I still remember the day we got the email telling us that the in-person version of the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was cancelled. Attending this annual gathering of over 170,000 people in Las Vegas, Nevada, often billed as the most influential tech event of the year, has been a tradition of mine for almost ten years now. The idea of kicking off a calendar without a CES experience was hard to swallow.
Some people attend this event to soak up the latest and greatest tech products. Others go to hear world-class presentations and to connect at huge networking events. Me? I go for the inspiration and to immerse myself in a world filled with possibility for a few days.
Luckily, the organizers of CES had a plan up their sleeves. Though we couldn’t gather in person this year, the event happened in a virtual format that proved to be a thought-provoking, adrenaline-pumping ride our MOFI team. Our collective fires were ignited as we spent a week steeped in the latest and greatest technologies and innovations propelling us into this new decade.
It was definitely a dramatic change to participate in the first all-virtual conference. While we would have loved to have tired feet from walking 10+ miles a day up and down the Las Vegas strip instead of having tired eyes from staring at our screens all day, the panels and product launches were so rich, it was easy to stay glued to the action.
For many, the biggest takeaway from the event was just how much COVID-19 has accelerated technology markets. Everyone keeps referencing Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who said:
“COVID-19 impacts every aspect of our work and life. We have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. There is both immediate surge demand, and systemic, structural changes across all of our solution areas that will define the way we live and work going forward.”
I could dig into how much digital transformation got jampacked into 2020, but you’re no stranger to any of it. Work, school, healthcare, family gatherings have all gone remote, e-commerce for delivery or curbside pickup has gone fully mainstream, and your favorite yoga class has moved to Instagram.
The world changed how it interacts, and that says nothing of how brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs are shifting to make these changes stick. We should all be preparing to meet this world in fast forward, and we should be psyched about the possibilities that are opening up to us.
Bottling Up the Possibilities
To help get you oriented to this new future, the MOFI team took the time to generate what we call a catalyst paper, with an accompanying resource kit.
A catalyst paper is all about stimulating deeper dialogue by throwing out some thoughtful sh*t and hoping that someone wants to talk about it. We’re not claiming the voice of the expert; we’re getting the conversation started and then doing everything we possibly can to turn it up a notch.
Our latest paper — The World in Fast Forward: A Sneak Peak at the Jobs of Tomorrow from CES 2021 — is a thought-provoking tour through nine market sectors being influenced by emerging technologies. In the paper and resource kit, we weave together a stimulating overview of how technology is impacting these sectors with concrete examples of innovations that challenged the status quo in 2020. We offer some provocative ideas about how jobs of the future will respond to these market forces and round out the experience with a set of activities that you can use alone or with your team to spark bold conversations about your own industry and personal readiness to thrive in a world in fast forward.
We’re chomping at the bit to jump into the deep end with you!