Book Launch - ‘Toward a Post-Digital Society’ and the Rise of Proactive Citizenry and Adaptive Businesses
Last year, I contemplated the transformations digital technologies would bring to the business world and people’s lives. I pondered how our society and economy would evolve in the next 10–15 years when digital innovation would become as integral to our daily lives as the telephone, electricity, or running water — becoming invisible due to its omnipresence and noticeable only in its absence.
I also reflected that each historical turning point marks a before and after, shaping the course of events with such an impact as to forge an irrevocable future from which there is no turning back. Examples include the Industrial Revolution, the onset of modernity, or a global pandemic. Thus, we discuss a pre-industrial, pre-pandemic era, post-industrial, post-pandemic, or post-modern era. From these reflections, the definition of “Post-Digital Society’’ took shape in my mind.
This obsessive thought motivated me to invest time and financial resources in thorough research, followed by writing a book to explore how we humans will change and, consequently, how the interconnected economy will transform. I was ready to put my ideas on paper.
So, in March 2023, having concluded the research phase, I began drafting my book, being careful to be comprehensive and detailed yet presenting my vibrant concepts clearly and accessible to all. I aim to make the text useful for entrepreneurs, managers, and anyone wanting to better understand their role in an evolving society and a changing economy in an increasingly flexible job market that is ready to change.
Today, with this special edition of the newsletter, I am thrilled to present the fruit of my labor, introducing you to the key concepts and offering you an exclusive look at the content I have developed.
First of all, here is the cover.
Subscribers to my newsletter on LinkedIn and Medium will surely recognize a familiar name in the title of my latest book. This intentional choice creates a conceptual bridge with the newsletter, which carries the same name due to a thematic continuity. I aim to publish articles that explore the same currents of thought and outline emerging trends. However, the similarity in titles should not be misleading: the book stands as a work in its own right, sharing an author but offering an unprecedented depth and breadth.
Indeed, the book goes beyond the periodicity and brevity of the articles published in the newsletter, providing a detailed analysis and a comprehensive look at a broader spectrum of issues. But it is not just a theoretical exploration: it is a personal journey that takes root in my story, retracing the pivotal moments of my entry into the professional world up to the revelation of how my fascinating relationship with digital technologies developed, a journey that began in the distant year of 1983.
In the first chapter, I establish a dialogue between the eras, laying the groundwork for what I have defined as the fundamental pillars of what I predict will become the Post-Digital Society. The book does not merely propose a futuristic vision; it is grounded in a practicality that stems from my personal experience, allowing readers to understand how the past can influence and shape the future that awaits us.
Some phenomena capture our attention, factors that can be seen as catalysts of change, and then there are the consequences of these epochal shifts. Technologies are the true protagonists as enablers of this transformation. For instance, the trend of personalization and the move towards ‘servitization’ are driving companies to radically revise their business models, a shift that will have profound repercussions.
The phenomenon of User Generated Content (UGC), which refers to content created directly by users, such as videos, blogs, and social media posts, represents a powerful engine of change. This trend transforms how we view ourselves as active individuals in society, enhancing the power of self-determination: everyone can be the publisher of their voice and story. UGC has then evolved into the well-known Influencer Marketing, further developing into a broader and more structured Creator Economy. UGC opens the door to new professions in the digital world. It provides a launchpad for emancipating previously unheard social groups and individuals in developing countries who can now make their voices heard globally.
In the book, I delve into concepts like disintermediation and decentralization, explore their distinctive features, and provide an overview that is both comprehensive and accessible to understand the scope of these phenomena fully.
In this chapter, I hint at blockchain technology, which will immediately impact these last two aspects. In the subsequent chapters, I expand the discussion to a broader set of technologies I consider ‘disruptive,’ placing them within a broader context.
The book’s second chapter begins with an investigation into the possible changes that could affect our society and, consequently, us as individuals. The development of this chapter required a thorough analysis of various social paradigms such as Order, Structure, Conflict, and Action. I examined the intersection of these paradigms with certain emerging technologies to assess their potential impact. Throughout this process, I was consistently astonished by how much we can challenge and transform the current status quo, especially if we, as citizens, adopt a more active and responsible role.
The focus is mainly on how technological advancement could irreversibly revolutionize how we express our democratic rights. However, the chapter does not shy away from reflections on current topics, such as the proposal of a new model of capitalism, the challenges of globalization, or the rise of populism.
I aim to outline a framework that can support critical decisions, helping the reader understand how to maneuver through the impending changes without losing ground in a rapidly evolving society.
In chapter three, I tackle the adaptation business leaders must analyze to maintain competitiveness and conquer new spaces in emerging markets with innovative business models. I refer to the case of Kodak, which, despite having patented the first digital camera in 1977, missed the train of innovation. In my view, this happened because it failed to listen to its employees. This example is part of a broader discussion on the importance of Collective Leadership within companies.
I then clarify the concept of Stakeholder Capitalism, comparing it to the more widespread Shareholder Capitalism and identifying the impacts on the business models of companies wishing to adopt it. Stakeholder Capitalism is distinguished by considering the interests of all parties involved, including shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, society, and the planet.
