FUTURIST: These Are The 10 Social Trends To Watch For Next

Sculptures by the Sea exhibition at Bondi . Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Morris Miselowski is a self-described stirrer in the traditional Australian sense. That means he challenges current thinking and puts people off balance by looking at the world from another angle.

He’s also a futurist: He creates a detailed possible future to help companies plan for opportunities.

And he does this for some of Australia’s biggest companies.

He says that hypothesising on what innovations wait ahead is always a fearsome and exciting quest.

“But the real skill is in being able to gauge which of these yet to be seen innovations and inventions are going to truly resonate and have a positive, sustained and real impact on our lives,” he says.

Here are some of his views on the near future:

  • The technology high we used to get from all things digitally new will be much harder to get. We now take for granted how far we have come and what we have achieved in the last decade of digital evolution.
  • Purse strings loosen and investment in the new will be more common. This is time of the entrepreneur and intrapreneur as we evolve further into a society which values the work of the individual and the few.
  • We will stop wallowing in the doom and gloom of the past five years since the Global Financial Crisis. We will collectively accept the past, begrudgingly understand its social, cultural and financial ramifications will be with us for many years to come and decide to refashion and relearn normal.
  • Collectively we will begin to replace the knee-jerk short term planning of the past decade with a more medium term outlook horizon.
  • In many areas, including space exploration, transport, health and welfare, corporations are rising over governments. The fortress walls of historically entrenched government offerings are tumbling to private enterprise providers.
  • Sharing and collaboration will be mainstream. The traditional have all, do all, know all, no longer serves us as well as it once did. It is not necessarily the ownership of the means of production which brings wealth but the effective use of it. This new normal of reaching out to a broader community and of forming crowd companies that can collaboratively and exponentially advance our own pursuits will continue to become mainstream management and personal mantra.
  • Mobile devices are already themselves marked for extinction with a slew of wearable technology including smart watches and heads up displays seen inside the lens of non-prescription spectacles. Products such as Google Glass will shift information away from the mobile phone screen to an alternate viewing screen and experience.
  • Mass production and the notion of what manufacturing is will also be questioned as 3D printers rise on the retail, office, manufacturing and medical scenes. This next frontier is the ability to produce bespoke and one-off items on demand without the need for huge inventories and investment of time and resources. These 3D printers are the now the equivalent of the old dot matrix printers of the 1980s, incredible devices in their day which have advanced over the years to become ordinary and common place equipment.
  • Mixed in with all of these parallel, converging, competing and merging influences is the ever diminishing line between local, national, international, physical and virtual. The ability to source globally, adjust regionally and buy locally will become increasingly commonplace. Purchasing will know no borders. This will disrupt the notion of how, when, where, why and from whom we buy.
  • This year will also herald the start of a new era of human wellness. This minute-by-minute real-time insight into our body’s wellbeing gathered by wearable health devices will be analysed and sent to health and allied health professionals for further insights, comments and suggestions.

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