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2019 Predictions: Futurist Reveals Top 5 Trends of 2019 That You Won't Want to Miss

31 Jan 2019

Top Trends for 2019 and beyond according to Swedish- Australian Futurist

The beginning of the year is always a popular one for future gazing, and as a futurist it’s an excellent time to nail my predictions for the year (or ten!) ahead. Will your job exist in ten years’ time? What skills do we need to be teaching our children to prepare them for the roles of the future? Will robots start doing our shopping for us? Will blockchain change your life for the better? In such a fast-paced age, and technology changing the face of the future at an alarming rate, these are all questions with answers impossible to predict - until now.

Here, I share my top 5 predictions for 2019 and the near horizon future:

1. Travel in a biometric age

By 2021, the way we travel will be a far cry from today. To board an international flight will require little more than stopping to pose for a photo thanks to facial recognition technology. As I mentioned in this interview with ABC Radio Interview, this means no more passports, tickets, or long customs queues. Rather, travellers will simply pause for a camera which will have inbuilt facial scanning, and then pass through customs and immigration in a matter of minutes – all thanks to biometrics. Increasingly, Alexa will also play a big part in our travel, with the robot offering advice to consumers on their travel plans. In fact, robo-travel-advice will become mainstream within the next 3-5 years. In just a few short years, we may not even have to travel at all. Virtual Reality will become so good that it will allow us to take virtual holidays where we’ll even be able to taste, smell and feel through VR headsets. This takes ASMR to a whole new level. 

AMEX Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson on The Future of Travel*Anders Sörman-Nilsson keynote speaking at the AMEX Global Travel Conference in San Diego, 2018

2. We are all cyborgs

Brain implants letting us read each other’s minds and augmented reality that will enable those that are legally or partially blind to wear ‘smart specs’ to help them with everyday tasks, are all technologies of the near future. We have already seen a few examples of Robo-advisors in action, with many believing they are faster, cheaper and more impartial than humans, according to a recent global study of financial services customers, but it’s nothing compared with what’s to come! Given the recent Australian Royal Commission into banking, maybe robots will be more humane and empathetic than the human bankers of yesteryear. Cyborg Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson

3. No smart parents will encourage their kids to become doctors and lawyers

According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of children today will end up in jobs that simply don’t even exist yet, including coding ethicists to problem-solve eventualities that may arise with future technologies, or experience creators who will work for companies in the ‘transformation economy’ offering customers experiences and self-development to transform themselves. We are entering a 2nd Renaissance and a creativity explosion, where robots will take care of the boring, admin jobs for us, and jobs will focus on creativity and emotional intelligence. As such, unlike when we were younger, and creativity was stifled in children, these skills and thinking outside the box will be crucial for future roles, and not something we get our hands slapped for. As parents, we must ensure our children are being taught these in school, as well as being adaptable and able to think critically to prepare them to thrive in the workforce of the future. Guthrie Jensen shares a great infographic on the skills we will all need to survive in 2020.

4. Blockchain will change your life for the better

This technology will enable smart, self-executing contracts to digitise trust. Commercial transactions that are readable by machines will be transformed, with property transactions, mortgage settlements and more using digitised trust and opening up human willingness to engage in binding agreements. Insurance will also benefit from blockchain-based solution. For example, LumenLab, MetLife Asia’s Singapore-based innovation centre and a client of mine, has created a blockchain-based insurance solution that offers pregnant women financial protection in case of gestational diabetes. Insurance Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson

5. Shopping will take on a whole new meaning

Expect Artificial Intelligence to take on job roles, cashier-less stores to pop up, biometric payment to become the norm, with retailers allowing customers to scan the veins in their thumbs as payment and facial recognition technology as our physical tills which will offer discounts for smiling customers. In fact, we soon won’t even need to ‘pay’ at all. Customers will be able to choose items from stores and leave without handing over any details as shops will have all of your data stored - to bill you digitally and seamlessly. E-commerce companies such as Alibaba are already using AI in amazing ways, with other brands like CaliBurger even allowing customers to pay using AI-enabled kiosks, and smiling to authorise payment. Only authentic smiles count however

If you want to dig a bit deeper and decode these trends further to see how you can apply them in your life or business why not check out my tv or radio interviews below?

Channel 7 Futurist on what work and life will look like in 2019 and beyond


You can also listen to my futurist interview with ABC Radio on the Top Predictions for 2019 and the near horizon below:


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