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FUTURE & HUMANITY LEADERSHIP & GOVERNANCE

Are Political Parties Right for the Future?

As a strategic thinker, futurist leader and non-political figure, I have a neutral view and interest in modelling for governance and the success of humanity. I am therefore writing from an impartial perspective and point of balance. Politics is about gaining, maximising and maintaining authority, influence and power. Governance is about serving humanity – effective decision-making, leading a nation and it’s relationship with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, evidence has demonstrated that deception and ‘dirty tricks’ are often at the heart of politics, with a portion of unscrupulous types, motivated by self-interest.

I pose a philosophical question – To end corruption and unethical strategy games, is an end to political parties the answer? Should ministers be more like a diverse board of directors with different view points as well as skills – a mix of more left or liberal leaning and more right and conservative leading? With changing parties, the ping-pong between two opposites ‘left’ to ‘right’ has both an unsettling impact and financial cost due to the reversal of previous government’s policies. At a minimum this ‘ping-pong leadership’ as I call it, creates division, as well as limited choice. Has this division been orchestrated for financial gain? Where there is conflict, there’s both conversation and distraction – the ideal climate for increasing media activity or hiding activities.

One of the greatest failings in politics is inequitable funding of party electoral campaigning. Where parties are funded by leaders of brands, oligarchs and other influential figures, this creates a stronger hold and influence over a political party and it’s individual members. The outcome of course is financial gain and other influence for the funders, as well as potential financial gain, power and influence for the politician post public service. One of the greatest concerns is financiers from a nation that pose a security risk to the country of the funded political party. This leverage aids the threat, putting weak leaders in place, in readiness to strike, or leaders that will side with them in a crisis. It is no revelation, that while there are honourably motivated individuals in politics, narcissism is prevalent – those motivated by self-interest – money, power, prestige, status, and authority.

It is rather a bleak view or is it just a reality check? So what about inspiring hope, change and providing solutions? The great American architect Buckminster Fuller said “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model, that makes the existing model obsolete”. We can apply that thinking to models in business, politics and governance. Have the governance structures of nations changed that much, despite the accelerating change in culture and human evolution? Are we more aware than ever, of the exploitation and dangers to humanity taking place by unethical leaders, or those that are unduly influenced and controlled (puppets)? So what’s the solution? Solutions start with an idea, and mine could be one that others have considered, but perhaps it’s time for review. Firstly, to avoid unfair advantage, all electoral funding should come from public funding and distributed in equal measure, to carefully vetted and qualifying individuals or parties. Politicians and parties should not be in receipt of any funding externally. There should be a review on whether and how political advertising on social networks and media should be enabled (to avoid unfair or unscrupulous competition). Secondly, the concept of the ‘political party’ should be reviewed, to avoid division, ping-pong leadership and the lack of choice. Potentially, if political parties became an obsolete concept, overall leadership of a country, would be more like a board, but rather than the board voting on the members, the general public elects the members, from a diverse pool of talented, vetted and ethical candidates. A psychological evaluation of an individual’s fitness to govern, with focus on measurement of ability, honesty, integrity, narcissistic and sociopathic tendencies, should be a key vetting element. Ultimately, societies have the choice to continue with the current flow of accepting a force which is too great to change, or to rebuild national governance that is fair and ethical for the future.

About the Author

Deborah Collier is a strategic and futurist leader, working across boards, business and governance in the UK and USA. A global keynote speaker and author, she is a Thinkers360 Global Top 10 Thought-Leader, who is passionate about inspiring a harmonious, ethical and impacting future for all.

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DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY ECONOMY, BUSINESS & COMMERCE EDUCATION & INFORMATION STRATEGY FUTURE & HUMANITY STRATEGY, INNOVATION & CREATIVITY

Colliding Worlds – Experiential on Steroids

In 2021 Meta and Microsoft announced their plans for the Metaverse or Metaverses which are likely to take several years to fully develop and will invite global collaboration and contribution. Anyone with the means, know-how and desire can participate in the Metaverse, either as a developer, brand or individual. In the meantime gaining the competitive edge in 2022 and beyond involves developing and delivering audience journeys that are ‘experiential on steroids’.  Commercial and creative focus are about bringing real objects into the virtual world and virtual objects into the real world.  A brand offering a personalized product with accompanying original digital design in the form of an NFT (non-fungible token), is one commercial possibility. 

As mobile and wearable devices for augmented reality become more accessible with new products launching, these technologies deliver far reaching opportunities for entertainment, leisure, shopping, education, and other information sharing and consumption. Multi-sensory essentials such as smell, taste and touch (haptic) are still in their infancy.  Proprioception (kinaesthesiais), the ability to sense movement, action or location is a vital ongoing area of research, which in the future, will have a powerful impact on entertainment, leisure and education.  In the meantime, spatial awareness technologies such as LiDAR, used for visualising store products in your home, or seeing the complete anatomy in a medical lecture, for example, are more quickly advancing and in commercial use.

