A decade ago deep sea mining, digital currencies, fiber optics, or fully electric cars where but a twinkle in their soon to be inventors eyes. It is a testament to Ray Kurzweil’s predictions of the exponential growth of technology that these concepts no longer seem impossible.
So what should we expect over the next decade? Here are 4 mega trends on the rise:
1. Connectivity and Convergence
By 2020, when Africa is fully introduced to 3G networks, there will be over 5 billion Internet users, and 80 billion connected devices. This connectivity will spread to our daily lives bringing the three silos of work, home and our surrounding environment into one seamless experience. Frost & Sullivan have dubbed this ‘connected living’ – one of the many topics that will be exploring this year at GROW.
2. Online Retail Boom
By 2020 nearly 19% of all retail business will happen online, reaching an estimated $4.3 trillion by 2025. This expanding retail model will even work its way into the automotive industry, making ‘customizing your car online’ a bit more logical, not to mention, fun.
3. Targeting Mega Cities and Corridors
Cities will begin to expand so large they will form mega corridors, and even such mega regions as the urban sprawl between cities will begin to fill in. The East Coast between Washington and Boston is expected to grow to a population of 58.2 million and 20% of the USA GDP in 2025. Companies will begin targeting these regions as opposed to nations as a key focus for business strategies.
4. Innovating to Zero
As we tackle social and environmental issues, developing products to the point of ‘zero’ will be brought to the forefront. That includes cars with zero emissions, zero accidents, zero fatalities, carbon neutrality etc. Copenhagen even wants to be the first carbon neutral capital of the world. But will all this “zero” lead to global over-population?
With innovation and advancement, there will always be questions. With the world evolving at an increasingly rapid rate, it is becoming more and more important that we are not only aware of “What’s Next,” but also mindful of the potential repercussions of our actions. A fully connected living mega region with 56 million people and complete carbon neutrality sounds great on paper, but, what will it look like in the flesh? For now, we can only speculate.