There are numerous reasons why we enjoy predicting the future or obsessing over trends. For marketers, investors, or entrepreneurs, it’s a way to know what the marker will be like and how they can tap into it. For others, they can use graphs, current products, online research – and even feelings to predict everything from weather to healthcare.
However, it’s one thing to predict the future and another to learn from it.
Here are ten ways that we can learn from the future and how it will impact us.
1. Virtual reality is a gateway to the real world.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are two of the most-hyped trends being discussed. In the past, we assumed this meant that we would all become so consumed with a virtual that we never left the confounds of home or interact with other people face-to-face.
As Pokemon Go has proven, this isn’t the case.
As Nicholas Cole explains for Inc.com:
“The perfect intersection between reality and virtual reality is the sweet spot that makes Pokémon Go so addictive. It takes the digital world and plants it firmly in this one. It does not ask you to sit in your basement with all the lights off–in fact, it does the opposite. Instead of the world living inside your screen, the screen acts as a gateway to the world around you. It adds virtual elements to everyday reality.”
Virtual reality won’t isolate individuals. Instead, it will be used as interactive technology to connect us to the other people and the world around us.
2. It’s the “personal age.”
We’re almost on the verge of personalizing and decentralizing everything in our lives. And, this will only become more common in the future.
Everything from computing, marketing, healthcare, banking, and energy production will be catered just for your wants and needs. Technology like the blockchain, where transactions are between you and the other party, is already being used for financial transactions and other uses such as writing smart contracts that exchange titles to property.
3. Data should be used for actionable intelligence.
Predictive analytics is another hot topic that is changing the world that we live in. With big data, we can predict health scares, investment opportunities, weather patterns, and how much to charge customers.
One thing that could use a little predicting is how we will use big data in the future. Will big data predict anything, or merely become the active big brother in our lives?
“Predictive analytics and optimization models turn all this data into truly actionable intelligence,” writes Pelin Thorogood in ClickZ.by Clickz
“They tell you what to do. So it really becomes about changing the future. That’s why data scientist has been called the sexiest job of the 21st century. They get to do what millennia of fortune tellers have failed to do. Who said destiny was predetermined anyway?”
4. People aren’t motivated by money.
Sure. People need to have a living wage. But, they’re not motivated by money alone.
In fact, in an article written by Emily Bailey, Nate Srinivas, and Barry Fischer in the Opower Blog, “several years ago, the American Association for Retired People asked a group of lawyers if they’d be willing to provide legal services to needy retirees, at a discounted rate of $30/hour. They refused. But when lawyers were asked if they’d help out for free, they overwhelmingly said yes.”
Furthermore, extensive research has shown that people often respond more strongly to so-called social norms (like altruism and peer pressure) than to market norms (like cash bonuses or discounts).”
Also, millennials are motivated by factors like having a positive impact on society and the environment, as opposed to a cushy salary.
5. Authenticity will impact governments.
The election of President Obama and the support of Bernie Sanders has shown that “millennials are willing to challenge existing institutions,” says Steven Olikara, president and co-founder of The Millennial Action Project. “In addition to that, millennials are looking for authenticity — polls consistently showed that [voters viewed] Bernie Sanders as the most authentic candidate, and he ranked the highest on the honesty and trustworthy scale. I think millennials gravitated towards that.”
“When we see a breakdown in our political system, there’s an opportunity for a breakthrough and a new generation of leaders,” says Olikara that will ultimately lead to people pushing for a change in the infrastructure of governments.
6. Minority population growth will change the hierarchy of the workplace.
The population of whites, in fact, is aging more rapidly than that of other racial groups,” writes William H. Frey, author of Diversity Explosion.
Frey further explains to Fast Company that “by 2020, 40% of the population will be racial minorities, and more than half of the population under 18 will be racial minorities, whites will total less than half of the U.S. population under 30.” By 2060, this demographic will comprise 56% of the total U.S. population.
“What this all means from a workforce perspective is that as baby boomers filter out of jobs into retirement and gradually lose their social and business-oriented dominance, jobs will need to be filled within the hierarchy of business and industry by younger, exceedingly multiracial workers,” points out George Lorenzo.
7. A new set of work arrangements.
It’s no secret that the 9-to-5 workplace is dramatically changing and becoming a thing of the past. Thanks to technology, it’s becoming “more and more possible support other types of work arrangements.”
Andrew Karpie, a research analyst at Azul Partners/Spend Matters. Tells Forbes that,
“Full-time, extended engagements of workers by businesses are not going to go away by any means, but a business’s workforce will increasingly consist of many different kinds of work arrangements.”
8. Globalization will become more commonplace.
“There has never been a generation which has had so much in common with its global peers,” says David Burstein, author of Fast Future. “Technology has inherently globalized our experiences” that includes everything “from music and pop culture to ideas and beliefs has become globalized.”
“Because technology has made us all so interconnected we can instantly be aware of the same events taking place around the world and in each other’s countries,” adds Burstein. “Today, around the globe, Millennials are aware of the climate crisis, we know it affects all of us, so we’ve seen a global surge in youth environmentalism. It also helps that it’s easier than ever to be in touch with people in any country, with one click on Facebook or Skype.”
“In a global world, more of us are encountering people from other countries in our daily lives. ‘Another country’ seems closer than ever. In fact 71% of Millennials believe they will spend some significant portion of their life living overseas,” he concludes.
9. People are living longer.
“Genomic research will push ahead, seeking to unlock the secrets of radical life extension, and that possibility alone should motivate younger adults to think about what aging will look like as their own lives progress,” writes Paul Irving, Chairman, Center for the Future of Aging, Milken Institute.
“Millennials also know that science doesn’t sleep, and that means they’ll be parenting a new generation with the prospect of even longer lives.”
Additionally, “Thanks to their standing as the most educated generation ever, millennials are poised to experience better personal health in later life than their parents did. With access to vast information about nutrition and the powerful effects of exercise, this younger generation increasingly takes a personal interest in their health.”
“Scientific innovation, accelerated disease cures, and personalized medicine will enable longer health spans,” he adds.
This will change everything from when people retire, how long a Supreme Court Justice serves on the bench, where people reside, and the most popular sports or pop culture phenomenon that reflect the interests of the new older people.