I am fascinated by technology. Not because I am a gadget freak (I am), or because I spend most of my days in front of a screen (I do). No. It’s got everything to do with my ideals. I think we humans have the potential to create a much better world, and I am convinced that technology can speed up the process. Drastically.
Take Internet. It’s the classic example of a technology that changed the world – in less than fifty years, mind you. That’s the blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things. But there’s more. Much more. Solar cell technology is so far advanced nowadays that solving the world’s energy problem no longer feels like sciencefiction. 3D-printing technology renders wastefull mass production obsolete. Sensor technology in our smartphones brings medical diagnosis to places no doctor ever goes. I could go on. We live in extraordinary times.
With technology people can liberate themselves. It enables them to be informed, to become independent en self-sufficient, to reach true freedom of choice. Wouldn’t you sign up for all that? Well, let’s be realistic. Technology is not a goal in itself. It’s not about the hammer, but about the one holding it.
3 billion newcomers
‘It’s not a faith in technology’, the late Steve Jobs said. ‘It’s faith in people’. Well did you know that an estimated 3 billion people will get connected to the Internet in the next five years? It’s mind-boggling to me. It means that in 2020 more than three quarters of all people will be online. That’s 5.000.000.000 people. I think you can safely say there’s a new Mother Theresa’s, Einsteins or Picasso’s among them.
I love technology because it raises the odds that we will actually meet these potential game changers. And I love technology because it can make their ideas so much more contagious. We literally hold the power to reach 5 billion people in the palm of our hands. If technology is rocket fuel for good ideas, I feel it’s my mission to design rockets. Because in every client I meet, I see an idea that wants to reach the sky. As a designer, I think about the rocket’s engineering, the aerodynamics of what makes a particular idea soar. I like to find the perfect methaphor for an idea to capture people’s imagination.