Welcome to the Throw Forward Thursday studio where every week we jump into the future and find out something that might happen there. This week we are going to a restaurant in the future. In this restaurant, there are no menus because when you arrive at the restaurant, you arrive, you sit down at the table and a meal is served to you. This meal is the perfect combination of three variables. Firstly, it’s a meal that you would really like to eat.
This restaurant clearly has access to information about your database of your social media and your past history. Maybe you’ve filled out a form sometime to give them information, but it knows what you like and don’t like. And the restaurant has decided to give you a meal you will enjoy.
The second factor is that it is a meal you need to eat. This is where this restaurant gets interesting, because this restaurant also has access to your medical information, to recent tests you’ve done to information that your doctor would have about you to know what is healthy and what your body actually needs in terms of nutrients and supplements.
And so, it’s not just what you want to eat. It’s also what you need to eat. And maybe you’re ahead of me because the third factor is that this restaurant also has access to your financial information so the restaurant knows what you can afford or maybe what you are prepared to spend on a meal. And if we combine those three factors perfectly, the restaurant should be able to give you exactly the perfect meal for you in that moment. At that time.
Now some of you are thinking, but what about my freedom of choice? And what about Big Brother?
Of course, we need to recognise that we don’t want to live in a world where we are forced to eat at that restaurant, every meal that then feels like you trapped in some kind of computer-run prison where you have no choices at all. Freedom of choice has to come into it. You know, sometimes we should be able to just eat something even though we know it’s unhealthy for us and we’ll regret it in the morning.
It’s still worth doing. And sometimes you should try something that you might not like or don’t even know you like and give it a go.
Sometimes you just put it on the credit card and make it next month’s financial problem. So yes, I understand freedom of choice is going to have to come into this equation. But assuming you’re not forced to do it, it might be fun to visit this restaurant every now and again.
The other thing, of course, is Big Brother because I’m picturing a world now where you are prepared to make quite a lot of your personal information available to the system. Hoping, assuming and expecting that the system will work in your favour.
We’ll only do things that are beneficial to you and that the system would, of course, not turn against you and use that data in ways that hurt you, harm you or undermine you. And of course, that’s what we are going to have to learn how to develop over the next few years. There is no doubt that we can build a better world if we are prepared to use the data that exists around us and allow intelligent machines to make decisions on the basis of the data that those machines know about us that can improve and benefit our lives.
There’s no doubt that that will make a better world, but there’s also no doubt that it could cause harm and be dangerous as well. So, my restaurant is only going to exist after we’ve worked out how to protect ourselves from the bad side of data so that we can get the good side of data analytics working.
And of course, if you’re using these Throw Forward videos as a way of provoking your team and your industry to think about the future, that’s one of the big things you’ve got to deal with. There is a word for it, by the way, and it’s an important word. It’s called trust. And you’ve got to ask yourself and your team what you are going to do to get your clients and your industry and your marketplace to trust you enough to give you all the data you need so that you can build the best products, the best services, and the best lives for them.
Let’s build a great future together, right that’s this week’s Throw Forward Thursday.
Thank you, as always, for coming along for the ride to sometime in the future in a restaurant with no menus, don’t forget to subscribe, hit the notification button so that you are reminded every Thursday to join us sometime in the future. I’ll see you next week again.
Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.
For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.