Five global trends for 2007

By Ross Dawson on March 6, 2007 | Permalink

In the February issue of Voyeur, the inflight magazine of Virgin Blue, I was interviewed for an article about the major trends of 2007. The article is below – as usual allow for journalistic interpretation in the quotations…
FUTURE FOCUS
Ross Dawson is the founder and chairman of Future Exploration Network – an innovative company that helps multinational organisations understand the future technological and social changes that will affect the way they do business. Here Dawson lets us in on the top five trends that will shape our 2007.
1. Web 2.0 revolution
“What we’ve seen in the past five years is a whole new phase of the internet. One of the most important principles of this is participation – everyone can easily set up blogs, upload videos and create music and podcasts. For the first time we are not just consumers but are enabled to become creators, so we have this doubling of media space leading to a world of infinite content, of infinite entertainment.”


2. Virtual worlds
“Virtual worlds started from online games, but where something like www.secondlife.com is different is that it’s totally free-form. You now have one million people interacting in this virtual world and this is really the very beginning. In five years this will become far more realistic. People experiment with who they can be and, as they are not as restricted as they are in the real world, they are free to express different parts of their personality.”
3. Long working hours
“This is a really intriguing issue where clearly, on one side, technology has helped create business. But as we have more ways to communicate with each other, we keep adding to our communication load and what we have to get done. The simple summary of business today is to do more with less. If we’re not learning how to use the technologies better, we become more and more squeezed. But if we use the way in which we are connected well we can find a solution for this.”
4. World-class talent
“Realistically, jobs going overseas have been considerably slower in Australia than they have been in the US or Europe. We cannot stop work flowing across boundaries, in fact if we did I would be to Australia’s disadvantage. The real opportunity is that, as talented and knowledgeable workers in Australia, we have the whole world which we can provide services to. But it means that we have to match ourselves against the world, become specialised and develop our talents.”
5. Great expectations
“What consumers expect today is far, far more than what it was a generation ago and that will continue to increase. One related area is that of food and drink. When you travel around the planet, you find the major cities of Australia are some of the places you can most consistently get very high-quality food and drink. And that has become the expectation. If you want to do business in Sydney and Melbourne and aren’t absolutely top-class, your establishment won’t last because people expect more and the bar continues to be raised.”

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