Sean Pillot de Chenecey chats with Jonathan Reichental, Founder and CEO of Human Future, educator, mentor and former CIO for the city of Palo Alto.

Discussed in the podcast:

  • Smart Cities
  • The 4th Industrial Revolution
  • The crisis of climate change
  • Jonathan’s book, Smart Cities for Dummies

Episode #106

The 4th Industrial Revolution

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (00:04): Hello. This podcast is care of Speakers Associates, the global speaker bureau representing a select group of the world’s finest thinkers and thought leaders. Founded in 1999, today Speakers Associates operate out of nine offices across seven countries covering the UK, Europe and Middle east. I’m Sean Pillot de Chenecey, author of the Post-Truth Business and Influencers and Revolutionaries. In this series, I interview a range of fascinating individuals, proudly represented by the bureau. These change agents and industry experts give an update on their specialist areas of knowledge, and also on their motivations and viewpoints regarding the future of business.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (00:49): Today, I’m really pleased to be joined by Jonathan Reichental, the technology leader who’s recognized by the White House and who’s raised on Denver is to apply technical innovation in organizations to create new value and enable work to be more meaningful fun. He’s co-author of the apps Challenge Playbook, and he also teaches at both the University of California and the University of San Francisco. So Jonathan welcome.

Jonathan Reichental (01:21): Hi, good morning, Sean.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (01:22): Hi. So I know that you are currently in a very sunny or perhaps a slightly less sunny San Francisco while I’m in a, an entirely gray and rainy London. But tell me, so here we are a beginning of 2020 as we start these podcasts. I’m really fascinated to find out from people like yourselves, absolute experts in your specific area, what the sort of current social and cultural trends and issues are that are really impacting your clients and the people that you are linking up with at the moment? So Jonathan, what’s going on that really fascinates you?

Jonathan Reichental (01:57): Well, I could choose from a very long list. I mean, we live in just remarkable times right now. There’s a lot going on, a lot going on the technology level, a lot going on at the macro level, in terms of global economics and demographics. There’s a massive amount of change happening in our cities. So let me touch on a, just a few quick items, cuz it’s just such a broad, interesting set of areas we could discuss. I mean I’m very, very interested in spend a lot of time thinking and doing work related to the future of cities. Now why? Well, first of all, I mean you just gotta understand some of the data on this. You know, this is where humanity is gonna be destined, you know, by the middle of the century, 70% of all humans live in cities, you know, most GDP now is generated in cities.

Jonathan Reichental (02:46): If we’re gonna solve climate change we’re gonna do it in cities. So it’s where the future is. And I mean the reality is while some cities have done quite well to prepare themselves for a lot of the challenges that are, you know, exist in 21st century, the vast majority of cities around the world are not well prepared for the extent of change and for the growth they’re gonna experience. And for the, just the rising expectations of community. And then the, and then the arrival of a lot of new tech, you know, everything from, you know, passenger drones to self-driving cars, very elaborate sensor systems for managing all sorts of city services and issues ranging from water quality to air quality. So I think we need to be very much in tune and if your business has an offering or could be in the city business, I suggest pivoting there or really being a provider because, you know, it’s gonna be worth trillions of dollars over the next few years.

Jonathan Reichental (03:53): So that’s a very big topic and maybe we’ll get back to it later. Just a few other things that I think are, you know, kind of big right now, it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that artificial intelligence, you know, the emergence of technology that is augmenting human intelligence. I mean, this is a big deal. We’re really just at the start. So, you know, I gotta, you know, we gotta be very sober about where we’re at, but also sober about where we’re going. You know, if we combine, you know, the rate of progress with high performance computing and potentially even quantum computing, you know, we’re on a trajectory towards super intelligence where the computers are not just augmenting us, but potentially are doing work better than we can do it in faster.

Jonathan Reichental (04:44): And that poses all sorts of positive things, but also some challenges in terms of the future of work and the role of technology in the context of humans. So that’s clearly a big one. I think that’s an obvious one. I think I mentioned it there, but I’ve got quite passionate about quantum computing recently. It’s been on my radar for a while, but I think we’re turning a corner from sort of a concept and a big idea to something that looks like it’s gonna become practical. Here in the next few years, it’s not clear, you know, if it’s next year or five years, but it’s, you know, it’s within a few years, we should see a broader understanding and then adoption of quantum technology in many organizations.

