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Reinventing the third place for the digital dimension

Long, long ago, when games still needed dice and phones required cords, the average teenager was a very different breed of human. Awkward experiments in social behaviour were conducted face to face, and migration patterns usually revolved around food courts and bowling alleys. And for those of us who grew up in a metropolitan area, the mall was the ‘ground zero’ for the community – a place of common gathering and interaction, where pimple-pocked youth could strut and flash their proverbial peacock feathers, and arcade games provided endless entertainment.

Moving forward means going back…to school

Ask the average five-year old whether they’re an artist, an astronaut or a president-to-be, and chances are good they’ll say all three. There’s no braver, more formidable force on earth than a child’s imagination. Nothing is too out-of-reach for children, not even the stars themselves. Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he or she grows up.”

Will data save the day?

Big data is a big mystery these days. On one end, technology and its spectacular advancements has been touted as humanity’s royal flush for the 21st century – a trick hand to leapfrog our own extinction and win the future. On the other end, the idea of an ever-expanding, data-driven matrix could be kind of scary – okay, very scary – and may even resurrect a rather gloomy mood, with grey scale apocalyptic imagery on replay.

Africa’s Revival: Foretelling or fairy tale?

It’s the year 2050. The sun bleeds red across the African sky and then plunges the little town into darkness all too soon. A mother and child sit at the kitchen table to work through the homework of the day. They swipe through online worksheets and watch a tutorial for supplementary learning – all part of government’s recent and highly successful campaign to provide ‘outstanding education for all’. Further in the distance, a high-speed train with high-speed internet is whizzing past. The city streets that its commuter passengers walked on today, once derelict and dangerous, are now safe and interconnected corridors thriving with healthy nightlife and culture. In the morning, industry leaders and politicians from different nations will meet to strategise and co-craft policy to shape the new Africa – an amalgamation of 54 countries operating in one unique, self-sustaining rhythm.

Humanity 2.0 in the AI revolution

No one is better at being human than humans. But robots beg to differ…ask Harish Natarajan, the world record holder for debate competition victories. In February this year, Harish faced the most unique and unpredictable opponent he had ever encountered – Miss Debater, IBM’s six-year-old artificial intelligence (AI) system. While Harish may have had more debating experience than the bot, truth be told, the odds have not been in favor of humans lately. The battle between humans and machines has witnessed world champs and record breakers fall short to AI countless times. Yet, in today’s world where everyone is claiming that robots are out to take our jobs, humans needed a win – and win, Harish did. Not this time, machines!

Leave room for humans!

Chemotherapy – the invaluable treatment that has saved countless lives of cancer patients through blocking different functions in cell growth and replication – stemmed from the discovery, during World War II, that exposure to mustard gas in conflict significantly reduced soldiers’ white blood cell count, sometimes fatally. The compound nitrogen mustard was studied further by researchers and found to halt the growth of rapidly dividing cells such as cancer cells. This is just one example of humankind adapting a negative discovery into a positive one.

Gambling on VR: Wanna bet?

VR offers possibilities that can transform the customer experience in the future. Are casino and gaming industry willing to gamble in this technology?

The future won’t have stop signs

Roads will remain part of our future alongside other types of transport infrastructure. What kind of new thinking must we embrace to pave the way for AVs?

What if Africa was orange?

Through blockchain innovation, Africa will be orange with the rest of community becoming merchants and makers of their own energy.

Possible

Probable

Just imagine

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