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The future today: do we need people if robots can do everything?

The future today: do we need people if robots can do everything?


The business programme of WorldBuild Moscow/Mosbuild 2018 exhibition offered a lot of events for different groups of specialists. In particular one forum worked non-stop all day for the suppliers and representatives of DIY network: “The issues and prospects for developing the market of building and finishing materials and the DIY trade”. At the end of the day participants enjoyed an ultramodern and unexpected presentation. That evening Richard van Hooijdonk, European futurologist and trend analyst from the Netherlands delivered a presentation to guests. “I decided to become part of the Internet of Things and inserted a chip in myself. Now I open my door at home and start the engine of my car with my hand. My crypto currency is also stored in my hand.” What was such an extraordinary individual doing as speaker at the business event dedicated to the DIY market?


Richard van Hooijdonk is the best-known specialist in trend analytics. He investigates trends on the development of technologies. Ever since 2007 Richard van Hooijdonk has been delivering recommendations to the biggest companies and state organisations: he has been invited to NATO, the European Commission, the companies Sony, PWC, Oracle, ING, Rabobank and Google. In 2016 and 2017 he was declared the most popular speaker in the Netherlands. In total over 420,000 people participated in the “Inspiration Sessions” organised by Hooijdonk.


The presentation that he gave at the 7th business forum “The issues and prospects for developing the market of building and finishing materials and the DIY trade” (DIY Forum) was his debut in Russia. Technologies permeate our lives imperceptibly. In a short time (and this will happen very soon) our lives will be completely different.  Richard Hooijdonk explains how our daily habits, work and business will change. “And although people are scared of change, they need to recognise that such change represents the only constant factor of reality today”, notes Richard.


“Robots will take work from us. And everything is leading to a situation where robots will perform any forecast transaction in the immediate future. They are already busy today in the construction and medical sectors.”


DIY Forum


However, what will change on the DIY market? “In logistics 15,000 robots work on Amazon’s platform. Robots manage the trucks and monitor the delivery of packages directly to customers. Market research by the American company, the world’s largest in the online turnover of goods and services, showed that two things irritate clients most: waiting and direct payment. New technologies will help to optimise the sales process and increase customer loyalty. Cameras will scan the faces of buyers when they enter a shop, and also their faces and all their purchases in the basket when they leave. Payment will be performed automatically.


Times are changing: intelligent kitchens, smart buildings, solar batteries and electric cars, 3D printers – this is already a reality today.  Soon we will be able to create the image of our house and print ourselves any furniture, kitchen or car. And it is highly likely that this car running on solar batteries will cost only USD 1,000, while the house will cost USD 3,000.  



Are there any other examples? At present earthquake-resistant houses are being built. However, people have now come up with the idea of “smart” beds, which are transformed, if an earthquake happens, into safe “housing boxes” equipped with everything that you need to avoid becoming traumatised and calmly wait for rescuers while under debris. Meanwhile Massachusetts University has classes where the furniture “arranges” itself according to the order in which people appear. There are already mirrors that scan the parameters of the human face and issue warnings about a possible heart attack. ”Smart” mattresses remember how exactly we toss and turn at night and for how long, and then help you assume the most convenient position. Smart systems help you maintain artificial gardens perfectly and speed up plant growth.


Solar batteries are already a traditional technology. However, the Sun generates far more energy than mankind needs. At present we are experimenting with paint that contains solar batteries. And you also have the idea of creating energy-efficient windows that will accumulate solar power.”


DIY Forum


Virtual reality is becoming tangible. And there is a full reboot in all sectors. And we should recognise that the future is changing. And although people are frightened of change, they need to recognise that constant change represents the only constant factor in today’s reality.


This is what Richard van Hooijdonk advises companies that want to develop successfully on a contemporary, constantly changing market:


1. If you don’t feel love and passion for your business, success is impossible.


2. Curiosity is the most important skill you need to understand the modern world.


3. You need to be flexible and know how to adapt.


Companies need to develop immediately in all areas: work with start-ups, look for and collect the successful solutions found in other companies.  “We have also created a laboratory to investigate the trends of the future. An important trend is “Reverse mentorship”. Young people training mature people is the reality of the world today. Women and young people should be appointed to the boards of directors. You need to constantly experiment. 


We look forward to seeing you in 2019 at WorldBuild Moscow/MosBuild2019 at Crocus Expo. To participate in WorldBuild Moscow/MosBuild 2019, complete the online form.


Don't forget to book a stand and enter the most important event in your business calendar!

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