Futurist Thomas Frey published 33 Dramatic Predictions of things that he projects may occur before the year 2030. Here are  a few of these predictions that could have some immediate impact on the field of human resources.



Dramatic Prediction #1

By 2030 over 80% of all doctor visits will have been replaced by automated exams.

Given all the hubbub over the Affordable Care Act healthcare is certainly prime on many HR departments radar. Think then how healthcare will be radically changed when most diagnosis will are done by machine. Does this lead to a major way healthcare is delivered and paid for? Perhaps large companies will buy their own diagnostic equipment. Naturally this will lead to confidentiality issues, discrimination issues and more for HR professionals to handle.

Dramatic Prediction #2

By 2030, the world’s largest Internet company will be in the education business, and it will be a company we have not heard of yet. Also over 50% of all traditional colleges will collapse, paving the way for an entire new education industry to emerge.

Companies are going to have to become more accepting of non-traditional education. The days of a “college” degree being required may not change but the definition of “college” will certainly have to change. The movement has already begun with the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

Dramatic Prediction #3

By 2030 over 2 billion jobs will have disappeared, freeing up talent for many fledgling industries.

Many of the jobs you currently have in your company will be gone. Your company may be gone. Your job may be gone. What does your company need to do to reinvent itself in order to continue to thrive? How will you have to reinvent your jobs in order to retain talented people? What will you have to do to reinvent yourself in order for you to survive and thrive?

Dramatic Prediction #4

By 2030 marijuana will be legalized in all 50 states in the U.S.

HR will have to deal with the conflict of legalized use and workplace impairment. We already do this with our substance abuse policies that control, or attempt to control, alcohol use in the workplace. Will we be able to extend this to marijuana use? How will this change the nature of our drug testing? Will we offer marijuana at the company holiday party?

Dramatic Prediction #5

By 2030 a small number of companies will begin calculating their labor costs with something called “synaptic currency.”

As companies have moved into the information age HR departments have struggled with measuring and valuing the intellectual capital if has as a resource. Accounting departments are just beginning to figure out how to value this on the books. Frey suggests that what we will be moving to is a more refined measure of the value of the power of the brain. It will be divided not by the person, but by the nature of the work and solutions that each brain produces. That will certainly make for an interesting accounting report.


These are just five of the predictions that Frey made. You can read all 33 of his predictions by clicking here. My purpose in presenting these to you was to get some of your brain power going. As I said 2030 is a short 16 years in the future. Most of you reading this will still be in your HR careers. How well you will be doing may depend on how much foresight you have and what value you bring to your company. Hopefully this will get you started.