Thursday, March 18, 2010

5 Trends that will Shape the Future – from Thomas Frey, head of DaVinci Institute

Here are five of the most important trends that Thomas Frey, futurologist and head of the DaVinci Institute, has identified as potentially changing the way we do business in the future.  The ongoing affects of the global crisis, the disruptive influence of new technology, the emergence of new business models and the search for new energy solutions, are all discussed here.
  1. System Crisis.  Many of the global systems we currently have are on the verge of breaking since they have evolved out of a roughly put together national system, and have not been designed to properly manage the speed and volume of today’s society. There is a need for a transition from national systems to global systems. Major failures will occur in most systems over the coming years including our tax systems, justice systems, social security, monetary systems, and much more, and, as they fall, major opportunities will rise.
  2. The Coming “Empire of One.” With financial markets being pinched, the most popular form of startup will be the “Empire of One,” a one-person business with far reaching influence. Typically, this sort of business out-sources everything to other businesses around the world. The skyrocketing costs of employment and the power and capability that new technologies place into the hands of the individual makes this a perfect environment for a no-employee business to thrive.
  3. Business Colonies. Business colonies will emerge as next generation, industry specific incubators, with an economic development component added in.  Colonies, such as nanotech colonies or alternative health colonies, will be formed in cities to serve as an industry focal point and breeding ground for startup businesses. They will be both virtual and physical, will vary in size and structure, and will form around shared resources. Equipment that is too expensive for one person to own will be owned by the colony for all to share.
  4. Cloud Computing.  The prospects of being able to plug into your own workspace on portable devices wherever you happen to be, and to tap into cloud-based applications instead of purchasing the clunky and expensive software packages is very appealing. For people working in the industry, the cloud computing movement is already well underway. But for the movement to reach full steam, it will take years to complete and will be fraught with problems. It has, however, recently gained traction among business communities with things like Amazon’s Web Services, Google’s App Engine, etc. Cloud computing is destined to become a steamroller movement forcing many to alter the way they do business.
  5. Battle of the Alternative Energy Sectors. The push for alternative energy has only just begun. Over the coming years, alternative fuels will expand exponentially, moving into additional areas beyond energy production, into energy transmission and energy storage.
You can read more thought-provoking articles like this in the HSM “Inspiring Ideas” e-newsletter.

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