Thank You for Being Late

We are living in an ever-dynamic world. Rapid change is everywhere in all sorts of areas. On February 14 evening, I had the honor of attending a presidential lecture series facilitated by my good family friend Terry Rustan. The Don R. Elliott distinguished presidential lecture series by Lipscomb University’s college of leadership & public service and leadership Tennessee presented Thomas Friedman. Mr. Friedman is a bestselling author of “The world is Flat “and New York Times foreign columnist. As indicated in his bio, he is the winner of three Pulitzer Prices and covered monumental stories from around the globe for the New York Times since 1981.

At the beginning of his lecture, I was excited to hear how his experience with an Ethiopian Parking officer in Washington DC inspired ideas for this lecture series and based his lecture on his recent book “Thank you for being late” An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.

In this lecture, Mr. Friedman talked about “The big trends shaping the world today: How a community can thrive in an age of accelerations”. He focused on “three accelerators” Moore’s law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)—are accelerating all at once.  As explained on Macmillan publishers online, these accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. He also examined how the year 2007 was the major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, sensors, and networking, created a new technology platform that is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is providing vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world—or to destroy it.

Mr. Friedman, at the end of his lecture, explained how technology is playing a critical role on human development and the fact that technology has surpassed the rate of human development for the first time in history. He explored the urgency for educators to focus on lifelong learning mechanisms to keep up with technological advancements.