Jonathan Reichental (05:34): And we’re really talking about just significantly enhanced computing performance for certain, for certain per, you know, certain processing needs. It’s not a, it’s not an equivalent to classical computing, the computing we use every day. But it certainly can do things like optimization really, really well. I’m still quite bullish on blockchain. You know, I think, this is, it’s gone through a, an interesting few years where people were excited about it. You know, they confused it sometimes with cryptocurrency, then they realized it had merits on its own for all sorts of applications. It got a bit of a pounding, you know, in the tech press and people were a little disappointed with some of the performance and results. But I think it’s also now entering its sort of, a phase of maturity and where we could see blockchain being more widely adopted and being very useful in a range of context from everything from a supply chain to the finance sector and also use in cities in fact.

Jonathan Reichental (06:43): So, and then finally, the final thing on a kind of a macro level, to sort of bring this all together, the topic that I am speaking a lot about, and it’s getting a lot of attention and actually a lot of demand from me is this idea that you, there’s something bigger going on on the global level in terms of change and it has all the sort of evidence of something that looks like a revolution. And so, you know, it, I’m really pleased with the World Economic Forums work on this idea of a fourth industrial revolution. And I’ve taken that now and I’ve sort of built out my own content and I’ve got a video series on it, and I’m finding that it’s, it’s really popular with a whole range of audiences and, you know, really talking about what does it mean for us as individuals and then as organizations to go through this significant set of changes. And I’m, again, I’m happy to talk about that further, but, I’ll conclude there. Those being sort of, some of the things at the top of mind for me right now.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (07:53): Well, each one of them had absolutely fascinating and one could happily do an entire series with each Jonathan about each one of them. Or sorry, sort of each one in turn, perhaps just taking those, again, sort of, intern or perhaps not in the exact order you put them across. And interesting mentioned there about the World Economic Forum I’m off there next week, cuz naturally it’s happening is kicking off next week in Davos as always. So we’ll talk about the change revolution later. That sounds absolutely fascinating. Perhaps we can start with, again, I know it’s one of your absolutely specialist areas where you are an absolutely leading thinker, this point about future cities and something that’s been the pressed fairly recently again, has been issues around future cities being looked at either from the point of view of, we say, you know, the really sort of top 10 leading futuristic inverted commerce cities versus the ones that perhaps may be left behind. So I’m just interested in your point of view of how is this gonna play out in terms of, you know, when you say just the future city, are there gonna be would there be sort, you know, grades of cities in the same way that we would almost grade, you know, sports teams in leagues, or what, how is this gonna play out? Will there just be, say a small batch of already amazing ones and then everyone else is far in the distance or, or what?

Jonathan Reichental (09:13): Yeah, it’s, it’s an important question. I’m writing a lot about this right now. In fact, I’m working on a new book called Smart Cities for Dummies, which is due to come out in, hopefully in the middle of 2020. And I, you know, I’m kind of getting deep into this question because I think, you know, we have to be able to help all types of city leaders all around the world. So first to understand what options they have for, you know, for their cities to react and respond to the challenges they’re seeing. We have to be able to help them to build strategies, you know, to execute well, to adopt technologies and new ways of doing things. And I’m saying we, in the biggest sense, you know, all sorts of providers have an opportunity to help the, you know, the hundreds of thousands of cities around the world that will all be engaged in this journey in one way or another over, you know, for the next few decades, certainly through, it would feel like the 21st century.

Jonathan Reichental (10:18): So one of the things that I have recognized and is a topic for discussion is this idea of like, what is a smart city, or, you know, what does it mean to be pursuing sort of future city activities? And, you know, is there a way to measure that. I mean, there’s some, there’s been some attempts to have metrics, but the reality is it’s on a case by case basis. You know, what’s important for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is different from Paris, France, and Singapore and Shanghai and New York City. So what we’re really saying here is each city needs to determine, you know, its challenges, its needs and identify the pathway to approach those and solve those issue issues that it might have, or at least also pursue the sort of vision that the community has for itself.

