What´s on 2015?

by NCAB Group China,

The international research and consulting company, Kairos Future, recently arranged a trend spotting seminar to provide insights to the external trends that will dominate next year.

Rikard Wallin, MD of NCAB Group Sweden and International Certified Future Strategist, attended the seminar and this is his summary of the main findings:
According to Kairos Future many trends and events seems to be ”Heaven or Hell” choices, meaning that the trends looks like they will develop heavily in one direction OR the other. Normally trend spotting indicates less rapid movements than this year which is exciting for sure!

Let´s take a look at 10 trends of 2015:

The ”hyper-designed” biological life will continue to be more present and influence more. With developed research within anything from clones to tomatoes this could definitely become of benefit shortly. One example is crops that can clean up earth metals who today limits growth areas in China. Another one is how the most important proteins have been identified and different ways of getting them in to the body is being developed more and more.

The ”hyper-designed everything”, as nano technology, is being used in more and more products. This could be anything from water protected electronic devices, smaller electronics, darker fibres (pitch black with no reflection whatsoever) etc and will continue to become more and more present in our daily life.

”Designing our slaves”, or the use of robotics in real life, is more and more developed as tools for humans. Modern robots can be very human, with facial movements of a real person, and different usage areas can definitely change how we behave and get help from the machines. You can buy your personal clone already today from Japan to the decent cost of 223.000 USD, and self-driving cars are already here. One threat of this development can for example be if terrorists starts to build 10.000 drones with cyanide and send out to opponents.

It might not be the physical robot that is the real revolution, but the smarter and smarter algorithms behind them. Already today these new “brains” can predict earthquakes and several American newspapers today uses sport articles created by algorithms. Moreover, Japan plans to have fully functioning real-time interpreters at the Olympics 2020. Certain researchers expects not only industrial labour to be able to automize, but also for white-collars to be replaced in 10-15 years by robots and automated software. This might sound like a big threat, or that we no longer need to work, and in stead can enjoy philosophical discussions all day long?

The use of energy and current sources for it is changing rapidly. Solar power is developing faster and faster with more efficient use and faster return on investment. Cold fusion is further developed, indicating energy levels of 1 million times the energy of gasoline. Battery development moving towards higher capacity and lower prices will all together create an environment where we not only don’t need to exploit the natural resources in the same pace as today, but also a more economical use of energy in total.

For the last years emerging economies have grown more than the mature economies, and the trend is very clear that this will continue. Asia, especially China is expected to continue to drive global GDP for many years.

More and more is designed for the individual. For some years we have already seen advertisements on web sites which are based on my previous internet history (travel, shoes, cars et c) and these systems are developed fast. You will not only get customized offers from your local stores, the offers will also predict what you will need in the future. This is to some extent already in place.

Everything you want to know and all you want to shop are available at our hands via smart phones, Google and internet everywhere. Snapchat is the fastest growing social media platform, which actually not only gives information, but is set up to forget information as the picture you send (”snap”) is erased after a couple of seconds when the receiver has seen it. So everything is available but not everything is stored.

The most recent buzz on connectedness is all these smart wearables, with Google Glass, iWatch and smart wristbands being on the market already. At New York Newark airport all new LED lighting fixtures are also equipped with cameras, so facial recognition and movement behavior is in place helping the airport identify suspects, (or just helping NSA to monitor even more than before).

Not only as a result of off-shoring, but also heavily driven by technological development in hardware, ecology and software, the continued trend of lower cost products is a secure trend. Today, software products can have so low cost per user in product development so it is not even notable in the financial books (eg Mojang/Minecraft). I ask myself; how low is low enough?

That´s on – what to do?

Kairos Future made it simple by just advising everyone to ”Think, Probe and Act!”. In other words make sure to analyze your own situation and expected future scenarios, as well as take actions to prepare for whatever might happen.

From a personal note, many of the presented trends and/or expectations was more of a long term perspective than 2015, even though some observations of course can be seen implemented as we speak. It is as always most important to take a deeper look into not only your own market but to the whole contextual environment and how it might impact on local business as well as global supply chain. NCAB Group works actively on several levels with future strategies to ensure we are always prepared for tomorrows needs. Please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss this more.