I GET CALLED CRAZY A LOT LATELY.
The last person to do it in public was the other man on this page, Zoaib Hoosen, MD of Microsoft South Africa. To be fair, I don't think a magazine editor has ever asked him to drop to his knees and play with toys before. But that's par for the course when you're bringing the world's largest software company to the level of the average consumer.
It's encouraging that there are tech companies trying to empower the man on the street to do greater things. And most of it works on the device you already own. We're truly at the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution.
Ironically, our rampant growth in technology will be our ultimate end. The incessant churn of consumer devices is creating electronic waste at a never-before-seen rate. In 2017, the United Nations University and International Solid Waste Association noted an eight per cent increase in e-waste between 2014 and 2016 ( Global E-waste Monitor 2017). With a predicted 17 per cent surge by 2021 – up to 52.2-million metric tonnes – it's pretty easy to call the end of the world as a result of death by smart device. That doesn't even begin to take into account the destructive resource mining methods used to extract lithium, cobalt and gold.
It would take guts, then, after all that preaching, to present no less than 10 pages of shiny new gadgets to you. Well, I did it. But hear me out: the workplace is changing and demands on employees are increasing exponentially. You'll need new tools, such as the ones mentioned on page 31.
And on those new, connected tools, you'll generate data at a rate that far outstrips the waste you'll dump on to the planet. Data is the new currency in the corporate world and we need to train a new kind of analyst to help us make sense of it. BCX knows this and invested millions to help get into pole position in the next wave of education. I spoke to some of the exceptional future data scientists learning their trade at the Explore Data Science Academy to gain insight into the sexiest job around right now. That's a Bcx-funded venture. And so is the company's Learn initiative, which is in the process of translating Khan Academy content into nonEnglish official South African languages.
We took a page out of their book (with some help from our friends at Microsoft) and translated all of our empowering content from this magazine into isixhosa and Zulu so that the majority of South Africans can also gain a leg up in this revolution. Head over to popularmechanics.co.za to read it.
Our world is changing and change sometimes feels like the world is ending. If it is, I'd much rather try making a positive impact on someone's life so we can all go out happy.