The BIG Future
The long term trends transforming our world!
When it comes to the future, it’s always important to think about a trend from a long-term perspective while acknowledging the short-term issues that occur along the way.
But as the future comes at us with greater speed and intensity, it could be that we lose sight of the long-term view of where the future is taking us as short-term issues come to dominate the discussion. With that in mind, it’s a good time to think about The Big Future.
The BIG Future will take a look at the long-term trends transforming our world and what it means.
They will be posted to this page as Jim blogs about them – bookmark the page to keep up to date, and follow Jim on his blog!
BIG FUTURE TREND #1
Regenerative Medicine [ link ]
We might live longer. We will see the reduction, elimination, or perhaps eradication of diseases. We’ll fix broken bones with lab-grown materials. We will grow human organs for transplant.
And in that context, we will be doing stuff tomorrow that seems like the science fiction of yesterday – because it is already starting to happen today!
BIG TRANSFORMATION - AGRICULTURE
BIG FUTURE TREND #2 - CONNECTED ENERGY
Connected Energy [ link ]
Essentially, we are building a new energy grid, launching new industries, changing entire mobility platforms (automotive and trucking), and setting a path to a cleaner energy future.
Much of this is currently happening in isolation, but over the decade to come, a lot of connectivity of these disparate platforms and trends is going to occur.
It’s already underway as smart innovators build out a fascinating new future.
BIG TRANSFORMATION - AUTOMOTIVE
BIG FUTURE TREND #3- BRAIN SCIENCE
Brain science [ link ]
What we did for heart health in the 20th century, we are doing for brain health in the 21st century. It’s timely – because the acceleration of aging is leading to staggering unmanageable demands on our healthcare system. We’re pursuing big, bold solutions.
We are seeing the acceleration of brain implant science and human-computer interface technology. But more importantly – we are learning how to use science to manage the issue of brain disease.
BIG TRANSFORMATION - CONSTRUCTION
BIG FUTURE TREND #4 - VERTICAL FARMING AT SCALE
Vertical farming at scale [ link ]
We are no longer restricted to farming outdoors. And as the world’s population grows to 8 billion, we need big, bold solutions to growing food production – and our early experiments with the concept of growing indoors are about to enter an industrial scale.
We are seeing the arrival of trends that bring together technology, advanced science, disruptive ideas, and new concepts – bringing into reality a new industry that promises to provide fast innovation!
BIG TRANSFORMATION - EDUCATION
BIG FUTURE TREND #5- NEW MATERIALS SCIENCE
New Material Science [ link ]
The world of chemical science is one of the most exciting – and far-reaching – aspects of our future. That’s because we are going from 25 million known chemical substances today to over 1 billion by the year 2100.
As science accelerates, we are discovering fascinating new materials which promise to revolutionize what we build, how we build it, and what it is we can actually build.
This new era promises an era of big, bold thinking as to what is possible, changing every industry from automotive to aerospace, consumer products to packaging, and more. It’s a revolution in the making!
BIG TRANSFORMATION - ENERGY
BIG FUTURE TREND #6- THE LONGEVITY DIVIDE
The Longevity Divide [ link ]
Since 1900, global life expectancy has doubled. But now, accelerating medical science, combined with a focus on lifestyle, is leading us to the era of the ‘super-seniors’ – a growing percentage of the population that will live a rewarding and fulfilling life to 100 and perhaps, beyond.
At the same, time, however, many will die an early death. Increasing life expectancy is not widespread – at the same time we see longevity, we see an acceleration of a decrease in lifespan for those who are subsumed by the ‘reality crisis‘ and the ‘expectation gap!’
BIG TRANSFORMATION - HEALTHCARE
BIG FUTURE TREND #7- METHODOLOGY MODIFICATION
Methodology Modification [ link ]
In most industries – construction, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, – we’ve been assembling things in the same way for a long time.
Not only that, we’ve followed the same process we’ve always followed – we’ve never really challenged our basic methodologies. That is all set to change.
The impact is striking. Concepts involving new material science, advanced robotics, and connected technology, to name but a few, combined with bold & innovative thinking, are leading to a significant methodology change. Get ready for 24-hour farming, robotic medicine, 3d printing in concrete and so many other new methodologies!
BIG TRANSFORMATION -
BIG FUTURE TREND #8- HYPERCONNECTIVITY
The early days of our work with the Internet-of-Things (IoT) have shown the potential of vast connectivity of widely distributed intelligent devices. Yet we’re only beginning to learn how to utilize this richly-connected world to manage and solve some of the biggest challenges of our time.
We have an opportunity to better manage scarce resources, distribute productivity, and analyze the world around us in new and important ways. Watch out for what comes with what we might call IoT 2.0.