Pack your NFT’s and get your ass to Mars!

Decentralisation. Interoperability. And moving away from the current data dark ages and into a more information renaissance. And that the people working in the metaverse space have more in common with the interoperability heroes in the smart building space than the existing giants dominating it.

“Of course NFT’s are more valuable than physical stuff. It’s not that I can take my car and house with me when we go to Mars anyway right?”

This was something I heard a couple of months ago at a conference about crypto, NFTs and the Metaverse. The first time I heard about it I was amazed how old I was getting because every fibre of my body was telling me that I don’t understand this.

That’s how I reacted. But having been fooled by my involuntary cave-man antics and fight or flight. I of course decided to fight the urge to hide in the reality that I know. And instead read up as much as possible about the very things that I didn’t know that much about. And the strangest thing about this?

That most of the things that is happening, and will happen, is all about power to the people. Decentralisation. Interoperability. And moving away from the current data dark ages and into a more information renaissance. And that the people working in the metaverse space have more in common with the interoperability heroes in the smart building space than the existing giants dominating it.

It’s not so much how we react to things. As it is how we act once we are being confronted with something we do not know about. You can find a primer on Digital Twins and the Metaverse here if the present and future interests you.

Because I do think that the comment about bringing NFT’s to Mars is very interesting. Because it’s not that they are wrong. It’s just that it’s crazy to think that 2050 is closer to where we are now than 1990. And the change that will happen will be on an exponential scale.

A shortage of what? – Bridging the skill shortage gap

What is the shortage all about? We talked about this a lot in the last couple of episodes of the Beyond Buildings Podcast. On how any organization in any industry need to be able to onboard people faster, and better. Not just limited to that of full-stack developers but just about anyone. Existing industries have a hard time as it is attracting new people. I have talked about bridging the skill-shortage gap before and how to create future-ready organisations. There is a transition to be made into more sustainable ways of working. But when will this happen? And by whom?

And if we take the initial quote for granted, if all the most important items were Digital, what would that do for sustainability? And of course, portability when it comes to interstellar travel.

Why is this important?

Well, Ken Sinclair asked me to write something about the skill-shortage gap, and maybe something about what I have learnt during the last year. I have learned a lot… that’s for sure. It’s far easier to write about strategy & innovation than to implement it. But at the same time, implementation is what companies need as well. Which has led to the new and improved website that will focus more on Digital Twin Implementation, combined with strategy and innovation.

We have developed this project with real-time analytics and a good foundation for self-learning buildings. We did this in record time during Covid and are well on the way of creating value across the 3/30/300/3000 formula. And targeting the trillion dollar opportunity written by Brad White 5 years ago.

And it’s shocking how hard it is here in Sweden to get data out of buildings. Even new ones. It’s time consuming. It’s costly. It’s a one off. And it’s at a very low level. I have said this before, but that’s what happens when BACnet is nowhere to be seen.

So that is interesting on its own. But I can’t help but go back to this feeling of what future we are catering to? What is the skill shortage gap all about? Is it the young people that need to learn how to do things of yore? Or how the existing industry can be taught how to do things that is more relevant for the future generations?

Is it a combination of both?

Can we learn from real projects in how to get it done?

Learning by doing – Implementing Digital Twins

When I first showed the concept of Digital Twins for the real estate owner, and the technical energy advisor, they thought it was super cool. When we talked about self-learning buildings and AI-driven innovation with the principal of the schools we were implementing said systems in, she thought it was interesting too.

The owner and the energy specialist didn’t understand the value from it. The principal wanted transparency of where her support tickets were going and just better feedback about the very things that she cared about.

However, because I knew about the value of Digital Twins in responding to an unknown future, I created them anyway. Without a Digital Twin play, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Collaboration was made easy across domains. We got more publicity and already starting up several Digital Twin implementation projects across other industries. And the dialogue between the users/tenants can be 100% transparent and instantaneous now, which caters to better maintenance. And better user satisfaction.

And the board of directors of the real estate company who were experts in this space, they thought it was a novel approach and applauded the effort of Digital Twins. And when showing it to the kids in the school, and for them to understand that they could be involved in the process, and even play a game of walking around in the school, we could simplify complexity.

And we can draw upon this well, forever, and just add more data, turn it into information. Where the Digigital twin acts as both a Xerox machine of reality, and also a conversion tool between data and information across systems of different domains (due to haystack, brick, REC interoperability) and also people of different domain expertise, and also ages.

We are seeing the same shift back in 1994 when we went from a DOS environment to that of a visual interface. Except that we don’t need to abstract the world with Windows anymore. We can actually have an interface that is reality, which is a given for transferring knowledge seamlessly between actors in a system. As discussed here, in the webinar for interoperable manufacturing Digital Twins.

We can’t wait in creating the future we need. And we can’t treat the skill shortage gap as something that we have to transfer obsolete ways of working and to memorize things, or to use the “tools of the trade”. It’s the tools that need to change and also the mindset of solving problems with more modern tools. We have amazing people in all industries. And we have equally amazing people outside the industries, and most of them are young, with no idea that building automation is an amazing place to be in.

Build it and they will come. Yes, I see that it has worked really well for this project, leading to an abundance of choices and alternatives we did not know that we will have. And the different digital twins act as an arena of collaboration, innovation, and idea creation.

Can we win against the “Big Gorillas” in the Industry?

I made some prediction this year that the whole industry will be completely disrupted before 2025. I think that will happen in 2023-2024 at the latest.

I also said this at the AHR expo in 2019.

Where a gentleman in the audience said that the open aspects of the industry won’t win. We can’t win against the big gorillas in the industry. You can listen to the segment here. Where I clearly stated that we will win. I was referencing NOKIA and how they were competing against time. And also that it’s not so much about the technologies as it is with existing processes, people, culture, roles as well as systems. And perhaps most of all, business models.

Which is a funny coincidence that I will be speaking about how to win at buzzword bingo at this years AHR expo 3 years later (Click the image for video or here).


We’re gonna win this thing! – What have I really learnt in 2021

Existing companies are having a hard time making more money from existing customers. And there’s also a decline of their traditional customers. Where the modus operandi seems to be to protect the past, instead of investing in the future.

This of course baffles me still, but instead of advocating against it. I have come to terms with that I need to be more of the change I want to see in the world, and to create that change myself. So yeah, we’re gonna win this thing as Agent Harris once said in Sopranos.

And it’s what Brad White was hinting at in 2019. The drivers are here. We could all of course be in the drivers seat if we wanted to. But it’s more about the Covid presence of doing things remotely. Better indoor air quality. The pressure of technology and the hype of the Metaverse, Digital Twins and most of all power to the people when it comes to the possibilities of having choices.

It’s the perfect storm right now, and the best way to ride it out is to be right there in the middle of it. And learn from other industries that are further ahead. Mostly of what not to do, and what to do.

But what are we winning? Our planet for future generations. A move towards more open, sustainable, transparent and more lucrative ways of working. An industry where we compete on the best products and we can transfer data and information seamlessly between vendors. Where we can easily onboard anyone to this industry and leverage skill-sets from any and all areas, across any domain, age, as well as time and place. It will be less a tale of two cities, and more that of a thousand cities. Partly in the real-world and even more so in the metaverse.

Here’s a glimpse of how all buildings and portfolios will be managed soon. And that’s not just showing how it will happen, and what to think about. Because the recipes are still being made.

All the best for 2022 and if you want to know what the future will do in a week, a month, a year from now? Subscribe to Beyond Buildings and find out. And if you want to create the future before everyone else? Reach out to me and we’ll make it happen!


Nicolas Waern
CEO & Founder at WINNIIO Consulting

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