horEYEzon 2014 – a sneak peek at the year ahead

2014-Tech-Trends-Impacting-Business2014 will take us on an upward trajectory, rising out of the doom and gloom and economic self-exile of the previous five years as we collectively accept the past, begrudgingly understand its social, cultural and financial ramifications will be with us for many years to come and decide not to wallow anymore, but instead to refashion and relearn normal.

The world of 2014 will represent a post technology boom one in which we will still see countless innovations and disruptive technologies, but the technology high we used to get from all things digitally new will be much harder to get, as we persist in taking for granted how far we have come and what we have achieved in the last decade of digital evolution.

Our desire for all things nostalgia will fade as we have less need, post-recession, for romanticising the halcyon times gone by, remembered and revered through rose coloured glasses and instead we look forward to take the best of the past and repurpose it and make it sleek, authentic, fresh and tomorrow worthy.

2014 will be the year of the entrepreneur and intrapreneur as we evolve further into a society that values the work of the individual and the few. Frontier innovation fighters discovering and blazing new paths are our future super heroes and on the back of many years of little or no innovation investment and corporations holding their financial breath we will see purse strings loosen and investment in new becoming more common.

The rise of internal and community innovation hubs will become a more ordinary part of our fast changing work landscape and the desire and ability to tap into innovation funding and diverse thinking both on and off-line will grow as collectively we begin to replace the knee-jerk short term planning we have endured for the past decade with a more medium term outlook horizon.

Enmeshed in this evolving philosophy is a growing desire to tilt at windmills. In many areas, including space exploration, transport, health and citizen’s welfare corporations are rising over governments and the fortress walls of historically entrenched government offerings tumble down to allow in private enterprise providers.

In the broader business arena we will see new players and non-traditional players snapping at the heels of traditional long term players in areas including banking, telecommunications and health. Everything is up for grabs in this new digital era.

To fuel this appetite for growth 2014 will see sharing and collaboration come to mainstream business and personal attention as we realise that the traditional gold standard of have all, do all, know all no longer serves us as well as it once did and that it is not necessarily the ownership of the means of production that brings us wealth, but the effective use of it. This new normal of reaching out to a broader community and of forming crowd companies that can collaboratively and exponentially advance our own pursuits will continue to become mainstream management and personal mantra.

Wisdom is oil, both as a fuel and as a scarce and valuable commodity. In 2014 in our growing insatiable thirst for all things knowledgeable and wise will have us speed up our journey to synthetic thinking as we evolve our digital brains to augment our organic brain storage and analytical capabilities.

Most of us already rely on our digital devices to store and recall phone numbers, appointments, birthdays and life’s minutia. The next stage in this thought metamorphosis is for our digital world to use this intimate knowledge of who we are and what we are, found inside our mobile devices, with real time information flying digitally around us and to blend the two to provide us with a deeper more insightful, more place and time appropriate understanding of our own unique two- thousand-and-me hyperpersonalised world.

Information for this (r)evolution in thinking and interacting will be constantly added to by billions of devices that will continue to become connected throughout 2014; each with their own unique IP address, each searchable, discoverable and remotely controlled through our mobile devices allowing us to turn appliances on and off, start motor vehicles at a distance, change house temperature, find locations and items and send instructions from one machine to another without the need for human intervention.

2014 will also draw a clear line in the sand for the demise of large format desk bound computers and as we send it into the pages of antiquity, the rise of mobile cloud enabled devices will come to the fore.

These mobile devices, on the eve of their ascendancy, are already themselves marked for extinction with 2014 heralding in a slew of wearable devices including smart watches and heads up displays seen inside the lens of non-prescription spectacles with products like Google Glass shifting information away from the mobile phone screen to an alternate viewing screen and experience.

Mass production and the notion of what manufacturing is will also be questioned as 3D printers rise on the retail, office, manufacturing and medical scenes. This next frontier in making and having is the ability to produce bespoke and one-off items on demand, without the need for huge inventories and investment of time and resources. These 3D printers are the now the equivalent of the old dot matrix printers of the 1980’s, incredible devices in their day that have advanced over the years to become ordinary and common place equipment.