Jonathan Reichental (11:14): What does it want to be, you know, 10, 20, 30 years from now and beyond so I, I’m not crazy about the notion of ranking or saying, you know, here’s the top, you know, smart city in the world, or here’s one, that’s not doing a lot, it’s gonna be really relative to itself. You know, and so it, you have to look at, you have to take a city and say, Hey, well, what’s this city doing? And then you can figure out, you know, where are they on their own sort of journey. And then, you know, they could, maybe the challenge they have is housing, or maybe it’s transportation related or energy related. And you know, each city, depending where it is in the world, depending on its topography and it’s also, its budgets will approach, will approach the issues differently.

Jonathan Reichental (12:02): The last point I just wanted to make is, you know, not all cities are engaged right now. This is, we’re kind of the beginning of this, you know, just say there’s a small group of very progressive leaders on every continent in the world who have seen, you know, the need and the urgency to have pragmatic approaches to resolving their city issues. And then there’s a lot that are sort of in a wait and see mode. Then there’s a chunk that don’t, maybe haven’t got exposure to the possibilities. But in time everybody begins to come to join this journey. Because the reality is a city that, for example, doesn’t provide, you know, or doesn’t have the ability to have internet access for all its citizens or a community that is generating a lot of carbon emissions. You know, they’re, they, they’re gonna struggle in so many different ways. So there are these, there is a momentum of core issues that I think every city eventually gets on board with, but solves in a very unique way that’s personal to that city and that location.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (13:26): How interesting. That I thought was a particular point I picked up on there when you’re talking about, you know, cities need to look at this with a sense of urgency, and this also links into a point you made earlier on. I read yesterday as an interesting comment on, I think on Twitter, someone saying, if we don’t sort out, with a sense of urgency, the issues around carbon emissions and around a climate crisis, then increasingly our cities will look like something out of blade runner and that, while it sounds quite interesting, isn’t a good thing, you know, so that notion of, as you mentioned, right, at the beginning of this podcast, one of the key points you’re looking at, is the impact of environmental change on things like the future city. Perhaps you can talk a bit about that because as we are here now in early 2020, you know, we’ve all, no matter if the listeners are listening to this podcast from wherever it may be Beijing or Rio, or, you know, San Francisco as you are, or London, where I am, you know, we’ve all been looking at the horrendous images from Australia.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (14:29): And this notion of just how urgently businesses and cities have to take the climate crisis on board is something that is becoming ever louder. I just wondered, you know, your viewpoints on that. And just in terms of the sort of things that you are saying and recommending to your clients and the sort of things that you are talking about at conferences.

Jonathan Reichental (14:49): Yeah. It’s a little bit sobering. You know, we find ourselves now in a crisis. It’s baffling to me that some moral leaders are not on board making this a priority but I think that time will come. It’s just a matter of timing. You know the scientific consensus is in and look, you don’t have to be a scientist. You can, as you said, you can just look at the news. You can see the phenomena of natural disasters that are much worse and more frequent and lots of flooding and you know, where there’s rain, there’s more rain where there’s drought, there’s more drought. And, you know, people are, this is not something that we say we should do something about now, because it’s gonna affect us in the future.

Jonathan Reichental (15:37): The reality is it’s affecting us right now. And it’s, it’s not just a government responsibility, the end of the day this is gonna be every single one of us doing things differently. It’s gonna be about every one of us accepting some compromises where, you know, we haven’t in the past. It’s a huge topic. Now, if we’re gonna solve it, we’re gonna have to solve it in cities. And the second area will be agriculture. So typically that would be more rural, but those are the two key areas. And you know, in our cities, we have to be thinking about the energy that we use. What type of energy are we consuming? Is it stuff we dig out of the earth, you know, or is it the sunshine in the sky, the clean abundant sun power we get, or is it wind power?

Jonathan Reichental (16:32): So I think energy needs to be, you know, front and center in terms of some of the, one of the big areas that can make a big difference quickly. There already are many nations in the world and many cities that are moving quickly towards providing a large part of their energy in, by, with renewal renewables or even at a point where they’re now, close to a hundred percent renewables. And so it is possible, it does take investment and commitment and leadership but that’s a big one. A transportation is another area you know, we have to start to, begin deep thinking deeply about how we move people in goods around the place. We did fall in love with the car in most of the world.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (17:22): Yeah.

