Last year I was introduced to the Future Today Institute Tech Trends Report. The free report provided a great view into 315 different trends. The 2020 Version was just released, tracking 406 strategic technology trends. As their website describes, a broad view of these trends is the best way to see around corners and spot emerging disruption. Amy Webb and her team provide one of the best reports of its kind. The link above provides access and the download page provides the following additional highlights:
- There are 31 trend sections as they cover several new areas like synthetic media, vices, algorithmic scoring, supply chain and logistics, synthetic biology, quantum and edge computing, big tech’s move into healthcare and medicine.
- 27 future scenarios on a wide array of topics.
- 11 strategic guidance mini-reports for senior decision-makers.
- 6 strategic foresight tool kits and frameworks to use with our trend analysis.
- 9 tech and science primers to help you get smart fast.
- A calendar for 2020 to help you plan your strategy.
- Expert interviews on the future of connected glasses and the future of sex technology
- A list of weak signals for the next decade.
One of the most useful features of the report is the framework for thinking about these trends in terms of impact horizon and degree of certainty. One of the most challenging things for leaders to assess is both timing and impact. Anyone in a strategic or future oriented role will benefit from this framework.
The sheer volume of trends – regardless of certainty or timing – underscores the Acceleration we are experiencing and the rapid pace of change we are likely to witness. That doesn’t even consider the intersections across these trends. As I said when sharing the 2019 report, Future Thinking is not the forecasting of our past. Leaders must accept that pace and uncertainty dominate our future. I find that story-telling and visualization help us digest multiple signals. This Future Thinking Canvas is an example of an approach I’ve used to help leaders see the intersections. At the heart of it lies Foresight. To that end, The Future Today Institute efforts infuse your future thinking with a fascinating look at the signals that represent our possible futures.