People who know my work may remember that I am researching for a new book about the future of people at work. In order to accomplish that in a useful and timely way, I feel I need to identify and understand the trajectory of the movement I see occurring, so as to be able to recognise its significance. These 3 'predictions' for 2017 are an experiment in future-scoping. I will monitor them through the year and, particularly, as 2017 comes to a close. I am hoping I will learn something about how to read trends from the exercise.
1. A world-changing event will happen in the first few months of the year. There are some potentially challenging situations that we are already expecting, with the coming of President Trump. The kind of event I am talking about is one we cannot possibly predict. It may be ecological, political or financial- or perhaps something else entirely.
2. Social media will increasingly be a platform for debates between politicians and electors, and where those wishing to understand emerging trends will look for information. This will work best if politicians use the opportunity to listen, as well as sharing their views.
3. People will use emotional impact as a way of organising our experience. This is the next stage in the process where experiences are becoming more important than possessions. It also emphasises a capacity that, so far, remains essentially organic rather than digital. We will look to our emotional intelligence to guide us in situations that are too complex for intellectual understanding.
These particular aspects of the way the near future might unfold have emerged out of a study of:
· Face-to-face conversations with people who are concerned with developing their awareness of the way they engage with the world.
· Monitoring of social media.
· Attention to wider broadcast and print media.
· Personal experience, reflection and thinking, and also some sensing and intuition. I call this ‘reading the field’.
These three ‘predictions’ have been chosen particularly because they reflect three different aspects of experience. The world-changing event is concerned with the broadest context in which we live our lives. Dialoguing with politicians via social media reflects an aspect of interpersonal communication. Making meaning from emotional impact is about the self, and the way we, as individuals engage with the world. Of course, all three aspects: individual, interpersonal and contextual, are significant.