Benjamin Franklin put it simplest. "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail," the scientist, diplomat and co-author of the American Declaration of Independence once said. But what if you don’t know what you are preparing for? What if the pace of change is so frantic and tomorrow so unpredictable, that any attempt to forecast the future is no more than educated guesswork? That is the challenge facing business schools in 2017: preparing business for a journey into the unknown. Everything companies and executives think they know about the business environment is in danger of becoming obsolete. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics, data analytics, convergence, digital communications and crypto-currencies like bitcoin are just some of the disrupters destroying old assumptions. Then there are social, political and environmental tensions. In SA alone, says Morné Mostert, director of the Institute for Futures Research at Stellenbosch University, there are at least eig...

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