Blended Futures of Aging & Business Innovation
Communications and convenience giant (Nasdaq: RIMM) RIM, the maker of the ubiquitous Blackberry, sees a number of defining trends ahead. These reflect the themes of my own research and are cornerstones of the MIT AgeLab
Motley Fool's Dan Dzombak January 26 article, "4 Key Trends RIM's Futurist Foresees," reports on a talk given by RIM's Manager of Innovation & Technology Futurist, Joseph Dvorak, PhD. Dr Dvorak identifies four trends affecting the future of the smart phone:
(1) Aging world: the median age on the planet in 2000 was 26, by mid-century it will be 36 and the number of people over 60 will triple -- to nearly two billion people;
(2) Connectivity: smart phones, other devices and wireless providers will blur activity, place, and push trends we already see in social media and interaction;
(3) Empowered consumers: Consumers will continue to adopt tools that help them monitor and manage their relationship with companies, e.g., social media that advises on everything from restaurant choices, to financial services, to 'hey, where's my package?'
(4)'Values' purchasing (e.g., green consumers). Values purchasing is not just for kids. Where there is a rise in 'color causes' (my phrase) -- buying green, supporting pink, and helping red -- aging baby boomers are increasingly interested in their social impact and legacy. That is, 'what am I contributing and what will I leave behind?'
Insight & Innovations
Alone these trends are interesting and business as well as government must be aware of their possible impact on the future. However, the future of aging and innovation is a blending of these trends - not the extension of any one.
What happens when older consumers are ubiquitously connected, empowered and make purchase decisions on values beyond cost and quality? For example, what might wireless-enabled health or caregiving services in the pocket of an aging boomer look like? Will ubiquitous computing power, social media, and value purchasing create virtual collaborative networks of service providers for sandwiched boomers today and frail boomers tomorrow? Can you imagine the emergence of a 24/7 on-demand, always 'visible' on your smart phone, green, transportation service for a social network of 'friends?'
The business opportunity is not to be simply aware of these trends, but to blend them, envision competing realities and to see these alternative futures as drivers of product and service innovation.
Lumina Foundation is partnering with Big Think to unearth the next large-scale, rapid innovation in post-high school education. Enter the competition here!
Butter supply and life satisfaction are linked – but by causation or correlation?
- Haiti and other countries with low butter supply report low life satisfaction.
- The reverse is true for countries like Germany, which score high in both categories.
- As the graph below shows, a curious pattern emerges across the globe. But is it causation or correlation?
Sometimes the basics really matter.
- Jordan Peterson believes that only by taking care of your immediate environment can you then move onto bigger challenges.
- The idea stems from millennials who want to change capitalist economic structures though can be applied broadly.
- In a distracted age, our inability to pay attention to our environment is leading to increased rates of anxiety and depression.
The catacombs of Paris. Secret graffiti beneath NYC. The hidden cities of Cappadocia. Writer and explorer Will Hunt is your philosophical tour guide to what lies beneath.
- "The surface of the earth is where we're rational . . . Part of us dreads the chaos, and part of us is always attracted to it."
- "There were these things hanging from the ceiling…long strands of bacteria called "snotsicles"… But at our feet was a natural stream that had been running through Brooklyn forever."
- "It's…about death. Undergoing a death. We're going into the other world and then retreating to the surface… changed in some way."
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