Just like engineers turn caffeine into great ideas, technology turns knowledge and resources into solutions to practical problems. Technology existed long before the Greeks associated it with art and crafts (‘tekhne’) and later with any systematic treatment that adds value. Although around for a long time, WheelTech and TimeTech never made the headlines in the absence of PrintTech, but the news about TextileTech probably spread quickly through MorseTech.
These breakthrough innovations emerged from robust cross-disciplinary skills and knowledge, harnessed to solve practical problems related to doing or communicating. Next, technology solved many thinking and knowing problems as software and artificial intelligence developed at the boundary of electrical engineering and mathematics, and later neuroscience etc..
And today technology is tackling the fundamental problem, being – healthy with MedTech, wealthy with FinTech, educated with EdTech, well-fed with AgriTech, relaxed with InsureTech, protected with LegalTech and so on with many other flavours of xTech.
Being is extremely difficult to understand and improve even within the boundaries of traditional disciplines. But xTech advances fast thanks to greater levels of cross-disciplinary expertise from the traditional Subject Experts and Tech Professionals, making them more aligned in values, more knowledgeable and skillful, and more efficient.
And even when today’s innovations become commoditised and the academic subjects adapt to the times, xTech innovation will still depend on cross-disciplinary collaborations. So master Tech but look outside it to understand how to bring a contribution to being through xTech!
The author is a cross-disciplinary consultant at Camgile, the transistor-to-cloud technical and management consultancy.