Disrupt or be Disrupted

NOV. 11, 2015
Brian Solis, digital anthropologist

Brian Solis, who joined The ED Sessions Nov. 11, 2015 in Boise, Idaho, is a digital anthropologist who studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He humanizes technology’s causal effect to help empower the average citizen to engage in ways that can change the course of a community, state or nation.

Solis said the first thing society does is judge the next generation with statements like, “put your phone down.” What that says is, “You need to be more like me.” Solis said to earn relevance society needs to do the opposite and embrace technology. Contrary to old thinking, technology like smart phone apps and social platforms help people become more informed.

“When you become more informed you become more empowered. And when you become more empowered you become more demanding. And when you become more demanding, well, a lot of things happen,” Solis said.

Solis referred to the change as Digital Darwinism — technology and society changing. The problem is that systems do not change fast enough. With the transformation, he said, the public is groomed to expect complete experiences rather than a service. Experience, he said, is when technology, brand, aspiration and achievement.

“Technology has to be matched by humanity,” Solis said. “… by shifts in perspective to see people differently than the way we see ourselves. This is where the future of business begins, because every body can be an innovator. The future of education can unfold because anyone can be an innovator.”

Innovation, he said, does not come from the top. It comes from within and it is deeply personal.

“Innovation isn’t a thing. It’s a feeling. You want to do something about it.”


“Disrupt or be Disrupted”


“Disrupt or be Disrupted”