The year started with chaos, or did it? The new reality is one we will get used to as we find solutions and progress forward. I am still somewhat skeptical about the consequences for the “big spenders” (e.g. Russia and Saudi Arabia); I have predicted the Oil Price at 30 USD for many years now and after three years of dropping we are finally there. With 80 USD in their budgets, the coming years will be tough, as I do not see any long term raise. The winner will be the US as they come up with solutions – as long as we keep Donald out of the driver-seat that is. Also in the field of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) there will be a lot of things happening, the machines will not be taking over the world just yet, but there are large breakthroughs to expect over the next months. Looking at the investments in start-ups throughout 2015, (although Q4 was a freeze – reported by Funderbeam), the biggest breakthrough and driving force will come from the US (out $104.6 Billion, $68.5bn was raised for startups headquartered in the US). Though I must say I have been excited to see a lot of action and exciting ventures emerging out of Asia, and I predict a lot of exciting progress in India in the near future.

Are we heading for a post digital era now? Let us at least kill of “Digital Transformation” – what is that anyway? Are there other options? Are companies looking to automate less, and to move away from digital solutions? No, obviously not. Let’s take a quick look at what is on the agenda for 2016.

6 Trends to watch out for (some more “exotic” thoughts included):

  1. 2015 was the “year of the drone”. Look for the first drones stable enough to carry people being tested this year, and potentially market ready in 2017 (there will be some regulation work to do, but at least the technology will be ready).
  2. We will see the light of the first jobs being performed by machines, where we confuse them for being humans, beginning with virtual assistant services and special tasks, later moving into connected systems for even more complex tasks where the first steps will be changing the fields of “search” and “eCommerce”. We will also make significant progress in how we define, understand, and most of all integrate artificial intelligence into our daily lives.
  3. Men will get fired as jobs are killed off. By 2030 1.5bn – 2bn (almost half) of the current jobs will disappear and be replaced. That being said, we will find a lot of new ones, but at least in 2016 more men than women (in %) will be let go as we start to change how we work at an ever-faster pace.
  4. The price of oil will not go up (leaving extreme external conditions out of these assumptions) as we replace it with renewables and the law of accelerating return kicks in.
  5. We will initiate a major “disruption” of our religions. The thoughts of the great philosopher Barauch de Spinoza will come alive as we change our view on what and how we define our belief-system, driven by technological and scientific progress which continues to fill the void by answering questions. In 2016, a 10-year period of major change will become evident.
  6. 2016 will be the year that mankind moves toward significant evidence that there is life on other planets – and/or that there have been ‘visits’ to our planet. It is not my intention to freak you out, so let’s stick with the following: By the end of 2016 we will know that we can live on other planets.

I am tempted to go for “cure cancer” as number seven, but unfortunately not in 2016, but we will get closer. “Internet of Things” and “Self-Driving Cars” are buzzwords, but these are pretty obvious.

The leaders of today need the philosophy of the past, paired with the scientific knowledge and technology of tomorrow. We need to understand that there is no “future” anymore, the changes are so rapid, the progress so fast, the information so vicious, that anything we might come up with and call “science fiction” is actually a reflection of the present. My goals for 2016 are clear. I will continue to study the work of great thinkers, and attempt to influence thoughts which have a positive affect the business world of tomorrow.

Let 2016 be a year where we dig more into “MENSCHLICHKEIT” and “SIMPLICITY”.

Watch out for more to come on these topics!