Here are 16 trends I predicted at my annual Thought Leadership Conference last week in Palm Beach:

1. A rising, global middle class will tend to curtail warfare as more “haves” will not want to sacrifice their gains.

2. Chinese hegemony will grow immensely in all parts of Asia.

3. There will be unprecedented political realignment in the US as a result of the Trump election victory with reform in gerrymandering, lobbying, and even third party viability.

4. Automobile creation will be done by software companies such as Microsoft and Apple with traditional manufacturers simply assembling the vehicle around the intelligence.

5. Technology will allow weather to be weaponized, and some countries will be able to create hurricanes, cyclones, even earthquakes.

6. Europe will be “de-Europeanized” by the influx and birth rates of immigrants from the middle east, and their societies will change dramatically.

7. There will be free or low cost education in the US as the obscene debt levels become untenable and loaning such funds becomes unprofitable.

8. “Box box” stores will morph into “small box” stores with local relationships but global inventories and offerings.

9. Manufacturing will surge again in the US, especially speciality manufacturing and three dimensional copying.

10. Cyber-security will become an individual responsibility to avoid hacking of millions of accounts with customers maintaining double and triple action passcodes that change constantly.

11. There will be high stakes, virtual sports with both individual and teams, including betting.

12. Single income families will grow with the intent of one parent deliberately staying home to raise children, take care of social interests, or even alternate in working with the other.

13. Older and older people will remain gainfully employed and “retirement” will become an artifact of the past.

14. Charter, independent, and home schooling will upend traditional “warehouse” education and finally remove power from teachers unions.

15. There will a major tax overhaul and simplification in the US.

16. “Uber, über alles,” meaning that full-time, professional drivers will take over trucking, boating, and even flying while working for an outside contractor.

© Alan Weiss 2017

3 thoughts on “Trends

  1. Dr. Weiss,

    Thanks for your insight on future trends. I am an independent consultant working in international trade creating overseas markets for small domestic companies, and I facilitate joint ventures & strategic alliance partnerships. Do you think that with increased technology, robotics, AI, etc. that a niche such as mine, will be lucrative in 20 or so years down the road, due to the fact that my work is heavily relationship based? I ask because I worry about AI disrupting many industries, and as a 29 year old, I want to make sure I am doing something that is around for the long haul. Can you name 1 or 2 general niche areas that AI, robotics, etc. cannot replace? Thanks

    • Consulting and advisory work will remain a relationship profession. You’re best off being a generalist rather than a niche player, which will increase your potential amount of buyers and will enable you to move to areas least affected by AI. I think supply chain management and financial analysis are examples of areas that will be affected, but once you talk about alliances and join ventures, you need someone who can deal with personalities, compromise, consensus, and so on. Focus on your marketing and your brand, and stop worrying about threats.

  2. Interesting list. As I read through them, I do agree with you (though I had not thought of many of them). They make sense.

    I do hope #3 comes through sooner rather than later! I hope #5 comes way out into the future.

    #10 should already be here! Unfortunately, people do not protect their passwords.

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