23 Trends for 2023: #23 Forward, Finally!

Category under: 2023, Blog, Faster, Major trends, Trends

Next month will mark 3 years since individuals and organizations began to go through the largest disruption they will ever know. With lockdowns, a staggering loss of human life, work-from-home, and the rapid emergence of a digital lifestyle and e-commerce infrastructure – we all had to learn to adapt quickly.

As I close out this series of 23 Trends for 2023, I’ve been thinking long and hard as to what the final, all-encompassing trend should be; to be honest, I’ve had several. But they’ve all had a common theme – all of us finally have the chance to look forward to what’s next, rather than just concentrating right now on what we need to do to get through. In a conference call with a client the other day, I was given a gift when he mentioned that in his mind, they weres finally able to move away from triage – fast, quick steps to simply survive – to thinking about their future again. That’s it!

And so trend #23 is “Forward, finally!” – because we finally have the chance to move from triage to tomorrow!

My last 3 events before Covid were firmly linked to the opportunities of the future. The American Truck Dealers Association brought me in for a keynote that took at the electrification of their industry, the arrival of hyper-connected trucking technology, and the potential for autonomous technology. Syngenta, the global agricultural company, had me in for a talk to key dealers on how farmers were aligned to fast-moving science trends with fast genomics, autonomy, the potential world of 24-hour farming, and more. The Canadian Golf Superintendents Association – my very last in-person event in March 2020 – took a look at the future of the golf industry, some of the new technologies, concepts, and ideas coming into the game, and how that might influence their work.

And then it all happened.

If you think about it, for a time, the future fell off the table; we were all too busy thinking about how to get through the next month, let alone the next 5 or 10 years. And yet, in the last several months, I’ve noticed during my calls about upcoming events with several CEOs that a key theme has emerged – perhaps we are through the worst, the thinking goes, and so, it’s time to start looking to the future again.

With that in mind, here’s an older post I wrote some years ago, ‘101 Things We Know About Our Future’ – An Esoteric List of Things That Are Happening Now and Next!‘ It provides some food for thought on what we might be thinking about as we move from triage to tomorrow!

‘101 Things We Know About Our Future’ – An Esoteric List of Things That are Happening Now and Next!

Some are obvious, some are not so obvious.

