As I’ve said in an earlier post, predicting life after pandemics has been a fools errand. Futurist Amy Webb described it this way: “Any time a new change is foisted upon us, very quickly there is a bias to thinking that the new present is the future. That is almost universally never the case.” Many Futurists and other thought leaders are providing their thoughts on what this post-pandemic world might look like. In an article focused on The Unexpected Consequences of the Pandemic, author Bryan Walsh says that we know COVID-19 will fundamentally alter the world, but those changes may not be the ones you expect.
Many Future Scenarios are spawned by convergence across multiple domains. The most obvious Convergence is occurring between science and technology. I have been posting links to numerous articles that explore possible futures. These futures are important for us to understand, as they usher in a very Pivotal Decade. Here is another set of articles that help us envision the future.
A view into history helps us better understand the future. A recent Article describes this phenomenon in detail, exploring how to apply historical reasoning to the future. I have invested considerable time in understanding the Cycles of History and how they help us better understand the future. As Future Thinking becomes an increasingly bigger part of a leaders agenda, a historical perspective provides valuable input. As described in the article, the goal is to reason well, using an understanding of history to think more clearly about a range of possible futures and how probable a given outcome might be.
To dematerialize is to become free of physical substance; cease to have material character or qualities. In the digital age, many things have dematerialized. The iPhone for example has eliminated cameras, GPS devices, and several other pieces of hardware. More is likely to disappear in the next ten years, as innovation renders relics from our past obsolete. Here is a List of ten things that are likely to disappear in the next ten years.
Predictions for the new year are a normal phenomenon as the current one draws to a close – but the close of a decade is different. As we approach a new decade, predictions focus on the broad arc of the coming decade – and this Article does just that. Author Eric Mack seems to view the 2020s through the same lens that I have – a society-altering decade may lie in wait. As the author notes; life in 2030 could be unrecognizable if some of what he describes is realized. Take a read to explore these possibilities:
The world is about to enter a pivotal decade. This decade is likely to be remembered as the launching pad to a very different future. The next ten years are marked by uncertainty, complexity, and an inability to predict how an overwhelming number of Dots Connect to shape the decade. In a 2018 post, I looked at some work by Karen Harris and others that focused on some of the Macro Trends that drive the decade. In the supporting insights report, the authors see volatility emerging from the Collision of Demographics, Automation, and Inequality. These three factors drive a very Turbulent 2020s and Beyond.
I just finished a book titled The Fourth Turning. I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest the cycles, but given my year-long focus on the past, I thought I’d give it a go – and I’m glad I did. In my continued efforts to reimagine the future, books such as this provide a richness of historical perspective. Although history was a key aspect of the book, I was more intrigued by the focus on generations, archetypes, and the cycles of our history (which last the length of a long human life). What intrigued me as a Futurist is the claim by the books authors that our past can indeed predict our future – it’s a compelling argument when viewed through the lens of these historical cycles.
So add another book to my Book Library. It was written in 1997 and accurately predicted some of the events that occurred in what the book refers to as a period of unraveling. If the cycle which has repeated itself six times was to do so again, we would have entered a crisis period somewhere prior to 2010 (great recession anyone). The crisis period would last one generation – moving towards a resolution that dramatically alters the social order by the late 2020s. Here is how the cycle is described by the book abstract.
Artificial Intelligence is expected to handle many things in the future; is predicting that future one of them? In a recent Article by The Economist, an AI called GPT-2, created by Openai, was asked to do just that. GPT-2 answered questions on the big themes for 2020. At this time of year, predictions are front and center. What did our AI have to say about the year ahead? Read the article to see how GP2 answered these questions.
Ray Kurzwiel has always been very good at predicting; which will make some of his recent predictions scary for some and fascinating for others. That’s the general reaction when people are exposed to some of what Futurists see coming. Out of the 147 predictions he made in his various books, only 3 turned out to be totally wrong. With that knowledge in hand, this recent Article describes some of Ray’s recent predictions. Scary, fascinating, or some combination of the two? Here is a look at three of his recent predictions:
On Wednesday December 16th, I will participate in another Game Changers radio program with host Bonnie D. Graham. She will be joined by 16 guests that will share their predictions for 2016. To prepare for the show, I pulled together my predictions across six broad categories. These predictions are a mixture of leading indicators and hope. Here it goes…
Digital today has a bolt-on feel to it. Dominated by Marketing, the initial focus was channel oriented, isolated in nature, and layered on top of that which existed. It expanded to support a narrow customer experience and efficiency agenda. I say narrow, because digital is primarily applied to existing process, as opposed to leveraged to re-imagine process. As the main digital forces converge (Social, Mobil, Big Data, Analytics, and Cloud), a platform emerges to enable re-imagination. Yet Digital to date remains isolated on two levels: within company silos and across the main forces.
2011 in my mind will be viewed as the launching point of a digital revolution. The momentum started in 2010 and kicked into overdrive in 2011. The rapid adoption of tablets and Smartphones fueled an aggressive development of mobile applications, while E-Book sales increased at a remarkable pace. Meanwhile, the world continued to go social in ways that few would have imagined. World leaders felt the power of Social Media, as revolutions expanded through the organizing power of Facebook and Twitter. Business leaders came to grips with the power of social media, as skepticism waned and social business turned the corner. Data continued to grow exponentially, expanding the gulf between available data and meaningful insight. Lastly, 2011 marked the year that cloud computing burst onto the enterprise landscape – In fact, 2011 may eventually be viewed as the year of the Cloud.
These factors combined to drive an aggressive digital expansion that in most cases happened through isolated initiatives driven by marketing. Businesses with indirect channels to market looked towards direct to consumer models. Regulated industries embraced the opportunity of social media, while addressing its risk. Customer experience became the mantra for many businesses, as re-inventing customer relationships topped most priority lists. New digital executive positions were created in response to growing questions about effective governance models. The notion of holistic digital strategies was in fashion again, and innovation and operating dexterity rounded out the top priorities for most executives in 2011.