Tyler Rouze

Analyst @ Kambr | UMN Engineer | Data Science.

The Future of Information post-2020

> “If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive.” - Lew Platt, CEO, Hewlett-Packard I've found myself reciting this quote a lot recently. And it seems to continually come up in conversation. I've been having discussions about what the future of [Kambr](https://kambr.com) might look like, what the path forward looks like post-2020 events, and I've found this quote to be useful in a number of cases. Increasingly, information has become a center piece of these conversations because we are seeing first hand what miscommunication looks like on a grand stage. Do asymptomatic carriers pass SARS-Cov-2? We know what the freedom from is for our black brothers and sisters, but what is the freedom to? What does a more equal world look like? How do we achieve it? These are real questions that, to me, seemed to be getting drowned out in the noise. The media increasingly slants to their own narratives, even Twitter- what was once the pinnacle of decentralized communication- began [engaging in censorship](https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-silicon-valley/trump-twitter-facebook-and-the-future-of-online-speech), in some cases for better or in some for worse. This is not meant to be a big political rant, I happen to think much of the media has its purpose but is now running the risk of being weaponized. But that's just the point. Information is beginning to hold value- check that, it always has, it's just that information is becoming so cheap to manufacture. So much so that we see fabricated videos and fake Twitter accounts take storm for brief moments of time. Lew Platt spoke of HP employees not collaboratively sharing information (whether it be for job security or simply lack of a mode to do so), and there are certainly models of companies that have shown us that it can be done. Google's internal wiki platform comes to the top of my mind as an example. But a fellow employee is someone you *trust*, you're *on the same team*. Why have so many been quick to take anything they see online as the truth, smashing the retweet button before they even think? It's a curious psychological study, no doubt. But what does the future of information look like? I've alluded to it before, but it once was (and still is at many companies) commonplace to hold large stocks of information. It was how you stayed competitive. If your competitor doesn't know how you're creating/doing/building something, you stay at an advantage longer. But what we're starting to see is the power of open source take hold. Partnerships form, company's trade knowledge across industries and find themselves both more profitable than before, silos begin to evaporate, it's a cycle companies are starting to take note of (if you're interested, read [The Power of Pull](https://www.amazon.com/Power-Pull-Smartly-Things-Motion/dp/0465028764)). Building the trustworthy bonds in which information of higher value can pass is going to become an increasingly valuable **asset** to have. Like I said before, information flows freely and cheaply. It's why we have so much misinformation in the world and why 95% of data generated isn't even analyzed. So again, what does the future of information look like going forward, in light of recent events? My answer to you is: a world in which we can tap into this flow of information and use it to make better decisions, where we use data to drive [public policy](https://www.joincampaignzero.org/research), where some information is valued more than other information (unlike the anon-sourced info on your Twitter feed or repost on Instagram), and it's a world in which we use the [tools](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-code_development_platform) at our disposal to make genuine, unfiltered communication more prevalent in your community and place of work. What we need is to cut out the noise and get to the real problems. Armed with information of value from those we trust, we can drive the critical changes necessary to move our society forward. I don't have all the answers, just ideas, but I'll go back to the quote at the beginning of this post with a little spin on it for the future of information. If the world knew what it was like to walk a mile in anyone's shoes, we'd be 3 times more happy, peaceful, and (insert adjective here). So, share your story relentlessly, listen to others even more, connect with the people in your community and work on the problems close to home first, remember that small victories add up quickly, and stay safe out there.