I addressed the Hyderabad Management Association (HMA) on 9th November 2018 on Digital Revolution. I titled the lecture as a rhetorical question: Digital Revolution: Can A Leader Choose Between Escape and Embrace. I did not want to answer the question myself but wanted the audience to decide for themselves whether one really can afford to escape the digital revolution that is sweeping the world today. I did not limit the definition of 'leader' to the political leader. I used the term in a much broader sense to include leaders of industry, business, trade, engineering, science, technology, academia, literature, letters, arts, law etc. In other words, leaders of every walk of life and profession.
I began my address by talking about the Cognitive Revolution which occurred around 70,000 years ago. And then went on to explain how the humanity came upon the Agricultural Revolution about 12,000 years ago and then went on to have Industrial Revolutions first with the widespread use of steam, then of electric power, subsequently of internet and now with the use of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Nanotechnology etc, which have collectively come to be known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
I tried to show that societies, collectivels and companies that have not been able to adapt to the changing circumstances and did not embrace the revolutions that took place in the world have perished. The answer to the rhetorical question in the title was therefore obvious. I meant that one needs to embrace the Digital Revolution and could not or ought not to escape it.
A lively discussion and Q&A followed the talk.