The Educated Decision-Maker in a World of New Technologies

When we reflect on the changes that have occurred over the past decades, years, or even months, we often think of technological progress and groundbreaking developments, with AI as the latest example. However, what is often overlooked are the changes within ourselves. The human being is always the starting point. People are not passive consumers; instead, they are active decision-makers who shape their own reality.

Meet the EDM

A significant consumer phenomenon has emerged. As we enter the post-digital era, we can now see how consumers have transformed into Educated Decision-Makers (EDMs). In terms of technological developments, people have likely learned more in the last 15 years than in the preceding 50.

People not only apply knowledge in their everyday lives but also develop new levels of skills and abilities. Step by step, consumers are becoming more empowered through the everyday use of new technologies.

5 Phases of EDM Evolution

To better understand this transformation and the sources of the EDM’s knowledge, we have outlined its development across five distinct phases. Each phase introduces a crucial new element that enhances the EDM’s ability to make well-informed decisions.

Moreover, each phase is marked by new external influences and innovations that significantly impact it. Only those who understand where the EDM comes from can anticipate where it is still capable of going.

1 Exploring Phase

Individual users began discovering the Internet, often more by chance than by design. New websites emerged, but many were of limited use and not universally understood. Despite this, these early steps were crucial.

2 Enabling Phase

New platforms facilitated online buying and selling, with more and more users learning to navigate the net purposefully. Social networks emerged in both professional and personal spheres (Facebook, Xing, LinkedIn). Products, jobs, private matters – everything became accessible, interconnected, and, most importantly, comparable on the Internet. This led to better-informed decisions.

The Educated Decision-Maker Continues to Learn and Adapt

The world is becoming increasingly complex and interconnected, with non-linear changes occurring frequently. Exponential thinking has thus become essential. In this more complex environment, we need correspondingly complex and innovative solutions. While we have a greater number of tools at our disposal, it’s crucial to use them effectively to fully leverage the vast array of choices and potentials available to us, without being overwhelmed by the sea of possibilities.

3 Empowerment Phase

Smart features and advanced apps opened up new possibilities. They enabled consumers to access services, information, and entertainment more quickly and easily. People gained a new negotiating position with their data, something that was previously impossible. This led to a newfound flexibility and sovereignty for the consumer. Moreover, we learned from our experiences, applied our newfound knowledge, and transferred these insights into various areas.

4 Enhancement Phase

The Enhancement Phase represents a significant advancement in the journey of the Educated Decision-Maker (EDM). In this phase, individuals utilize advanced technologies, such as AI and big data, to enhance their decision-making skills, building upon the knowledge and experiences gained in earlier phases. It is characterized by the rapid adoption of new applications and processes, facilitating personal growth and increased self-reliance in decision-making.

5 Emergence Phase

The Educated Decision-Maker (EDM) is now defined by the integration and utilization of emerging technologies, including advanced AI tools like ChatGPT and other generative AI applications. This phase greatly accelerates the EDM’s ability to expand its capabilities, encompassing the enhancement of physical limits and the adoption of new perspectives. It marks a period where what was once considered science fiction becomes part of the everyday practices of EDMs, fostering innovative approaches to problem-solving.

What’s Next?

As the Educated Decision-Maker (EDM) moves into the future, the Evergence Phase will begin. This phase is expected to be a transformative shift where technology and human experience become deeply intertwined. Advances like Neuralink suggest a future where the boundary between human and artificial intelligence becomes increasingly indistinct, leading to a high level of integration between technology and humans. This integration could potentially transform how the EDM perceives reality and makes decisions. The Evergence Phase represents a leap toward a future where technology is not merely a tool, but an essential part of the human experience.

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