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On the Horizon Futures Report

On the Horizon Futures Report

Curated by Pamela McConathy Schied, MS, Futures Studies in Commerce, College of Technology, University of Houston; Principal, Foresight Communications Group,

Digital Natives Will Drive Technological Change in Years Ahead

digital nativesAs Digital Natives come of age, they will drive an exponential revolutionary advancement of technology. (Digital Natives have grown up in a world where interaction and dependence on technology is normal; for this generation, “building, modifying and hacking consumer technology is taken for granted.”) Keith Coats of TomorrowToday (, sees vast changes ahead on many levels of society – social, informational, physical, etc.  In a recent issue of The Futurist, (, he says the home of tomorrow will shift from being “technologically smart” to being “socially networked.” Smart surfaces within homes will adapt to various uses as necessary; cloud intelligence will allow us to interface, anywhere, any way, and access advice and recommendations by tapping into the social graph, wirelessly and without devices such as keyboards, screens, remotes, etc. Manufacturing will move toward a human scale and become re-localized. At the core, a mind-shift is occurring. We may be able to predict some things, but there will be plenty of surprises, twists and turns along the way.

DHL Explores Future Scenarios of the Logistics Business

DHLDeutsche Post DHL conducted a futures research study to help it anticipate and prepare for the global and industry changes that lie ahead. Entitled “Delivering Tomorrow: Logistics in 2050,” the study centers around five different scenarios of what the future may look like based on a variety of key factors, including business and consumption patterns, technological developments and climate change.  One scenario suggests a world where globalization has been reversed. Another sees a shift toward green growth, while yet another details a world where individualization and personalized consumption become commonplace. The goal of scenario planning is to assist individuals and organizations to navigate through the “new normal” of today’s fast-changing world – testing existing expectations, allowing new strategies to bubble up and improving the quality of strategic thinking. (

“3D Printing” May Be Disruptive Next Big Thing

image001While the concept of 3D printing may be tough to get your head around, you likely will be hearing a lot more about it in the years ahead. The technology first used in the 1980s, 3D printing is already demonstrating its capabilities and broad application potential. Many believe it has almost unlimited potential over the long term and will be a monumental game changer for numerous industries, once adopted on a large scale. Basically, a digital file or program is downloaded to a 3D printer to “make a variety of objects using a laser or extruder – the material output of the printer – that moves along an axis to build an object in three dimensions, layer by layer.” Companies are already using 3D printers to create elaborate and functioning prototypes for artificial limbs and organic tissues grown from cell samples for pharmaceutical drug-discovery and development, as well as final products such as parts from plastic and PVC, aluminum, Titanium and much more. (, YouTube demonstration, The Economist


  • Ethical Clothing Comes of Age…Fashionistas are starting to see chic eco- and ethically conscious clothing on the Paris and New York runways. Socially minded designers are embracing materials sourced from artisans in countries experiencing political and economic unrest to create styles that go beyond organic fibers into the realm of leave-no-trace manufacturing and union-quality working conditions.  (
  • Immortality in 30 Years…Ray Kurzweil, a scientist hailed by industry leaders and moguls such as Bill Gates, Google, Forbes and NASA, claims that within 30 years we could be able to travel throughout the universe at will, think thousands of times faster and live as long as we want. In his book, The Singularity is Near, Kurzweil scientifically backs up his theories by citing the exponential increase in technology we have been and are currently experiencing. (
  • What Cell Phones Have Replaced…a recent survey found that, at least in the UK, 4 in 10 smartphone users said their phone was “more important for accessing the Internet than any other device.” Smart phones today already have the ability to replace books, newspapers, magazines, maps, GPS, digital cameras, voice recorders, iPods, gaming devices, airline boarding passes, in-person banking and financial transactions, entertainment tickets, credit/debit cards, television and more. On the horizon? Driver’s licenses and other forms of identification, and potentially our desktop and laptop computers.

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