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How Nations are embracing Digital Transformation

Deepti Dilip J | Director – Marketing & Communications, Ashnik
Singapore, 14 Mar 2018

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Some months back, Ashnik’s CEO, Sachin Dabir had written an interesting blog on Exponential Innovation quoting the Futurist, Gerd Leonhard. Never having heard of him prior to that, I read up about on him, watched some of his videos and realised the substantial amount of followers he had. However, ‘Futurist’ felt like just a fancy job title, till I bumped into this piece of news –

New York plans to hire a Futurist to forecast and innovate a high-tech future for the city. The city has announced a program called NYCx, to help better prepare for and shape the future. The agenda will be to work on coming innovations like 5G connectivity, self-driving cars or artificial intelligence, and how to make the city equitable and sustainable. Being an unlikely move for a city, New York plans to hire a senior futurist to help gather insights on possible cultural, economic and environmental changes ahead. This will seemingly help save billions of dollars for the city by way of crafting farsighted policies and decisions. If one has visited NY, they’ll definitely agree that it needs an upgrade going by the way it functions currently and supposing the large influx it will see year after year. I love the city for its great vibe, but certainly it’s just as chaotic! Here’s the full news.

Talking of hiring, UAE has become the world’s first nation to appoint a government minister dedicated to Artificial Intelligence. The government decided to take its AI adoptions one step ahead by installing a minister in-charge of AI in order to achieve its future goals. “We want the UAE to become the world’s most prepared country for artificial intelligence,” said Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammad. Most of their plans are encircled around AI-based innovations to develop and transform into a futuristic country. For eg: in the next 12-13 years, 25% of Dubai’s transport will be turning driverless. The change will better many things, one of which being increasing the productivity of individuals – saving people a staggering 396 million hours of travel time on the road on a yearly basis.
And equivalently, Germany has drafted the world’s first set of ethical guidelines for self-driving car programming. Some vehicles by Tesla, BMW, Infiniti, and Mercedes-Benz already have early iterations of the technology, though full autonomy is not yet feasible. Quite a bit of ongoing momentum, probably our older selves will actually own autonomous cars!

In more firsts, work on world’s first 3D-printed skyscraper will begin in Dubai by 2023. Cazza, the 3D-printing company which is undertaking this record-breaking project will be revealing full details this November. The upside about 3d printing structures is that they blend with the environment and can easily take advantage of the local wind flow, provide natural cooling for the interiors, save energy, and reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings. The company is also working to support Emirate’s vision to 3D-print 25% of all of its buildings by 2030. How interesting!

So many leaps are planned and aimed for within the next decade or so, it’s going to be a stimulating ride in to our futures! Time to gear ourselves and escalate our skills to embrace the big turn of technology.


  • As the Marketing and Communications Director, Deepti oversees branding, marketing strategies and digital platforms at Ashnik for SEA and India. An ex-advertising soul with a passion for design and creativity, she’s constantly steering brand Ashnik to innovative podiums. She splits her time between a full-time gig at her job, lots of crazy hobbies and her new found role as a mother.

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