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How paradigm-shifting entrepreneurs are vital to keep us ahead of the robots

Michael Coussement
September 28, 2021



Did you know that an estimated 43% of jobs will be displaced due to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics? These jobs will not only be "blue collar" positions, where machines can take over manual labor more efficiently, 24 hours per day and 365 days per year. There will also be many "white collar" industries disrupted by AI.

Imagine Bob, a guy who loves his job

Bob chose a "safe & steady" career as an accountant 20 years ago. He likes working in the clear and structured environment of accounting and loves the moment when all the numbers are balanced. Accounting is based on a finite set of rules and has a clear measurable success outcome. This is exactly the sort of environment where AI excels.

So now imagine the day when a tool based on AI is good enough to perform 80% of Bob's day-to-day tasks. His boss realizes the other 20% of tasks can be taken over by other team members. So Bob is let go.

Bob is exceptionally well trained in a job that can be done by a computer 500 times faster and at a fraction of the cost. So Bob applies for a similar job at a company that is slow to adopt the new AI technology. Because everyone is able to work remotely, Bob no longer competes with a few dozen regional applicants, but with a few thousand from other states. So the chances that he will be hired for a similar position is almost zero.

So how will the Bobs of the world sustain their families and live a fulfilling life when the concept of "work" keeps changing?

The current education system is not up to the task. It is designed to produce compliant laborers. Exactly the positions that will be displaced. We need a different kind of learning.

Why we need paradigm-shifting entrepreneurs

Paradigm-shifting entrepreneurs are needed to support people to become better at what only humans can do. People need wise guides and real support to cultivate essential traits such as creativity, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, intuition, empathy, compassion, courage, passion, visioning, and leadership. These capacities aren't something we learn once and are done. We all need to re-invent ourselves during our lifetime, over and over again.

People need these skills not only to re-invent themselves and remain relevant in the workforce, but also to cope with the stresses that this massive displacement will bring with it. Most people don't have the coping skills needed to adopt to rapid, massive change. In my experience (Michael here) I know that when I resist my own experience I tend to revert to emotions like anger, fear, and frustration. If you turn on your Facebook feed, you can easily see evidence of people expressing this fear and frustration.

As a paradigm-shifting entrepreneur you can help people cultivate a beginners mindset and find joy in learning new skills, capacities, traits, and trades. We can't stop the continuous societal disruption brought by technological innovation, but we can up-level our ability to adapt to ever-changing environments. When you help others make this shift it helps all of us keep us all ahead of the robots. But beyond that, I believe this shift will also deepen our understanding of what it means to be human.

Take a step back and look ahead

Tip of the week: Take a step back and look at the big picture. What changes do you see on the horizon in the coming two decades?

When we're head deep in our business, it's easy to focus on the day-to-day. Maybe we can look ahead three months, but sometimes we need to take time out, poke our heads up out of our work, and look far into the future. What changes can we expect in society in the coming decades? And what can history teach us to help us better prepare? There are several books I can recommend that are very helpful for this:

  • Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker. This book does a great job of grabbing a ton of real world data to show the trajectory the world is on. If we turn on the news we can think that it's all doom and gloom but the statistics actually tell a different story.
  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari. How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? In his accessible and provocative book Yuval Harari helps us grasp the big changes we will encounter in the 21st century.
  • Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, & Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein. In this very well written book Eisenstein makes the case that with the current money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. He gives a radical, yet commonsense vision of how we can change our economic system to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.

We need paradigm-shifting entrepreneurs to help create the new world where everyone thrives

Thanks for doing what you do in the world,

Michael & Kai

Michael Coussement
Posted on
September 28, 2021



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