  1. We’re obviously shifting from driving cars based on gas and internal combustion engines to those based on batteries and electric – and it will happen faster than you think
  2. Energy grids are shifting from mostly one-way distribution to massively two-way interconnected systems
  3. We’re entering the era of connected agriculture, in which a kid who grew up playing Farmville will define the future of the virtual farm
  4. The oil industry is over. It’s a sunset industry in decline as renewables come to dominate all future spending
  5. Solar power generation is growing faster than any other form of energy
  6. Constant bio-connectivity body monitoring, such as done through your mobile device, will forever transform healthcare
  7. Connected pharmaceuticals will one day soon report on how well they are working inside your body
  8. Africa is the next big economic powerhouse
  9. We’ll never go back to the world of in-person retail shopping like it was before Covid
  10. You are surrounded by modern things right now that will become ‘things from the olden days’ during your lifetime
  11. Most major companies will be at risk of failure through computer security hacking issues – until security becomes a Board of Directors responsibility
  12. The fact that there are ‘fitbits for cows’ is a trend that is helping to accelerate battery storage technology
  13. The next generation has no attention span whatsoever: and this has big implications for everything!
  14. We’re moving from a world in which we fix people after they’re sick – to one in which we know what they are going to become sick with and act accordingly
  15. There will soon be a lot of weed-zapping robots on farms, along with tiny robotic pollinating insects
  16. Change-resistant baby boomers are starting to leave the economy, making things even faster than they are
  17. Machines are starting to think on their own a bit more. We don’t yet know what this means.
  18. Most successful companies today will eventually go the way of Sears, Blockbuster, and Kodak – because of leadership complacency and hubris
  19. Right now, someone has the perfect idea in mind to put your business model into a death spiral – and you might not notice till it is too late
  20. The concept of data-transmitting crops is a marvelous thing – and we’ll see it in our lifetime
  21. We will soon have windows almost everywhere that generate solar electricity, simply by being windows
  22. Car companies don’t know how to innovate at the speed of Silicon Valley. This is a BIG problem – for them
  23. Insurance is moving from looking at the past performance of something to looking at real-time indicators from that thing
  24. Baseball bats, golf clubs, and footballs will have spatial connectivity technology as a built-in feature – providing for a new era of sports and exercise feedback
  25. We’re quickly moving from ‘learning how to drive to ‘learning how to supervise a car’
  26. Batteries are at the heart of most significant future trends
  27. Manufacturing is no longer about mass production, it’s about mass customization
  28. We’re moving to a world of 24-hour farming – autonomy means that we no longer have to farm only when the sun is up
  29. In the near future, you’re going to eat “who you are”, with daily food plans based on your personal DNA profile
  30. There are a lot of things you will use in 10 years that have not yet been invented.
  31. Just-in-time insurance will dominate the industry within a decade
  32. You might one day golf with a personalized drone flying overhead, filming your round
  33. Most kids today will work in a job or career that does not yet exist
  34. Your business model won’t last the next 10 years
  35. Bionic, artificial eye implants will soon bring eyesight to the blind
  36. One of the biggest energy opportunities in the next decade is to be found in an integrated home-energy wind/solar/battery/thermostat/iOT integrated system.
  37. Your car dashboard of today will be obsolete in but 18 months, just like your smartphone
  38. There is someone in a garage at this very moment with a really great idea that will become a billion-dollar company
  39. Half of the knowledge we get in the first year of university or college is obsolete, or out of date, by the time we graduate
  40. Urban farming within the 35 megacities of the future 20+ million people will change our entire concept of agriculture
  41. Norway will hit 100% electric vehicles by 2025, and other nations will soon follow
  42. It’s pretty likely that the US will follow the trajectory of the Roman Empire as its democracy goes into its death spiral
  43. One day, the road on which you drive will automatically charge your electric car
  44. In the future, you’ll be able to buy a DNA sequencing machine at Dollar General
  45. Most regulatory bodies will continue to act slowly in a fast-paced world – and the disconnect of today will have bigger implications tomorrow
  46. We’ll probably soon have little robotic micro-drones regularly tending crops in agriculture
  47. The acceleration gap between the speed of change and our ability to deal with it is big — and getting bigger
  48. Technology-oriented seniors community care is the ‘next big thing’ in seniors care – and will come just in time to deal with a massive flood of Alzheimer’s’ patients
  49. Much of what you know today is already obsolete – you just don’t know it yet
  50. Most of the cost of equipment in every industry will be within the software and the chips – and not within the other hardware
  51. Most new homes will have driveway drone pads with an automatic storage locker as a standard feature
  52. Real-time analytical predictive insurance underwriting will be the only actuarial insurance model in the not-too-distant future
  53. We’ll one day use 3D skin printing technology to deal with medical burns and other complex issues
  54. Rather than megabits and terabits, you’ll be talking about yottabits. Hint: look it up
  55. The volume of known medical knowledge is increasing 48% annually, going from 153 exabytes in 2013 to 2,514 exabytes in 2020
