Published January 2022
Several Trends and Influences for 2022.
This is an excellent article to read at the beginning of 2022 for anyone wondering what the future might hold for business or their own communities. I started the year by visiting Zimbabwe again. My last visit, a few years back, included an unusual experience: my return British Airways flight was grounded because of some sort of diplomatic ‘issue’ between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The ‘tension’ at the time was reported to have originated from Grace Mugabe allegedly having hit someone with an extension lead in Sandton. In spite of this, all my visits to Zimbabwe have been wonderful experiences. This article is not about Zimbabwe.
It is about information I was there to share with a civil engineering business trying to plot out their future in this changing World. They want to be Future Thinkers. ‘Such’ information we should ALL know, so without further ado, and in no order of priority, let’s discuss several trends and influences we need to keep in mind when planning our future. All these subjects are important. I have unpacked many in greater detail with articles available on my website.
Like many trends, was met with resistance, but this avalanche cannot be stopped now that the commercial benefits are clear. The markets of the future will have far less staff, between 30-60% less depending on your business sector, and few industries will be spared. New jobs will be created from Automation, but far less than lost. Reskilling the current labour force must be made priority. Many children starting school today will work in a company yet to be conceived. What we teach at school must be updated.
- The Gig Economy. People will have more ‘work’ but less ‘jobs’. Expect the hiring landscape to change, labour laws and the concept of retirement.
- Climate Change. Make no mistake we are in an extinction level event. I am not being melodramatic. In short: we are responsible, it’s happening faster than we thought, it will affect every living thing on this planet, it cannot be stopped, but we can mitigate the effects if we act now. This battle needs to be championed by the youth. All people and businesses need to see what they ‘do’ through the looking glass of carbon budget and carbon footprints. The vast majority of people have no idea how to calculate their carbon usage. You can consult with me on this matter.
- Urbanization and mass Migration. Smart Cities, changes to the job markets, access to resources, effects of Climate Change and several other factors are going to see huge numbers of people moving around. This will have considerable social economic and political impact for both emerging and developed nations.
- The Ethical Shopper and Business. Are you one of these yet? As a company, understand that if you do not run an ethical and sustainable business, you will lose clients to the competitor that is. As a consumer, understand what you do with your money can either contribute towards ecocide or protect ecosystems.
- Future homes, schools, hospitals, office blocks, recreational buildings, roads, airports, shipping ports and many other structures will be fundamentally different in the coming years. Size, location, function, materials we use, and many other dynamics will change the physical landscape around us. Many structures we are so use too may very soon be redundant. This trend will play out fast. Think about all those hotels built and now empty because of a simple App called AirBnB, or a natural disaster like Covid.
- The E-World. E-Sports, E-Shopping and Metaverse. People are going to be living, working, playing and shopping in virtual worlds, perhaps almost exclusively in the near future. How does one get their business into this new VR space? Old school marketing, retail, and trade of all sorts will be fundamentally dismantled.
- Shift from fossil fuels to renewables. First really slowly and then all at once. This change will have monumental impact on every company and family. One really needs to take an objective look at everything we see and do on a day to day basis, and think about how each of these ‘things’ will be influence by this change. We need to think three steps ahead. For example: future cars will not only be electric but will drive themselves. What do we do with old infrastructure like stop signs, petrol stations or the billions of fossil fuel cars, what about traffic police officers? What new structures and laws will need to be in place?
- Insuring and Financing ‘future things’. For example: Eco and container homes. Banks need to work out how to value a container home so they can offer a bond, while insurance companies need to work out how to insure them for a fair value price.
People are going to have access to more services and things in the future, but own fewer things. ‘Loan’ and ‘debt’ businesses can expect to suffer.
- Subscription and Circular Economy. Everything (hopefully) we use in the future will either last longer, or will be easily repurposed or recycled. We will ‘rent’ property and equipment and ‘subscribe’ to services. The commercial ramifications of this change will be astronomical, but there is a window of opportunity here for the early bird business. Clothing, home and office equipment, personal items like jewellery, books, camping equipment, you name it, you will be able to ‘rent’ them.
- Change in the way we farm, produce, store and transport food. Are you ready to eat ‘fake meat’ or harvest food at the office parking lot? Are you prepared to purchase only local goods or pay a heavy carbon tax?
- Intercountry and intercontinental free trade. A concept I hope is truly realized.
- The Singularity, expected within the next ten years. I am so excited and scared. While there are many descriptions of what constitutes this moment, suffice to say it will be when we truly realized that the entire human races collective ability to ‘think’ is less than the computer entities we have created. I hope that our ‘creation’ learns compassion for us all. A skill we have never mastered if we are truthful. Quantum mechanics, AI and new scientific advancements will help us discover more answers to this universe and perhaps even others.
- Space travel, space tourism, space farming and space-law. Once we become a space faring species, how we see ourselves and our planet will never be the same. I plan to visit SpaceX later this year, look out for that article.
