ICI Council Discusses the Business and Production Mentality of the Future in the Light of Science and Technology

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Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) February ordinary Council meeting was held on 28 February 2018 in Odakule with the main agenda of "The Changing Business-Production Mentality and Future Forecasts in the Light of Science and Technology". The meeting chaired by ICI President of Assembly Zeynep Bodur Okyay was honored with the participation of Alphan Manas, Innovative Entrepreneur, Futurist and Honorary President of Turkish Futurists Association.

İSO Başkanı Erdal Bahçıvan
ICI Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan

ICI Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan, who talked about the agenda during the assembly meeting, stated that the draft law bringing changes to the Value Added Tax (VAT) Law to be sent to the Turkish Assembly is a pleasing development for the industrialists. Stating that the VAT practices bring transfer burden to the public almost like an business capital from the scarce resources of the industry, Bahçıvan continued: "VAT that is named as consumption tax in Turkey had almost converted into a production tax for industrialists and manufacturers like us within the last 30 years because the final burden was always on the shoulders of the manufacturers and the industrialists. The industrialists in the 'Top 500 Turkish Industrial Organizations of 2016' study issued by ICI has a VAT receivable of 6 billion TL from the state. I would like to thank our Government, Ministry of Finance and all those that made effort for this VAT amendment that we expect to be put into force by being approved by the Assembly."

İnovatif Girişimci, Fütürist ve
Türkiye Fütüristler Derneği Onursal Başkanı Alphan Manas
Innovative Entrepreneur, Futurist
and Turkey Futurist Association's
Honorary President Alphan Manas

Innovative Entrepreneur, Futurist and Honorary President of Turkish Futurists Association, Alphan Manas talked about the future. "We will be flying drones using our brain waves." said Manas. "All the simulations of our brain will be completed until 2023. The awareness and consciousness of the brain will be copied. Walmart and Amazon would be the greatest banks of the future years." ICI Assembly members listened carefully all the forecasts of Manas regarding future such as the fact that the world population will be in decreasing trend rather than increasing, the country population will mainly gather on sea shores and the lands will be largely emptied, half of the employees will work from home and the other will work at offices.

İSO Meclis Başkanı - Zeynep Bodur Okyay
ICI President of Assembly
Zeynep Bodur Okyay

Istanbul Chamber of Industry February assembly meeting was opened by ICI President of Assembly Zeynep Bodur Okyay. Sharing her opinions regarding the agenda while opening the council session, Okyay wished strength to our brave soldiers serving in the Olive Branch Operation continued by Turkish Armed Forces with determination since January 20, mercy to the noble sons of our country that lost their lives, and patience to their loved ones and the great Turkish nation. Okyay continued:

"As mentioned upon various occasions, Industry 4.0 focuses on problematic issues of the industry that require solutions such as higher or lower production than planned, faulty production and inventory wastage. In this process, the goals are operating in higher speeds and reliability rates, minimum two times more efficiency than the old tasks and production of higher quality products while producing with less cost, using minimum energy, generating less heat, saving time and using less sources. In the near future, we will face the real challenge of competing with firms that produce with minimum cost in the international arena.

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All these developments are both serious threats and serious opportunities. Turkey is one of those companies that had late transition to Industry 2.0 and Industry 3.0, however the investments made both by the state and the private sector especially in the last 30 years include technologies that fulfill the requirements of the age. By both adapting the technology of our plants to the change and using the advantage of our young population, we can put our name among the countries that make profit from this huge transformation. And as industrialists, we should be brave in this process. We don't have time to hesitate. The increase seen in the rate of technological advancement following the birth of Internet had never been seen in the human history. In such a period, the companies that fail or are late to understand or apply the innovations as required will either shrink or disappear. Let's all keep this in mind. We need to set our goals correctly and express them clearly. As Istanbul Chamber of Industry, we are the representative of a great heritage that had always played a pioneer role in the development of Turkish industry and broke grounds. And once again that's us who need to fulfill the responsibility to build the future of our industry and country."

ICI Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan took the stage to share his opinions regarding the main agenda of the ICI Assembly meeting and began by informing ICI Assembly Members regarding the chamber elections.  Bahçıvan shared the following information:

"As required by the Law on Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, it was decided to held the next chamber elections after 2013 in 81 cities of Turkey in last October and November. However, as you all know, the chamber elections were delayed to April 2018 with the decision taken by the Council of Ministers. With the authority assigned to us by the Law on Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, we had initiated operations to fulfill our responsibility to hold an election in April. We will be initiating the election period with Professional Committees on 2 April 2018 upon the decision approved by the District Election Committee. Following the election of the Professional Committees that will be held at Hilton Elmadağ Convention Center, we will have the elections of our Chamber's Assembly Presidency, Board, Discipline Committee, TOBB Delegates and Professional Committee Presidents in our Odakule headquarters. I wish this election period to be good for our society."

Bahçıvan, who continued by sharing his opinions regarding the agenda with ICI Assembly Members, named future as a mysterious and exciting concept that makes everyone wonder, feel hopeful and sometimes anxious. Bahçıvan stated that it is never possible to know the future without actually living it, thus it is only possible to make forecasts regarding the future by assessing the current data with a future-oriented perspective.

Reminding the uncertainty spread almost every region of the world recently, Bahçıvan said that the world is against economical uncertainties and new generation risks such as increasing geopolitical tensions, severe natural events, social events and Cyber attacks. Indicating that all of these causes more people from a lot of countries to express more concern and pessimism, Bahçıvan sated that uncertainty drives negative emotions regarding future and a passive role is generally assigned to people in a hopeless journey in scenarios regarding the future.