  56. Smart, connected contact lenses will soon be able to monitor your health, such as with diabetes
  57. We’re quickly moving from a world of computer code written by humans – to code-written-by-code-and-data
  58. One day, Apple will be delisted – every company eventually becomes irrelevant
  59. 40% of the big car makers of today won’t exist by 2030, because they weren’t able to make the shift to technology-focused electric vehicle technology
  60. Some kids born at this very moment might very well live beyond the age of 125 years
  61. Human brain augmentation technology will become a mainstream industry within the decade
  62. A ‘next billion-dollar industry’ will be fully integrated home microgrids – with renewable energy (solar/wind), batteries for storage, and tech to direct it directly into your car, all managed through a thermostat-like device
  63. The cost and complexity of car maintenance will have collapsed with the arrival of electric vehicles because there is really nothing to maintain
  64. The arrival of a faster future means the arrival of new insurance risk – and insurance companies will have to ensure for forms of risk that don’t even yet exist, not even knowing what they are insuring for!
  65. Your car will have credit card capability embedded into the dashboard, in order to streamline drive-through and curbside pickup interactions
  66. The 40 mega-cities that will account for the majority of the earth’s population 20 years out will grow most of their food within the city, including within 100-story high ‘vertical farms’
  67. Most of your clothing will be smart, connected, and aware – helping you with fitness, health, and safety
  68. Your self-driving car will ‘talk’ to a lot of the other self-driving cars around it in order to figure out where it is going and how to safely get there
  69. Much like you might have a domain name or email address today, tomorrow you’ll have your very own light spectrum on the infinite fiber-optic Internet, which will be reserved solely for your encrypted use on global optical networks
  70. By 2030, most actors have mostly become irrelevant – instead, avatars and deep-fake personalities will be purchased off the shelf, ready to be turned into the next great performance.
  71. The newest trillion-dollar company that will be common in 2035 came from a product that didn’t exist at the moment you read this
  72. Likewise, one of the most important technologies in your life in ten years does not yet exist
  73. Personal health concierges will be one of the fastest-growing career professions
  74. We won’t find it unusual at all to know that a child in the future might actually meet their great-great-great-greet-great-great-great-grandparent.
  75. The volume of medical knowledge will have doubled by the time you re-read this post 78 days from now
  76. There is a child alive today who will receive the first cranial brain implant
  77. Vision care will transition from the prescribing of eyeglasses to the basic procedure of preparing an implant of bionic eyes
  78. Many crypto-currencies will become viewed much like tobacco, due to their destructive environmental impact
  79. Knee replacements will be grown at a bio-tissue farm, with customization based on your specific DNA.
  80. The TV show The Jetsons will soon seem like it too is from the olden days
  81. Most major shopping malls of today won’t fulfill that function tomorrow – they’ll be something else altogether. We don’t yet know what.
  82. Some of the most respected democracies in the world will go full-fascist, leading to really challenging political realities
  83. You’ll have a custom 3D food printer in your home as you become a part of the world of real-time, customizable food programming
  84. Human longevity in industrialized nations will undergo the first significant decline, dropping an average of 10 years, mostly with those who think science is not a thing
  85. We’ll find that the hyped ‘metaverse’ didn’t happen with avatars, but did with heads-up displays and similar technologies
  86. The concept of ‘just-in-time learning’ will come to dominate most of our education system in the years to come
  87. We will soon be growing human body parts in labs for use in many major surgical procedures
  88. Someone will figure out how you can spend an actual hour inside the very mind of your pet, thinking and seeing the world exactly as they do
  89. 50% to 80% of the revenue that a company will generate by 2030 will come from a product or service that does not yet exist today
  90. Many of the trucks in the industrialized world today will be driven by virtual drivers on the other side of the world tomorrow
  91. What we did for heart health in the 20th century, we did for brain health in the future
  92. Every single device that you use day today will be a featured piece in a museum in less than 25 years
  93. Most car dealers don’t yet accept the inevitability of the demise of their business model
  94. In the future, the idea of a ‘lighter than air’ plane will not seem ridiculous.
  95. The world of science will have taken us from 19 million known chemical substances today to 5 billion by 2100 – and this will lead to the birth of countless new billion-dollar industries
  96. One day, you’ll wonder whatever happened to the idea of ‘change management workshops
  97. We will have figured out how to stop light in its tracks, which will have big implications for the future of all computer and chip technology
  98. 50% of Wikipedia will be useless within 10 years because of ‘link-rot’
  99. Right now, there is a company that does not yet exist that will build a product not yet conceived, using material not yet invented, with a methodology yet to be discovered.
  100. We will still be talking about how committees are evil well into the future – because stupid companies will still form committees
  101. Fifty years out, people will still write lists of ‘101 things’ because it provides a nice structure for creative thinking

Happy future!

“It’s time to move from triage to tomorrow!” – Futurist Jim Carroll


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.