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2018 or 2168: the future isn’t yet written.

Amy Webb, founder of the The Future Today wrote this in the introduction of the 2018 Tech Trends report.

As stated: Like it or not, in 2018 leaders across all industries will confront difficult questions about the future of technology. They must do so using the context of history.

  • Five years ago, internet activist Aaron Swartz, who helped make information move more freely via the RSS tool he helped create, committed suicide. His work to make academic research and public records freely available to the public resulted in federal charges carrying potential penalties of $1 million in fines and up to 35 years in prison. Aaron’s suicide temporarily spurred debate, but it didn’t result in constructive action on digital access and more modern methods of protecting intellectual property.BRAAMBOS - tumblr_ntuz99ctsl1rxnekho1_1280

    In the coming year, we will see the emergence of a splintered internet, with new laws and regulations specific to geographic regions.

    • It was 10 years ago that Apple launched its App Store, an innovation that catapulted smartphones from the fringe to the mainstream. Mobile apps ushered in the social media era, revolutionized the digital ad market, and blurred the lines between our workplaces and homes.Yet as smartphone sales have now plateaued, mobile phone makers and service providers have yet to define theirnext act as we head into a post-app, post-smartphone era.

    • It’s also been 10 years since Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in history, setting off a global financial crisis. In the years since, we’ve seen a crypotocurrency frenzy, ever-powerful high frequency trading algorithms and the effective dismantling of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the U.S., which was created to help stave off the dangerous financial sector practices which led to the 2008 crash.• And this year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, who was shot on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. Yet America feels increasingly divided, in ways that are explicit (more white supremacist rallies are planned for 2018) and less obvious: roughly six-in-ten black STEM workers (62%) say they have experienced racial or ethnic discrimination at work, from earning less than a coworker who performed the same job to experiencing repeated, small slights.1 Outside of the U.S., Austria’s right-leaning chancellor, whose People’s Party rose to prominence via social media and has aligned with former members of the Nazi party, will become the president ofthe European Union. (It’s Austria’s turn to hold the position.)
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BRAAMBOS - tumblr_nsvwmkKBzN1u6ew2xo1_500 (1)Now more than ever, every organization shouldexamine the potential impact of tech trends—and leaders must be willing to take incremental actions. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company, a government agency, a start-up, a university, a foundation or a small business, you must factor the trends in the report into your strategic thinking for the coming year, and adjust your planning, operations and business models accordingly.

Failing to track trends in a meaningful way will put your competitive advantage, growth and survivability at risk.

Helping organizations see change early and calculate the impact of new trends is why the Future Today Institute publishes its annual Tech Trends Report. Now in its 11th year, the report focuses on mid- to late-stage emerging technologies that are on a growth trajectory. We have identified more than 225 trends for the coming year across 20 industries, and that broad scope is intentional. To understand the future of technology, you must consider the past, present and future of all things.

Otherwise, you’re essentially looking at the world through a pinhole.

As of the publication date, The Future Today Institute’s annual report has garnered more than six million cumulative views. We’re glad to see so many leadership teams all around the world using these trends as part of a formal, ongoing process to reduce risk, harness new opportunities and drive change within their fields.

Whether you’re thinking about 2018 or 2168—or any time in between—remember that the future isn’t yet written. You and your team have the power to build your preferred future, today.

Read the full report here:

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About Amy Webb

Amy Webb is a quantitative futurist. She is a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the Founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading future forecasting firm now in its second decade. Webb was named to the Thinkers50 Radar list of the 30 management thinkers most likely to shape the future of how organizations are managed and led and won the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar Award. She is a 2017-18 Delegate in the United States-Japan Leadership Program and was a 2014-15 Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where her research received a national Sigma Delta Chi award. She was also a Delegate on the former U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, where she worked on the future of technology, media and international diplomacy. Webb’s special area of research is artificial intelligence and has advised three-star generals, White House leadership and CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies on the future of AI.
Her most recent book, The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream (PublicAffairs/ Hachette, December 2016), explains how to predict and manage technological change. It was a Washington Post Bestseller, it was selected as one of Fast Company’s Best Books of 2016, was an Amazon’s best book of 2016 and won the Gold Axiom Award for business books.

Her upcoming book, The Great A.I. Awakening, is a manifesto our misplaced fears and optimism about the next era of computing, and why we must change course in the present.

About The Future Today Institute

The Future Today Institute researches emerging technologies at the fringes and tracks them as they move towards the mainstream. FTI’s pioneering, data-driven forecasting methodology and tools enable organization leaders to make better decisions about the future, today. FTI provides futures forecasting for Fortune 100 companies, the federal government, investment funds and VCs, media companies and other organizations.

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FTI has its origins in a future of news R&D shop Amy Webb founded in 2003, where she and her team investigated emerging technologies and built prototypes for digital publishing. In 2006, she founded Webbmedia Group, which advised primarily media and technology companies. Her deep background in media and technology proved valuable to outside industries at the dawn of this new Information Age. Now in its second decade, Webbmedia Group has a new name––The Future Today Institute––and an expanded scope.

Source: the embedded report and LinkedIn

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