Extract: Digital World Predictions 2022

About the Author

Deborah Collier is a strategic and futurist leader in business, digital, media and education. She is founder and President at Digital Skills Authority, a Non-Executive Director and media group CEO. She has delivered digital world and digital business predictions annually for 13-years, which have been featured in a number of national and industry publications.

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DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY ECONOMY, BUSINESS & COMMERCE EDUCATION & INFORMATION STRATEGY FUTURE & HUMANITY LEADERSHIP & GOVERNANCE

Digital Governance Fast Forward

This decade has ignited a number of evolving digital services and products.  Digital and e-business history is already testament to the need for effective governance alongside innovation. However, it often takes years for governments to respond with legislation, while organisations set their own policies or continue without risk management – often at their own peril.  Ethics of course are essential in effective and reputable policy-making, but are not always deployed. Diligent and impacting digital governance is essential for ‘Central Bank Digital Currency’, data and processing, AI, infrastructure and deployment, as well a digital business. While the protection and processing of data is largely regulated around the globe, there is currently no governance for blockchain (a technology providing unique identification of records).  Regulations for cryptocurrency (which is enabled by blockchain) are in their infancy and evolving around the globe.  While regulations to fight fraud are a primary area of digital governance, another more human element has come to the forefront.  Regulations to protect against online harms, have been evolving for some years, but not swiftly enough. With further pressure on the social networks to manage content responsibly or have legal liability, employees are also taking liability and their own protection more seriously.  According to a recent article by BBC News, a TikTok moderator has sued their employer “over psychological trauma due to the requirement to watch and moderate extreme and graphic violence for up to 12-hrs a day.” With the volume of content posted online, Artificial Intelligence has to be the first mechanism for moderation. If we are to avoid psychological harms to humans, we need more intelligent Artificial Intelligence to moderate and block harmful content, before humans moderate a smaller selection further with limited exposure, combined perhaps with more joyful work.  ‘Content Moderator + X’ could be a hybrid role of the future.

Extract: Digital World Predictions 2022

About the Author

Deborah Collier is a strategic and futurist leader in business, digital and education. She is a media group CEO, Non-Executive Director and President of Digital Skills Authority. She developed a ‘Digital Governance Framework‘ which is delivered throughout the organisation’s management and leadership programs.

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EDUCATION & INFORMATION STRATEGY FUTURE & HUMANITY STRATEGY, INNOVATION & CREATIVITY

Human-Centric Strategy – 2022 and Beyond

Positive communications are vital, but audience is everything. In 2022, enhanced human-centric strategies will be engrained throughout marketing, communications, product and services development and delivery whether these be commercial or governmental. As we navigate the virtual world more confidently, blending real-world with online, industry and government organisations explore how to leverage technology and maximize automation, while balancing and refocusing attention on human interaction, audience engagement and customer experience. Bringing digital into the real-world, rather than focusing entirely on immersing us in the digital world, creating that perfect balance and harmony, missed by so many during the pandemic, will be an exciting challenge. A combination of media, social media and the pandemic has caused an acceleration in humanity. In response to this evolution, human skills such as empathy, cognition and cultural awareness come to the forefront. In addition, promoting positive psychology for both customers and employees will be a productive ingredient of 2022 and beyond.

Extract: Digital World Predictions 2022

About the Author

Deborah Collier is a strategic and futurist leader in business, digital, education and media. She is a President of Digital Skills Authority, a Non-Executive Director and Media Group CEO. With a strong background in digital, in 2016, she was listed in a publications ‘Top 100 Chief Marketing Officers in the World.’

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ECONOMY, BUSINESS & COMMERCE STRATEGY, INNOVATION & CREATIVITY

E-Commerce Businesses Move Home

During the pandemic, E-Commerce has been a lifeline for many businesses and indeed new ventures have launched.  However, key challenges with distribution, taxation and import and exports are still prevalent, if not crippling in many parts of the world, with a heavy impact on sales in some countries as a result.  The United Kingdom, a world leader in e-commerce has been heavily impacted by Brexit, and taxation in and with Europe has become unnecessarily complex, particularly with digital products.  Tax rulings for each territory dependent on whether the sale is to a business or a consumer, have also become unworkable for many businesses without the ability and desire to register for VAT in every country sold to, or the investment for e-commerce systems that auto-calculate the relevant sales tax.  These over complex rulings designed to add fairness with taxation exclude many SMEs.  In 2022 and beyond, if governments do not address their sales taxation rules and trade agreements effectively, businesses who wish to sell further than domestically, will need to consider the viability of running an e-commerce or Internet business in their own country. 2022 will see a further flurry of exporting businesses moving to alternative countries around the world.

