The Human Imperative
As exponentially advancing digital technology transforms so much of work and the world, questions inevitably arise about the place of the human being. Some say human roles will be diminished; others insist that the growing possibilities of “data-driven” decisions and actions will call even more for people who can combine science with common sense.
The past years’ experience of global pandemic has thrown such questions into high relief, whether in organizations choosing to invest more heavily in automation or among policymakers implored to simply “follow the science.” We can expect economic, fiscal, cultural, and political crises to escalate in the wake of Covid, and the tension between the technocratic and the humanistic forces to reach a breaking point.
The former see a time of upheaval as an opportune moment to force a large-scale “reset” to a system currently flawed in many ways. The latter reject revolutionary redesign as counter to human nature – which craves, as Peter Drucker put it, a balance between “change and continuity.” Which is the best way forward, and how can we ensure that it prevails?
Leading thinkers at our 2021 Forum will grapple with important questions including but not limited to the following: Must there be a human imperative at the core of organizations? How would we define it? What threatens it most today? How could good management serve it better?