50 Forecasts For 2010

I recently and randomly came across this thought-provoking set of forecasts for an (uncertain) 2010 by Rohit Talwar at Troy Media who are ‘dedicated to fostering debate about issues shaping Canada and the world’.

Here’s just the list of titles extracted from the post to give a flavour, together with some small snippets. The original article supplies explanatory background and the reason for the viewpoints.

It’s interesting to see forecasts from many different areas all together and in doing so, their myriad interconnections.

Global Challenges
1. Facing up to Ageing
2. Dealing with Debt
3. Sustainability 2.0 – ‘a lot more debate about the long term sustainability of our governance and business models’

Politics Gets Complex
4. New Routes to Change
5. Embracing Complexity – ‘the real breakthrough will come when we start to teach our children about complexity and how to make decisions in an uncertain world with imperfect information’
6. New Rules of Engagement – ‘end of an era on global agreements…new models for finding concensus’
7. Public Unity – Private Retrenchment – ‘nationalistic attitudes will abound’
8. Training gets a Boost

Economic Power Shifts
9.  Joyless Growth
10. Analysts find the Future – ‘greater emphasis will be placed on assessing the future readiness of a firm or country’s leadership, the quality of the foresight work they are doing, the strength of their external networks and open innovation processes, their preparedness for a range of economic scenarios and their resilience in the face of possible decade of turbulence’

Customer and Consumer Trends
11. Spending – The Playing Field Has Changed
12. Savings in Fashion
13. Ethical, Green and Cheap
14. Zero Tolerance
15. Customer Insight gets Neural – ‘adopt neuromarketing and related techniques to develop real insight into the neurological basis for customer behaviours’

Global Business
16. Internationalism Becomes the Norm
17. Africa Bound
18. Clipped Wings

Business Strategy
19. Customer Lock-in
20. Free or Fantastic
21. Accelerating Innovation – ‘we think the focus of innovation initiatives will increasingly focus on streamlining decision making to allow more rapid testing of new ideas’
22. Open Innovation – Wave 2
23. Improving M&A Potential
24. The Quick and the Dead

Business Operations
25. Leaner and Meaner
26. Sustainability Goes Mainstream
27. Responsible Investment
28. The Listening Organisation – ‘we expect to see more Chief Listening Officers appointed to ensure companies are truly hearing and responding to customer needs, concerns and comments emerging from direct feedback and via the social media such as Twitter’
29. Skills Shortage
30. Travel Under Scrutiny
31. Telecommuting Grows
32. Rise of E-Learning
33. Growth in Software as a Service (SaaS)/Cloud Computing

Engagement with Social Media
34. Social Networks Harvested – ‘a number of models will emerge claiming to offer approaches to monetizing individual or corporate networks’
35. Business Gets Social
36. Internal Social Media Policies Tighten

Ethics and Environment
37. CSR Backlash
38. Our Friends Electric

Science and Technology
39. Serving the Masses – ‘we will see rapid growth in mainly science- and technology-based solutions targeted at the needs of the developing world’
40. Loving the Labs – ‘business and the investment sector will also place a major focus on investment in science and technology ventures as a route to driving new growth opportunities’

Ten emerging areas of science and technology that we expect to hear a lot more about in the next year are listed below:

41. The Rise of Citizen Science
42. NBIC-convergence – ‘the convergence of the domains of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technologies and cognitive science’
43. Synthetic Biology
44. Personalized Medicine
45. Novel Energy Sources
46. Food Production Methods
47. 3D Printing/Personal Fabricators
48. Ambient Intelligence
49. Self Replicating Artificial Intelligence (AI)
50. The Singularity –  ‘Moore’s law coupled to advances in AI will lead to a point around 30 to 40 years from now when devices will have so much computing power that machine intelligence will exceed human intelligence’


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