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The question for now is. Can you predict the future of work in one trade show?

Adventures and otherwise in the time of the MWC2022.

It was rather apt that this year I was asked to cover #MWC2022 for Huawei, as their virtual guest, whilst working from home. Not only as a great believer in remote working. But also with my own work levels at YourFLOCK and my personal life meaning I couldn’t take time away.

So I joined Huawei online — for VIP discussions on topics

“including 5G business success, green technology, connectivity + IT for new growth, and their GUIDE business blueprint, with a focus on business and social value, to light up a bright future of digital economy.”

Don’t get me wrong. A four day working “holiday” from Barcelona would be nice. But like 18,000 other people on the first day keynote. I was logging in to the stream online. Rather than cramming into a conference room. And spending a fortune flying over there…

Which again is an apt analogy for the future of work isn’t it.

So what can MWC2022 teach us?

One thing is that this year’s MWC was an online social (media) affair too. Again paralleling the new world of work. As when Mobile World Congress finished there were.

  • 4.5+ Billion impressions
  • 400K Twitter user reach
  • ~250,000 tweets

We can also say that — the year of mobile (inside joke) was a while ago. Well duh?

Now there are some 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions. And as Stephanie Lynch-Habib CMO, GSMA was happy to report some 4.2 billion people use mobile phones every day. Which is more than half the world.

And remember how many people from that are under 10.

It’s an astounding figure.

Which means that the potential for ecological issues sadly also increases. The more mobile users the more data and the more data — the more energy needs to be used.

As Richard Jin, Vice President, Huawei showed us. It is possible to do more. But only when we use green innovations at the forefront of our minds and research.

So it is interesting to think about the trade off from a future of work POV.

As Konstantinos Masselos, Vice Chair, BEREC, President, EETT in his talk — Prospects for Green Development of Telecom Industry rightly pointed out. If 3.9 million people worked from home (half of their time) then this is like taking 600,000 cars off the road each year!

Just imagine the green impact if 39 million people did this. Or 390 million did this across the world. And this is just for working from home — the eco benefits for taking on the new industrial revolution COULD be huge.

As Ryan Ding, Huawei’s Executive Director and President of the Carrier BG, gave a keynote speech entitled “Lighting up the Future” states — more than half of the world’s economy is now DIGITAL.

And so we know that the backbone of the revolution HAS to be ICT.

It can’t be anything else.

But with that power comes a great reasonability. To make sure we make these advances not just with everyone else onboard. But it is done in an ecological way.

The green tech winners might surprise you.

As you can see from Luis Neves, CEO of GeS research the sectors that might “win” the most from these advances in computation. And the digital economy are NOT the ones you might at first think of.

So 5G working with agriculture might do more to help the environment by clever computing. Than us working from home, ever could. As how eco working from home is starting to be questioned the more data comes in. See here.. How Eco-Friendly Is Remote Working?

So perhaps the best thing is some of us all NOT working at all. Might this be better for the world?

With computerised ports in China meaning that only 30% of the human workforce is needed. And ports in Dubai using the technology is the equivalent to planting 2700 trees — in ONE facility.

So is the future of work — us not working at all?

I don’t think so.

ICT has a huge role to play in the future of the role. But the fear all jobs will be replaced is unfounded. As history teaches us — humans always find work to do. As each industry sector becomes more switched on. More nuanced jobs will exist. Perhaps one of the main ones will be around innovations to make sure we stay green.

For example, as Jean-Luc Lemmens, Head of Market Intelligence & Telecom Expert, IDATE DigiWorld, showed us advances in the use of fibre in each industry could save the world 1.6 Gt of Co2. But that can only be done by the sector with political will and multiple stakeholders. As well as innovation in the industry.

Some of those innovations are being made today. By companies like Huawei as they showcased their GUIDE for the future. And their vision of “More Bits and Less Watts” — a wonderful simplification but with a core message.

The more we use technologies like 5G as they roll out around the world. The more eco friendly the world becomes. As 5G uses less (not more) power.

With you being able to download 5000 movies on 5G for the same power of a paltry 30 on 3G.

But this revolution will be industrialised.

It’s not in the downloading of movies, or not even in us working from home en masse, that the true advances will come. Moving all our businesses to the “cloud” means that projects that used to take 18 months. Can be done in a fraction of the time (Sometimes as low as 1/5th of the time according to Adam Selipsky CEO, Amazon Web Services.)

This ability to do and redo. With applications and industrialisation. Allows innovation to be at the heart of the new revolution.

