Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What are some of the interesting trends for 2014?

Besides some big sports events (Winter Olympics and World Football Championship), it is likely that we will see further disruptions at political, environmental and economical level.

Here is a small overview of areas, which will need your attention.

Always ON – Occasionally OFF
As, we are digitally connected at every time and every place; it becomes increasingly important to plan some time to ‘de-digitalize’. This ‘de-digitalization’ is necessary to detach, reflect, relax and to create the space for new ideas to emerge.

Home Automation
The first practical example of the Internet of Things, is in your house. The lighting, locks, heating/air-conditioning, music and TV are all connected via an app, which knows your daily routines. This ‘contextual technology’ will become your residential janitor, who takes care of many facilities inside of your house.

Digital Currencies
In this Connection Age, it seems quite outdated to pay with pieces of paper and with coins. The acceptance of Bitcoin is paving the way for new digital currencies. Corporations and cities are likely to introduce these currencies.

They are well known in the field of security, but they will move into other areas of application. I have seen photographers using them to get real 360 degrees images. They are being considered for farmers to know the status of their crop in remote areas. Other applications will emerge, fast.

It looks like that finally companies understand that the people are really the heart of their enterprise. They now have to move from an industrial approach towards a real human approach. This is also very much needed in other areas, like healthcare. Social as well as economical mindfulness are no longer buzzwords for the alternative scene, they are becoming mainstream.

Communities are the backbone of society
As 1M people flock to cities per week, it is crucial to build affordable housing, adapt the infrastructure and make urban agriculture a must. Resilience (for climate as well as economical disruptions) need to be build into the core of communities. Neighbors need to get to know each other strengths and help each other on many levels.

Quantified Self
As wearables are becoming mainstream (watches, glasses, bracelets), we need to monitor our own health and habits. In this way, we will be really responsible for our own lives.
As most connections are online, we need to find ways to build (lasting) trust. Our reputation can even become a currency. Those who are trusted the most, will have the highest value.

2014 is the breakthrough for generalists (people who know a lot about a lot). It is being understood that most interconnected and global crises (climate change, economic, youth, financial) need a generalist to ‘connect the dots’. Of course specialists/experts are still needed, but the generalists are leading the way into new perspectives for solving these crises.

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

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