Thinking of Thinkers for the BIG Re-Think!

“The nature of Change has changed.” I loved this line from an article I read. How many of us acknowledge the continuous and comprehensive metamorphoses that we stand amidst? Systems collapsing, evolving, expanding, digitalizing – this era has proven to be a great showcase for agents of change propelling the world forward without a preliminary phase for readiness or consent.

The digital sphere has taken the geographical and physical lines away and replaced them with an equally significant virtual presence – perhaps not as tangible, but far more productive and time efficient.

The systems, as we know them, are up for the test and, honestly speaking, giving in to the new, either at the cost of a new identity or a new soul altogether.

“I think, therefore, I am!” was Descartes in the 17th century, and he had encapsulated the basic need for continuous transformation, which is, of course, ‘thinking.’ Combined with Socratic logic and a critical aspect, you get a solution for the present dismembering and reconstruction of the world as ‘Re-Think.’

I would also like to connect to an ever-elusive Ayn Rand and her conflicting romantic realism, heavily influenced by Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, where she prioritized reason or objective above any influence or altruism.

I would like to enthusiastically applaud the disruptions of Ghazali with his Neo-Platonism, Khaldun with his Islamic Economics, and Ibne-Sina bringing Metaphysics to the theological streams.

Whether it was Russell highlighting the popular in his ‘Unpopular Essays’ or Nietzsche’s existentialism being found in Ghalib’s poetry – the times and eras have always been a patchwork of strong thoughts, disrupting the monotonous or the regular, for a change and for the better.

We have our thinkers of today too. Theoretically, Gu Su or Gayatri Spivak are taking Liberalism and Deconstructionism to a new level, Ken Robinson, having defined the new meaning and understanding of school-based education, has overhauled the concept of learning, but many entrepreneurs who are thinking on their feet via innovating, changing paradigms, and inventing new technologies, are changing the world at an unprecedentedly fast pace where, as somebody rightly said, excellence is no longer a destination – because the very definition of excellence changes so rapidly.

How do we tame this tempest, this tumult without letting go of the set navigation? What should be the judging criteria for the ‘deadness’ of a system? Do we revive a business or go towards a Renaissance? Or perhaps re-enter a new age of Reformation and Enlightenment as we are all learning afresh. How will the new digital world need us to behave? What can be done, and how it can be done?

These are all pertinent questions that kept us engaged in deciding the theme for our upcoming conference in Islamabad.

The 6th Edition of the LEADERS IN ISLAMABAD BUSINESS SUMMIT #LIIBS is set for May 31st and June 1st, 2023, at the Islamabad Serena Hotel, and the trail of responses that ensued for these questions brought us our theme as ‘The BIG Re-think.’ We look forward to our guests and esteemed speakers on the two days of the Summit addressing these queries and more. We would also be excited to debate extensively on the following streams as well, with the perspective of the needed BIG Re-Think.

  • Global Challenges; the world is a small place now in terms of the immediate impact of events and strategies. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion #DEI, Education, Health, Food Security, Disruption via Technology, Leadership, etc. require recalibration for innovative solutions.
  • Environmental stewardship: power production and consumption, and waste management have new alternatives that need to be looked at for a sustainable future.
  • Digital Disruption: transformation, innovation, entrepreneurship, and new employment opportunities have to be thoroughly explored and understood.

The objective is, as always, a successful and prosperous Pakistan that is strong on inclusivity. We hope to see a large gathering of mindful thinkers at the Summit and wish us all a great learning experience.

This article is written by Muhammad Azfar Ahsan. Muhammad Azfar Ahsan is the Founder of Nutshell & Ex Minister of State for Investments. He is a visionary thinker exploring the challenges of the digital era and advocating for a comprehensive re-think to drive innovation and prosperity.

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