Not just in areas, which excite me the most like in health care. With the great example of 5G being used in a new hospital in Thailand and sponsored by their government and Huawei there. (Thanks Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa, M.D. Dean of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital for the inspirational talk.)

But in manufacturing and robotics and all sorts of creative and media outlets.

50 percent…

50% of the 5G potential revenue will come from this new business side of life. Not from commercial handsets. But from businesses that create new user cases for 5G. Not just in cloud based VR applications but in all sorts.

But it is the VR world with its increasing abilities that I see some of the future of work. Whether we like it or not. And not just for the super advanced things like manufacturing. But in everyday human centred work. Be that in training or simply meeting up at work. So one of the most interesting speakers I listened to was at the end of the summit.

In their talks about…


As this is key for me. Without human beings involved. And happily involved. Then this next industrial revolution doesn’t happen. Technology can’t do it by itself. Covid has shown this. And the power of human beings to shape society.

Two years ago Zoom existed, heck 5 years ago, when I was training companies in how to think more digitally. Along comes the pandemic and BOOM — overnight almost everything changes as Shuky Sheffer President & CEO, Amdocs said in his talk about their technology company.

“With 29,000 employees we had to change overnight. And “decided” to work from home.”

What’s interesting, in his speech was that he recognised it was the power of his people. And the work and company culture that enabled them to strive and not just survive. It was their diversity and inclusion that made a difference. In a sector not known for that attribute.


So it was great to listen to two keynote speakers — diverse in their nature and thoughts. With Prem Akkaraju CEO, Weta Digital, from a multi billion dollar special fx and graphics company. That is moving into our more business dominated arena.

As he put it to bring “belief” into the technologies of the future.

To do so, he said, we need to “create the new creators”.

And he might be right.

If we start to see graphics that are similar to real life. We will adopt headsets and usage a lot quicker. A bit like how many people MIGHT HAVE become Lord Of The Rings fans. Due to seeing the movie franchise. And let’s be honest.

Even if you read the books.

You can’t fail to be inspired by those fight scenes on the big screen. Well that’s what WETA did — and now they want to bring that to your mobile phone and potentially the future of work.

If we start to see those kinds of graphics in meetings. With each of our own work colleagues. The future of work could be in the metaverse.

If we start to see those kinds of graphics in meetings. With each of our own work colleagues. The future of work could be in the metaverse. Or the Viverse.

Which was where Cher Wang Chairperson & CEO, HTC saw it being.

Making the great point that the less we travel for work — the more we can see our loved ones in real life. A great point.

I was there, virtually reporting for Huawei as their virtual guest. With 18,000 other people on the livestream for some of the keynotes. Could this be the digital transformation of the future tradeshow.

Could MWC2022 — have been done with 5G and almost “in person”?

If so, the potential for international trade shows is HUGE. Whilst the environmental benefit is even larger.

What about if instead of “company retreats” in a building. We all were trained online through headsets? Whilst still “meeting each other”. It has implications for the whole of the future of work. And even the future education. And the future of business as we know it.

But ONLY if human beings are happy.

As research knows (and many entrepreneurs can tell you) that happiness — true inner happiness — is the superpower to performance. Is that happiness — possible through the metaverse — through 5G — through VR.

I don’t know but M”C2022 sure implied it might be. And for the future it might have to be. As Huawei, Fang Liangzhou, Vice President of Huawei Digital Power. Said in his keynote speech that carbon neutrality has become a global consensus. So we must…

“continuously innovate clean power generation, energy digitalization, electric transportation, green ICT energy infrastructure, and integrated smart energy. By converging energy flows and information flows. Huawei is committed to creating a better life, smarter business, a more inclusive society, and a greener world.”

“More Bits — Less Watts” indeed.

And a great guide to the potential future. But before we all get carried away with ideas like DNA storage and the like. To protect our past.

Let’s remember none of this is truly possible or worth it — if people aren’t happy too.


Let’s hope we can be part of “lightening up the future”. For everyone on the planet and with the planet in mind.

With their “More Bits, Less Watts” strategy, Huawei has committed to making its products 2.7 times more energy efficient. No mean feat. By making breakthroughs in areas like theories, materials, and algorithms. Through advances like these, the ICT industry is able to help other industries reduce their own carbon footprints.

As Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping concluded….

“In fact, this reduction will be 10 times larger than the carbon footprint of the ICT industry itself.”

And if that happens, then you can’t argue with that.