phase of your life could be subject to change in just the next 10 years
as innovators tinker with the status quo … regardless of the
consequences those changes might have on our lives.
past, revolutionary changes may have taken five years to take hold.
Today, dramatic changes can sweep the country, the world, in a matter of
Traditional ways of doing things can be turned upside
down almost over night. This can be very disturbing and it makes many
people uncomfortable. Some of the breakthroughs are life changing and
totally disrupt lives.
Well, visionaries say we haven’t seen
anything, yet! In the immediate future, everything is about to change
again and again. Many people can’t afford to keep up.
Street Journal marked its 125th anniversary July 8 with a special
section. They asked leading thinkers, innovators and artists to share
their visions of where the world is headed.
Innovation is not
slowing down, in fact, it’s racing ahead. No industry can afford to sit
still. If you are sitting still, taking a breather, you are falling
behind and will soon be relegated to a scrap heap, a museum or made
irrelevant by the latest new technology.
The stampede to the
future has little concern for the consequences. The innovators just want
to get to the future first, then clean up the carnage later. In many
areas, this rush to change the world is irresponsible.
thousands of engineers at Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook
are dreaming of ways to change the way we live and communicate. A great
revolution is on the horizon they predict.
Mark Zuckerberg, chief
executive of Facebook, says the Internet is still in its infancy. Only
one-third of the world is currently connected. That 2.7 billion number
will grow to over 5 billion.
There will be a global sense of
community. Your friends and family will include people living around the
world. This will lead to a whole new sharing dynamic.
to how the world changed when the world was introduced to the miracles
of the printing press, radio, television, mobile phones and the
If you think drone technologies are in the distant
future, think again. Same for 3-D printing technologies. We may
associate drones with the military but it is already an open platform
for dozens of other applications.
These new products will soon be
everywhere. Yes, there are legal and safety hurdles in the way but they
will be addressed. Think what this will do to millions of middle class
workers in doomed industries?
James Gorman, chairman of Morgan
Stanley, predicts that the number of bank branches will decline from
97,000 now to about 10,000 in the future as a result of mobile devices.
For banks, the bricks and mortar we are accustom to will become
Big banks will get bigger. The concept of cash will be
relegated to museums. Transactions will all be done on handheld devices.
Can we trust this technology? Or, is it no different than using
There will be more online savings vehicles,
crowdfunding and loan syndicating by insurance companies, pensions and
hedge funds, Gorman said.
Despite having powerful safety devices
on electronic devices, determined cybercriminals will steal so much they
will force nations to establish deposit-insurance-like entities to
cover the massive thefts.
As we’ve already seen, personal privacy
is already a thing of the past, says Richard Clarke, a senior adviser to
three recent presidents. Cybersecurity will be a major issue for all of
In just 20 years, most people won’t be able to remember a
time when they had privacy. Wearable sensors will allow government
agencies and corporate giants to know your every move, every transaction
Huge data centers will collect and store data about
your health, location, movement, political views, buying habits,
finances, relationships and security risks. You won’t be able to avoid
As the way we live changes, creating jobs will be a
great economic challenge, admits Larry Summers, Harvard professor and
former U.S. Treasury secretary. Tens of millions of workers will be
forced to find employment in other sectors.
Back in simpler days, one in 30 men between 25 and 54 could not find work. Today, that ratio is one in six men, Summers says.
is eating the world’s labor force. As technology and robots flourish,
tens of millions of workers will be displaced. They will either be
long-term unemployed, or they will be banished to a lifetime of minimum
wage jobs. Poverty rates will soar.
Alice Waters, a chef and
founder of Chez Panisse restaurant, says Americans have eaten their way
to a really bad place, but that is going to change. Eating unhealthy
food has caused over 60% of Americans to be overweight.
country is hostage to fast-food giants, factory farms and industrial
food manufacturers who use harmful amounts of sugar, salt, corn, wheat,
additives and laboratory-produced chemicals to make the food products we
Waters believes this trend will be rejected by consumers.
Americans will demand healthy foods and will buy more from farmers’
markets and we’ll see a revival of small mom and pop restaurants.