The following ten trends identify the strategic challenges that every person, organization and nation will be dealing with in the future.
The Extreme Future, based on Dr. Canton’s new book, is an emerging era of complex new changes and challenges; many we have never had to deal with before. Also, the combination of trends, from energy to innovation and population, will challenge leaders in new ways.
Best to prepare today to meet the challenges of this Extreme Future.
1. Fueling the Future – The energy crisis, the costs, the post-oil future, and the future of energy alternatives like hydrogen, hybrids, and biofuels will be an essential factor into every business decision. The critical role that energy will play in every aspect of our lives in the 21st century will shape business and society.
2. The Innovation Economy – The central driver of future commerce will be innovation industries. Investing today in fast moving patents, innovations, ideas, like the Four Power Tools of the future: nano-bio-neuro-info, and products will shape competitive advantage.
3. Talent War – Talented people are the key to business success. There will be more jobs than skilled people to fill them. Companies will compete for the growing shortage of skilled people. More incentives to keep and recruit the best people will emerge.
4. Longevity Medicine – Health care is being transformed by biotech and genomics. People will be living longer, healthier and more productive lives. The human enhancement marketplace, offering new organs, new memories, new limbs, new skin and new lives, will translate into the largest market of the future—even immortality, for some, will be possible.
5. Weird Science – Always-On wireless Internet, teleportation, smart materials, space tourism—Weird new science will change every aspect of our lives, culture and economy, leading to new jobs, new products and new options. Nations and businesses that invest in future science will profit in economic growth.
6. Securing the Future – A new risk landscape is emerging from war, to hackers, to terrorists, to mind control, which will pose new challenges for individuals, governments and business. The personal security market will be lucrative.
7. The Future of Globalization – The new realities of more open global trade will offer both risk and opportunity in the near future. The rise of China and India; the clash of different cultures and ideas. Free trade, open markets and improved quality of life will define the 21st century.
8. The Future of Climate Change – The environment is changing and we need to prepare for increased global warming, pollution, and threats to biodiversity that will present new business opportunities. At the same time, the Clean Tech market will offer business a large financial opportunity to clean up the planet.
9. The Future of the Individual – The near future will provide opportunities for personal wealth creation that will underlie all other trends. Individual invention and innovation will accelerate business success. We will also see a struggle to balance individual freedom, privacy and security.
10. The Future of America and China – How the destiny of these two great nations – from capitalism to democracy, to innovation and security – will shape the future.