The Superhuman Future

June 3, 2016 at RoboBusiness Europe, Odense, Denmark

The future is not technology, the future is how it enables us to achieve more.

We are all familiar with the tsunami of technological innovation which is changing (and more significantly, will) change our lives. From genetics to robotics, informatics and nanotech, internet of things and big data, we are inspired (and often overwhelmed) by the speed and potential of the new possibilities. Ray Kurzweil even talks about reaching a point of “singularity” by 2045, when technological capability and intelligence will surpass and subsume humanity. I see the future differently.

Superhuman is about using technologies to enhance our human potential. 

Digital technologies enable us to reach and interact like never before, social networks enable us to connect and collaborate like never before, big data enables us to know and personalise like never before,nanotech gives us the power to exist and effect like never before, robotics enable us to support and serve like never before,  internet of things gives us the freedom to live and act in realtime, genetics gives us the power to be like never before. The “innovation” (not the technical invention, but the practical application) of these technologies is not how they replace humanity, but how they enable us to achieve more.

Technology enables us to be more human … To do things we could never do before, individually and together.

The fourth industrial revolution is here. Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum recently declared it the most significant step forward for business in a generation. Previous industrial revolutions drove a transformation in our worlds. From machines to automation, computers and digital connectivity. Now we are entering an age where robotics and artificial intelligence will rival the current practices of human beings. The revolution is not how robots displace people, but how the two work together to achieve more.


Business is being transformed … But technology is not the transformation, it is just one of the enablers of future growth and prosperity.

In a world of scientific business – big data analytics and behavioural economics, predictive targeting and search optimisation, supply chain automation and social networks, customer co-creation and community building, 3d printing and lean delivery – it is easy to forget people, humanity, emotions and life. These are the things that still matter. The change in business over the last 150 years has been dramatic – Business 1.0 was about automation. 2.0 was about mobilisation. 3.0 was about digitalisation. Like the fourth industrial revolution, “Business 4.0” is about connecting the new science and technology with the power of humanity to engage people, develop solutions, drive sales, build relationships in better ways than ever before. It requires new thinking, and new actions.

Business 4.0 changes the game … It is about having a bigger vision, to harness the new possibilities, and to deliver superhuman impact.

In my “Gamechangers” book, I call it the ideas economy … where it is the power of ideas by which you win or lose … And everything else can be done by technology of partners. Therefore it’s about using deeper insight and richer imagination to create nigger and better ideas … That engage and enable people to do more … And so out-thinking the competition, inspiring customers and turning intangible assets into financial success … Look at Periscope $100m before launch, WhatsApp $19bn in 3 years, Uber $50bn in 5 years! How? By thinking bigger, smarter and better … outthinking the competition … and being human!


Odense, the City of Robots, the place for Gamechangers

Odense, Denmark’s third largest city, is probably most famous as the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. However in the 21st Century Odense is telling a new story – thinking differently about how to engage its citizens, to attract business and tourism, and to create a better future.

Gamechangers are disruptive and innovative, start-ups and corporates, in every sector and region, reshaping our world. They are more ambitious, with stretching vision and enlightened purpose. They see markets as kaleidoscopes of infinite possibilities, assembling and defining them to their advantage. They find their own space, then shape it in their own vision.

They think about making things 10 times better, not just 10%.

Most of all they have great ideas. They out-think their competition, thinking bigger and different. They don’t play the game, they change the game.  They create their own space, innovating markets first, the way they work, what people want, and who they compete against – and then innovate their on business, on their own terms. They create their future.

Odense has already made a good start. Beyond the charming old houses, and quirky statues of their most famous son, there is a revolution happening. Here are just a few symbols of its “disruptive innovation” ..

Odense has become Europe’s “robot city” with a thriving high-tech cluster

Odense has become a world-class technology centre, with a unique cluster of companies and research institutes specializing in robotics and automation. Together, they create an ecosystem that fosters innovation from creative conception to industrial production. This environment offers ambitious technology companies prime conditions for growth.

25 years ago the city started on its robot journey, when Odense Steel Shipyard, Lindø, began developing robots and robot applications in collaboration with the University of Southern Denmark. Five years later, Mærsk McKinney Møller Institute, a high-tech center of excellence for intelligent autonomous systems, set up in Odense, as part of SDU. Following this, the Danish Technological Institute decided to establish their center for robotics in Odense. To date, the robotic and automation sector in Odense has grown exponentially, including 70 companies and 1,800 jobs.

Today’s robotic ecosystem established, enables companies and research institutions to contribute to each other’s growth and make each other stronger. These collaborative relationships have created a unique robot cluster, and advanced Odense Robotics to the forefront in several areas, with a particular strength in collaborative robots, drones and food automation.


You can watch 6 great videos about Superhuman here

You can download my keynote “The Superhuman Future” first presented RoboBusinessEurope in Odense on 3 June 2016, Europe’s premier forum for robotic and drone experts!


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