Mixed in with all of these parallel, converging, competing and merging influences is the ever diminishing line between local, national, international, physical and virtual. The ability to source globally, adjust regionally and buy locally will become increasingly commonplace as a landscape of continuum physical and digital purchasing possibilities that knows no borders, requires no apologies and is orchestrated by the end user to best suit their immediate needs and circumstances continues to disrupt the notion of how, when, where, why and from whom we buy and to push mobile engagement strategies to the fore of every business conversation.

2014 will also herald in the beginning of a new era of human wellness which will evolve our historical repair a body view of medicine to one that sees us take daily mastery of our health and wellbeing and incrementally adjusts our lifestyle and activities as required. This minute by minute real time insight into our body’s wellbeing gathered by our wearable health devices will be analysed by our on-board technology and whispered to us as necessary and at our request sent to health and allied health professionals for further insights, comments and suggestions.

2014 will undoubtedly bring us ah-ha moments, innovation, gadgets, technology, breakthroughs, challenges, moral dilemmas’ and new thinking and as always there will be passionate detractors and champions for each.

The short term hypothesising of what innovations wait ahead for us is always a fearsome and exciting quest, but the real skill is in being able to gauge which of these yet to be seen innovations and inventions are going to truly resonate and have a positive, sustained and real impact on our lives.

To find the answer to this more compelling and earnest inquiry we must always keep our eyes firmly focused on the greater and weightier question “how do we feed, house, clothe, educate, employ, sustain, transport, provide self-worth and nurture a growing and ever more demanding world population in 2014 and beyond?”

This is Morris Miselowski’s annual look at some of the major horizon trends, thinking and innovation conversation starters for the year ahead.

Morris Miselowski is the Founder and Lead Foresight Strategist with Eye on The Future. He has 34 years of uncannily and profitably picking future trends for corporations around the globe and working with them ongoing to profitably take advantage of all tomorrow’s possibilities.

Beds 2055

android_sleep_apps-602x300Sleep time is when our body undertakes much of its routine update and repair and this is not going to change anytime soon.

It’s no surprise then that those having trouble getting quality sleep are looking for ways to improve.

In the past this has ranged from changing our surroundings, to herbal medicine, to pills and potions and more recently to the use of modern technology, but despite the growing number of apps and sleep technologies findings from a a survey I recently completed for Sealy found that a comfortable bed was still the number one sleep technology consumers wanted.

The survey also found that 69% of respondents stated, that in addition to a great bed, sleep aids and technologies had improved their quality of sleep.

Beds and bedrooms of the future, quality of sleep and why good sleep can help stave off depression, anxiety, signs of excessive aging, obesity and so many other diseases was the subject of various radio interviews on this topic, have a listen to some of them and then share your sleep remedies, apps and what you’d like to see in the bedroom of the future with us:

4BC Breakfast – 15th December 2013:

2WS Breakfast – 19th December 2013 :

2CC Canberra – 21st December 2013

6PR Breakfast – 31st December 2013:

Capital Radio – 6th January 2014

Unlearn the Future – Morris Live at TEDx Melbourne

To have the TEDx stage for 18 minutes is a privilege and an honor. To use this global platform to tell the story of my family’s past, to introduce my ancestors who have not been spoken of or seen in over 70 years to a worldwide audience that they could never have imagined and to combine all of this with my love of the infinite possibilities of the future and what we must each do to allow these opportunities into our lives is a gift that I will cherish forever – thank you!!

I would love you to watch it, like it and leave a comment to let me know what you see ahead and what excess baggage you’re leaving behind to make room for the future and an enormous thank you to the 1,000+ people that watched it within the first 24 hours of it being put up on YouTube.

