Why Resilience? Why now?

How the rate of technological change is accelerating faster than human adaptability.

There’s a proven and practical set of Resilience abilities that the most elite people on the planet have been trained in for coping with extreme adversity, and for thriving through uncertain or threatening situations. COVID-19 is one very recent uncertain and threatening situation where elite Resilience training comes in handy.

Beyond the immediate (and hopefully soon to be overcome) threats and challenges of COVID-19, we are also at a time in human history when the rate of technological change is accelerating faster than the human capacity to adapt. Eric ‘Astro’ Teller (head of Google X laboratories) demonstrated the significant difference in these two change curves in a simple graph…


The two fundamental causes of this accelerating technology change?

Computing power and Globalisation…

  • Since 1965 Computer processing power has roughly doubled every 2 years! To put this into context, all of the computing power that controlled the Apollo mission to the moon can now fit inside the chip on your smart phone. According to Moore’s Law, this acceleration is set to continue and in a few decades computers will be thousands of times faster than they are today.
  • Already computer intelligence is being used to beat human chess masters, recognise faces, understand spoken language, and even compose music! Computers can do many of the things that we’ve always thought made us human, and that threatens many of the jobs we’ve always thought were secure.
  • Take driving a vehicle, which is still one of the top jobs in most states in America. With driverless cars already on public roads, millions of bus drivers, truck drivers and taxi drivers may soon find themselves obsolete.
  • In hospitals, hundreds of thousands of jobs are on the line, as computers learn to analyse CAT scans, biopsies, deliver low level anaesthesia, and even do surgical procedures.
  • While in restaurants, hundreds of thousands of cooks may be replaced in the coming decades by machines that can follow recipes perfectly without ever taking a sick day, or a rest break.


An Oxford university study predicts that within 20 years, 47% of all jobs are at risk of being replaced by technology – that’s over 70 million people! And at the same time, globalisation is affecting high skilled jobs in ways that it never has before.

  • Law firms for example, are already starting to outsource work to firms in developing nations who are trained in Western law. These outsourced lawyers can do legal research and even review contracts for a fraction of the cost of a local lawyer.


But it’s not all doom and gloom…just as technology and globalisation destroy jobs, they also create jobs! By generating new industries and new markets. But how do we all keep up and cope, while remaining high performing? …



Why Resilience, why now?

We don’t know exactly what the future is going to look like, but we do know this – millions of workers around the globe, white collar and blue collar, young and old, are about to face ENORMOUS and difficult transitions and change. We’re living longer than ever before, and will be forced to change our jobs more frequently than any other people in history. We’re going to need to learn new skills constantly throughout our careers to keep from being left behind. We’re going to need to overcome obstacles, embrace uncertainty and change, and manage ourselves through adversity and setbacks – like those caused most recently by COVID-19. The word used to describe someone’s capacity to do all this effectively is ‘Resilience’, which comes from the latin word ‘resilire’ meaning to recoil or rebound, later translated into the noun ‘Resilience’ meaning ‘the act of rebounding’.


This revolution in the workplace and social environment is not coming in the distant future, it’s happening now and it’s going to accelerate. It’s going to affect all of us – our teams, our colleagues, our friends, our families and our communities! Are you ready? Is your team and organisation ready?


Talk to us today about our Resilience training courses, and arm your team with the skills, tools and strategies to reach high resilience, fast!



Content transcribed and adapted from ‘Slope of the Curve’, WorkingNation.

Friedman, T. (2016). Thank you for being late – an optimists guide to thriving in the age of acceleration. Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Image credits: Graph – ‘Thank you for being late’, Thomas Friedman, 2016, p.32

Meet the author

Matt Hughes

Matt is the founder of ripen and lead Resilience coach. Previously specialising in Corporate Finance and People strategy, Matt retrained in psychology and cognitive therapy to master the Resilience skills and techniques used by elite performers. Matt now coaches courageous individuals and teams to get the life and results they want in business, career and health, through courses targeted at enhancing self-awareness, self-regulation and mental agility.

Share This