Jonathan Reichental (17:22): In the developed world, we’ve reached peak car ownership, which means we’re actually on the other side of it now, people are buying less cars. This is a good news story. But unfortunately in some areas of the developing world, car purchasing is increasing. So that’s not necessarily the best story right now. We need to be thinking about when we do buy cars, you know, are they electric or hybrid, do we actually need to buy a car? Our cities need to be able to pride alternatives, you know, is there light rail? Are there bike paths? You know, so important for a city just to create safe bike routes around their communities. So transportation is a biggie, you know, and here in Northern California, 70% of greenhouse gas emissions are from transportation.

Jonathan Reichental (18:16): You know, so it’s a, yeah, we’re, if we’re gonna make a difference here and we’re working hard at it. We gotta tackle transportation. The other big one is what we eat. And this is also an interesting story because you know, in developing countries, one of the ways in which sort of newfound affluence is reflected is through larger consumption of meat. This was also the case in, you know, in our, in the United States and the, you know, in England when it was also emerging as a world leader and as a developed nation, we also began to consume a lot, lot more meat, but we sort of seem to also be at the point where now, we are seeing less consumption of red meat in the, in some highly developed nations.

Jonathan Reichental (19:13): People are making other choices. We also see recently the arrival of meat substitutes, you know, these beyond burgers and impossible burgers that are plant based, but they look and taste and smell like meat. And people, I like ’em for the first time, you know, these are not your veggie burgers of 20 years ago. These are perhaps a real equivalent, where people are comfortable sort of giving up a lot of their meat consumption in favor of plant based. So yeah, the, one of the things that each of us can do to make a difference, if there’s, if you’re wondering, like, what can I do today, you know, tomorrow it’s really think about and make different choices in what you consume, in terms of food because you know, meat in particular is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Jonathan Reichental (20:05): It’s a terrible use of fresh water. It’s a terrible use of land. You know, a little bit of a, my own personal perspective here. It’s a cruel, you know, I’ve definitely eliminated a lot of meat from my diet. It’s minuscule these days. And hopefully I can choose a point in the future here where I’m entirely, I’m not eating meat or at least eating perhaps, impossible burgers. I, you know, the final point I’ll just make on the whole, you know, this crisis. And, first of all, we ought not to be feeling despaired or pessimistic. We have to have an optimistic outlook. Humans have been really awesome in solving, you know, big problems over the last few centuries. I mean, we faced some big challenges and somehow we figured out a way to overcome ’em.

Jonathan Reichental (20:57): Now this is a big one climate, the climate crisis is a biggie. But we have to be optimistic and do things, do things differently. And we can, we kind of, we can figure out a positive you future pathway. And my final point on it was we have typically thought of, you know, our experience is one of consuming, you know, a consumer culture, where we buy things and those things that we buy have a lot of packaging, and those things travel long distances. You know, when you go to a store and pick up a product, you know, you take it off the shelf, you pay for it, you go home, you use it, we don’t, you don’t really think about it. And I think now we gotta change that it, we gotta be really, thoughtful about what we, how much we buy. And when we buy something, where is it from how’s it made? What is it made from who makes it, you know, and if a new generation of really motivated and active young people begin to think and do things like that, we can get on the right path. And so, you know, I remain optimistic right now. Things feel a little bit dark and tough, but we’ve got through those before and I’m hopeful. We’ll get through this too.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (22:25): It’s fascinating. I think that is you, you’re talking, one of the points you’re talking about there of, you know, actions that we can take on an individual personal level based on either, you know, more or less use, or practical viewpoints, linked into also things happening on a more systematic change level or absolute fascinating, I mean, does that link into the point you made earlier on about, you know, what you described as the change revolution, you know, the fourth industrial revolution that you’re talking about with regards to the World Economic Forum and points being discussed there about where all this goes next. So perhaps just talk about that, about your,

Jonathan Reichental (23:03): Yeah.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (23:04): I dunno if you have a sort of a manifesto that you have in your mind, or if you or key points that you talk about in your writings and your speeches about, you know, the change revolution?

