Chapter 5: Surfing the Technology Wave

The key to the feminine in the digital age lies in experiencing the gifts of digitization in the context of the larger field of life and our personal and collective place in the universe.

Technology is not an end in itself. When we examine our human history, we find that tools like hand axes were among our first tools. These were a significant improvement over our fingernails, which are attached to our bodies. All external tools and products developed since have improved people’s lives. Computers and the associated digitization are tools in a chain of innovations that can be traced back to the Stone Age. Our civilization is evolving. To prevent this evolution from leading to self-termination due to existential threats such as climate change, water, air, and soil pollution, we need greater collaborative intelligence. Our new generations of tools born from digitization are instruments for us humans, with precisely the potential needed for these significant challenges. Just as the hand axe was the tool of choice in the Stone Age, connecting 7 billion people is the tool of the hour.

The feminine navigation system, emphasizing relationships and a sense of “we all,” instead of the masculine system focused on efficiently achieving goals, seeks a connection with the greater whole. I’ve heard that, from the perspective of the male system, this is considered subjective and unprofessional. The masculine system values short-term successes that bring in quick money. When the feminine navigation system resonates with the masculine, like Yin and Yang, as it often was in the history of Homo Sapiens, civilization thrives.

The key to the feminine path is experiencing the gifts of digitization in the context of the larger field of life and our personal and collective place in the universe.

When we expand the context of our actions and ask ourselves, “What is our contribution to the greater good?” we experience meaning and fulfillment in what we do. Bearing and raising children have this feeling built-in. If this intrinsic motivation didn’t exist, there would be no children, and the human species would have long since become extinct. Today, there are other ways to obtain this fulfilling feeling of contributing to the continuity of human civilization. This is achieved through co-creation instead of procreation, as described by Barbara Marx Hubbard in her book “The Suprasexual Revolution.” Every person has an inner compass that points to their specific contribution to the whole. The ancient Greeks called it “Entelechy.”

As a student at the Cape of Good Hope, we enjoyed windsurfing. Other friends loved riding big waves on surfboards. It’s all about “catching the next wave.” It seems the same way with technology waves I’ve been riding for the past 40 years. The next wave is always coming. When technology becomes an end in itself, every new one appears as a threat that might overwhelm us. However, when technology is merely a tool to more effectively bring a vision into the world, every better tool is a blessing that brings relief. The greater vision, the purpose that results from the connection to the greater whole, turns a new technological leap into a welcomed adventure.

I, too, had to learn this. During the DotCom bubble in the late 1990s, a colleague and I operated a price comparison website. Our customers came from over 20 search engines at the time, with names like AltaVista, Fireball, and Yahoo. Google first encountered us in 1999 when it was still in alpha mode. From 2001, Google increasingly dominated the search engine field, and other providers lost ground. We initially received the same number of clicks from Google as we had from all other search engines combined until Google decided to change its algorithms and distribute clicks as it saw fit. We could daily observe our business model falling apart. It was a typical disruption. “The Google takes it all.” This experience provided a clear learning gift. The purpose of our portal was to make money through commissions. There was no real added value. It was also an opportunity for us as software engineers to understand how the internet worked, an experiment in technology. What was missing was a passion for the cause. There was no outstanding benefit for customers, no contribution to the greater whole that justified the effort. Customers and their wishes were secondary to us. It was a technical gimmick. We didn’t burn for it. Technology was an end in itself and not a means to an end for a service that truly mattered to us. It had nothing to do with our life’s mission.

If this project had been meaningful to us, we would have found other ways to reach our customers. New technologies would have appeared as blessings.

This is how the future pulls us in. For women, a new generation of software and hardware is primarily a means to an end. The “why,” the individual calling as a contribution to the deeper meaning of life, is the feminine elixir for which digital tools are best employed. It’s the best protection against disruption.


What is your powerful vision for a product or service for which digital tools provide support? What beliefs are holding you back? What is your old story that is hindering you? How could a new narrative look for you personally?