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AI Keynote Speaker: an AI Growth Mindset & The Candlemaker's Petition

08 Apr 2024

In my recent AI keynote speech for ServiceNow in the bustling heart of Singapore, I drew upon an illuminating tale from history - Frederic Bastiat's "The Candlemaker's Petition." This satirical piece, penned in the 19th century, cleverly critiques the absurdities of protectionism. Candlemakers, beleaguered by the unfair competition of the sun, petition for the closure of all windows and skylights to protect their trade. Bastiat uses this narrative to expose the folly of resisting progress in favor of preserving obsolete industries.


This historical anecdote resonates deeply in our current era, as we stand on the brink of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution. The parallel is striking; just as the candlemakers feared the sun's natural light, today, there's a growing trepidation towards AI and its perceived threat to human labor and creativity. Yet, the lesson from Bastiat's tale is clear - embracing innovation is not only inevitable but beneficial.

The crux of the matter lies in understanding that AI, much like the sun in Bastiat's narrative, is not a harbinger of doom but a beacon of progress. It presents us with an unparalleled opportunity to augment human creativity and productivity. Instead of viewing AI as a competitor that will eclipse human capability, we should see it as a collaborative force that can illuminate our path to unprecedented achievements.

ServiceNow AI Futurist Keynote Speaker Anders Sörman-Nilsson

As we navigate this new technological frontier, it's crucial to remember that the future is not about choosing between human or machine but about harmonizing the strengths of both. By welcoming AI into our lives and industries, we can unlock a realm of possibilities where technology enhances human expertise, leading to innovative solutions and groundbreaking advancements.

In embracing the lessons from "The Candlemaker's Petition," we find the courage to let go of unfounded fears and welcome the dawn of a new era. An era where technology and humanity converge, creating a future that is not only brighter but boundless.

Keynote Speaker Anders Sörman-Nilsson The Candlemaker's Petition

An era where technology and humanity converge, creating a future that is not only brighter but boundless.

Practical Takeaways for Navigating the Future with AI

  1. Cultivate a Learning Mindset: The first step towards embracing AI is to cultivate a continuous learning mindset. Encourage yourself and your team to stay informed about AI developments and seek education on how these technologies work and can be applied in your field. This knowledge not only demystifies AI but also highlights its potential to augment human capabilities.

  2. Identify Opportunities for Augmentation: Look for opportunities within your organization where AI can enhance human productivity rather than replace it. This could be in the form of automating mundane tasks to free up time for creative and strategic work, or using AI to provide insights that lead to better decision-making. The goal is to find synergies where AI supports human workers, enabling them to achieve more than they could alone.

  3. Foster an Innovation Culture: Cultivate an organizational culture that embraces innovation and change. This involves being open to experimenting with new technologies, encouraging creative problem-solving, and learning from both successes and failures. By fostering an environment where technology is seen as a tool for empowerment, organizations can better adapt to and leverage the advantages of AI and other emerging technologies.

AI Growth Mindset Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson

Together, let's step into the light of progress, armed with the wisdom of the past and the promise of tomorrow. By embracing these practical steps, we can navigate the future with confidence, ensuring that we harness the full potential of AI to enrich our work, enhance our creativity, and elevate our human experience.

- Anders Sörman-Nilsson

PS. I continue to think deeply about Megatrends as they are what will shape the future landscape for my sons, Lucien and Aurélien - start preparing for the future because it is where you, your kids, and your grandkids will spend the rest of your lives.

Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson and Sons


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