The world is changing faster than ever before, leaving people dazed, businesses struggling, economies floundering and societies fracturing. But why? Transition Point is the result of years of research to establish the answer; a breath-taking three-part investigation into the cause, nature and effect of technological change and the future social, economic and cultural challenges we are likely to encounter as a result.
Part one dives into a historical analysis of why progress suddenly and exponentially exploded in the 18th Century. It investigates the drivers of technological change, why it happens in waves, and details the different waves we have experienced to date. It not only explains the nature of technological change, but uniquely explores the social, economic and political factors that enable or suppress it.
Part Two of the book then examines the breath of technologies in the current wave, and their impact on the world of work. From advanced robotics through to artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and the blockchain, Culey explains how these technologies are converging together to automate the entire global supply chain, creating the potential to replace human labour and human cognitive skills.
Finally, in the book's third and biggest section, the book examines what impact this technological change will have on our business practices, our economy, the nature of work, our society and on our future as a species. It highlights trends that are leading us towards some very dystopian outcomes, from mass unemployment to a totalitarian society of constant surveillance. It also demonstrates why this period may represent the beginning of the end for Homo sapiens.
As Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, stated; "We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before." Transition Point explains why.
This is a serious piece of work! Took me a while to understand where it was going, but by the end of this really impressive book, you realise that you've just read something that is both timely and important.
It may be a big book, but its easy-to-read style means it isn't a difficult one. The main challenge is that the author covers so much ground - history, politics, societal change, culture, economics, business - it's all in there - and it's all good! This is not some random collection of thoughts; it's a joined-up and cohesive story that describes the historical and theoretical foundations of technological progress in the first part, the extent of the current wave of change in part two, and its implications in the third and largest part of the book.
It is the third part where things get really interesting. The author describes the implications of a world of AI, robotics and genetic engineering, explaining everything from the threat of technological unemployment to the rise of digital authoritarianism. The last chapters on society and where we are going are both breathtaking and scary, and close the loop on the points made in the first part where Culey describes the close relationship[ between society, individual freedoms and progress.
If you're like me, then at the end of the book you'll immediate go back and review early chapters again but with new eyes now that you know where it's going. I was initially frustrated and confused by the time spent on the historical chapters and wished he'd skipped that part, but by the end you fully understand whey they were there and whey they were necessary.
Possibly the most comprehensive and captivating non-fiction book I've ever read; left me breathless at times.
Deserves to be widely read and debated. It'll be a travesty if it isn't.
Sean Culey (SCOR-P, FCILT) advises leaders on how to develop and deliver new customer-centric business models and align their organisation to ensure they are executed successfully. He is also a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University, a Fellow at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT) and the UK's only certified SCOR Master Instructor. He is also a futurist for IBM Watson Supply Chain.
He is also the author of numerous articles on business transformation, supply chains and disruptive technologies that have been published in magazines such as Forbes, The World Financial Review, The European Business Review and The Chief Executive Officer.