There will be naysayers. Horse-traders — many of them — merely seeking to find an angle on what you’re up to so that they can figure out a way to get a toehold into an opportunity.

Sometimes, you have to stick to your guns. The satisfaction comes when you can prove it can be done against all odds. Just show them that contrary to popular belief and Chinese whispers that threaten to derail the effort, some beliefs are worth swimming against the current for.

For instance, when the telephone was first demonstrated in 1876, there was reaction in some quarters that it would not fare well. Of course there was a clear agenda. The man slamming the idea of the telephone, Sir William Henry Preece of the British Post Office, was part of a business that revolved around sending messengers scurrying about the city delivering telegraph messages. His observation was that the telephone had so many shortcomings it was a device of no value. But he developed a telephony system later.

Fast forward and we’ve reached a situation where the number of telephones and mobile phones in the world has exploded. There are close to 5.5 billion mobile phones, and around 1.5 billion fixed line subscribers. While mobile phone numbers soar, the fixed lines are trending down in developed countries, (48.7 per 100 inhabitants in 2000 down to 41.6 in 2010) while still continuing to grow in the developing world (7.95 per 100 inhabitants in 2000 to 11.9 in 2010).

It’s ultimately about the desire to stay connected. The growth of communication has seen the world take on a different complexion in recent decades. Its ongoing role is a double-edged sword in many ways, and forms one of the “Cs” that will be discussed at the forthcoming STORM THE PLANET session celebrating STORM’s entry into its third year.

Besides Communication, The New 5 Cs will also look at the role of Character, Community, Consumerism and Culture in shaping our future.

Perhaps in one regard Sir William was right. Looking at how society seems to prefer texting and sending messages rather than picking up the phone to talk to the other party, he was prescient in pointing out that the phone as a means of sending voice may become irrelevant in time.

STORM_EditorsPage_images_03Kannan Chandran