Post #50: Janus time
The image of the Roman God Janus is a potent one, especially at this time of the year. For those unaware, he is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks both to the future and to the past. With this being not only our 50th Blog post since inception in January, but also our last of 2019, it seems only appropriate to reflect on where we’ve come from and also where we may be headed.
Looking back, 2019 has been another busy year. Beyond launching the Future Trends Blog, your author travelled to 14 countries across three continents in order to understand the future better and share his conclusions with interested parties. From Manhattan to Munich and Copenhagen to Connecticut, we interacted with over 60 corporates as well as attending a handful of trade fairs. Readership of our Blog grew throughout the year with our most-commented upon piece being our visit to an Amazon Go store in San Francisco (post #39, “Automation and the future of retail”).
Looking forward, 2020 promises to be a period when the pace of innovation only likely further accelerates; where the transformative power of technology (as an enabler) touches more and more industries. We predict with a certain degree of confidence that the amount of data produced and consumed will only increase. However, for this data to have any value, it needs to be secured, analysed and stored effectively. Whether 2020 proves to be the year that 5G mobile technology goes mainstream is still unclear. Nonetheless, the Tokyo Olympics – which begins on 24 July – should provide a showcase for many technological innovations, especially in terms of robotics and augmented/ virtual reality.
There remain many challenges ahead. Consider that 1.2bn people have no access to electricity, more than 2bn do not have bank accounts and nearly a billion are short of food (per the United Nations). Those who provide solutions to these problems may be the winners of tomorrow.
Thank you all for your interest and support over the past year. The Blog will return in early January.
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