As open platforms and digital networks grow, organizations will be pressed to evolve more rapidly, with greater precision and with increased participation from experts in the world at large. Signals of this change are already underway, transforming healthcare. Take, for instance, the development of The Cancer Genome Atlas, where researchers from institutions across the country are working collaboratively to catalogue all of the changes to DNA and molecules in more than 30 different cancer types. Or the development of OpenMRS, an electronic medical records platform bringing increased care coordination to parts of the developing world where it is needed to treat populations afflicted with AIDs, malaria and tuberculosis.
Consider how your office might evolve in a deeply connected, networked space of augmented human interaction in which 100 people contribute 10 minutes of work to a project—a scenario predicted by the Finnish sociologist Esko Kilpi. Spaces will need the flexibility to accommodate fluid teams and complex workflows, while ensuring transparency and access to information across vast networks. In the morning, you’ll work in a private space enclosed in glass that allows for concentrated solitary work but emphasizes a feeling of transparency. Later in the day, you’ll talk to colleagues in Dubai and Berlin in a video-connected conference room where speech recognition and translation software allow you to hear them crystal clear in your native tongue. Large touchscreen monitors that allow for the manual manipulation of apps and programs will invite participation from everyone in the room, and for those who are feeling a bit sluggish in the late afternoon, a condensed synopsis and to-do list will be stored in the cloud, thanks to AI-informed office furnishings.
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