Will machines become more intelligent than humans? Will foods in our fridge speak to each other using radio waves, then come up with options for tonight's menu? What about a pill that improves your memory? Or a front door that tells you if the person knocking is a stranger? These are just some of the forecasts about how the world will change in the next fifty years that Richard Watson explores in Future Files. William Gibson meets Charles Handy in this witty look at our possible future, filled with provocative predictions about how the world will really look in fifty years' time. Future Files examines emerging patterns and developments in society, technology, economy and business, forming educated speculations as to where these all will lead. Watson predicts that the 5 most important trends for the next 50 years will be: 1. Aging 2. Power Shift Eastwards 3. Global Connectivity 4. GRIN Technologies – Genetics, Robotics, Internet and Nanotechnology 5. The Environment Watson's book, however, is not just an entertaining bunch of predictions. Indispensable for business analysts, strategists and organizations that need to stay ahead of the game, the goal of Future Files is to liberate our collective and individual imaginations so that we can see the familiar in a new light and the unfamiliar with greater clarity – to make individuals and businesses think about where we are going and to consider whether that's really where we want to be.
Richard Watson is an author, speaker and consultant who helps individuals and organizations to think ahead, with a particular emphasis on scenario planning. He is the founder of nowandnext.com, a website that documents global trends, and is co-founder of Strategy Insight, a scenario planning consultancy. His clients have included, among others, IBM, McDonald's, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Virgin, Department of Education, Public Libraries NSW, Ikea, Toyota, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Richard also writes for a number of business publications worldwide, including Fast Company (US), Future Orientation (Denmark), and Retail Banking Review (Australia). Richard was born in the UK and divides his time, rather unsuccessfully, between London and Sydney. Apart from two future minds (aged 8 and 10), his other interests include old cars, old wine, and fixing things in sheds.
"Readers will enjoy Watson's browsable book, which states its organizing principles right off: The 5 Trends That Will Shape the Next 50 Years include aging (it's not just America's Social Security system that's going to be strained); power-shifts to China (manufacturing), India (services) and the Middle East (finances); connectivity (cell phones, cell phones everywhere, and not a thought to think); GRIN technologies (advances in genetics, robotics, the Internet and nanotechnology that will have computers outsmarting us); and the environment (with sustainability and conservation becoming badges of honor)." – Micheal Bowdon, The Pacific Northwest Inlander "Future Files is filled with startling facts from the present, from which are derived staggering insights about the next half century. It examines emerging trends and developments in society, technology, economy, and business, and makes educated speculation as to where they might take us. Future Files will prove indispensable to business planners, strategists or anyone that needs to stay ahead of the game." – UChannel, Princeton University "Provocative, entertaining, full of surprising facts ... A book to help you decide whether the world is going mad or possibly becoming more intelligent." – Theodore Zeldin "Woven together brilliantly." – Richard Hytner, Deputy President, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide "Cheaper than a crystal ball and twice as fun, this book by futurist and web creator Watson examines what 'someday' could be like, based on the five key trends of aging; power shift to the East; global connectivity; the 'GRIN' technologies of Genetics, Robotics, Internet, and Nanotechnology; environmental concerns, and 50 less general but equally influential developments that will radically alter human life by the year 2050." – Publishers Weekly