Extract: Digital World Predictions 2022

About the Author

Deborah Collier is a strategic and futurist leader in business. She is founder and President of international business Digital Skills Authority and has several years experience with digital business and international business strategy. During her career she has advised and taught leaders and teams from Fortune 500 companies and other organisations around the globe.

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ECONOMY, BUSINESS & COMMERCE LEADERSHIP & GOVERNANCE

How will Banks Embrace Digital Currency?

The acceptance and use of cryptocurrency has accelerated during the pandemic, and with that the banks motivation to innovate and embrace digital currency rather than fight against the tide. Cryptocurrency is designed to be decentralized and anonymous, which is attractive to those fearing too much power and surveillance by governments on citizens spending, similar to the way tech giants mine user data. Central Banks such as ‘Bank of England’ and ‘Banco De Mexico’, are planning their own Central Bank Digital currency. China has already launched its own CBDC, and ‘Bank of Jamaica’ will be launching their own CBD later this year after a successful pilot in 2021. The impacts are far reaching both economically and for humanity.   What would make a CBDC different to card and digital payments already in existence? CBDC will make payments faster with immediate settlements, and could make payment processing and transaction fees cheaper, while there is also a focus on encouraging innovation and increasing efficiency. Maintaining currency sovereignty, legal and regulatory safeguards such as payment tracking for anti-money laundering and terrorism, are also drivers for central banks own digital currency, which can be distributed through commercial banks without causing too much disruption. CDBC’s could enable financial inclusion for the 1.7-billion adults around the globe who are without a bank account, either through digital wallets, or legislation to ensure everyone has a bank account of some sort. 

Through monetary policy committees and strong economic governance, financial stability, cyber resilience and energy efficiency will be achieved, CBDC can complement traditional currency and co-exist with commercial bank money and bank notes, without harming the economy, banking or citizens.  Choice will as always be key for global citizens in 2022 and beyond.

Extract: Digital World Predictions 2022

About the Author
Deborah Collier is a Strategic and Futurist Leader is in business, digital, education and business with career experience in governance, banking e-treasury and commerce. She is President of Digital Skills Authority, and has delivered her annual digital world and digital business predictions for 13-years.

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ECONOMY, BUSINESS & COMMERCE EDUCATION & INFORMATION STRATEGY FUTURE & HUMANITY LEADERSHIP & GOVERNANCE

Positive Influence in Leadership – The Power of Trust versus Incentives

Influence is a vital ingredient in all forms of leadership, whether this is to influence progress, or decision-making. Influence through trust is necessary to steer other leaders, employees, partners, clients or the general public through a difficult change, as a result of either positive opportunity or crisis.  If we explore incentives in sales and marketing, incentives are helpful, but without trust in a brand, incentives will not have the desired impact, and customers are more likely to buy from a brand or person they trust, regardless of whether there is a small price difference.  

The power of trust can be applied to all forms of influence and is essential in governance. Governance often involves difficult decision-making, and change management forms part of any leader’s strategy to engage an audience in what they believe is in the collective interests of an organisation, nation or even the world. 

Trust is about honesty, integrity and transparency, as well as competence, wisdom and ability. Once any form of organisation loses trust, leadership is lost and no amount of incentives entices an audience to collaborate.  Education and communication are absolutely critical in effective trust building and influence, particularly during crisis or unsettling change. Informing and educating with honesty, integrity and helpful factual information, empowers an audience to make informed and comfortable decisions. When trust is gone, leadership has ultimately failed, and authoritarianism becomes the unwelcome ambassador. Compliance with objection or ultimate rejection ensues and while a crisis may or may not be averted, trust, audience and members are gone and may never return.

About the Author

Deborah Collier is a Strategic and Futurist Leader in Business, Education, Digital and Media. A group CEO, global Keynote Speaker, Non-Executive Director and leader of a global publisher and awarding body, she was listed 2016 in a publication’s ‘Top 100 Most Influential Chief Marketing Officers in the World’ as a joint CEO / CMO. Deborah is passionate about positive leadership, strategy and good governance.

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DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY ECONOMY, BUSINESS & COMMERCE EDUCATION & INFORMATION STRATEGY FUTURE & HUMANITY

Diversity-of-Things (DoT)

The ‘Digital Renaissance’ or the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’ catapulted by the Pandemic, has broadened individual skills needs, but it’s not just about digital and technology. Social networks have brought social responsibility to the forefront, as our awareness and interest in everything around us broadens. We are witnessing a cultural shift (particularly in the younger generation), with regards to the environment, social responsibility, government and political awareness, both nationally and on a global scale. Employees are becoming stakeholders in their organisations regardless of whether the business model is that of a partnership like John Lewis Partnership. The realisation from junior level and above, that the success of their organisation directly impacts their own employment or that their behaviour on social networks and outside of work also has implications (positive or risky). Businesses are integrating more and more with humanity and social media is the glue. Analytical and cognitive skills, the addition of digital skills to existing roles, as well as the ability to make connections between decision-making and events is also something to be nurtured. This new paradigm which I call the ‘Diversity-of-Things’ (DoT) is something I will be expanding on in my upcoming talks on the skills revolution, current and future skills.

