Jim’s keynote took a broad approach to a variety of issues, best summarized in his keynote description:
In an era of economic volatility, it’s more important than ever to focus on the future in order to achieve the core mandate of assisting the less fortunate in society. When it comes to housing, it’s also important to align opportunities for shelter with new opportunities that exist. That’s where the message of Futurist Jim Carroll comes in with a two-track message.
The economy? Here’s a key reality that Jim has shared with his global clients through the recession of ’01 and ’08 – only 10% of organizations become breakthrough performers during a recession – but that is because they decided to double down on their innovation efforts despite uncertainty. That’s a powerful lesson for all of us – because the other 90%, driven by aggressive indecision, become the marginal performers, the failures, the innovation laggards. That’s why it is important for the housing sector in Iowa to double down on the future despite economic volatility – and to focus on the trends that will drive future growth.
Growth? Opportunities? In the housing and construction sector, we are seeing fascinating new trends with methodologies, materials, robotics, energy efficiency and so much more. The concept of 3D printing housing components has gone from science fiction fantasy to practical potential reality in just a matter of years; the emergence of new construction materials continues to offer up opportunities for cost efficiencies and savings in the overall budget; automated masons and bricklaying concepts are already being pursued, moving from theory to reality faster than we might think. And energy? Oil is over, solar and wind dominate the future, and local neighborhood microgrids drive opportunity. Consider this fact – we are already seeing the emergence of window technology that is not just a window – but a solar energy generator at the same time! When it comes to construction, the future is nothing but an opportunity!