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“THE NOT REALLY NEW” NEW NORMAL BY CEM SEZGİN

27 Apr

WHAT IS THE NEW NORMAL?

I am going to be frank with you: If I hear the word “disruption” for a few months more, I suspect I may eventually end up vomiting and the time will come, when I will probably start feeling the same way about “the New Normal”. Anyway, before I do so, I wanted to conceptualize and then visualize (or perhaps a bit the other way around) the concept of what New Normal is going to look like. First, I have to make one thing clear: For me, the New Normal did not start with the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like the idea of a mega-pandemic and its possible effects did not start for me with the COVID-19. It is difficult to give an exact timing for its start but it has been around for quite some time. What COVID-19 did however, was to catalyze, reshape and augment the New Normal dramatically. Therefore, I hail to the COVID-19. I guess everyone is satisfied now. Well, what is the new normal? This is the most difficult one… To me, it is quite simple and that is what makes it that complicated to explain. OK. I will try anyway: “The New Normal is a never-ending shift from the Old Normal as the New Normal itself will keep on evolving.” The truth is Human will always find someone or something to blame for causing this shift. If this pandemic had not taken place, “the World War 2 ½” that is currently taking place in the middle of the “Old World” could be marked as the reason behind the so-called New Normal. Because even I was not satisfied the explanations above, I tried to create a framework, which anyone could easily follow and chose a cheesy-enough name for it, “The 9 Foundations for the New Normal”.

Politics People Planet

Neo-Geopolitics:

Shifts in Balance

The Unethical Ethics:

Clash of Values

Health & W/Hell-being:

Rising Concerns

·         Anti-globalization
·         Self Sufficient States
·         Soft Power Rising
·         The New Warfare
·         Ever-lasting Conflicts
·         New Friends / Foes
·         Postmodern: Good vs Bad, Right vs Wrong
·         Human Rights: A Joke
·         Social Animal No More
·         The Freedom Paradox:
·         Citizen or Individual?
·         The Aging Population
·         A Lust for Life Quality
·         Our Pandemic World
·         Health vs. Wealth
·         Uncured Diseases
·         Hit Maslow’s Bottom

Demo(n)graphics:

Revisited

(Dis)Belief Systems:

Under Question

Climate is No Mate:

A Tutor for All

·         5 Generations Together
·         Mind the Gender Gap
·         Racism: Again!
·         Nationalism: Again!
·         Im (possible)migration
·         «Urban»ization Legend
·         A Misunderstood God
·         Faith No More?
·         Deism, Atheism & Agnostism on the Rise
·         Rediscovering Self
·         War of Beliefs
·         A Race to the Space
·         Which Ever is Greener: Dollars or the Planet
·         Natural Disasters:
·         More Frequent, More Severe & Everywhere

Governing «Buddies»:

Hybrid & Agile

Digital Transplantation:

Self-Incepted

Re-Resources:

Ascending & Descending

·         NGOs Taking Over
·         The New Corporation
·         No Right, No Left vs.
·         Both Left & Right
·         Post Truth
·         Empires Strike Back
·         A No-Limits Game
·         Human «vs.» Machine
·         Human «&» Machine
·         Machines to Humanize
·         Humans to Machinize
·         Illusion / Disillusion
·         Economic & Financial Resources Subject to:
·         Natural & Physical Resources
·         Cultural & Intellectual Resources

READ WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Anyone, including myself, could look at this table (framework) and may question the categorizations and phrases I have chosen. Many of you could easily challenge me by arguing that if not all, most of these topics / trends sound quite familiar. You may want to add, subtract, rephrase, regroup, change, and so on… Yet please, do all of those. Because these are the challenges that I am exactly looking for. I have been a white-collar and a consultant for 25+ years and above all, a visual person ever since I have known myself. Besides, I am less experienced in being a though leader (for whatever that means). I guess these defects are self-explanatory. Mega trends, points of view, interpretations cannot be monopolized by anyone and none of our predictions are future-proof. We will be tested time and time again while only time will tell if we were right or wrong. The important thing here is, we should never stop thinking of those and we should be sharing our opinions and perspectives with others.

HOW TO READ THIS FRAMEWORK

Very Simple: There are 3 overarching “Clusters”:

  • Planet is about where we live and about the forces that shape it.
  • People is about who we are and how we behave.
  • Politics is about how People co-exist on the Planet.

Under each Cluster, there are 3 “Foundations” that have been shaping and will continue to shape the New Normal, so that makes it 9 foundations in total.