Careers and Beyond

future-jobs-jpgEver wanted to know what the best career choices are? Here’s a great article, hot off the presses on future career paths and it even has some choice quotes from your favourite business futurist.

reprinted from Careers FAQ

The A-Z of top jobs for 2014 and beyond
09 Dec 2013
By Marni Williams

Where are the shortages?

According to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), employment is set to grow by 820,100 jobs, or 7.1 per cent, to November 2017 across most industries and occupations in Australia. That’s decent growth, but if you want to get a job in 2014 you need to know where the demand will be.

DEEWR says the biggest areas for job growth will be healthcare and assistance (13 per cent), retail trade (8.9 per cent) and construction (10.1 per cent): ‘Together, these three industries are expected to provide nearly half of the total growth in employment over the next five years’.

Business futurist Morris Miselowski suggests we will have six careers within a lifetime, so if you’re thinking about which direction to take next it would pay to consider one of the golden opportunities below – because this is where the jobs will be.
Top jobs in 2014:

Accounting and finance
Aged and disabled care
Business bankers
Community engagement and community development
Data miners, data scientists, data anything…
Dental technicians
Digital marketing managers
Health technologists and medical device reps
Mobile developers
Online retailers
Project managers
Senior leasing executives
Tourism and hospitality
Website content writers
3D printers
Accounting and finance

Jobs for accountants are still going strong and are set to increase by 12.6 per cent to 2017 (DEEWR).

There will be demand in the financial and wealth management areas, specifically for senior financial planners, multilingual financial planners and financial paraplanners.

Global recruiter Hays says: ‘In accountancy and finance we expect to see new jobs created within the area of business and IT transformation … so that an organisation can adapt to growth and make cost savings. It is also important for audit/compliance purposes, particularly if the company plans to become ASX listed or has been acquired by an overseas head office’.
Aged and disabled care

Aged and disabled care has seen growth of over 102 per cent over the last five years and it will only continue to grow exponentially as preventative care, residential care, therapeutic treatments and hospital services will be required by large numbers of ageing baby boomers.

Business bankers

Business banking is a growth area, with new roles created in specialist areas. Credit assessors with a strong mortgage background and a DCA or equivalent will be in high demand as new teams are created in major banks. In addition, candidates with front-end retail experience will be sought as banks change their approach to business banking.
Community engagement and community development

With our cities needing to cope with growing populations, housing shortages and changing demographics, local councils are getting serious about community engagement. So, too, are businesses as they understand the importance of community outreach and really engaging with customers, residents and businesses.

The ongoing shortage of surveyors continues as students shy away from maths and science. With many bound to retire, it’s not just an area of opportunity, it’s vital to a strengthening construction industry.

Hays highlights a ‘historical’ shortage of estimators encompassing the residential, commercial and civil sectors. They are also seeing demand for civil estimators in response to recent restructures.
Data miners, data scientists, data anything…

Business futurist Miselowski is excited: ‘We have spent the last 30 years feeding information about ourselves and the world into the digital ether, without getting much wisdom back. The next frontier is mining this information and turning it into purposeful knowledge. A new breed of employee is emerging called data scientists, who are tasked with the job of refining data to enable good decisions’.

Hays agrees, saying that employers are increasingly looking for applicants with a Master in Information Systems. This is one job that can translate across many sectors.
Dental technicians

With our ageing population, the fact that most of us retain our own teeth much longer, and an increase in demand for cosmetic dental work, dental technicians will be in high demand alongside a range of health professions. According to the Australian Dental Association, demand for dental prostheses is down, but specialist areas such as crowns and bridges are up.
Digital marketing managers

When I asked her about trending jobs, Director of Hays (NSW & ACT) Jane McNeill put digital marketing high on her list:

‘Digital marketing managers are in demand as growth and investment in digital marketing is creating a “digital disconnect” in which the jobs market in digital marketing technology is hungry for skilled workers. The evolution of digital marketing is set to continue over the next decade and this will have a huge impact on the skills employers need. As this continues to be a growing area candidates with technical knowledge or digital expertise are in high demand.’

