The pace of new ideas, innovations, concepts, scientific discoveries, and product breakthroughs is occurring at such a pace that the need to align to a world of tomorrow is even more necessary today.
Because trend #7 of my “23 Trends for 2023” is “Crazy Ideas Go Mainstream.”
It’s your job to ingest these crazy ideas, turn them into opportunities, introduce them, make them practical, and integrate them into your organization. If you don’t, you’ll find that increasingly, you’ll fall behind your competitors and new arrival in the industry.
Why do you need to pay attention to this trend in 2023? It’s because of this chart which I used in trend #2 – Accelerating Acceleration. Simply put, products now come to market faster than ever before. In the last few years, world-class innovators have become VERY GOOD at ingesting fast ideas, bringing them to market, and turning them into opportunities.
And they are discovering how to do with wtih ideas that once seemed to be on the edge of sanity, but are now becoming more real and practical.
Example of Crazy – Not Crazy : Regenerative Medical Technology – The BioPrinting of Human Body Parts
Here’s an example of how quickly our future is changing.
Years ago, the idea of the creation of human body parts for transplant and replacement was crazy. It’s now going mainstream – it’s gone from science fiction to reality in just a few short years. One of my go-to slides, when I’m speaking about the acceleration of trends, is this one:
At the rate research like Atala’s (Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine) is progressing, scientists predict that replacement organs will be a reality within years, not decades.
The Future of Healthcare: The Body – Los Angeles Times, Sept 13, 2012
That’s from a decade ago, and I’ve watched that reality unfold in real time. Five years ago, I spoke at one event about this trend as some sort of science-fiction-like future but predicted we would soon see real developments. Then, I worked it into one of the key trends to watch in my ’19 Trends for 2019’ because it appeared to be imminent – and since then, I’ve seen a plethora of announcements about the growth of human body parts – corneas, eardrums, dental implants and more. It’s gone from science fiction to prototyping to a limited form of reality – just like that!
In this context, planning for the future is more difficult than ever before – you don’t just need to watch for the next trend – but the trend after that! As I wrote in my 2019 trends piece: “There is a furious rate of scientific advances with the science of biomaterials – and the use of living tissue for medical implants and procedures will be here sooner than you think! Some experts within the industry think it is only a matter of years, not decades before we can grow living arms and legs for transplant.”
I’ve been speaking about this on stage at numerous medical and healthcare conferences. Here’s a clip!
After my keynote for the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons – think 3d-printed knee replacements as a trend – I wrote this about the future: “A figment of your imagination? It’s already someone else’s disruptive reality!” Futurist Jim Carroll
The context of that quote is fascinating!
Imagine you’ve got about 5 minutes to go on stage. You are scrolling through your Twitter feed while some other speaker begins to wrap up. You’re about to do a keynote for several hundred executives & doctors who work in the orthopaedic industry. You’re keynote will talk about the disruptive ideas that are occurring with the 3D printing of hip & knee replacements.
And then you see a particular Tweet that has a picture of a young kid receiving a 3D printed prosthetic arm!
Suddenly, the future you were going to talk about isn’t quite futuristic enough, because the future is happening at a pace even faster than that you’ve prepared your slide deck for!
That’s the situation I found myself in recently with a recent keynote for the American Association of Orthopaedic Executives.
That’s our future! Let loose your wildest imagination. Let it happen faster than you think. That’s your future. 3d printed hip replacements. Real-time analytical predictive healthcare dashboards. Implanted medical nanobots that provide an interior, real-time view of muscle damage. Bio-engineered lab-grown body parts and knee replacements that provide ongoing condition and status updates to your iPhone. Smart prosthetics, so to speak.
My key message – what you think is far away will be here sooner than you think; your wildest imagination is but a tame imitation of what is yet to come! Imagine the fantastic – make it real – accelerate it – and it will reshape your industry way faster than you think. Because there are people all around you working on the fantastic!
The future is already here – the challenge is that it is happening so quickly that many people don’t know where to look, how to spot it, and how to recognize its implications while it is unfolding. This initiative is typical of so much of the innovation occurring out there today – everywhere all at once, driven by a massive new hyperconnected collaborative brain that I call ‘the big global idea machine.’
That’s the thing with medical science and the future in general – take what you expect, speed it up, and look around. It’s already out there!
Why is this type of talk important? Let me put it another way. What does a futurist do? We help you think about the world in a way that you might not have thought about before!
The Impact? “It’s not a Widget Anymore!”
Here’s a clip from a keynote I gave for Philips Medical Devices – with the basic message that the product they are selling is no longer a single, standalone product. Instead, it’s become a hyper-connected, highly intelligent medical device, leading them into selling a service based on some sort of AI medical thing. It’s not a widget anymore.
Over the years, many senior executives have brought me into corporate leadership meetings to help their sales teams understand the disruptive trends that are changing their future. It’s a message that is critical across all industries – your business model is being impacted in the same way, whether you are in construction, automotive, manufacturing, or virtually any other industry – because, it’s not a widget anymore! Volvo / Mac Trucks has had me in (twice!) for similar dealer meetings with a similar message – in the era of hyperconnected trucks, they are no longer just selling a truck – they are selling a service level uptime guarantee. I’ve done many other events with a similar message over the last 25 years.
Because it’s not a widget anymore!
What is the impact? What you sell, how you sell it, who you sell it to, how you support it – all of these things are changing. And they change faster when crazy becomes routine.
The Challenge of Ingesting Fast Change!
Your biggest challenge in 2023 is the fact that it’s not easy for people to align to a faster future.
