What if these predictions were become realities in 10 years?
Foresight is the human capacity to think ahead, consider and respond to future eventualities. This is usually an unconscious individual thinking process. But in a fast changing environment it is essential for your organization once in a while to broaden it’s perspective, look ahead and consider new paths for the future.
Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. [Will Rogers]. Foresight starts with strategic thinking on “what might happen”. I just found a great study, which you might use as a starting point for your future thinking.
The IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters recently shared a compilation of 10 innovation predictions for the world in 2025. The aim of their project was to identify 10 technologies of tomorrow that will be in use in 2025 based on research and development currently identifiable in the literature of today – both scientific literature and published patents.
I like to share their 10 predictions of innovation in 2025 to inspire you and open your mind:
1. In 2025 dementia declines. Understanding of the human genome and genetic mutations leads to improved detection of, and prevention methods for, the onset of neuro- degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
2. In 2025 solar is the largest source of energy on the planet. Methods for harvesting, storing and converting solar energy are so advanced and efficient that it becomes the primary source of energy on our planet.
3. In 2025 type 1 diabetes is preventable. A versatile human genome-engineering platform is a reality, paving the way for the modification of disease-causing genes and helping to prevent certain metabolic conditions.
4. In 2025 food shortages and food price fluctuations are things of the past.Advancements in lighting technologies and imaging techniques, coupled with genetic crop modification, provide an environment ripe for successful indoor crop growth and detecting diseased foods.
5. In 2025 electric air transportation takes off. Lightweight aerospace engineering coupled with new battery technologies power electric vehicle transportation – on land and in the air.
6. In 2025 digital everything everywhere. From the smallest personal items to the largest continents, everything, everywhere will be digitally connected, and responsive to our wants and likes.
7. In 2025 petroleum-based packaging is history; cellulose-derived packaging rules.Bio-nanocomposites based on nanocellulose make 100% fully biodegradable packaging pervasive.
8. In 2025 cancer treatments have very few toxic side effects. Drug development is so much more precise, binding to specific proteins and using antibodies to give exact mechanisms of action, that the debilitating effects of toxic chemicals on patients is significantly reduced.
9. In 2025 DNA mapping at birth is the norm to manage disease risk. The evolution of micro-total analysis systems (single- cell analysis) and advancements in nanotechnology, coupled with more widespread Big Data technologies, make DNA-mapping at birth the norm, as well as part of one’s annual physician exam.
10. In 2025 teleportation is tested (Beam me up Scotty :-). Kinematical techniques used to understand the Higgs Boson particles generated in the Large Hadron Collider advance such that quantum teleportation is more commonplace.
Some of these ten predictions from the research of Thomson Reuters might become reality in 10 years and others might not. Now, the arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. [William Pollard] Therefore, a very useful exercise is to as yourself the question: ‘What If?”. What if these predictions were become realities in 10 years? What would it mean for your organization or company? The predictions might open new paths for your organization, or imply the end of your market. Discuss with each other how can you anticipate on time and change course.
I hope you will spent some “strategic-thinking-time” with your fellow managers on “how your world will look like in 2025?” and I am sure this will broaden your scope and will have some great spin-offs for the shorter term too. If you prefer to implement foresight in a more systematic way, I can recommend this pdf with 33 foresight methodologies from the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research for you to choose from.
Photo credit: Arrow Capital