It has become common at conferences to hear someone on stage use the word, ‘awareness’. It is a word that is bandied about just like sustainability, innovation or transformation.
The question is: ‘Are we truly aware?’ In the past six months alone, there have been a few instances that have revealed a shaky knowledge base, generally speaking. In June, we at CPI Industry conducted the fifth edition of The Client, Consultant, Contractor Conference. Sagar Kulkarni, Managing Director of UAE-headquartered Consistent Engineering Consultants, was moderating a Panel Discussion, when he asked the audience the difference between digitisation and digitalisation. He was greeted with hushed silence. And this at a time when it is common to hear much talk on ‘Industry 4.0’, a term that I suspect, is also not fully understood.
And in late October, George Berbari, the CEO of UAE-headquartered DC PRO Engineering, was chairing the 6th edition of our other conference – DC Dialogue, when he questioned the audience on Artificial Intelligence; a few hesitant hands went up.
About the same time, this showed up on Twitter… Johan Rockström (@ jrockstrom) tweeted saying: “I just get tired… tired of hearing that 1.5 degrees C is a “target” or “goal”. IT IS NOT. It is a limit. The only real goal is 0 degree C. And not bad 1.5 degrees C, when we LIKELY tip GIS, WAIS, Tropical Coral Reefs and Abrupt Boreal Permafrost, and get more floods, droughts, heat, disease, storms.”
Rockström’s almost pulpit-pounding diatribe reveals a frustration that some share over the epidemic of shallow understanding of issues that ought to occupy larger mind-space and trigger concerted action to resolve. It is for this reason we as a magazine decided to carry the Perspective column by Moheet Vishwas (see page 6). Reading it might evoke the response, “Ah, but it is a bit basic, isn’t it?” No… not really.