I analyze Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) and the ‘code is law’ philosophy, which promises to revolutionize bureaucracy in every organization, public or private, emphasizing their importance and envisioning possible applications.
The section on Digital Twins introduces the concept of virtualization applied to industry, which will influence the operational models of numerous companies, altering organizational structures and interactions in the value chain.
Finally, I revisit the theme of Personalization to examine some aspects related to the business world, emphasizing the radical change that society is undergoing and the necessary adaptation that leaders should consider: focusing on solving people’s problems, not simply selling to consumers.
In chapter four, I focus on technologies that warrant detailed analysis and have not been examined in the previous chapters, where I discussed technologies based on their direct relevance.
I have selected those I consider most promising for the near future, assuming that my social media followers are already informed about the current state of affairs. I have chosen to delve deeply into only a few technologies but ones with great potential that I believe will have a significant impact on our daily lives and the business world.
Chapter five is dedicated to a topic particularly close to my heart: the empowerment that certain technologies provide to individuals and the resulting new socio-economic dynamics. I delve into the exploration of Web3 and the Metaverse; however, it would be more precise to say that I examine the dynamics of human interactions within a digital universe that transcends physical existence, allowing people to manifest as avatars and experience life beyond the boundaries of tangible reality.
I question how our behaviors will change when we become active creators and managers of a world of our own making. What will be the repercussions when we actively participate in the evolution of this digital universe? How must companies adapt to these profound social and economic revolutions?
In this context, I also discuss the Industrial Metaverse’s influence on corporate strategies and operational models. I demonstrate how the innovative potential of blockchain, Web3, and the Metaverse can revolutionize the organizational structures of companies, injecting vitality into existing business models and opening doors to unprecedented horizons of growth and innovation.
The final chapter is dedicated to sustainability, which is a critical factor for personal and corporate improvement. As my followers know, I fervently advocate for holistic sustainability that encompasses environmental, social, and economic aspects.
I explore the intrinsic connection between Digitalization, Decentralization, and Decarbonization, proposing a broad perspective. I emphasize how, through technology, we can exert greater control and take more responsibility for the consequences of our actions on the environment and society. The goal is to understand the importance of our role and the positive change we can initiate.
I emphasize Personalization and the Circular Economy as tools for waste reduction, aware of the many steps still to be taken and that every incredible journey begins with a small step.
I delve into key concepts, including the importance of corporate engagement in promoting sustainability from product design. Through analyzing various case studies, I have identified Sustainable by Design as a fundamental pillar of an ecological approach. This implies the development of products with recyclable and reusable materials in the economy, which consume less energy compared to current alternatives and ensure the same functionality, reducing environmental impact even during their production.
I also address the challenge of the Digital Divide in the context of social sustainability. Despite the rapid advent of digital technologies, access is not equally distributed. Millions of people, especially in rural areas and developing countries, lack reliable internet access, risking social, economic, and political exclusion. The digital divide also includes digital literacy: many people, even in advanced countries, lack the skills necessary to interact effectively in the digital landscape.
In the coming decades, we are poised for a thrilling odyssey, a journey of discovery and innovation unprecedented in human history. It will be an era where the frontiers of technology and society will merge, opening up previously unimaginable scenarios. Each of us, equipped with the knowledge and skills acquired in the current digital revolution, will have the unparalleled opportunity to play a crucial role in shaping our destiny and influencing the fabric of history that will be written. This is the beating heart of the Post-Digital Society, a reality where change is not just an isolated event but a constant, an energy that drives every effort.
Future generations will look back on this period as a golden age of transition, where the principles of personalization, servitization, and user-generated content have redefined the economic and social rules of the game. We are tasked with guiding this change, not just as passive participants but as active architects of the world we bequeath to our children.
Our journey through the Post-Digital Society will see us exploring and leveraging technologies and phenomena, embracing their disruptive potential, and integrating them into a social fabric that values each individual as a unique and powerful voice. Our era calls us to be more than mere spectators: it invites us to be creators, innovators, and visionaries.
With every page we turn on the calendar of progress, with every innovation we assimilate, and with every dialogue we initiate, we are collectively writing the next chapter of human history. This is the legacy that will see us overcome today’s challenges and lay the foundations for tomorrow’s generations. In this era of unlimited potential, our most significant discovery may be to find out how far we can go, how much we can change, and how deeply we can influence the world around us.
The book is now available in bookstores and online on Amazon, both in digital format and paperback. For those who wish to support my work and contribute to developing the next volume, I have created a premium hardcover edition. In addition to its superior quality, this version represents an option to fund my future research; the surplus from its sale will be entirely invested in new editorial projects fueled by the valuable feedback I hope to receive from you.
Here is the link to Amazon.com for those who reside in the US. If you are outside the US, search for the book in your country’s Amazon marketplace.
I thank you for the time you have dedicated to this presentation and invite you to dive into the reading of my book. Whether you agree with my thesis or bring a different perspective, your thoughts are a valuable contribution to me, enriching my cultural baggage and guiding the evolution of my future publications.