“Many believe the number seven is significant.  Seven is the number of the natural world. There are 7 days in the week, 7 notes on the musical scale and 7 directions (left, right, up, down, forward, back and center).  Six things of equal size, for example circles or apples, exactly fit around a seventh circle (in the center) of the same size.  So, if you draw a circle of any particular size, you can draw exactly six circles of the same size around that central circle, no more and no less (if you want them all to touch).  This idea relates to the concept that the seventh is actually at the center and is the focus of the other six.  The connecting of the six attributes at the center of the shape fundamentally reveals the nature of seven.  It is used for connection.  This leads naturally to the meaning of ‘seventy’ which is an elevated connection.  Nothing can exist in the physical world without these seven attributes, nothing.  Every item in the physical world must have these seven attributes and each of these seven must also exhibit the same seven attributes”.

Source: The Significance of The Number Seven

Apart from the 7 occupational levels that Dr Thomas Paterson introduced into South Africa in the early 1970s, now we are told that there are 7 technologies that will change the world as we know it.  Read The 7 technologies changing your world by Fulvia Montresor, Director, World Economic Forum.  Fulvia Montresor is Director, Head of Technology Pioneers for the World Economic Forum.

Abbreviated excerpts

#1        Computing capabilities, storage and access

Between 1985 and 1989, the Cray-2 was the world’s fastest computer.  It was roughly the size of a washing machine.  Today, a smart watch has twice its capabilities.  As mobile devices become increasingly sophisticated, experts say it won’t be long before we are all carrying “supercomputers” in our pockets.  Meanwhile, the cost of data storage continues to fall, making it possible to keep expanding our digital footprints.

#2       Big data

Each time you run a Google search, scan your passport, make an online purchase or tweet, you are leaving a data trail behind that can be analysed and monetized.  Thanks to supercomputers and algorithms, we can make sense of massive amounts of data in real time.  Computers are already making decisions based on this information, and in less than 10 years computer processors are expected to reach the processing power of the human brain.

#3       Digital health

Analysing medical data collated from different populations and demographics enables researchers to understand patterns and connections in diseases and identify which conditions improve the effectiveness of certain treatments and which don’t.  Big data will help to reduce costs and inefficiencies in healthcare systems, improve access and quality of care, and make medicine more personalized and precise.

#4       The digitization of matter

3D printers will create not only cars, houses and other objects, but also human tissue, bones and custom prosthetics.  Patients would not have to die waiting for organ donations if hospitals could bioprint them.  In fact, we may have already reached this stage: in 2014, doctors in China gave a boy a 3D-printed spine implant, according to the journal Popular Science.

#5       The internet of things

Within the next decade, it is expected that more than a trillion sensors will be connected to the internet.  If almost everything is connected, it will transform how we do business and help us manage resources more efficiently and sustainably.  Connected sensors will be able to share information from their environment and organize themselves to make our lives easier and safer.  For example, self-driving vehicles could “communicate” with one another, preventing accidents.

#6       Blockchain

Only a tiny fraction of the world’s GDP (around 0.025%) is currently held on blockchain, the shared database technology where transactions in digital currencies such as the Bitcoin are made.  But this could be about to change, as banks, insurers and companies race to work out how they can use the technology to cut costs.  A blockchain is essentially a network of computers that must all approve a transaction before it can be verified and recorded.

#7       Wearable internet

Technology is getting increasingly personal.  Computers are moving from our desks, to our laps, to our pockets and soon they will be integrated into our clothing.  By 2025, 10% of people are expected to be wearing clothes connected to the internet and the first implantable mobile phone is expected to be sold.  Implantable and wearable devices such as sports shirts that provide real-time workout data by measuring sweat output, heart rate and breathing intensity are changing our understanding of what it means to be online and blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds.