Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Web Secret 398: 20 predictions for the next 20 years (part 1)

Fast Company is a business magazine that focuses on innovation in technology, business, and design.

It's cool.

You feel cool when you read it.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their existence, Fast Company published an issue that reviewed both the most important events of the past 20 years and their 20 key predictions for the next 20.

Here is the first half of that list of predictions - condensed - which should be required reading for (let me think) EVERYONE.

1. Speed Will Triumph. Speed is the most important business imperative. Constant iteration and redefinition are central features at businesses from Amazon to Google to Netflix, and every industry is now required to embrace that pace.

2. Mark Zuckerberg Will Lead. Now 31 years old, with nearly 1.5 billion customers across the globe, Zuckerberg has relentlessly improved himself as a businessperson and continues to be focused on learning. This psychological feature, along with the fact that he has a net worth north of $30 billion and a controlling stake in a world-spanning enterprise, virtually guarantees that he will be a bedrock figure in our economic and cultural evolution for decades to come.

3. Malala Will Build. After you’ve won a Nobel Peace Prize as a teenager, what’s next? Malala Yousafzai represents the leading edge of a cohort that is only just being unleashed: young talent growing up in obscure corners of the globe. This generation will increasingly have the tools and opportunity to redefine our world.

4. Elon Musk Will Inspire. Musk is a billionaire with powerful ideas. His latest tackles global climate change by addressing a seemingly modest deficiency "existing batteries suck." Musk not only wants to build a bigger business, he also wants to inspire us to address our biggest challenges.

5. Technology Will Improve the Human Condition. When you consider the long lens of history, technological advances have consistently improved people’s lives. Global life expectancy has climbed consistently over the centuries and in the past decade has improved for all regions of the world. That advance will continue unabated.

6. Digital Tools Will Unlock Opportunity. Inequality remains rampant across the United States and around the world. But rising mobile penetration offers the potential to shift that dynamic. The teachers and students of tomorrow will not be confined to classrooms, nor to the countries and cities that can afford them.

7. Democracy Will Be Digital. As a new generation of voters comes to the polls—a group raised on one-click purchases and instant access via apps—the traditional voting process will become untenable. New candidates will establish their credibility by extolling their technological sophistication, and e-voting will be everywhere.

8. Diversity Will Deepen. Those controlling the halls of power in business and government in the United States remain predominantly male and white. This will not persist as our population becomes more heterogeneous.

9. Mission Will Trump Money. Recent real-world studies have shown that having a purpose associated with work produces better performance than pure financial reward. The next generation of workers will expect to be engaged in their jobs through more than just financial means.

10. DNA Will Be Unstoppable. The decoding of the human genome has already launched a wave of new treatments and approaches. Inspiring as these examples are, though, the impact of genetic data is in its infancy.

Next week, get ready for 10 more predictions.

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