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Sierra Murphy
6 January 2021

Rohit Talwar, Global Futurist, shares his vision for a post-pandemic future

At BoxCon 2020, Boxever’s inaugural customer and partner event, Rohit Talwar – Futurist, Author and CEO at FastFuture, explained the broader context of the environment in which we are going to be delivering future technologies.

Rohit took us through the scenarios and shifts that might shape the next few years, and looked at how we can use technology to change customers’ experiences. Rohit continued by sharing his thoughts on how leaders can get their organisations ready to respond to what is coming next. Continue reading for a summary of the presentation or watch the on demand version.

Rohit Talwar at BoxCon 2020
  • There are a number of forces making it incredibly complex to navigate a route to the future. Rohit outlined the three scenarios to strategise for:
    1. The first, Unknown Territory: it could take a long time to eradicate the pandemic. It may be 2024 before the whole world has an effective vaccine, which in turn could lead to multiple recessions. If you knew that was going to happen, what would your response be?
    2. The second, Rocky Road, where a lot of people think they are now, where we get through the pandemic more rapidly, maybe sometime in 2022 or 2023.
    3. The third, Hope and Renewal, is where we get the pandemic under control by the end of 2022 at the latest, and we have certainty that we won’t have to continue to lock down.

Which of these scenarios are you currently planning for? And how will these scenarios potentially change customer behaviour in your market?

  • The pandemic has accelerated the recognition that strategic horizons need to be changed.
    1. First is a 1-3 month Survival or Operational Stability Strategy, there is a sense that we need this to keep us going through whatever happens in the next steps of the external environment – government regulations, for example.
    2. Second is a 4-12 month Adaptation and Process Innovation strategy, understanding that the game is going to change in pretty much every industry you operate in, and there are new rules emerging. So we need to look for new opportunities and adapt.
    3. The best organisations at the moment are those who are not shocked by the future and have taken a longer term perspective of 1-10 years with a Future Vision strategy to try and understand the radical shifts that might lead to the reinvention of sectors.
  • Artificial intelligence is a core technology that will become more and more central, it has accelerated during the downturn period. There are three core application areas for AI, Augmentation, Speed and Scale.
    1. The first is augmenting the work of humans, AI can scan millions of pieces of research to provide support to a doctor so that they can apply their judgement.
    2. Second is speed, driverless cars for example have to make millions and millions of calculations every microsecond in order to keep the car on the road, AI is the tool that enables this to happen.
    3. Third is scale, AI has allowed vaccination companies to create tens of millions of possible compounds and then simulate their impact on humans. A challenge is the lack of understanding about what AI can do, and people are not wanting to experiment, therefore education is critical.
Rohit Talwar's AI applications
  • Ten areas that Rohit thinks will have a dramatic shift in personalisation are:
    1. Food: robotic kitchens; cloning the expertise from chefs to cook personalised meals at home.
    2. Entertainment: drones delivering food & merchandise to you at festivals or football games via 5g and AI.
    3. Travel: AI will design personalised experiences based on what it knows about us and our needs; fully digitised experience from arriving at the airport in a driverless vehicle to a customised mini-fridge.
    4. Workplace: AI for task management; advice on better ways of doing things; helping us make career choices.
    5. Health and wellness: total monitoring of everything from our oxygen, heart rate, breathing; advising us on whether we need to do more exercise or change our eating or sleeping.
    6. Communication: recognising who we are talking to & correcting our text accordingly; guidance in heated situations.
    7. Fashion and beauty: help us make decisions based on what fits or suits us best.
    8. Friends and family: technology eliminates distance.
    9. Free time: robotic staff doing the cleaning around the house; AI can also help us learn an instrument or new hobbies with infinite patience.
    10. Dating: our AI could use our data to make deep matches and communicate with our potential partners’ AI.

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