15 February 2024

Strategic foresight expert Matthew Griffin analyses the transformation of companies and human adaptation to technological advances

In a conference held at La Salle Barcelona – Universitat Ramon Llull, experts from the business and academic world reflect on future scenarios

La Salle Barcelona – Universitat Ramon Llull has organized a session to analyse and debate future scenarios derived from technological trends. The event, entitled 'Global impact view and committed companies', brought together leaders from the business and academic sectors to reflect on the global agenda linked to technological advances and the ethical considerations that derive from it.

The meeting, held within the framework of the 'La Salle Corporate Events' initiative, included the participation of Matthew Griffin, international expert in strategic foresight and advisor to companies such as Google and Microsoft and G7 governments. Representatives from companies such as Nestlé, Oracle and SEAT CODE, which are part of the Corporate Board Council of La Salle Barcelona – Universitat Ramon Llull, also participated, as well as representatives, educators and researchers of the university centre.

The advances of AI: an IQ of 1600 in four years

In the main presentation, Matthew Griffin analysed the great speed at which the world is changing and the role of technological advances in this transformation. The expert explained that “the world we live in today is very different from that of ten years ago, or even two”, and that the way we position ourselves towards things influences how we act later: “Mindset about the future matters, how you think influences how you feel, which influences how you act.”

Griffin has delved into the advances of artificial intelligence (AI), highlighting its speed of growth and revealing some data about how it is evolving: “Currently, AI has an IQ of 155 while in 2028 it is expected to be 1600.” According to the expert, the speed at which AI is evolving is extremely high and he has stated that “by 2028 its learning capacity is still unknown.”

Intelligent transformation, the objective of companies

During the session, Griffin showed how technology is democratizing access to experience, knowledge and new skills. He has also focused on explaining that the speed of development of AI brings a great change for the world, which people must be able to adapt and direct. “You are more powerful than you have ever been,” he stated, addressing the audience.

Griffin has called for empowerment through technology and has listed the tools that AI puts within people's reach to develop skills and knowledge. The expert has focused part of his speech on the “intelligent transformation” of companies, leaving behind the “digital transformation”, to emphasize the need for people to develop soft skills such as adaptability, collaboration, trust, creativity, curiosity, empathy, resilience and entrepreneurship.

Matthew Griffin has been presented by the Dean of the La Salle International Faculty of Commerce and Digital Economy (FICEDLS), Chris Kennett, who has highlighted the organization of presentations like this one, which allow to link concepts such as technology, the business world and the social impact. Kennett has explained that among the university's objectives is to investigate what exists, but also to think about what does not yet exist and thus prepare students for the future.

Moment of philosophical reflection

The counterpoint of the conference was made by the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, Carles Llinàs, who reflected on other perspectives of the same reality. Llinàs has spoken of the “falsehood of the technocratic paradigm”, warning that “it is not true that everything changes at the same time, and it is not true that everything has a technical or economic solution”. He then stated: “It is necessary to keep in mind what does not change, even when the process of change has become immensely fast.” Llinàs has focused on the importance that something has to be still for something else to move: “Is it possible for everything to change at the same time without anything remaining still? Yes, only when we fall.” 

The experience of the companies

The day closed with a round table in which participated Susana Pastor, Global IT Barcelona Hub Manager at Nestlé, Albert Triola, Senior Vice president Support Renewal Sales at Oracle EMEA and General Director of Oracle Spain; and Isaac Partal, CEO of SEAT CODE. The debate was moderated by the Director of Research and Innovation at La Salle Barcelona, Rosa Maria Alsina, and by Josep M. Piqué, Executive President of La Salle Technova, the campus innovation park. Together, they have considered on the transformation and adaptation of companies to future realities, the importance of data analysis for decision making, new business models and talent retention in their respective companies. The closing along with the conclusions of the conference was given by Josep M. Santos, the general director of La Salle Barcelona - Universitat Ramon Llull.

In addition to adding value to the public debate and reflecting on where humanity is headed with a global approach, the meeting has served to establish a meeting point between agents of change from the business and academic environment, two sectors that go hand in hand in the process of transformation of society that is promoted by La Salle Barcelona – Universitat Ramon Llull.