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Attracting attention to the wrong of seeing future as an unforeseeable and unpreventable whole of problems, Bahçıvan gave the courage that it is in our hands to decide how the future will be, to shape it and to plan it by closely monitoring the current dynamics. Bahçıvan concluded that it is possible to achieve a more active role by freeing ourselves from this pessimism and passiveness against future, and that futurism is very important in this journey.

Stating that futurism is a science discipline derived from the word 'future', Bahçıvan stated that this discipline benefiting from sociology, statistics, geography and technology attracts more and more attention everyday in the world. Bahçıvan, who stated that the global tendencies that are observed as of today and named as mega trends play a crucial role while making forecasts about the future, attracted attention to the fact that new generation production mentality began to cause a rapid change in professions. While the old occupations disappear due to automation and new occupation arise, the almost 8 thousand 'jobs' defined in Turkey 25 years ago have now dropped to 12 thousand meaning that many new professions are part of our lives now and many old ones are no longer here according to Bahçıvan.

Bahçıvan also talked about the VAT practices that they had worked a lot on as ICI and the current management since they took over the task, and insistently mentioned on every platform and meeting, and shared his joy of seeing the "Draft Law on Amendments in Value Added Tax Law" to be sent to the Assembly for approval yesterday.

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Bahçıvan continued:

"As you know, VAT practices were in fact bringing an operating capital transfer burden from the scarce resources of the industry to the public.  VAT that is named as a consumption tax in our country was almost like a production tax for us, the industrialists and the producers, in the last 30 years because the final burden was always on the shoulders of the manufacturers and the industrialists. Only the industrialists in the 'Top 500 Turkish Industrial Organizations of 2016' study issued by ICI has a VAT receivable of 6 billion TL from the state. I would like to thank our Government, Ministry of Finance and all those that made effort for this VAT change that we expect to put into force by being approved by the Assembly today or within few days, and wish for this law to be good for our industry and industrialists."

Innovative Entrepreneur, Futurist and Turkish Futurists Association's Honorary President Alphan Manas took the stage, and mentioned the difficulty of forecasting the future events and told how the current technologies were imagined in the past by providing various examples. Underlining the importance of thinking out of the box, Manas stated that production methods are trying to make guesses with the materials in hand while going through a transformation. Manas, who stated that an aluminum box would have been 1.2 dollars if the aluminum prices were fixed while building the Washington monument in 1884, said that aluminum got cheaper with a method developed by Charles Marten Hall and Paul Heroult.

And he had given product placement technology, glasses-based technologies, 3D printers as examples to the successful forecasts that he had made in the past. "There will be brand new production materials in the future." said Manas. "The mobile phone sales are rapidly decreasing, because the penetration almost reached hundred percent. And this is an indication that everything in our lives will turn into glasses in the future."

Manas stated that the company owners and managers are having or may have operational blindness in their own companies by saying that it is much easier to observe outside then to see inside. Manas underlined that the transition period from fiction to reality had shorten extensively today.

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Manas also made the following forecasts regarding the future:

"We will be flying drones using our brain waves. "All the simulations of our brain will be completed until 2023. The awareness and consciousness of the brain will be copied. Walmart and Amazon would be the greatest banks of the future years."

Giving information regarding the mega trends of the future through examples, Manas listed these mega trends as follows:

  • Individual transportation,
  • Personal health and medicine,
  • Digital money,
  • 3D printers and 4D printers,
  • Internet of Things,
  • Robots and artificial intelligence,
  • Co-design and co-production,
  • Disposable technologies,
  • Power storage (battery) revolution,
  • New energy sources (methane hydrate),
  • Freelance and work at home,
  • Zero marginal cost economy,
  • Local and vertical production,
  • Transhumanism,
  • Smart cities / Life on sea,
  • E-mobility,
  • Citizenship revenue.

Manas provided the following examples regarding these titles:

"Robots began to emerge in industry. In China, there are 800 robot manufacturers. Robots will cause 800 million people to lose their jobs in 2030. Now, everyone designs together and everyone grows together. National production disappears. If Chinese is the one making the best plane body, other parts may be produced by other countries. Disposable technologies will also advance. Materials such as forks and knives will all be disposable. There will no longer be washing machines or dish machines either. The flying skateboard of 'Back to the Future' will be a reality thanks to the new battery technologies. Lithium ion batteries will be replaced with magnetic batteries. Energy resources are being evolved in various different places. And Turkey will experience the advantage of this. There is frozen natural gas in Black Sea. Finally, Turkey will free itself from importing natural gas. Freelance jobs and work-at-home will increase, too. In 2027, the numbers of those working at home and working in offices will be equal. Communication, energy and logistics costs will rapidly decrease in the following period. And naturally, the profit margins will decrease. Local and vertical production will emerge. We will produce wherever we will consume. World is evolving towards this path. Everyone says there will be wars for water, but note that water can be produced from the moisture of air. Right now, we have that technology. We can obtain drinking water even at sea. With transhumanism, we will feel like visiting a city that we actually don't. Smart cities and life at sea will emerge. People will migrate from villages to the sea. The middle parts will be emptied. E-mobility, systems such as UBER are expanding. The car sales will drop 25 percent in the future. We are moving towards driverless cars. In 2030, we will be working for four hours, four days a week. The world will turn into a federation in the future."

Manas continued by sharing the expected important events within the next decade:

"Germany will stop producing nuclear energy. Dubai will begin to use flying taxis. The costs of 3D printed cloths will be almost zero. UK will stop printing newspapers. We will run out of silver reserves. As the conversion of sea water into clean water will cheapen, the world will begin to use this water widely. Saudi Arabia will obtain 1/3 of its power from sun."

After Manas, ICI Assembly Members found the chance to express their ideas from the stage. The meeting ended with Alphan Manas answering the questions of the ICI Assembly Members.

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