the future

What's next for services?

"What’s Next is a trends report offering clear, concise and non-sensationalist commentary on trends in society, business, science & technology, government and the environment. Each issue covers trends across twelve sectors and speculates about future risks and opportunities."

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The current issue depicts the following trends for services:

  • People will start to use services that do not require power.
  • People will seek services that give a sense of security and reduce stress.
  • We will see an increase in 'Home Grown' services.
  • People will start to use services aimed at helping people to exercise their brain.

Download the report here. I am curious about the idea of 'home grown' services. What is the best example you can think of?

Rethinking Banking

"Researchers at the Center for Future Banking, in collaboration with Bank of America, will explore how emerging technologies and insights into human behavior can transform the customers' experience and elevate the role of the bank in their financial lives. We seek to invent new ways to anticipate the needs and desires of customers down to the level of the individual, to put every customer in total control of his or her own financial futures, to rethink the experience of customer-bank interaction as virtual and physical reality become increasingly intertwined, and finally to leverage the unique position of a bank to make people's lives simpler and more fulfilling." 827826_682545371

Future Files

The first time I heard the term 'futurist' was last year at Intersections, when Richard Seymour was talking about designers looking at the present to interpret the future. This is an idea that is explored by various authors; William Gibson who said in 1999 "The future is already here - it is just unevenly distributed." and Neal Stephenson  in his book Snow Crash "The future is encoded in emergent behaviour" I listened to Richard Watson, author and futurist, via the RSA's Vision Video Webcasts, which includes many video lectures from inspiring thinkers.

I found it fascinating...see my notes below. Watsons history of the next 50 years gave me lots to think about. Check out his publication Now and Next. He is also the author and publisher of What’s Next and Future Files, Chief Futurist at the Future Exploration Network.

What really got me thinking was the way Watson described human needs. 'Needs' is a word designers use often...perhaps to flipantly. Ask yourself what the most important human needs are? Throughout history the answer has never really changed - we need love, recognition, security, repsect and control...

Imagine 2020

CNN and Ericsson are looking at the future in 2020. This site contains information on the future of nature, cities, space, living spaces, community, health, transport, and education.

The future of community looks at internet mums, virtual worlds, viral web crazes, with interviews from World Changing's Alex Steffen. The future of education looks at e-classrooms, virtual learning and wikipedia.

"Where classes take place in cafes and record shops -- and anyone can be a teacher ..."

Try out the online tests, go and explore the future. These future scenarios are full of design responsibility and opportunity...