Thursday, December 20, 2012

Global Futurist Update - 2013 And Beyond

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The Global Futurist Blog has a great deal of territory to cover regarding what to anticipate in the coming year, the coming 5 years and the coming 25 years (futurescaping). Before I start citing trends, confluences of events, predictions and preparations, please take a moment and read through The Global Economy: Reasons And Remedies and bear in mind the notion of what happens to a society that is changed by technology, power shifts, concentrations of influence, archaic institutions and expectations and fails to adapt to the massive series of disruptive waves. Then, please come back.

Of course, this report would not be fully complete without my fellow Futurist Thomas Frey's insights into where we are and where we are going:

Coding is the new literacy of the 21st century
Could you be sitting on the app concept of the century, but you don’t know the programming basics to create it. Now, thanks to coding courses offered by companies such as DaVinci Coders and Codecademy, people are launching new businesses by taking coding matters into their own hands.
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Denser cities are smarter and more productive
One of the most important, and at times contentious topics in urban development is density.  Density plays an important role in economic growth. Density brings people and firms closer together which makes it easier to share and exchange information, invent new technologies, and launch new firms.
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Baby boomers are the driving force behind 'big data' demand
No matter what generation we are we usually see young adults, who are tethered to their mobile device for texting, gaming and surfing the web, as the drivers of our new data-driven world. But surprisingly, baby boomers aged 46 to 64 represent possibly the largest generation driving rapid growth in data demand.
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U.S. Senator presses FAA to allow use of electronic devices during takeoff and landing
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) wants the Federal Aviation Administration to relax its long-standing rule against the use of portable electronic devices on airplanes during takeoff and landing. The agency has traditionally claimed the rule is necessary to avoid interference with an airplane’s instruments, but it is currently reconsidering the policy.
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Top 6 social-digital trends of 2013
It’s that time of year where we predict how in the year ahead technology continues to influence how we work and live.  Previously the trends have been under the “social media” lens because that has been the major disruptive force, creating both opportunities and threats. This year, the trends will be under term “social-digital” to broaden the focus.
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The 'flipped academic' in higher education - inform first and publish later
The concept of the ‘flipped classroom’ in schools is when pupils complete course material ahead of lessons to free up time with their teachers and apply the knowledge they have just learned. Now a related philosophy is developing in higher education. Can we also flip academics  or even academia itself?
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Google gives $5 million for drones to hunt African rhino poachers
There are horrific photos of subdued rhinos with their horns amputated by poachers that have become a viral phenomenon. Google is now giving $5 million to a conservation group for lightweight drones that will patrol the African bush, exposing ivory hunters along the way.
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Harvard's top endowment managers make 20 times as much as a professor

Ron Unz of the American Conservative posits that 375-year old Harvard University has grown so rich that it is now essentially a giant hedge fund with a little school attached.
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Are you ready to fly anywhere in the world in under 4 hours?

Are you ready for hypersonic travel?  The British company, Reaction Engines, have passed the European Space Agency’s initial safety tests for their air-breathing rocket engines.
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Are billionaires, Amish, the homeless, slum-dwellers, or Masai the happiest?
These are responses to: “You are satisfied with your life,” ranging from complete agreement (7) to complete disagreement (1), where 4 is neutral..
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And now some practical predictions of my own for the coming year, and the 4 years to follow:

1) CrowdFunding will become the newest and largest of the capital markets, but within  one to two years, look for regulators to step in and try to spoil the party. Right now, some pundits estimate that the demand for crowdfunding, inclusive of start ups, early-stage entrepreneurial enterprises, SMEs and cause-based organizations (including, humanitarian, charitable, PACs, member-based groups and NGOs) will exceed $1.0 billion in 2013 alone -- to avoid a conflict of interest, I must disclose that I recently became the CEO of CrowdFunding Incubator LLC;

2) Real unemployment and underemployment within the industrialized western nations will continue to rise, as real compensation (inclusive of the value of the customary benefits of the past) will plummet;