- Technology in our body and animals. Think about Human Augmentation and Trans-Human Technology. All fascinating stuff. For example: Mojo Vision Contact Lenses already available. Do we start to change DNA to create better versions, playing God? Do we infuse our body with Nano Technology? Do we upload ourselves onto a PC to live forever? We get to make many of these choices soon.
- Medicine and human care. In ten years’ time, and at a global scale, will not resemble anything like it is today. The changes will have massive implications, affect millions of people’s jobs, while increasing access to care to millions more. Life expectancy will perhaps double if not become an obsolete concept. Our population’s percentage will include a lot more ‘old timers’. Do we bother with life insurance?
- Natural and man-made disasters. These will increase in frequency and severity. Why? It’s inevitable for so many reasons. You might want to read my manuscript on Amazon called ‘Lessons for the Future Thinker from the Coronavirus’. ‘We’ should have prepared for ‘Covid’ years back. In the future we will prepare society, laws and our economy to be more resilient for the ‘unexpected-expected’.
- Shuffling and stumbling Super Powers. How the USA, China, India and Russia ‘work’ with one another in the coming years will have profound influence on Climate Change in addition to World trade. Crudely speaking, the Middle East is less important in the future World because their fossil fuels are a less ethical and interesting commodity for the Ethical Shopper. What will be the new ‘oil’ and resource we go to war for? Will we move towards a true united nations or continue working on being independent sovereigns. Patriotism, as a concept, will be less important as we live and work in space, and e-realms.
- Shift away from Government reliance. Ushered on by digital trade, self-sufficient communities and Smart Cities, all enjoying a level of independence from the ‘national state’. We will see more micro grids for power and resources. This ‘freedom’ will help communities weather the ‘storms’ of natural disasters and the effects of Climate Change. This shift will take place faster in developing nations.
- Commodities and supply pressures will increase: water, land, food, and many other things like computer chips. At the time I wrote this article there was a shortage of potato chips as well! Everything we have taken for granted will become less available and more costly. The equality gab will increase.
- The future of Africa. Africa has tremendous untapped potential. If it is used efficiently, and ethically, the continent will play a profound and positive role in the future of all people on Earth.
- Governments will need to find new sources of income. Many funding models will soon become redundant, with income avenues drying up: taxes on fuel or income from selling services such as electricity.
- Expect many new regulations related to Climate Change. I predict many mistakes will be made here, as was seen with regulations related to Covid. France, at the time I wrote this article, made it a requirement that vehicle adverts must have a disclaimer about the harm of cars that use fossil fuels? The way we consume cannot continue, and our harmful and unsustainable habits must be regulated until each one of us makes the decision to be an Ethical and Sustainable Consumer. On the other side of the same coin, those of us who have businesses need to ensure we have an ethical and sustainable company. This change needs to happen extremely quickly.
- E-economy, E-Trade and Blockchain systems. There are huge changes already underway. Some believe we will see the collapse of the banking sector as we know it, and with that the economy, and some super powers. My theory is traditional banks will diversify into other fields adding extra value services, but will have a smaller part of the pie, sharing the space with newbie companies and fintech businesses. Transparency and accountability will be improved.
- The Basic Income Subsidy or Grant. Once implemented, we can enjoy profound positive effects on our social fabric, quality of life and ethos for personal advancement. We will see this change in developed nations first.
- Flying transport and a shift back to rail. I expect we will see ‘smart rail’ and mere mortals accessing airspace soon.
- Freedom of e-rights, e-communication and e-expression. An area of extreme concern for me while humanity finds its ethical footing in this new realm.
- E-safety and E-behaviour, especially for children needs to be given more attention. We need to learn how to treat and care for one another and ourselves in this new e-space. A lot of what we do with technology is unhealthy.
- E-Crimes. Businesses and Governments have not yet come to terms with the massive current and future risks threatening their operations, clients and the general public. A huge educational drive is required and preoperational systems need to be developed and become part of the new norm. I do belief that right now an e-attack on governments, financial institutions and organizations that care for major services are the greatest risks threatening our ‘way of life’. Data, e-security and e-ethics must have an independent oversight organization, chaired by citizens, to help reduce abuses on e-resources and e-rights.
I am so excited to be alive at this point in humanity’s story. The risks and opportunities are astounding. I believe the legacy this generation will forge for itself will either be that of great regret and shame, or of extreme pride and humility.
‘A Future Thinker’
The Business and Environmental Technologist.
Jean-Pierre Murray-Kline is an entrepreneur who runs several online businesses. He is a published Author who researches, consults and facilitates strategy sessions about the most important matters affecting our generation and the changes to technology, business and the environment.
- Digital Architect & Scenario Planning.
- Online Marketing
- Keynote Talks
Facebook: (100k Followers): https://www.facebook.com/jeanpierremurrayklineSA/
Published January 2022
Read more articles