Eventually, under each Foundation, there are some examples of “Triggering Factors”.

Cluster 1

Cluster 2

Cluster 3

Foundation 1

Foundation 4

Foundation 7

Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor

Foundation 2

Foundation 5

Foundation 8

Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor

Foundation 3

Foundation 6

Foundation 9

Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor
Triggering Factor

One extremely importing point we should not rule out is the fact that all these Clusters, Foundations as well as Triggering Factors are connecting with each other. Of course, you already noticed that… Yet, all of those connecting dots are changing all the time. Of course, you would also know that. Anyway, I just wanted to bring it to your attention once again. Though my framework may look very clear-cut in shape (which is for simplicity purposes), all the concepts within are quite fluid.

As said before, feel free to change the names, categories, factors, shapes… actually, whatever you want. All I ask from you is to think, dream, argue and share your opinions and feelings. Improvise!

CHAPTER 1: PEOPLE / DIGITAL TRANSPLANTATION: SELF-INCEPTED

Let us admit: The “Digital Transformation” has been around for quite some time now, but something bigger is taking over. I name it the “Digital Transplantation”, meaning digital transplanted into the lives of people, companies and the states already and this transplantation is looking less and less awkward. Where does that lead us? Probably, nobody – even the most futurist of the futurists – does not know the answer. (I respect highly those trying to answer, though) Well, this whole thing looks like a “No-Limits Game”. While we play the game, some difficult questions blur our minds such as “Is it Human «vs» Machine or Human «&» Machine?” A big portion of the population argue that technology could become the enemy while a big portion thinks just the opposite. What is more interesting is, there is a third group (most likely larger than those two) who does not give a damn. Then, some more challenging questions follow: “Are the Machines to Humanize or Humans to Machinize?” The likely outcome will be, we fill face the new decades where some of us will be extremely fulfilled by the technological advancements, while some will be disillusioned with what digital would bring, despite all its glamour.

The table below demonstrates some examples about how Digital Transplantation crosses roads with the other eight Foundations. A similar table can be prepared for each Foundation in the same manner.

  Some Examples of Connection Points
DIGITAL TRANSPLANTATION
Neo-Geopolitics
·         As part of the “New Warfare”, countries will heavily invest in transforming their armed forces through digital capabilities
·         Digital propaganda will be a key asset to polish the international images of the countries and cementing their soft power
·         To be self-sufficient, secure and truly independent, the nations will prioritize to minimize their digital dependencies on others
Demo(n)graphics
·         Interestingly, digital will sometimes converge, sometimes diverge the paths of elder and younger generations
·         Digital will increase and decrease mobility at the same time, making it possible to be everywhere and not necessarily anywhere
·         Digitalized discrimination will potentially increase. For example, we may witness massive online racist parades etc.
Governing “Buddies”
·         As time goes by, governments will struggle more to keep up with the paste of digitalization and respond with laws & regulations
·         The clash between the ethically concerned citizens and their governments digitally spying on them will deepen
·         The digital censorship will become more under the radar of the governments as the “controllable” press is dying day by day
The Unethical Ethics
·         Many people will question the ethics of increasing role of technology, especially in work life (but not limited to it)
·         Some people will be raising the “robot rights”, “AI rights” etc. and they may steal the scene from Human Rights
·         The dilemma between our digital footprints vs classified personal information will deepen
(Dis)belief Systems
·         People will try to use technology as a means of proving the existence / non-existence of a Supreme Power
·         Virtual places of worship (churches, mosques, temples, synagogues etc.) may become the new trend
·         People will share, read, discuss online, more than ever about self, religion, purpose and so on and this will challenge everything
Health & W/Hell-being
·         From diagnose to cure the whole health system will become increasingly digital. The same goes for preventive health care.
·         People will have very complex real time digital “health status scorecards” where almost everything becomes visible. Not easy!
·         Predictive analytical modelling will become a key component in the health care services, effecting and guiding decisions
Climate is No Mate
·         Nations will find have to decide on whether investing technology funds in making the World more livable or living the space dream
·         Predictive analytical modelling will become a major tool in estimating the short term and long term natural disasters
·         Digital industries may lead to a “greener” World, thus effecting the environment and climate in a positive way
Re-Resources
·         Digital Resources will emerge as a new type of resource, connecting physical /natural resources with intellectual / cultural
·         Digital Resources will also become in some cases, a substitute for physical /natural resources and intellectual / cultural
·         Exploring, optimizing, allocating, and utilizing of resources will be digitally managed by AI and bots

Other chapters will follow…

All The Best,

Cem