AS A DIGITAL nomad, Californian entrepreneur Mohamed Geraldez spends his time on the road wandering and wondering at the wonders of the changing world.
His observations have been captured in his reports on a variety of issues: Travel; entrepreneurship; business opportunities; brand building. Just about anything that catches his attention. You can follow his life’s journey and views on his site: https://mgeraldez.com
His book To God Through Money is set to be released this year.
Mohamed will be in Singapore, at the invitation of the US Embassy, and will be the speaker at an event organised by STORM as part of its Keep It Going: Behind The Scenes series.
We fire some questions his way prior to the session.
What is your take on Asia and its potential?
Potential? At this point, it’s kinetic (laughs)!
Asia is 60% of the world’s population, so you have to take it seriously. Japan, Korea and China are certainly coming into their own.
The game changer needs to be how more Asian brands can break into the global brand rankings, rather than just having Western brands localising and capitalising on an Asian audience.
The other challenge is the brain drain from the region. More needs to be done to attract and retain top talent.
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Are younger generations worldwide aspiring for similar/different things in a networked world?
On a basic level, yes. Everyone wants to be loved, respected, valued, relevant, wealthy, educated, and free.
However, how you achieve that is very much influenced by underpinning cultures. For example, do you focus on yourself first, or pleasing your parents first?
I think social media is forcing younger generations to consider more seriously what activities and higher purpose will make them stand out. In this regard, people are becoming more similar.
With countless humans empowered by technology (that they can see), this is becoming harder and is probably adding a lot more pressure and stress to younger generations’ lives like competing with each other on social media for likes, eyeballs, and acceptance.
It doesn’t help having news stories 24/7 of job insecurity, machines replacing humans, rising debt, security threats, etc. With all these variables pushing the youth to be similar, we’re also seeing rising levels of protectionism and populism. Many are fearful of what the future brings because of the uncertainty, and the networked environment has a lot to do with this.
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What advice do you have for the 20 to 30 somethings about choosing a career and venturing into entrepreneurship?
1. Be open to new experiences.
2. Lose your preconceived notions.
3. Embrace novel and unique settings/ideas/perspectives.
4. Finding your passion is a LIFELONG journey if you’re open to always learning, so commit to a life of continuous growth and improvement. A passion is not something you’ll necessarily find at a young age, but you might. So, just be open!
5. Gain first hand exposure to a variety of industries. Get some solid work experience as an employee to learn the basics of business. This will help determine if you would like to embark on the traditional path of a career in the workforce, or take the lesser travelled route of entrepreneurship that creates more failures than successes, but high reward.
6. Network and surround yourself with a diverse range of individuals – different qualifications and skills, nationalities and ethnic groups, and ages. Find out the work and life experiences of people 10, 20, 30 years older than you.
7. Build your personal brand now!
What do you think is the role of religion in a technologically driven world?
It offers an interesting source of philosophical, moral and ethical guidance for today and for all eternity.
It extends your thinking beyond what I have to do now, to what impact can the things I’m doing have on people (and myself) over a much longer period.
It could help you to balance a sense of justice, if things go wrong, or if people and laws fail you. It reminds us to be merciful and compassionate in a technological world that currently calls for immediate self-gratification, and has us hooked to our devices and our echo chambers that the Internet can produce.
While technology makes the world smaller, does it also make it more fragmented and divisive?
We are being driven to similar motions and outcomes because of technology. But, we’re also being divided by new realities like fake news, and new, stickier algorithms that tech startups and incumbents are employing to have us stay longer on their platforms.
The dangerous aspect of being fed information, news, and images that we like and have never seen before, runs the risk of people developing tunnel vision or a distorted reality. Not everyone on Twitter and Instagram, sees what you see and thinks like how you think. Without depth, and with the onslaught of tech snacks that satiate your attention span, you might be fooled into thinking that many are like you if you live by your scrolling feeds.