Jonathan Reichental (23:16): Yeah. No, no, thank you. I, so part of it is simply, I do communicate sort of factually what I believe this is and how it’s manifesting. And then yes, there is a bit of a, you know, I do share my perspective on what we can do, and that’s what I’m doing with organizations. I’m giving that advice. And when I’m doing keynotes and I’m doing events, I’m also giving people ideas, because the thing is when you get in front of an audience, which I do often, and you talk about something like, let’s say quantum computing or the future of cities, or the fourth industrial revolution, people wanna understand it. But more than ever people wanna know what to do, they want ideas. And so this is really important. I never like to leave the stage without, you know, saying here’s some ideas or here’s stuff you can do right now.

Jonathan Reichental (24:06): Like it’s not hard, you know, in terms of doing something there’s plenty of hard work to do. And there’s plenty of things that only certain organizations can achieve because of their position or their access to capital. But as individuals and employees, you know, there’s a lot of things we can do if we’re interested in these topics and we care about them. You know, the fourth industrial revolution is an incredible way of understanding the times in which we live. And to your question, you know, do things like, you know, does climate crisis and behavioral change factor in? The answer is 100%. I don’t do any talks today without either including somewhere in my talk climate, the climate crisis, and how it relates to the topic I’m talking about or conclude with climate crisis as the biggest issue over time.

Jonathan Reichental (24:59): I couldn’t possibly be sort of a person who helps organizations think about the future and not, factor that in to the bigger picture. And so the fourth industrial revolution is a set of changes that are significantly different from our previous, you know, three industrial revolutions. Those brought us, you know, on the, brought us steam. Steam, power and factories. And, second industrial revolution brought us electricity and telecommunications. And of course the third industrial revolution is what we’re living right now, which is really the information age or the digital transformation age. And now this fourth is all of those things and a lot more, but it’s a lot faster, a lot more impactful. The four characteristics that I share on this topic that help define at a very high level, what are the changes is number one is scope.

Jonathan Reichental (25:51): So, when for example, a, an upgrade comes for, you know, the Android operating system that is distributed over air to billions of people, sometimes in a day or two, we’ve never had that before. We’ve never had the capability to distribute software across the world to billions of people in maybe just a few hours. So scope is a significant characteristic. And, you know, I give the Android example because it’s a people, everyone I think can relate to it in terms of its scale. But you know, years ago, you know, took, it took 50, it took 64 years for 50 million people to experience a commercial air flight. 64 years for 50 million people. But it took 19 days for 50 million people to experience Pokemon Go.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (26:42): What a great analogy. That’s fantastic. Yeah.

Jonathan Reichental (26:46): Yeah. Yeah. I mean, so, I mean, it’s, it is a little bit of silliness, but also really gives us a sense of, you know, 64 years to 19 days to reach 50 million humans.

Jonathan Reichental (26:55): We have the ability now in terms of scope to reach people in terms of tech in change in ways that are unprecedented. The second one is impact. We go from scoped to impact and impact is about what does that actually mean when we can affect, tens 50, you know, tens, hundreds, and more of millions of people with something. So, you know, you have, like, for example, Uber is used in many countries in the world and, you know, the, there could be a software developer sitting in an office this morning here in San Francisco, writes a line of code or changes a configuration file. And it impacts tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of drivers all over the world, almost instantly, you know, that’s impact or another example is, you know, you’re at Apple and you’re getting ready to distribute a new iOS, a new version of the operating system for their iPhone.

Jonathan Reichental (27:51): And you distribute, you know, the point release and 98% of it’s perfect, but you introduce an issue. Now you have millions, maybe a billion people with a bug on their phone, you know, a problem. That’s never a pleasant day at Apple when that happens. And not only do you want to fix it, but, you know, you want fix it, not introduce yet another problem. So you can see how, you know, software is eating the world. That’s a, that’s some big impact there if you distribute to billions of devices. The third one is velocity. And what velocity is as it sounds like is just the speed of change. You know, the speed of a new idea is introduced and you got it in your hands very quickly. You know, I think of something like, whilst it’s not in production yet, I think about Elon Musk’s idea for Hyperloop, you know, a set of sort of tubes for high speed vehicles to travel through, you know, based in almost vacuum based transportation system.