We’ve seen impressive numbers turn to online education all over the world, but will there be jobs to follow? Fairfax’s Employment Forecast says that population growth will see the education sector continue to rise, having ‘shrugged off the weakness in the international student sub-sector to record continued jobs growth, with positions up 4.6 per cent’.

A recent government report indicates that the international student sector could grow by 30 per cent by the end of the decade. With continued population growth and the investment in skills and training programs, the outlook for the sector is bright.

It has also noted a surge in pre-school teacher positions and ‘a significant shortage of early childhood teachers’. Positions in the tertiary education sector are also up 3.4 per cent.
Health technologists and medical device reps

You may know that healthcare is experiencing the biggest growth of all sectors, but it’s also changing. With developments in everything from genetics to wearable technologies and robotics, a plethora of new jobs are expected. Miselowski expects new titles such as ‘genetic counsellor’, ‘telemedical practitioner’ and a range of medical device reps to appear.

Anyone who works in the allied health profession but also understands computers and technology will find plenty of opportunities on the horizon. And a range of medical device reps are already needed, as Hay’s Jane McNeil says:

‘In life sciences there are new products coming to market and companies are keen to employ medical device reps with like-for-like experience so that they can hit the ground running. An increasing number of roles now also require clinical backgrounds.’
Mobile developers

Technology recruiter Greythorn is optimistic in its report: ‘With mobile access to the web growing at an exponential rate, and the way in which we interact with the web being driven more and more toward mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, mobile developers are becoming a highly sought after entity’.

Expertise across Android, iOS and HTML 5, coupled with e-commerce integration skills, social networking and API knowledge will set you up to take advantage of this growth area.
Online retailers

It’s hardly ground-breaking news: according to the Australian and New Zealand Online Shopping Market 2013 report, online retail is growing strongly.

National Australia Bank’s latest online retail sales index tells us that online sales have hit 6.2 per cent of retail spending. What’s more, the average annual spend for Australian online shoppers is expected to hit $1750 by the end of this year and 90 per cent of online shoppers expect to maintain or increase their spending over the next year.

For a moment there IT might have looked like it was having a slow patch, but the industry is still growing strongly and more growth is expected with the continued rollout of the NBN. However, programmers are now working on short-term contracts and this is set to continue. As Greythorn says, ‘project-based recruitment will be one of the pillars of growth and activity for our industry’. Java and PHP skills are, and will continue to be, highly valued.
Project managers

It’s a broad field, but DEEWR predicts contract, program and project administrators to increase by a whopping 16.4 per cent to 2017. It might be time to really work on those project management skills.
Senior leasing executives

McNeill cites several large new shopping centre developments and upgrades as a driver of real estate jobs in some regional areas – ‘there is more vacant space to fill with tenants. This has created demand for senior leasing executives in the retail space’.
Tourism and hospitality

According to the Fairfax Employment Forecast, the sector is turning around, with jobs once again growing. Burgeoning areas include medical tourism, ancestry travel and sustainable tourism.
Website content writers

As Google declared ‘content is king’, journalists couldn’t believe their ears. Fairfax agrees: ‘In a surprising turnaround, positions for journalists and other writers continue to grow, thanks to the spurt in online content at the expense of more traditional media’.

The journalism and media category actually grew by 3.1 per cent in 2013, which is above-average growth. With the exponential growth in online content production, those with the skills to write it will find themselves in high demand.
3D printers

Ok, so this one might not exactly be ready for 2014, but it’s not far off and is one of the most exciting developments to come. St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne will be trialling 3D printing of human body organs within five years and expect that printing human spare parts could become normal within 10 years.

The CSIRO has even initiated the Australian Additive Manufacturing Network to link research organisations with industry to make the use of 3D printers commercially effective. Get involved in 2014 and you’ll be ready for the next set of top jobs coming our way!

Homemade TEDx

I was sent this homemade version of last week’s TEDx presentation, it reminds me of the counterfeit movies (not that I have ever seen one) where you can see the tops of the audiences heads, occasionally hear their comments and the vision is not quite right, but I though it was worth posting anyway, until the real thing arrives.

