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The Counterintuitive CEO

20-Year Predictions

George Colony
December 11, 2017

At a client dinner last week in Amsterdam we turned from talking digital transformation and customer experience to a more future-oriented topic:  What’s going to happen in the next 20 years? It was a great group, including some of the most visionary companies in the Benelux.

Here are a few of the 20-year predictions that were flying around the room…

1. Climate change impact, especially the cost, will outweigh all other issues in nations and society.

2. The Big Four accounting firms will become the Big Eight. The legacy four will be joined by four digital-native up-starts.

3. No commercial vehicle will move unless it is 100% filled. Why? The cost of energy and the cost of  CO2 emissions will not allow it.

4. Human brains will link directly to devices and media via cognitive imaging.

5. Over-population will become a massive global issue, driving public policy and investments.

6. Wine will move north. Because of warming, Italian and French vines will die. In Europe, wine will move to Norway. In North America wine will move from California to Canada.

7. War in space — maybe on the moon.

8. The United States isn’t united. It will be divided into three countries: West America, Middle America, and East America.

9. No cows on the planet. All meat will be “printed” or grown at home.

10. Everyone’s DNA will be known. There will be nowhere to hide.

11. Therefore, human dignity will be under attack…

12. Therefore, a new age of ethics and rights will dawn, protecting people against digital and biological intrusion. The great-grandson of GDPR will be wildly popular with consumers and citizens.

13. Therefore, Google and Facebook will be history.

14. Families will be more important. Because of longer life-expectancy there will now be four generations living together. And the impersonal interactions of digital life and society will create more bonds at home. More global will equal more local

15. It will be illegal for a human to drive a vehicle on a major highway. Vehicles will be travelling at 180 mph, one foot from eachother, informed via real-time peer-to-peer communications. A human would never be able to drive with the precision required by future nemobiles (self-driving cars).

Far-fetched? As Bill Gates once said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”

Please note:  If you want Forrester analysts’ measured and researched predictions for 2018, you can go here.

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