Sweeping innovation, the product of new technology and new ways of conducting business, will disrupt life as we know it with each passing year, upending businesses and industries in the process. Every single industry where technology can be applied will be affected, and there will be no exceptions.
WOBI, the leader in management and leadership conferences, gathered 600 of the world’s top thought leaders from 27 countries at the AXA Equitable Center in New York City on June 4-5 for WOBI on Innovation to discuss the power of disruption and how businesses can thrive if they have the ability to navigate shifting landscapes that will see industries both thrive and perish.
According to a recent WOBI survey of top executives from 15 different countries, many are no strangers to disruption in both good times and bad — 74 percent of respondents said their organizations had been disrupted at some point by a new product or service, while 83 percent said they had lost money by failing to adopt new technology. The survey also revealed that 72 percent said they were afraid that their business might cease to exist as a direct result of them failing to innovate. Now more than ever, the need to prioritize dealing with disruptive forces in business and life is becoming increasing important.
Keynote speakers Scott Anthony, Andy Cohen, Stephen Ritz, Vivek Wadhwa, Joichi Ito, Juan Enriquez, Mark T. Bertolini, Trish Gorman, Hunter Lovins, Peter Sims, and Chip Conley shed light on how innovative disruption can be a powerful force based on their experiences as disruptors and being disrupted.
While it’s daunting to conceive how artificial intelligence, drones and 3D printing can replace anyone from pizza delivery boys to construction workers to surgeons and disrupt the labor force, lower healthcare, energy, housing, transportation and other costs coupled with better food and water supply point to a bright future.
“You are talking about the costs of everything dropping dramatically, so yes people might not make as much money, but they also won’t spend as much money,” Vivek Wadhwa told reporters at a gathering after his delivery. “What I hope is that we are smart enough to leverage all these advances to solve humanity’s grand challenges and that we’re smart enough to distribute the prosperity we create and to solve the world’s social problems. It’s really up to us,” concluded Wadhwa.
The event heralded the arrival of the WOBI World Business Forum that will take place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on October 7-8. This year’s World Business Forum will echo the WOBI on Innovation forum’s disruptive nature by addressing the traits of the Provocateur, one who writes his or her own rules, challenges time-honored truths and forges new paths to growth. We can’t wait for that!