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- Key legal trends in Africa - Part 3Darryl Bernstein, Johan Botes, Kieran Whyte and Lerisha Naidu
- Key trade and investment trends in Africa - Part 2Ashlin Perumall and Janet MacKenzie
- Key trade and investment trends in Africa - Part 1Lodewyk Meyer, Marc Yudaken, Mike van Rensburg and Virusha Subban
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#BizTrends2018: A positive perspective on moving towards 4.0
1. Hyper-local tech and innovation
The one that’s most exciting and most pressing, is southern Africa’s pace with innovation and technology. The pace is still too slow, but the opportunities are massive. Pace is due to a number of things, some of which are:
- The cost of data;
- The lack of exposure;
- Being distracted by all the craziness happening in our governments; and
- The imposed Western frameworks that we’ve too easily been adopting for generations.
The Harvard Business Review (HBR)'s Reverse Innovation explainer video explains this well:
Yet we’ve come to a point where we’ve seen many of tech’s possibilities, and learned the importance of it only being successful where it’s localised. So the need for, and growth of, hyper-local tech solutions will hopefully gain momentum.
Africa can be left out. It needs to determine its own innovation and develop locally. Rely less on the rest of the world. Create not only consume.So said Paul Scanlan, CTO of Huawei Technologies at AfricaCom 2017.
2. Being loud vs. being effective
Another move is that from a mere civil awakening, to a more strategic and intelligent civil awakening. Again, the focus is on southern Africa. An example of this is definitely NOT what goes on on Twitter, or Facebook, or in the comments section of News24.
It’s rather an informed and considered approach to addressing issues. Note the word ‘approach’, because for real change to come, whether in the boardroom or in governments, it’s not about being loud but effective.
You can’t demand something from your parents or boss and expect them to give it to you. Ask nicely. Do your homework. Demonstrate why you deserve it. Which we, as civil society, can and should do.That sort of leads to the next point.
That of breaking things down to their essence and making whatever the essence is count. The minimum viable product, idea or strategy.
This is not necessarily to keep things easier or smoother, but rather to strengthen its sense of self.
It’s a journey of self-actualisation because with the continued political and economic instability we're seeing, as well as all the uncertainty that realities like big data and AI bring, there’s a need for focus.
Because that’s what makes you succeed.
4. Decentralised thinking
We'll see a lot more drive to minimise inefficiency within the entire value chain, in order to maximise a company or system’s most viable reason for existence. And what makes it profitable, of course. Making sure systems and structures are lean, and purpose is clear, so that what it does is strong and resilient, for whatever may come. Fractal patterns and biomimicry are popular because they're important.
This also builds confidence in the notion of defining your own rules. Which, when combined with all the innovation possibilities, allows for more decentralised vs centralised thinking. Cryptocurrencies, open software, YouTube, Bozza Mobile, the list goes on.
Gone are the days of us falling victim to the powers that be. We really can create the life we want to live. So yes, it's positive.