TIP OF THE SPEAR

I was rushing when all of a sudden life handed me a stop. We get these sometimes and it’s a beautiful reminder to stay present. I want to thank Jim for doubling our time together in our conversation so I could ask everything I wanted to about his book. My conversation with Jim has since made me profoundly question our society, the education model, businesses today and what our world will look like tomorrow. If this book doesn’t churn life defining conversations with those around you about our future and technology – you didn’t pay attention. BY CARA BEDFORD

“WITH THE EXPANSIONOF TECHNOLOGY, BOTH IN CAPABILITYAND GEOGRAPHY, WE FIND OURSELVESAT A CROSSROADS BETWEEN USING THESE ADVANCEMENTS TO CREATE GREATER EQUALITY, OR TO FURTHER”

WE OFTEN SPEAK OF EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY, BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR US AS A GLOBAL SOCIETY?
As individuals, professionals and industry leaders, it is sometimes too easy to focus on only what technology can do for our personal interests, our own companies and our native countries. With the expansion of technology, both in capability and geography, we find ourselves at a crossroads between using these advancements to create greater equality, or to further concentrate resources and wealth. CONCENTRATE RESOURCES AND WEALTH.”

This crossroads is what Jim A. Gibson, a resident of Calgary and an MBA holder from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, has set out to explore in his provocative new book, Tip of the Spear: Our Species and Technology at a Crossroads. With over thirty years of experience in the technology industry, Gibson offers keen insights on the human and social side of technological advancement.

Tip of the Spear takes a unique approach to presenting the current state of technology by showing it through the eyes of two thirteen-year-old girls living in very different locations and circumstances. Through these two perspectives, Gibson gives us “a new definition of innovation that speaks more to Innovation of Ways than to Innovation of Things.”

GIBSON’S LAWS OF DISRUPTION
At the heart of his book lies The Three Laws of Disruption. “When these laws combine, they create an interesting and compelling backdrop to change. This is a great social experiment we’re doing with technology that has no parameters,” says Gibson. These unchangeable laws are what will govern the way technology impacts our lives now and in the future. To shape our industry and the world around us, these are the factors we must keep at the forefront of our minds. When discussing his book, Gibson offered these explanations on each of his Three Laws.

THE SLOPE OF THE TECHNOLOGY CURVE

IS DRAMATICALLY INCREASING Gibson expounds on this saying that technology is “…fast-moving, changing exponentially, changing much faster than we understand. The slope of the curve is increasing and it’s increasing at an increasing rate.” With this, Gibson seems to offer the idea that even when we feel prepared for the rapidness of change, change moves at its own speed and it’s much faster than we can imagine making it imperative that we proceed with our eyes open.

THE TECHNOLOGY GENIES NEVER GO BACK INTO THE BOTTLE

“What we, as a species, invent will stay with us.” For better or worse, Gibson offers this insight into our innovations perhaps less as a warning against letting the “genies” out and more about how we command them.

OUR LINEAR SYSTEMS OF ORGANIZATION ARE NOT PREPARED

“Our democracies, capitalism, education, our energy systems, they struggle with exponential growth.” As we see government agencies scramble and falter in their attempts to respond to natural disasters, widespread human crisis and outdated educational systems it is not difficult to see where this law comes from and why Gibson is using his platform to express the issues surrounding it.

A WARNING AND AN OPPORTUNITY

With this staggering rate of change, there is the concern that technology will be wielded by the wrong hands and have the potential to create greater disparities in wealth, educational resources and access to innovations as they come about. This has the potential to leave our most vulnerable citizens at greater risk for being further marginalized. Gibson, from his position as an experienced innovator and entrepreneur, inspires all of us to “pay attention to the way technology injects itself into our lives.” And to also look at the “implications of technology on our children. The most powerful ways we can see change occurring is for them to not be naive about what’s happening.” To learn more about Jim A. Gibson and Tip of the Spear, visit Jimagibson.com.

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