Jonathan Reichental (28:59): And within a few months you have a few investors in engaged, and then within another few months you have companies actually experimenting. So we, you know, we’re going from, you know, big ideas to implementation or at least experimentation pretty fast. And then the last of the four is convergence. And you know, the way I describe convergence for people is, if you take a single technology like GPS. You know, GPS is pretty incredible, you know, for our mapping software and, able to direct ships and airplanes and all sorts of transportation systems. It’s pretty cool. But when you combine GPS with social computing and big data and AI, well, suddenly you get something like on demand traffic system, like Uber, when you start to combine these incredible technologies, we get completely new business models and new ideas.

Jonathan Reichental (30:06): And I think that’s very important for people when they think about something like artificial intelligence. You know, AI on its own is important. AI and industry is important. So like AI and healthcare is pretty important. But let’s add a few more pluses to that. So let’s say AI plus big data plus healthcare equals, or let’s go further, we’ll say AI plus blockchain plus big data plus healthcare equals. When you start to converge, you know, the industry technologies and the context, then you get completely different outcomes. And so I look at something like artificial intelligence, and I look at quantum computing as sort of separate interesting topics, but then when I look at them together, I get this completely new perspective on what’s possible. So those are sort of four dimensions of thinking about the types of things that are happening in this fourth industrial revolution.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (31:00): Absolutely fascinating. And can I ask, I mean, in terms of the sort of, you know, sort of five or six minutes we have left because these, again, just to remind the, that the audience, what we’re deliberately doing is keeping each of the podcasts sort of snappy and sharp. Although we would very happily talk for several hours cause these such a fascinating topics, but always wanting everyone sort of, to want more, that point you making just now about convergence, and then you were talking about sort of AI and super intelligence. I know earlier on you alluded to the way this is often portrayed to the media is being very negative. Essentially. I think when most of us read media titles, wherever we are, when it comes to things like the future of work in particular, or for instance, it tends to be written through a journalistic prism of, you know, the robots are coming to get us, you know, all work is going, what an earth are we gonna do if the climate crisis wasn’t bad enough, there’ll be nothing to do while we’re just waiting to die.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (31:57): Quite frankly. You don’t look at the future of work, I believe in such a negative, from such a negative viewpoint, do you? I think you have a more positive outlook on where this could be going?

Jonathan Reichental (32:11): Well, I generally like to be optimistic. I think that’s the right position to take, you know, people who are optimistic are folks who generally can affect change. They can bring teams with them, you know, you know, in a leader, if a leader recognizes some deep issues, but remains upbeat and gets everyone, you know, positive about overcoming things that can make that make all the difference in the world. So I do think we have to be optimistic, on the question of the future of work, nobody really knows the answer, you know, will AI and robotics take our jobs. I mean, there’s some fantastic research and opinions on both sides of that. One argument says, there’ll be more work than ever in the future. The other argument says we will have nothing to do.

Jonathan Reichental (33:04): You know, it’s never typically in history, we don’t have, we don’t fall into one of two extremes. It’s, you know, some something either a little different happens or it’s, somewhere more, more in the more in the middle. I mean, the, one of the scenarios that I’ve looked at is by 2030, which is now just 10 years away, we could see the displacement of about 800 million jobs. That is, yeah, that’s 20% of the global workforce. And there is some good, you know, supporting data to why we believe this is the case. But the statement shouldn’t end there, that the remaining part of that sentence has to be, and this is what happens to these people where this is what we have to do, you know? So there, there will be significant transition for a vast number of people potentially in some time horizon.

Jonathan Reichental (34:01): I don’t know if it’s 10 years, you know, that maybe that’s a little bit, you know, aggressive in terms of timing. But we should take it in the experiments meant, which is, you know, AI and robotics is going to displace is gonna space people. There’s no question. And then we gotta figure out, well, are we creating more jobs than we’re destroying as we’ve done for most of the industrial revolutions, which is a good thing or are we displacing jobs that can’t be replaced and those people are then, in a position where they’re going to, where they’re going to struggle. So it, there is a question of what happens and in what time horizon? There’s no question, you know, I am saying that we will see this shift.

