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What Marty Mcfly Never Expected | András Baneth | TEDxAUBG

the future used to look great back in

1985 when the movie Back to the Future

came out we were infused we were excited

that we’re gonna have hoverboards we’re

gonna have amazing amazing technological

innovations that were all going to love

and that was great

I myself was very much into technology

apart from folding computers for some

strange reason I ended up studying law

and afterwards I worked for different

governments different institutions and

politics and all these years observed

hundreds of companies and work with

hundreds of companies to entice them and

look for ways they can be more

successful but more importantly for ways

they can be more strategic and thinking

about technology today I realized that

it’s radically different that the way it

was twenty or thirty years ago and I’ll

give you three reasons why I think

technology as such is not what it used

to be the first one is the speed of the

spread of Technology well so means what

man came out it took about 15 to 20

years to become a globally successful

product on the other hand if you take

Spotify which is this amazing music live

streamers streaming service he took up

about eight years to get 100 million

users across the world the second reason

why it’s different today is the depth at

which technology affects us and you see

that according to some statistic one out

of ten American adults is using a

smartphone while having sex now we know

that 85% of

mystics are made up but it still kind of

proves the point that this is a very

very important has very intimate effect

on our everyday lives and then the third

one is the ease-of-use

we know babies who can use an iPad even

before they can talk technology is so

accessible so easy to use which is a

great thing at the same time it just

lowers the barrier to entry so for these

three reasons I have come to realize

that that our social side effects of

technological innovation very

significant important social side effect

who among you has used Airbnb in the

past year and up whoa impressive will of

Airbnb don’t we great company great

service very interesting what they have

to offer but then if you happen to be

living in Barcelona you may have seen

news like that where there are protests

against the company because it disrupts

local communities because it has an

impact on residents in everyday

buildings so there is a certain effect

on the society as a result of technology

or if we think about self-driving cars

Google you bear many other companies are

about to roll these out in the next

couple of years and it’s amazing that on

one hand they’re going to save 30,000

maybe even more lives it’s fantastic on

the other hand it’s pretty likely

they’re going to induce unemployment for

millions of people who are living from

driving trucks or cars or other vehicles

so you might be thinking fine that’s all

great but isn’t it the job of government

regulators politicians to address this

shouldn’t they be the ones who come and

deal with these side effects whether

through laws taxation or other means

and I think that it’s actually the

companies themselves who have a good

reason to address these and you might be

wondering yeah sure why should a company

care about these side effects I think

essentially there are two reasons one is

a moral argument and the other one is a

one understood business argument the

moral argument is the way we look at

ourselves as good people that we are

saving energy that we turn off the tab

when we are brushing our teeth that we

recycle that we send a card on Mother’s

Day and company’s value driven companies

do the same look at IKEA for instance

when they would not be sourcing their

wood from endangered Brazilian

rainforest or they would engage the

local communities when they open a new

shop in the outskirts of Sofia so

companies are generally referred to as

good corporate citizens when their

morale that value driven judgment is

appreciated but then let’s look at the

one understood business argument and

that business argument can be summed up

with the following phrase that is often

quoted in the public affairs on the

lobbying world is that if you’re not at

the table you’re on the menu if you’re

not engaged in a conversation if you’re

not proactively trying to address an

issue sooner or later it’s going to bite

you sooner or later there’s going to be

some sort of backlash whether it’s

protest whether it’s lost whether it’s

taxes but it’s going to hurt you you

need to proactively engage and then

that’s all fine and good but what or

rather when can a company deal with such

an issue and if you think about startups

what’s the number one concern of a

start-up it’s the grow

to get customers to get funding to make

sure their supply chain works smoothly

it’s not about the social concern at

least for most technology driven

startups so when a bunch of college kids

are out there and they are doing amazing

job it’s not their primary consideration

but when a company especially a tech

company is scaling up its growing there

is a phase in the growth phase when they

have millions of users or customers they

are present in various countries they

are starting to affect people’s lives

that’s probably the point when they need

to start considering fine what is the

impact of what we do do we need to

address it in one way or another and if

we accept the idea that they should we

need to look at what can a company

actually do about it and I think by and

large there are three things that they

can do the first one is to show empathy

and name the problem simply say well we

have an issue here and all of you would

be aware of the heat and criticism that

Facebook got after last year’s elections

and not only that not only their

platform being used to spread fake news

but also the platform being used for

purposes which were not meant to be used

for whether it’s live streaming bullying

or even suicide and various other


and a couple of weeks ago Facebook

founder Mark Zuckerberg he came out

where the 6,000 word level really really

long memo trying to address these issues

and some people criticized him from

being too little and too late but still

the idea of saying hey we have an issue

here whether it’s local journalism

whether again the negative ways of

attack innovation being used we need to

address it in one way or other

so that’s probably the first one showing

empathy naming the problem the second

one is compromising on the short-term to

gain on the long-term to be more

strategic in the mindset and very simple

perhaps even simplistic example for that

is if we look at Apple and iPhone and

various devices and the way they have

constructed an operating system to be

using cars now when you’re using your

phone in a car through the system it

doesn’t allow you to send a text message

while you’re driving and probably most

of you would say yeah that’s right

because you’re freedom to use the device

and the imperative to save your life and

keep you safe are connected that you

need to be limited in some sense for a

greater purpose for a more important

value than your freedom to use the

gadget at any point in time so that’s a

short-term limitation for something more

important the third one is the sponsor

third-party programs perhaps when

self-driving cars are becoming a reality

perhaps helping organizations

educational funds or other initiatives

to train those who are drivers into a

new job and support those not

necessarily a company running those but

supporting those because of this

responsibility that we’ve discussed so

with that in mind there’s just so much

innovation coming out and you will be

working in companies and you will be

founding companies maybe robotics

biotechnology whatever it may be and

chances are that those companies will

have social impact and I urge you and I

encourage you to look at those

whether for the moral argument whether

for the business argument whether for a

third one that I may have not mentioned

I encourage you to do that because we

all would like to be living in a future

that Marty McFly could come back to thank

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