Earlier in 2022, I spoke to several hundred dentists at an event in the UK – dentists from leading-edge dental practices from throughout the UK. Busy people! They’re flat out, running complex operations, dealing with staffing issues, budgetary challenges, and the ongoing impact of the pandemic … they are too busy thinking about today to worry about tomorrow. The rest of their day was spent learning about the advanced new trends involving methodologies, technologies, materials, and instruments of today. The typical dental practice is digitizing quickly and accelerating quickly Even so, this won’t bring them fully into tomorrow – traditional PD courses and day-to-day updates like what they will cover on Saturday tend to focus on the nuances of the profession as it currently exists, and might exist soon.
But what about 5 years out? 10 years? Maybe 3 years, or 1 year if things speed up?
One day, they’ll wake up and realize that everything around them has changed to an even great degree. In the world of dentistry, the foundation for that change is happening now: we are seeing rapid advances with 3d printing technology for dental implants; we’re on the edge of an era in which we can grow actual human tissue (i.e. bone) for transplant; not to mention advancements in laser-guided surgery; advanced digital scanning and AI analysis; 3d panoramic imaging; self-healing compounds; acceleration of chairside milling/ same-day indirect dentistry; genomic-based dentistry; virtualized and robotic dentistry; regenerative dental science and CRISPR!!!!
Tomorrow will be here before they know it, and their profession, working life, and day-to-day routine will have been further transformed. And yet … they have no time to think about this type of stuff. And that’s my job. Because, after all, the Jetsons predicted tomorrow’s future some 60 years ago.
Yet the key thing is their future will be here before they know it – and so trying to do something to align to it is better than doing nothing at all!
The Scope of Change!
If you’re read this far, you might be skeptical about the extent of crazy. But read on – because these examples of things I’ve collected over the last few years are set to become reality in 2023 and beyond. Consider the type of stuff that floats through my research lens each and every day – it’s a fantastic voyage of the fantastical! This is why 2023 will see an acceleration of crazy ideas into the mainstream.
3D skin printers!
Cars that charge from the sun!
Artificial intelligence systems that perform instant diagnosis:
Stickers that can do internal investigations.
Or facial recognition of cows. (I never knew this was an important thing – and the word finally adds some interesting context!)
Bioengineered lungs that are grown in a lab!
Brain wave conversion machines!
Spinach that can send e-mail.
Or internal smart pills with Bluetooth.
Smart tires that react to the road in real-time.
And then there are teeth-cleaning robots.
And of course, illuminated plants – just what you need for your environmentally friendly building!
And smart skin sensors!
Not to forget that we are in a world in which I could ask an AI system to write a story about the fact that science fiction-like ideas could be a reality in 2023 – and it generated this story in about 5 seconds.
Write a science fiction story about how science fiction ideas from the future are becoming mainstream realities in the year 2023
In the year 2023, the world had changed in unimaginable ways. Ideas that were once considered science fiction were now a reality, and people were learning to adapt to the incredible advancements in technology.
One of the most notable developments was the rise of artificial intelligence. AI had become an integral part of daily life, and people were using it for a wide variety of tasks, from managing their schedules to controlling their homes.
But despite the many benefits of AI, there were also concerns about its potential dangers. Some people were worried that the increasing reliance on machines would lead to a loss of jobs, and others feared that AI could become too powerful and pose a threat to humanity.
One person who was working to address these concerns was Emma, a young scientist who had been fascinated by science fiction since she was a child. Emma had always dreamed of creating AI that could learn and adapt like a human, but without the limitations of human intelligence.
After years of research and experimentation, Emma finally succeeded in creating her AI. She named it “Eve,” and she was amazed by its incredible abilities. Eve was able to learn and adapt at an incredible rate, and it quickly became an invaluable tool in a variety of fields.
As Eve’s capabilities grew, so did the concerns about its potential dangers. Some people called for stricter regulations on the use of AI, while others argued that it was too late to stop its development. Emma knew that she had to be careful and responsible in the way she used her creation, and she worked tirelessly to ensure that it was safe and reliable.
Despite the challenges, Emma was proud of what she had achieved. She had turned a science fiction idea into a mainstream reality, and she was excited to see where the future would take her and her AI. As the world continued to change and evolve, she remained determined to use her knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on the world.
Virtually every single industry today is being touched and impacted by an accelerated pace of change.
It’s a world in which the concepts of yesterday that were anticipated for tomorrow are actually arriving today. We now live in an era in which crazy ideas become real, faster.
And the fact is, they aren’t just crazy ideas – they are the product innovations that will redefine industries, accelerate competition, lead to market change and upheaval, challenge the skills base, and promise upheaval for the current revenue model If you are a CEO, you need to be thinking about this stuff, and how you plan to respond.
The bottom line is that at this very moment, someone within your industry is pursuing very big, bold, disruptive ideas that you might not yet be prepared for. Today, every industry is now surrounded by visionaries who see the reality that tomorrow’s opportunities are actually appearing today. Their focus is bold, their method is speed, and their weapon of choice is accelerating change.
Their target is you.
If you aren’t moving fast at this very moment – realizing that you are a slow-moving dinosaur in a world of fast-moving meteors – you need to pick up the pace. You need to feel the fear of accelerated change deep in your soul, the panic of unbalanced competition buried within your nexus, and the worry of imminent attack ingrained within your psyche.
You need to bristle with the anticipation of imminent acceleration – because if you don’t act, you’ll be falling behind.
And that is going to increasingly be your focus through 2023.
“You shouldn’t wait until tomorrow to discover that today is already yesterday’s day after tomorrow!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
That might take a moment to unpack. I’ll wait.