It's My pleasure to introduce you to Rocky Scopelliti. He is what’s referred to as a futurologist. So what does this mean? His pioneering behavioral economics research on the confluence of demographic change associated with Millennials, and digital technology, have influenced the way we think about our social, cultural, economic and technological future. His latest thinking is in his new book ‘Youthquake 4.0 – A Whole Generation and The New Industrial Revolution’ which is now available in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Indonesian languages.
Me: So tell us more about yourself?
Rocky: As a media commentator, my unique insights have featured on SKY Business News, The Economist, Forbes, and Bloomberg just to name a few. As an international keynote speaker, my insights have captivated audiences across the Asia Pacific, the USA, and Europe including Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. I also provide advice to over 150 boards and leadership teams, including Fortune 100 corporations, each year on emerging technologies and their future impact.
Me: What does a typical day in your week look like?
Rocky: I’m blessed with a highly curious mind, so my day begins by spending the 1st hour reading all the news and developments that have occurred overnight and share, comment or prepare for interviews on those developments. I then have some ‘me time’, by running along the beach or at the gym and think about what questions I need to consider throughout the day. As I have a high public profile, my days usually require at least 2 presentations to either leadership teams or at industry events or providing advice on emerging technologies. I then spend time with my kids listening to and sharing the highlights (and lowlights) of our days. Lastly, I’m an avid reader, so I close the day by immersing myself in new knowledge.
Me: What’s the best advice you ever received?
Rocky: The best advice I’ve ever received was from my parents, and that advice was to always as ‘why’? Now in Italian which was my parents' language, it is ‘perche`? That word has allowed me to develop an unquenchable thirst for knowledge about social, cultural, economic and technological aspects of our world. This has enabled me to have an appreciation of the world and define my purpose within it.
Me: What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
Rocky: Those would have to be firstly, ‘be curious’ – life is not a puzzle to be solved, but in fact a mystery to be explored. Secondly, preserve, this is what makes exploration rewarding and lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously. At the end of the day, we are all humans.
Me: What would you do differently if you were starting in your industry now?
Rocky: I would change the education system away from trying to instill our minds with facts and figures, to spark our curiosity for knowledge through creative thinking, problem-solving and critical thinking. These are life skills that allow us as humans to adapt to the emerging environment such as in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Me: Which people or books have had the most influence on your growth and why?
Rocky: Now for a person who reads a book a week, this is going to be very tricky, so how about I provide you with a few that have impacted the way I see the world. Firstly, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. For any person interested in learning about the spiritual pathway to higher creativity this is a great read. This helped me in gaining self-confidence in harnessing creativity and skills. Secondly, The Singularity is Near by Ry Kurzwell. This New York Times bestseller is a radical but optimistic view of the future course of human development when it comes to intelligence that today is being artificially developed. Also The 100 Year Life by Lynda Gratton Andrew Scott I would add to the list. As one of my research specialization areas is demographic change associated with Millennials (1980 – 2000), this book provides a fascinating look at how at the increase in life expectancy and the impact of. For example, if you are a 20-year old Millennial today in the developed world, you have a one-in-two chance of living to 100-years of age. We, therefore, cannot expect that the current economic, cultural and societal aspects of today to be adequate in a future that is becoming less predictable.
Me: What would you say is the #1 key to success in your business?
Rocky: As I reflect on this, I would say that it’s adaptability. My fascination over the past 15 years of research centers on the question of ‘how do we increase our capacity to adapt, to a world of accelerated change?’. So when it comes to business, we have somehow formed expectations that success is anchored on a big one-time event that is described as ‘transformation’. Often you businesses announcing major transformations as though this will set them up for success forever, but reality now shows that success is not a function of a one-off event, but rather a constant adaption – Darwinian theory – So in my new book Youthquake 4.0, I propose that we adopt the word ‘Juvenescence’ – defined as the constant state of youthfulness – in others constant adaption.
Me: Talk about the biggest failure you've had. What did you learn from it?
Rocky: I’ve had many failures over the years which has been the key to my development. It’s important to take stock of those moments, learn from them, adapt and move on. It develops your courage, tenacity, and perseverance which is critical to success.
Me: What has been your biggest success story? Who would you like to attribute it to other than your passion and hard work?
Rocky: I think publishing my new book ‘Youthquake 4.0’ would have to be up there. This world-first book is the culmination of 15 years of research into the confluence of demographic change associated with Millennials, and digital technology, which has influenced the way we think about our social, cultural, economic and technological future. It’s a book every Millennial, parent of, or leader should understand about their impact on the world. I would attribute it to the thousands of Millennials I’ve learned from over that period.
Me: What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
Rocky: My purpose is to ‘make the world a better place through thought-leadership’ so I would like to think that the research I’ve done has made that difference.
I would like to thank Rocky Scopelliti for his time and effort in this dialogue. We wish him the best for his future and his latest book "Youthquake 4.0 – A Whole Generation and The New Industrial Revolution".