Keynote Speech
Watch the video of Deborah’s keynote speech at The Business Show’s Retrain Expo.
Diversity-of-Things (DoT) – Skills Evolution, the Future Human and Work

About the Author

Deborah Collier is a strategic and futurist leader in business, education, media and digital. She is a President at Digital Skills Authority, a media group CEO, writer and global keynote speaker.

Categories
DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY ECONOMY, BUSINESS & COMMERCE EDUCATION & INFORMATION STRATEGY FUTURE & HUMANITY LEADERSHIP & GOVERNANCE STRATEGY, INNOVATION & CREATIVITY

Audacious or Audacity? – Building the world’s Digital Skills Authority

The journey to Digital Skills Authority is a motivational one, fuelled with some joyful and funny moments, tremendous sacrifice, hurdles overcome and still to be overcome. Some of these entrepreneurial escapades may not be revealed until I am old and grey. Here’s hoping.

Digital Skills Authority was built on history and authenticity. It transformed as an economic solution during the pandemic from a series of established industry digital business and marketing certifications programs with a thirteen year history.  My mission – Employment through reskilling, skills enhancement, new jobs creation and entrepreneurship, enabling economic and social mobility, coupled with an ethical digital governance framework and planet protecting education on areas such as paper reduction and green energy.  Thus my ‘Three-pillared model and solution for sustainability – Economic, Social and Environment’ was born and something I will be talking about more in the near future.

Audacious – Perhaps. Who said “Nothing ventured nothing gained”?

Audacity – A 30-year history of rolling up the sleeves and doing, as well as leading, teaching, enabling and advising. Why not me?

As the organisation grows with an expanding board, exam council and network and team of international expert trainers, it will hopefully have the greater global impact I designed it to achieve. In the meantime, I delivered a keynote speech on the skills revolution, my journey to building the Digital Skills Authority, the future and its mission for humanity. Please watch out for video of talk at Digital Skills Authority’s new YouTube channel.

About the Author
Digital Skills Authority founder Deborah Collier is a Strategic & Futurist Leader in Business, Education and Digital. During her career she has trained and advised leaders, teams and professionals from Fortune 500, government ministries and blue-chip organisations around the globe, as well as SME’s and start-ups.

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DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY FUTURE & HUMANITY STRATEGY, INNOVATION & CREATIVITY

What is a Futurist?

Inspired by a question posed to me on social media, “How is one a futurist?”, I decided to write about my perspective of what it means to be a ‘Futurist’. Futurists are either there by profession, or as part of their being. Being a futurist and strategist are part of my being and vital elements of my work as a futurist leader and creator. Futurists explore trends, patterns, history, logic and strategic knowledge to predict what the future may hold. I didn’t discover that I was a futurist until after a period of learning that I was either ahead of the curve in certain disciplines and activities, or that I was predicting what would happen in the future. I always seek out the cutting-edge, and armed with a broad spectrum of good knowledge rather than being an in-depth specialist in every subject, I decipher how technologies and practices can either be innovated or leveraged in intelligent ways right now, or in the future.

Genuine futurists and strategists make informed predictions and recommendations, based on information, knowledge, know-how, data and trends (usually within the realm of their expertise, transcending into other areas where they can translate their competences). I research, work with experts to research, use my own knowledge and new information and predict new trends, before I consider strategy for the future. From a personal perspective, I have a particular ability to see most scenarios like a map, either looking down at an overall view, or as a tree branching out with different scenarios, options, risks, benefits and solutions. I then find an optimal pathway to a goal or solution, using a blend of logic and creativity. I seem to be able to see patterns and make interesting connections, which helps when formulating a roadmap with creative and logical actions and ideas, but also for disaster prevention.

Futurists are interested in a future enabled by technology. One area I am interested in is how technology and ‘digital’, a particular field of my expertise can be used to help humanity. My creation Toward Utopia TV Series, is a vehicle through which a collective can explore, discuss and evaluate whether new practices, technologies and ‘digital’ will be harmful or helpful to humanity. The ethics debate then enables others to take forward initiatives to regulate, maximize, implement practices or remove technologies, practices or risks altogether.

Futurism interplays with ‘futurology’ which focuses on social sciences and other areas. Toward Utopia is futurism and futurology united to explore the journey toward a Utopia (the version of which is different to each and everyone of us).

About the Author

Deborah Collier is an education and business leader known internationally for strategy, future vision and predictions, based on informed analysis and research, logical reasoning and creative thinking.

Deborah on Toward Utopia