As an International Master in Marketing participant at EADA Business School, I had the opportunity to visit the 4YFN (Four Years From Now) event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The event provides a platform for startups, investors, corporations and public institutions to discover, create and launch new ventures together. As the startup event of the largest gathering for the mobile industry (Barcelona Mobile World Congress 2018), 4YFN is internationally recognised as one of the most important events worldwide for doing business in this sector.
I could feel the buzz of innovation among the top speakers and members of the startup community. I wasn’t sure what to expect from an event like this, as I had never been to anything like it. I was surprised to see a true mixture of investors, students, startups and corporations that were able to connect easily thanks to the 4YFN platform.
The congress included a mix of panel discussions, keynote speakers, workshops and pitches. representatives from many startups were present, all willing and eager to share their ideas for innovative products and technologies. Overall, the vibe was very welcoming.
Automation: Risk or opportunity?
As a Marketing student, I was particularly interested in how new technologies would impact my future career. We have all heard the stories of machines taking over our jobs; some studies claimed that almost 50% of positions could be automated by 2030. 4YFN provided me with new insights that made me more positive about my future career.
The speakers began by pointing out that we should be critical about what we read and hear – they stressed that it is a human that understands machines better than you that will take your job, not the machine itself. They also emphasised the machine’s role in actually creating new jobs in the 20th century, allowing humans to assume more creative positions. The danger here is that while we always judge our future based on our current knowledge, knowledge is continually evolving. We should remember that we are the ones who ask the questions, not the machines. The first step of identifying a problem cannot be done by a machine.
I believe that the more we understand how something works, the more we can build trust, which makes events like 4YFN so important. The root of job security is actually a lack of talent –not superhuman machines–, which makes it clear that we should be constantly learning. As a student, I learned that we should be open and flexible with a willingness to adapt and contribute to society. Most of the current best-paid jobs did not exist a long time ago!
About the author
Luc Smeets (Netherlands) is currently undertaking the International Master in Marketing at EADA. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Management and before coming to EADA, Luc had already studied abroad– Argentina and Spain. Luc has worked as a trade marketing intern at Heineken and a hockey trainer in collaboration with FC Barcelona.