Jonathan Reichental (34:50): We will see AI robotics being adopted in much, in a much broader fashion. Now the next thing you have to think about is, well, what do we do about that? What does that mean? Are we creating more jobs again, in different industries and different where we need different skills, that is normally what happens. Again, but though if you think about some of the characteristics of the fourth industrial revolution, whether it’s scope or velocity, it’s gonna happen faster, and it’s gonna be bigger than we’ve seen it in the past. So we have to, if you’re an employer, you know, you have a real sense of where you’re headed, in terms of your own organization, are you preparing the workforce for the ways in which you’ll do work in the future, and then if you’re an individual, well, this is a good time and it will be for a long time to understand the marketplace, understand where the opportunities are.

Jonathan Reichental (35:51): Figure out if your job is, is an early candidate for automation. You know, if not, you know, what do you do about it, if it is, what do you do about it? So, you know, a lot of what’s going on right now, whether it’s the climate crisis, you know, qualities of the fourth industrial revolution or the future of work, they, these are not topics that we can be observers, you know, or spectators. I think they demand every one of us to be engaged in some way, those that understand these topics, understand the implications of them, and then have an idea of some options for themselves. I think they’ll all fare better. They will all fare better in this new future than those that, you know, don’t learn the topics or ignore them, or think it doesn’t affect them. You know, it, this is a time to be proactive and understand that you have a lot of control over what happens next. I think that’s really important.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (36:59): That’s an, a fascinating, and really, really inspiring way to begin, to finish off this interview. And thank you so much, Jonathan. Can I just ask as a sort of final point, and I know you mentioned earlier on in terms of, the, or one of the next big things in your life is going to be the release of your forthcoming book, Smart Cities for Dummies. I believe you said that out this year, so perhaps you can just, remind me, a, that is the case. And then also, where do our listeners go to find out more about?

Jonathan Reichental (37:29): Thank you. Yeah, I’m write, every day now I’m writing. You know, I got some deadlines to hit on this book. It’s Smart Cities for Dummies from Wiley, it’s part of the Dummy Series, by the way, the world’s largest biggest selling reference series of books. It’s incredible. They’ve sold over 300 million of these books, so I’m proud to be part of this family now.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (37:48): Yeah.

Jonathan Reichental (37:48): The book comes out this year. Then my publisher tells me not to give a date yet. But you can pre-order it on Amazon if you want, or you know, I expect to see it out, you know, sometime in the months in the middle of the year, if everything goes well. So that that’s it’ll but you, if you wanna get it on your, make sure you’ve got it, locked in, go to Amazon.com or your favorite online bookstore or bookstore, and you can order it, now. And if people wanna, you know, connect with me, they want, they have questions about what I’ve talked about today, or certainly if they want me to be a speaker, they go to Speakers Associates.

Jonathan Reichental (38:32): I think you’ll talk about that. But if they just wanna have a conversation with me, I’m very active on Twitter, @Reichental, just my last name. @ R E I C H E N T A L, @reichental. And you can direct message me there, connect with me, and then we’ll direct message, or you can, you know, follow the things that I’m interested in in talking about my new content and then link, LinkedIn. I’m very active on LinkedIn. And again, it’s easy to find me there. I have a lot of courses and videos on LinkedIn Learning, everything from the fourth industrial revolution to quantum computing, digital twins, a lot of stuff on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. You know, my courses have been looked being viewed by several million people. So I’m really proud of them and would love for your listeners to check them out. So yeah, I’m pretty, pretty accessible. And if, you know, if you reach out to me on Twitter or LinkedIn, I will respond and I’m always happy to have a conversation.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (39:27): Well, Jonathan Reichental, leading thinker, fascinating author and renowned speaker. Thank you for joining us today.

Jonathan Reichental (39:37): Oh, thank you so much. This is great.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (39:42): Thank you for listening to The Speakers Show Podcast. Please leave a rating on iTunes. We’d really appreciate it. And also it’d be great if you could subscribe to the podcast itself. You’ll find it also on Google podcasts, SoundCloud, or your favorite podcast app. Thank you.

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Podcast host

Sean Pillot de Chenecey speaker

Sean Pillot de Chenecey

Foresight strategist, author and podcast host Sean Pillot de Chenecey is an inspirational speaker, who’s also consulted for some of the world’s biggest brands.

Sean has a very deep level of knowledge regarding the genuine issues impacting brands from a cultural, social and business perspective.

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