The Future Ain’t What You Think!


This past week, I was the closing keynoter for the Council of Multiple Listing Services.  The course for a dense, information-packed conference was set by the opening keynoter, Michael A Rogers, former futurist-in-residence for NY Times, columnist for MSNBC, and head of Newsweek.com.


Technology and innovation are advancing at hyper-speed. Today, there are more users on Facebook than people in China! By 2020, a three-year old will talk more to a tablet than to his Mommy. Eyeglasses will have an embedded chip that send signals to your ear, telling you things like the name of the person approaching you. For Boomers who have trouble with memory recall, you’ll now have facial recognition. Privacy is dead.  Data will be more than big—and cheap. In 2000, a terabyte of data storage cost $80,000. By 2020, that same amount will be $4.


What does this all mean?


Human interaction will become priceless and precious as a rare commodity. The trick will be to tap into the virtual world and bring it into the real world. Our brains will need to become more astute at deciphering truth from fiction and meaningful information from random garbage.  (Actually, considering all the political posturing and slanted campaigns, we need that skill right now.)


Possibilities for new ventures will require collaboration and cooperation. Competitors can become colleagues.


Adaptability and agility? You bet—all prime resiliency skills.


PS. Technology gathers refined information to make better decisions. Example: the new Airbus 380 has hundreds of sensors to measure fuel usage. If they can save 1% of jet fuel, the airlines can save $2 billion. (Maybe then we won’t be nickled and dimed for luggage?)

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