3) The price of food and other family staples will rise in all of the English-speaking nations;

4) Brazil and other portions of Latin America will thrive, while China, Thailand and Southeast Asia will experience sufficient internal problems as to offset their anticipated denomination of world wealth and commerce;

5) India will continue to make great economic strides and become an increasingly active world trading power, and not just an outsource resource;

6) Most of the Middle East and parts of Africa will be in a state of war - from Shiites versus Sunnis to Islam versus the West to civil wars and uprisings against the leadership in most of these monarchies - and the US will continue to be involved because the weapons and rebuilding businesses are far to profitable to permit strategic withdrawals, no matter the amount of casualties;

7) Hybrid cars will become increasingly popular as oil and gasoline prices continue in their instability;

8) The idea of Global Warming will win much more acknowledgement and acceptance in the scientific community;

9) Nanotechnology will not be as fruitful or as powerful as many of us thought it might be even a year ago, but genetic engineering, stem cell regrowth potentialities, and a better understanding of the electrodynamics of the Human mind and its diseases will attract a great deal of attention, progress, adoption and capital;

10) The Euro will be a secondary currency as the wealthier countries in the European Union become more and more wary of their weaker partners;

11) An amended version of something like the Glass-Steagall Act (which separated banks from investment houses and brokerage firms in terms of their permitted activities, investments and reserve requirements) will resurface in the US and other western countries;

12) While longevity will experience (over these next five years) will increase up to as much as five years, this number will be based upon the median average and not the mean, as obesity, drug-resistant microbes and poorer medical care for the middle class and the working poor will decline precipitously. We will witness a resurgence in the Caribbean and Africa a resurgence of such diseases as cholera, diphtheria, and new strains of super viruses make their appearance;

13) A knowledge of brain chemistry will grow enormously, while AI (artificial intelligence) development will actually slow down as we continue to redefine the very essence and nature of intelligence;

14) Most communications and commerce will be conducted by mobile devices, and most software and data storage operations will be subsumed under the cloud;

15) Cable television will yield (though not without a fight) to satellite television, and streaming mobile-accessible media. Satellite telephones will become increasingly popular as an alternative to tower-to-tower digitized mobile communications;

16) Civilians will be protesting the availability of weapons to the general public, while arms of every caliber and type will be snapped up by an increasingly armed, albeit hypocritical citizenry;

17) Corporate armies and strategic defense departments will become more and more prevalent. Privatized armies will be loyal to their highest bidders, and nationality and patriotism will take more and more of a backseat to mercenary profits. High-net worth individuals and corporate executives will be guarded by private security firms;

18) Divisions between national governments and the governed will increase and become increasingly violent as citizens try to reclaim their power (#occupy), and governments cling tenaciously to the source of their funds through the ability to tax and confiscate. Militia activity in the United States will see a significant increase. The Taxpayer Revolt Movement will experience a resurgence and governments will strive to eliminate paper currency and supplant it with electronic funds transfers in order to more able to a) monitor the money supply, and to b) directly deduct tax liability assessments from the accounts (bank and brokerage) of citizens. This will favorably impact the prices of precious metals, physical commodities and a re-visitation of barter;

19) Mobile device applications will continue to soar in popularity and utilization;

20) As cyber-dependency invites increasingly audacious cyber attacks, companies and government entities will begin recruiting more and more computer security professionals - of course, cyber-espionage will also be on the rise, and many companies will attempt to recruit otherwise unaffiliated hackers into their ranks. Privacy through electronic communications will have become a complete impossibility, again reaffirming the viability of satellite communications and other, older methods of keeping communications secret.

21) There will be tremendous and exciting discoveries during the course of these next one to three years in the fields of disruption theory, plasma and stealth weaponry, and these will raise many ethical and basic Humanitarian questions and concerns.

Thank you as always for reading me, re-tweeting me and to letting me share my visions of the future with you.

Douglas E. Castle for The Global Futurist Blog, The Business And Project Planning And Management Blog and the CrowdFunding Incubator LLC Group Of Blogs





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