We all think about it, and Ipsos CanadaNext took the initiative to understand what those thoughts are. The just-released highlights of the study examine the changes in technology happening across the country. Specifically, it surveyed 2,000 Canadians on emerging changes in cashless payments, wearable technology, driverless cars, data management and of course, security and privacy. Last week I attended the CanadaNext event in Toronto to learn about the results.
It turns out, Canadians think change is inevitable and coming at us faster than we’ve ever experienced before. What’s interesting, however, is the almost direct split between those who feel this is a positive change, and those who fear it will have negative consequences.
While we are generally optimistic about our personal experience (50 per cent believe overall quality of life will improve) we’re almost equally concerned about the prospects for the world getting worse (49 per cent).
Technologically speaking, the biggest concerns are with automation and robotics eliminating jobs, as well as security and privacy concerns around data management.
Canadians also expect the job landscape to shift considerably. Sixty-five per cent say new manufacturing jobs will consist of managing and programming robots, while 52 per cent believe that more people will be performing completely new jobs every five years and very few will have one-profession careers.
After the event, it left me thinking: what does this mean for Canadians and what do we need to do about it?
From a communications perspective, strong leadership is key. Understanding the fears associated with technological progress and mitigating concerns should be a top priority—whether from a government, business or personal tech-believer point of view. The reality of the situation—and what we all know, according to the research—is it’s going to happen.
From a personal perspective, adaptability is a concept we’ll all need to adopt and embrace to navigate this change successfully. You do not need to fear change if you’re aware you will change with it. It’s likely those who are already optimistic about the future already know this. One of my favourite TED talks says that “human beings are works in progress that think they are complete.” Perhaps that is driving the fear of what might happen with the shift in technology?
Learn more about CanadaNext and upcoming symposiums…
Ipsos hired Banfield to produce the above video in support of the event. Need an illustrated video for your communications initiative? Get in touch and we’d love to help you out!