. Corporations should understand that those fast-moving skilled people are the ones that will foster the world of 2100. Their actions should inspire today’s leaders, in 2012.
Corporations should understand that through a well thought CSR strategy, they can become a major universal actor that will attract talents and customers or inspire talents to create innovative start-ups. They should change gear, reconsider their capitalistic organization, and not only concentrate on the quarterly spreadsheets but express a foresight that leverages hope for those who are ready to invest their lives in work.
So, my dream is that in 100 years from now, any citizen on this earth will be more knowledgeable, open to cultures and adaptable than I have been, in order to play a critical role in the development of a peaceful and intelligent world.
Nicole Turbé-Suetens is a business school graduate and holds a master's degree in organisational sciences.
She is the founder and managing director of Distance Expert, a consulting firm specialising in the implementation of ICT-based new working environments created in 1996.
She is an internationally recognised expert in this field and contributed to several French governmental reports related to telework.
She gained her experience working as a consultant for many years and for the IBM corporation at French and European levels where she had responsibilities in the fields of marketing, PC software, quality management and became a member of the worldwide re-engineering team in 1995/1996.
She was associate professor for four years at the Sorbonne University and she is an international speaker who wrote several articles and co-authored four books.
She was involved for 13 years in EU-funded research projects and the leader of two consortia. During those projects she enlarged her international and multicultural experience by working with China and India.