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Captain Future: Man of TomorrowReal learning took place at last week’s TruLondon. My thoughts crystallised and my perspectives shifted – mainly in regards to the future of work. Everything became clearer and many things fell into place. Magnificent.

Travelling home on Friday, I amused myself by compiling a list of trends that will shape our future. Some I knew before, while others were fresh thinking out of #TRU. Some have been discussed for years but now become reality, due to technological advances, easier interfaces, mass adoption and economic realities. Some are my own thoughts, while others were discussed in tracks or in conversations with wise men such as Kevin Wheeler and John Sumser, with experts such as Craig Fisher and Peter Gold, or with young entrepreneurs such as Lucian Tarnowski and Molly Flatt. Some make complete sense, and others I’m still wrestling with. Some are already evident while others may never eventuate. It’s a list that’s exciting, stimulating and sometimes scary.  What’s not to love!?!

So, I’m going to use it a starting point for a series of blogs – Let’s call them the Future Series.

To kick it off, I wanted to share my initial list of Future Trends for both Society and the Individual. In following posts I’ll explore The Future of Work, The Future of Recruitment, The Future of Job boards and … well, you get the idea.

The wonderful thing is that the very nature of the subject means the lists will never be complete. So, if there are any trends you want to add, just let me know and I’ll do so. Let’s unlock the future together!

Future trends:  Society

  • The world of work is becoming more global. In other words, globalisation no longer mere business jargon. It is becoming a reality for more people and the impact will be felt more acutely.
  • Higher rates of unskilled unemployment will become the norm, largely caused by the shift in skillsets required by globalisation
  • The divide between successful and unsuccessful will be driven by mindset, adaptability and desire. Not by age or by belonging to a different Gen.
  • With nation states losing importance and relationship with employers being transient, the functioning individual will take on more responsibilities and rights and become more self-determined as a consequence.
  • The industrial economy model of the West will be replaced by a knowledge or wisdom economy. This knowledge and wisdom won’t be framed by any one view but will ebb and flow and be enhanced by a network that is – similar to a living organism – always changing.
  • Instead of taxing value creation, governments will be taxing consumption.
  • We will see increased decentralisation of both companies and nation states.
  • Entrepreneurs will be less likely to sell out to traditional companies or consider floatation as they want to maintain their independence.
  • Education will move on from only focusing on numeracy and literacy intelligence to embracing all different intelligences.
  • We will see an increased individualization of society.
  • Everything will be lighter, smarter, faster and more flexible, yet stable – systems, companies, devices.
  • The new pure is hybrid.
  • Mobile data package will become cheaper.
  • Open systems will be recognised as more flexible and more stable than closed systems. Collaboration will increase and sharing of information will become standard.
  • There is no value in owning information given it is so openly accessible. Tomorrow’s value lies in connecting information in meaningful ways and in the decisions that are based on this analysis.
  • The emphasis will shift from owning the customer to knowing the customer for their own benefit. Anything less will result in a discontinuation of the relationship from the customer’s side.

Future trends: The Individual

  • Privacy won’t be a concern because people understand that greater intimacy results in a better fit (higher accuracy) of product or service or interaction.
  • Everything – from content to service to delivery mechanism – will be tailor made around the individual’s preferences.
  • Dynamic data sets will be the driver behind permanently evolving customisation.
  • Individuals will proactively engage and share more detail but will set different access levels for different individuals, groups and companies, based on trust.
  • The individual will only reveal their phone number/email address to the inner circle
  • Mobile is the new local. It is THE connecting device and the key influencer in your dynamic dataset.
  • Information, services and products will find the individual and will be tailored to their datasets.
  • Prediction – or more precisely the fulfilment of latent needs – will become easier but at the same time more difficult to deliver. It will be based on a mixture of folksonomy  & taxonomy.
  • Individuals will readily engage with companies and causes across the entire globe.
  • Individuals will become more demanding of their representatives and a more direct, global and real time political culture will develop. Voting every several years will not be seen as enough.

Let’s see what the future brings next…

Creative Commons License photo credit: hatwoman

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