Supply Chain of the Future: Humans Optional?


As science and technology continue their rapid advance, traditional constructs are challenged; Supply chains are no exception. Here is a brief video that highlights many of the advances that transform how we think about supply chains in the future. As it wraps up, a curated set of videos that touch on several of these advances is provided. Special thanks to Bill Quinn, Rose Castellon-Rodriguez, and Kevin Mulcahy for producing the video.

Be sure to visit the Reimagining the Future YouTube Channel to explore additional topics.

Artificial Intelligence Intersects with 3D Printing


In his second post in the series, Marshall Kirkpatrick focuses on the intersection between artificial intelligence and 3D Printing. By way of reminder, Marshall launched a 30 day series that explores the intersection between AI and various future scenarios anchored by my emerging futures visual.

Continue reading

World Economic Forum – Deep Shift


A must read on six mega-trends, their tipping points and societal impacts. I recommend this for anyone with interest in where the world is heading, and/or tasked with future thinking in the context of strategy. I commend the World Economic Forum for their efforts here, as education is likely to spur action. The six mega-trends are:

  1. People and the internet
  2. Computing, communications and storage everywhere
  3. The Internet of Things
  4. Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data
  5. The sharing economy and distributed trust
  6. The digitization of matter

Here is a tipping point timeline from the report:

Tipping Points Timeline

Many leaders are struggling with the sheer number of future scenarios and some indication of when the tipping point may arrive. This material provides critical input into the scenario and response analysis process. Enjoy the read.

The Future Business Landscape


I expect the conversation regarding the Future of Business to intensify over the coming months. Evidence is mounting that business as usual is a thing of the past. In a recent post by SAP, they present ninety nine ways that digital will change business. As you look at the information presented, and see the number of shifts occurring at the same time, it’s hard to imagine a business landscape that weathers this storm unscathed. Here are examples of these shifts from the SAP post:

  • At the current turnover rate, 75% of the companies in the S&P 500 in 2027, will be new (companies not currently in index today)
  • By 2019, approximately one quarter of the entire U.S. workforce will be independent workers (self-employed, independent contractor, freelancer, temp contractor, etc.)
  • By 2030, 10% of the largest companies in the U.S. will be virtual corporations (less than 10% of their workers will be in an office at any point in time)
  • 50% of the U.S. Jobs lost in the 2008 recession were middle-skilled jobs, but only 2% of the jobs gained since then have been middle-skilled
  • By 2025, there will be 10 global virtual currencies that will be considered mainstream. Their combined market value will exceed $5 Trillion, and Bitcoin will still be the largest.
  • Private and commercial robot use will grow 2,000% from 2015 to 2030, creating a $190 billion market
  • By 2030, 2 billion jobs will disappear – roughly 50% of all the jobs on the planet – as a result of technology advances
  • 3D Printing usage will grow 2000% between 2015 and 2030
  • Purpose-driven and value-oriented organizations outperform their competition 15 to 1
  • By 2030, sensor use will grow 700,000%, solving nearly every human need such as cancer-killing chips
  • By 2020, information will reinvent, digitize, or eliminate 80% of business processes and products
  • Although 90% of companies view advanced and predictive analytics as important, less than 30% have currently deployed them, and only 30% have plans to do so
  • There will be more words written on Twitter in the next two years than contained in all books ever printed
  • By 2025, the total worth of IoT-enabled technology is expected to reach $6.2 trillion – most of that in healthcare (2.5 Trillion) and Manufacturing (2.3 Trillion)
  • Within the next five years, more than 90% of all data from IoT will be hosted in the Cloud, reducing the complexity of supporting IoT “Data Blending

Just a small sample (more via the link above) supporting the notion that the future of business could look considerably different than its past. I’ll pursue the future business landscape in up-coming posts.

Emerging Paradigms and the Future of Business


I had the pleasure of joining SAP’s Coffee Break with Game Changers Radio Show on August 5th.  This was my third appearance on the show, and I was joined by Futurist Gray Scott and SAP Global Innovation Evangelist Timo Elliott. The show titled “Emerging Paradigms and the Future of Business” was part two of a series that was expertly moderated by Bonnie D. Graham. Part one of the series was a discussion on Decentralization.

The show abstract: The pace and scale of change is hitting unprecedented levels. This presents unique challenges for the future of business. We’re seeing new and emerging paradigms, exciting innovations in energy, challenges due to resource scarcity, big implications for the climate and environment, an increasing blurring of physical and digital boundaries, growing business decentralization, exponential progression, and many more global drivers – all contributing to an uncertain future. Futurists worldwide, including our panellists, are examining these factors and assessing their potential business impact. Some of the critical questions to address:

  • What factors will shape our future?
  • What new leadership skills will be needed?
  • How will leaders deal with challenges and implications outside of their base of experience?

Continue reading

Structural Change: Decentralization


I had the pleasure of joining The Digital World with Game Changers radio program for the second time this year. Joining me as panelists were Futurist Gray Scott and SAP Innovation Evangelist Timo Elliott. First, kudos to program host Bonnie D. Graham for doing a wonderful job keeping the discussion energized and interesting. The title of the session was Eating Disruption for Lunch: Digesting Decentralization. Now there’s a term not heard much outside of futurist circles. Decentralization is one of those structural changes that make what lies ahead so impactful. According to Wikipedia, decentralization is the process of redistributing or dispersing functions, powers, people, or things away from a central location or authority.

Continue reading

Disruptive Power Lies at the Intersections


The content of this post was updated on February 16, 2017 in a new post titled Intersections Promise to Drive Multiple Paradigm Shifts


When I first started using the term “Combinatorial”, people thought I was making words up. Although I’d like to take credit for the word, I first came across it when reading The Second Machine Age, a fascinating book by Andrew McAfee and Eric Brynjolfsson. I remember thinking that it was a perfect word to capture the amplification of both innovation and its disruptive power. By now, readers of this Blog have seen the foundational Visual that describes the digital foundation, innovation accelerators, and disruptive scenarios. What the visual does not convey without the associated narrative is the power of combinatorial.

If we build on top of the visual, we begin to see the complexity at the intersections, the amplification of disruptive power, and the broad implications for the future.

intersections-and-amplification

The best way to describe this phenomenon is through examples, so let’s look at six combinatorial scenarios as an overlay. The visual is a bit overwhelming, so a better way to follow the various paths is via this PDF. Here is a description of each scenario. The numbers in the visual above map to the scenarios below, and the colors show the combinations: 

Continue reading