TEDx in Cartoons


Unlearn the Future

2013-12-03 17.39.55Wow, I just came off stage at TEDx Melbourne and it’s way to early for the video recording, but here’s the slide deck and a scractchy audio recording of my 18 minutes.

My main takeout message is that we are so full of the past that we don’t have room for the future.

If we are going to over-respond to the challenges ahead of educating, feeding, housing, providing meaningful work, social interactions, transportation and social and economic equity across the globe, we can’t do it solely by what we already know, have and do (or we would have resolved it already), we must add to it tomorrow’s innovation possibilities, take into account tomorrow’s needs, tomorrow’s culture and tomorrow’s thinking and ensure that we listen to the past and speak to tomorrow.

Audio recording (apologies for the poor quality):


THANK YOU to everyone that was at TEDx Melbourne yesterday, came up to me afterwards and have contacted me since. I am overwhelmed and humbled by your responses and feedback and exhilarated that so many of you are up for the challenge of designing a future that we can all be proud of – now let’s go do it!!!.

The Future of Sleep

future of sleep sealyGood news, we will continue to sleep into the future, but the nature of sleep, how, where, when and why may change.

In a 3 month Australia wide research project I’ve just completed for Sealy, I investigated the future of sleep and beds through to 2055.

David Dowsett and I chatted about some of the results in our regular radio segment including:

My research revealed an increasing interest in ‘sleep gadgets’ as Australians turn to technology for a better night’s rest, with 18% currently using sleep-promoting smart phone apps, 16% using sleep-cycle monitoring alarm clocks, 8% using ambient noise devices and 5% using ‘wake up’ UV lights and sleep tracking tools. And with the vast majority of people – 69% – claiming these techniques have helped significantly improve their overall sleep wellness, it appears they may be having a positive impact.

and some of the top line research results were:

Beds are Alive
Beds in 2055 will be the conductor of our orchestrated wellness, constantly monitoring our vital signs, checking our sleep patterns and adjusting our sleeping environment (lights, temperature, humidity, and atmospherics) to best suit our changing nightly needs.

Bed as Messenger
In 2055 we will have 1 trillion connected digital devices and objects seamlessly whispering to each other on our behalf, sharing our movements, organising our next steps and preempting our daily needs and desires, long before we undertake them. The bed’s place in this is pivotal, its role is to manage 1/3 of our lives and notify our army of digital assistants of our state of sleep or awakeness and provide this real time information to assist the ongoing real-time planning of our upcoming activities. Having learnt our preferred routines, the bed, with our permission, will signal next steps to bathrooms, kitchens, living environment, transportation and others ensuring that each is appropriately aware of our requirements of them, what we will need, when we will need it.

Beds as Guardian
For the elderly and infirmed bed ridden is not isolation in 2055. Our bedrooms with their digital walls and surfaces are able to replicate any environment, just like the holodeck in Star Trek almost 100 years ago in the 1960’s. Our medical and allied health professionals are constantly monitoring our inbuilt bed sensors for our vital health signs, sending digital instructions back to the bed including requests for patient movements, gentle exercise and massage of limbs.

Beds as Life Long Companions
By 2055 there will be 72,000 Australian centenarians who have spent 255,500 hours / 10,646 days or 29.16 years in their beds in their 100 year plus lifetime (up from 4,500 in 2013).

Bed as Oasis
In 2055 our life and work styles will be less routine; we will work to project and task rather than a set 9-5 work day and work globally reaching out digitally across time zones and cultures.
We will commute less and spend more time in our homes working, recreating and living and this will change our sleep patterns and bed use.

Bed as Informer
In 2055 every Sealy bed we sleep in whether at home, in a hotel, or at friends will recognise us, know our sleep patterns, preferred mattress firmness, pillow preference, linen requirements and sleep preferences and use this to automatically reconfigure that “new” bed to feel just like our bed at home.

Have a listen to the segment now:

and click here to download an executive summary of the report.