In an uncertain present who would dare to say they knew what the future held? Ireland played host last week to Bob Johansen from The Institute for the Future. The Institute is an independent, nonprofit research group specialising in ten year forecasts by integrating micro and macro trends. Big multinational companies and leading governments use the insights they get from Bob and his colleagues to shape strategy and investments. After all, with a 70% success rate over 40 years; these are the guys with the right pedigree and track record.
Bob holds that 2009 will be a “springboard year”, one of great opportunity. While clearly a lot of organisations are just doing everything that they can just to survive there are clear trends that smart companies and entrepreneurs are taking insight from that will pay off within the next 10 years. 2019 will be a much more connected time, your Bebo and Facebook friends will be there in real time helping you shop, keeping you planet friendly and talking you out of the fattening pizza that looks good but your friends know doesn’t fit the diet. It won’t be all busy bodies either, safety data, traffic info and statistics will all be available, local to you through the miracle of geo-positioning and in-vision displays. Start investing in those language lessons too, multi-linguists are going to be powerful people. All that connectivity isn’t going away and your multilingual Twitter feed is going to be part of the instant data river your life is going to swim in. There is plenty of room for the small and nimble player to create value once Cyberspace disappears like a shadow and integrates with the everyday life.