As someone who is obsessed with the future, the future of humanity, technology, faith, genetics, AI, etc…the question I often ask is not “what happens?” but “what happens because of what happens?”
The two big “next things” I see on the horizon, in terms of the evolution of the human experience, are robots and 3-D printing. These will be things that happen that will make the future unrecognizable to us.
But before we get there, we’ll need to journey through 2013 first. This is the first of my thoughts about trends for 2013.
Below I’ve embedded a slide with ten trends for 2013. This one is from JWT Intelliegence, a well known marketing communications brand. Browse through these. I’ve added some of my thoughts below the slideshow.
The first thing that stood out to me came from the first slide, “Play as a Competitive Advantage”. Of course, JWT works with business and so competition must be factored in. But what might happen because this happens? Must everything become about competition? Taking a step back, we must not feel compelled to reduce everything about the future to the vision of business. Even if play becomes nothing more than a tool to create more competitive companies, we must not lose the idea of play for nothing more than enjoyment. Play for sheer delight is not a waste of time and is a human treasure that must not become the sole property of corporations that want to get more out of us. I would like to see humans play more for the sake of enjoying life and experiencing laughter. Not that I object to having a “recess” at work, mind you.
The second slide that stood out to me is #10, Health and Happiness. This strikes me because of my interest in “longevity”. I recently attended a lecture by Aubrey de Grey, an expert on human longevity or, as he says, “robust human rejuvenation”, where he emphasized that his interest was not human immortality but health. Longevity is a by product of health. He envisions adding 30 years to the human lifespan in the near future and hundreds of years after that. (I’ve written a post about this titled, One Thousand Years Young, which will publish next week). Happiness, Health, Longevity will be a trend and more than that as therapies that extend life emerge more rapidly. But, why extend miserable and unhappy lives? Let’s figure out what makes us happy.
Of course, The internet of things is huge. JWT trend number #3 Intelligent Objects describes how practically everything will become a data gathering and distribution device. I’ll have more to say on this trend as we look at other trend reports.
I will comment on several of these trend reports so I anticipate some contrasts and comparisons as we move forward.