Technological Tipping Points

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting occurred last week in Davos with a theme of responsive and responsible leadership. The session had me thinking back to research conducted by their Global Agenda Council in March 2015 on the Future of Software & Society. The research focused on technological tipping points and the perception of when these tipping points would occur. The responses from a community of over 800 executives and experts from the information and communications technology sector were used to produce a timeline of possible tipping points ranging from 2018 to 2027. This timeline and the visual that follows were taken from this WEF Deep Shift report:


Our ability to gauge tipping points and understand their intersection and amplifying effects are critical to both business and society. We will be better prepared to deal with the implications of each of these shifts if we both understand the tipping points and appreciate their likely impact. At the time of the survey, results were analyzed to understand the percentage of respondents that expected the tipping point to have occurred by 2025 (10 year window). Eleven of the twenty-one transition points had a high expectation (over 80%) of occurring by this date.

wef-tipping-point-survey-resultsWe experienced an exponential pace of progress since this survey was conducted, leaving me to wonder if perceptions have changed. Has the timeline for some of these shortened? What would this survey look like if conducted today? Have leaders embraced the reality of pace? Are we better prepared now then we were over a year ago? I’d love your thoughts on the topic.

2 thoughts on “Technological Tipping Points

  1. Frank, You are quite a distinguished professional futurist: thorough, erudite and mostly accurate (none of us are since Xponentialism is ineffable).

    The irresistible force, over 100 techs growing near an exponential pace and more urgently, THEY ARE CONVERGING, is luxtapose against the power control; calculated inverted totalitarianism and an unavoidable economic collapse (only postponed by war machinations) and cultural malaise, being under the evil power of e deep state.

    Thus your chart above is rather inane as pultizer Dylan says, “A hard rain is gonna’ fall.” Forecasts longer than 6 months are sheer speculation/BS. A total change of consciousness and focus is required by humanity. As the Tofflers’ pointed out a decade ago in “REVOLUTIONARY WEALTH” NGO’s are the most viable alternatives to all pre-internet societal perceptions.

    Loved your work on “Near Field Communications” as a block in my next book. KEEP it cumin’ colleague; cause we are bereft of teachers and leaders in the doorway to destiny.

    Ronald Holmes


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