The Future of Business 5




09:30 - 12:30


 - Dr Wing-Tai Leung

 - Dr Mike Brownnutt



Ticket Fee $500 (for 5 sessions)


 - FaSCoRe, HKU

 - Lumina College



The Future of Business in a Technological Age (5):
Un-commodifying the World

Business and technology are powerful forces which have shaped – and continue to reshape – each other and the world in which we live. This series of five workshops brings together business leaders, technologists, and academics to consider, from a Christian perspective, the systemic issues facing business in light of technological advances, and the challenges and opportunities arising from these.

This final session will reflect on Neil Postman's definition of commodification  as “buying and selling a thing without reference to its meaning or context.” In light of this, we will consider how to re-insert meaning and context into business.

This talk aims to understand the relational order. How do we relate to God, to each other, and to the world around us? Business is often blind to relational factors. (If business exists to maximise profits, it fosters relationship only if that is a by-product of maximising profits.) Techno-values are often antithetical to relational factors. (Relationships is slow, inefficient, and hard to quantify: everything that technology excises.) Now aware of these issues, how do we go forward in our thinking about business and business technology?
          It is not possible to divorce the material aspects of life from wider questions encompassing people, nature, and God. Bricks and mortar, for example, are never just bricks and mortar: they have meaning, significance, and purpose; assigned both by humans and by God. In any given situation, there therefore exist multiple, incommensurate goods. Optimising one (such as profit, or speed) without consideration of the others is simple, and entirely misses the necessary complexity of the situation. In plotting a course forward, we must wrestle with the fact that simultaneously optimising, or at very least considering, multiple incommensurate goods is difficult, and nonetheless necessary.

Other Sessions

8th Dec. 2018: Consumerism and Growth

19th Jan. 2019: The Technology of Buying and Selling

16th Feb. 2019: Moving Beyond Zero Impact

16th Mar. 2019: Technology and the Global Order of Business

27th Apr. 2019: Un-commodifying the World