Kathy Gibson is at SingularityU Summit in Kyalami – An exponential mindset is the key to real and meaningful change and innovation.

Laila Pawlak, head of Singularity University Nordic, explains that, in a world of accelerating change, we need to create extraordinary impact.

People spend a lot of time on trivial things, but we have the ability to use our collective intelligence to tackle big issues, she adds.

Around the world, people are looking to business leaders to help them fix the problems facing the world.

Exponential change is largely powered by the exponential growth in computing power, she adds.

“Our brains have not had an upgrade in millions of years – we are old technology and need an upgrade.”

The notion of exponential versus linear is what is driving technology and global development – and we can’t underestimate how quickly things change when it’s exponential.

The days of business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) are long gone, Pawlak adds. We are now looking at business to individual enterprise (B2IE) and business to individual (B2I) as well as business to assistant (B2A).

We are competing for people’s attention and money, but also for their time and their algorithmic preferences.

“This is scary for a lot of people,” Pawlak says. “We have moved from an era of hardware, to an era of software. I believe that in future we’ll work with humanware – to make people’s lives better.”

While we are all different, we do share a lot of common characteristics, Pawlak adds.

These are the fundamental four things that make us human:

* People all want to be better – to be good people;

* We want to do better – achieving better results;

* We all want to feel better – people like to have nice things;

* We all want to look better – this feeds into social status and social capital.

Pawlak urges people to think about best principles rather than best practices, and how they can apply these principles back to their business.

For instance, if companies can make their customers or investors be better, do better, feel better and look better, they will be more fulfilled and engaged.

“We have to cater to humans when we think about technologies.”

“Extraordinary innovation is not about you, the organisation of even the technology,” Pawlak says. “It is about making people be, do, feel and look better.”

She says we are living in an extraordinary time. “The future we create depends on the challenges we face today.

“Don’t be a bystander: figure out how you and your organisation can be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”