Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - FROM THE EDITOR -

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.

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