New Year crystal ball round-up

I try to avoid making predictions because it is too easy to be wrong. Flying cars and robot house servants come to mind of examples where the speculations of futurists have been wrongly taken for predictions of the future’. Stephen Aguilar Milan, in Happy New Year

As the last year and decade drew to a close my twitter feed was filled with various musings on what the next year or decade might bring. Here are my top three highlights:

1. There are lots of technology related predictions around. I like Erick Schonfeld’s ‘seven technologies that will rock 2011’, in particular:

  • Web Video On Your TV: using the internet as an alternative way to deliver movies and TV shows to your flat-screen TV. This could provide new opportunities to reach the public with stories about your work.
  • Quora Will Have Its Twitter Moment: a social Q&A site which defines the world by your interests, not just the people you may know or admire. How could this transform how we provide advice and support?
  • Mobile Wallets:using your mobile phone as a credit card. We’ve long talked about how this could impact on giving (for example, see our ICT Foresight report on giving and fundraising, or our driver on online revenue).

Read the full post.

2. Looking longer term, the Observer has 20 predictions for the next 25 years. The ones that particularly caught my eye were:

  • Will Hutton’s prediction of another financial crisis, prompting a reform of the City and banking system, and leading to a second industrial revolution with great investment and innovation (number 2 in the list)
  • Jane McGonigal’s vision of games and virtual worlds becoming more closely connected to reality (number 10). Gaming could have really interesting implications for our sector; look out for our new driver on this topic, coming soon. See also our news post on virtual campaigns from last year.
  • Charles Leadbetter’s description of the tension between the ‘open web’ (exemplified by WikiLeaks) and ‘cloud capitalism’ in which the public trade privacy for personalisation (number 11). Both of these potential futures create a number of opportunities and challenges for organisations and the people we support. Take a look at our drivers on open data, online trust and identity and data ownership and management.
  • Naomi Alderman’s vision of a world where stories are ubiquitous (number 20). Stories are at the heart of how charities communicate so understanding how storytelling will change is crucial.

Read the article.

3. Stephen Aguilar-Milan outlines 5 broad trends he thinks will shape the next decade. These are meta-trends that will shape the broad economic and political context for organisations in all sectors:

  • The Great Re-Balancing Act: The re-balancing of the global economy.
  • The Reform of Big Brother: Transformation of the public sector in the light of squeezed public finances and growing need.
  • The New Enlightenment: Changes to our institutional infrastructure.
  • The New Nationalism: A retreat to nationalism in the face of growing populations and global resource constraints.
  • The Icarus Effect: Some economies bouncing back and others hitting the ground. Is this is really the ‘Asian Century’?

Read Stephen’s full post.

Last updated at 15:53 Tue 11/Jan/11.
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