Thinking about the future – Part 1

I don’t know about you, but I can feel the future creeping in faster and faster each day. Whether it’s news about electric cars or robots taking our jobs. Every day we’re reminded that the future is coming…whether we want it to or not.

I’ve always been interested in technology. For the most part, I sit on the periphery – reading, watching, listening. I’m not an expert in anything specific. I’m a little bit of a geek, but not full geek when it comes to technology. In fact, as I’ve got older I’ve leaned more to technology that works, rather than getting enjoyment out of fixing, repairing and building.

I’ve got friends that are way more geekier than I am, and that’s who I tap for opinions, ideas and discussions.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. Not only what’s going to happen decades from now, but also what’s happening right now that’s changing the future.

What I’ve come to realise is that the future is already here. What’s happening right now is what will shape our future.

I’m very much a ‘bigger picture’ thinker – not getting too deep into anyone topic or trend, but rather taking a more holistic view.

I’m specifically interested in how technology is shaping how we do business, and how we as consumers making buying decisions. After all, that is my business. It’s also my business to make sure I don’t go out of business, so keeping up to date with technological trends is key to making sure I stay relevant. I’d imagine the same is true for you.

“Before the end of this century, 70 percent of today’s occupations will likewise be replaced by automation- including the job you hold” – Kevin Kelly

On the personal side of things I’ve got an interest too. My kids and my family – I want to be aware of how our world is changing so I can support them. With a better idea of technological trends I will hopefully be in a position to guide them, or at least have a clue what they are talking about when they grow up.

Born in 1981, technology has been around me from a young age. Fortunately my parents worked in the technology industry and I can recall a computer being in the house from a young age. I was born before the Internet, but grew up with it. I was born before mobile devices, but grew up with them. Technology has been a big part of my life, and I’ve always wanted what’s new.

More recently my interest has gained traction.

All systems go…

Thinking back to Inbound 2016 (November 2016), the presentation that excited me the most was from Mitch Joel – Virtually There: How Virtual and Augmented Reality Will Become The Ideal Brand Experience. (Trying to hunt down a version of this)

I was sitting close to the front of the room. Cara beside me, and Marcus Sheridan and Philip Oakley were sat behind us. In the main, I was there to get to know and meet Mitch, and everything else was a bonus.

Something happened in that room. Mitch switch me on. He enabled me.

Ever since the presentation I’ve not been able to stop talking and thinking about the future of technology – 360, VR, AR, AI…etc.

I’m by no stretch of the imagination an expert in any of these topics, or have the desire to be…yet. But I am interested in finding out where my interests will be. In other words, I’m prepared to take the journey.

More recently I’ve put greater effort in to reading books and challenging myself to study and go deeper. It’s OK having discussions and reading and sharing blogs and videos…but there’s a real desire for me to go a little further – into study mode.

A few weeks ago I asked Mitch for some book recommendations and I’ve started digging and following the threads through the books and blogs.

I thought it would be interesting to share some of these ‘early-learning stage’ books and blogs with you. Perhaps you also feel that it’s important to keep up to date and gain a better understanding of future technological trends.

If so, this is where I am right now (August 2017), and these are the resources that I’m studying.

Books

  1. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly – http://amzn.to/2xfUU7V (Amazon UK)
  2. The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda – http://amzn.to/2xfHNUg (Amazon UK)
  3. Non-Obvious 2017: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict the Future by Rohit Bhargava – http://amzn.to/2xfPo59 (Amazon UK)
  4. Better & Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas by Jeremy Gutsche – http://amzn.to/2wlQujd (Amazon UK)
  5. Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis – http://amzn.to/2x301sJ (Amazon UK)
  6. WTF?: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us by Tim O’Reilly – http://amzn.to/2xfTKJu (Amazon UK – Pre-Order)
  7. How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody by Abby Covert – http://amzn.to/2wlQRuo (Amazon UK)
  8. Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else bu David Balzer – http://amzn.to/2x34Wd6 (Amazon UK)
  9. This Will Make You Smarter by John Brockman – http://amzn.to/2x34M5w (Amazon UK)
  10. Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman – http://amzn.to/2xfQYnr (Amazon UK)
  11. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance – http://amzn.to/2vUwwJl (Amazon UK)

Blogs

  1. Brain Pickings by Maria Popova – https://www.brainpickings.org/
  2. Wait But Why by Tim Urban – https://waitbutwhy.com/
  3. Trendhunter – https://www.trendhunter.com
  4. Singularity University – https://su.org/
  5. Futurity – http://www.futurity.org/
  6. Kevin Kelly – http://kk.org/

Technology has a huge impact on how we communicate with our customers and sell our products and services. So, if you are a business owner or a marketer, there’s a very good chance that this will be something you want to learn more about too.

If you are a parent, or planning to be, then you probably also feel like you should get you’re head around what the future might look like.

I’m planning to be alive for at least another 60 years and I want to make sure I give myself and my family the best chance at living a good life.

I’ve called this ‘Part 1’ – I’ve no idea what ‘Part 2’ will be, but I know there will be more from me on this topic.

Your turn

I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas and options about the future. Jump into the comments section below and let share what’s on your mind

  • What books, blogs or resources would you add to this list?
  • Why is it important for you to have a better understand of the future?
  • What concerns do you have about the future?

DFTBA!

Chris.

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About Chris Marr

Chris is the leading voice of the growing Content Marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing. His drive comes from a desire to help people break free from the world of interruption marketing.