I saw my very first cell phone back in the mid 1980’s – I guess it was technically called a car phone back then. It looked like a phone, acted like a phone, and rang like a phone,but I knew this wasn’t just a phone, this would usher in a new world order.
When I finally got my hands on my first real cell phone – a Nokia something or other – in 1995 I was afraid to answer it for fear of the cost: I had a $25/month plan that included 25 minutes of talk time.
Now look at us: 4.5+ billion people worldwide carrying these things around like they have been a part of our lives forever. But this is just the start.
We’ve already seen some of the impact these devices have had on our daily lives: from the farmer checking grain prices in Africa; to under-educated youth learning about their rights in developing nations; to Indian entrepreneurs prospering by renting minutes in remote villages; to relief workers in Haiti being paid digitally without a banking infrastructure. All through mobile.
Mobile has the power to raise economies, combat injustice, extend democracy, destroy monopolies and connect the global population in conversation. We are a small planet and mobile makes it smaller. This global shift, as impressive as it already seems, happened in the blink of an eye. And it has just begun.
What happens when mobile becomes central to education, commerce, and healthcare? What is the global impact when media follows us, or when the term “art” is challenged by the tool we use to create? What happens when mobile is used to fuel election donations and to topple governments. Finally, what happens when the playing field is levelled, and business opportunities that were once first-world only are democratized and accessible to every single person on the planet?
To navigate this incredible period of change and innovation, Douglas and I have put together a summit with the help of some very gracious partners. We call it UNTETHER.talks: two days with the brightest minds in mobile to analyze the present and articulate the future. We hope you’ll come to listen, engage, and learn about this crazy thing we call mobile.
For more information about UNTETHER.talks, visit www.untethertalks.com and register today. Can’t wait to see you there.