Part of the art of figuring out the future comes not from looking forward, but by looking back.

What that idea in mind, here’s a list of things we used to do back in 2019 that we don’t do anymore. This list will be a completely valid list at some time in the future. When? It doesn’t matter – when it comes to thinking about the future, sometimes it is just grasping the obvious that matters.

  • agriculture: we used to go out and farm when the sun was up. Now, we have our robotic tractors undertaking farming 24 hours a day
  • automotive and trucking: back in 2019, we had cars that were based on carbon sources such as gasoline, and which were driven by humans. Now, they’re electric, with batteries, and drive themselves
  • education: we used to teach kids based on the idea that we should provide them with skills they might need in the future. Now, we teach them to get the right knowledge at the right time for the right purpose – what we call ‘just-in-time knowledge
  • energy and utilities: in the early part of the 21st century, we had one big energy grid and relied on carbon sources such as oil, coal, and natural gas. Now, we have many little inter-connected micro-grids based on wind and solar renewable energy sources
  • healthcare : we used to fix patients after they were sick. Now, we know what they will likely become sick with, based on genomic and other scientific advances, and act accordingly
  • manufacturing: we used to design a version of a product and build it the same way a million times. Now, we design a product a million different ways and produce it differently each time using 3D printing and mass customization
  • retail and food: we used to drive to stores to get the products that we need. Now, the products generally come to us, if they aren’t already grown in our in-home vertical farm.
  • Insurance: we used to get insurance coverage based on our historical behavior or past actions. Now, insurance policies are written and adjusted in real-time based on real-time data and activities
  • financial services: we used to take out mortgages and loans to acquire the things we wanted. Now, we simply get the things that we want for but a short time, and then move on to the next thing, as we generally just share the stuff that we need
  • construction: we used to send people and materials to a site in order for a building to be assembled.d Now, we generally assemble the building offsite with robotic technology and 3D printing technologies and send it to the site for quick, fast assembly.
  • hi-tech. We used to have things called computers, which were physically separate devices that we carried around or plopped on our desks. Now, intelligence is embedded everywhere; in our clothing, eyeglasses, car, home and factories. It’s just there.
  • food: we used to eat the same food that everyone else ate. Now, we eat food that is grown specifically for our particular DNA, and matched to our particular metabolic profile
  • jobs: we used to train for a career that would take us through most of our life. Now, we live our life to take us through multiple careers by constantly reinventing ourselves
  • material science: we used to have 19 million known chemical substances, but now we have some 5 billion. We witnessed the birth of countless new industries and opportunities through the rapid acceleration of pure science

Thinking this way will give you an idea of the scope the BIG transformative changes that are sweeping our world today.




THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.