Ownership might be getting replaced with membership, or revised to mean membership. In the not-distant future, maybe we’ll belong to dozens of “exchange communities” or bartering networks of varying levels of exclusivity. The largest barter network in the Maryland-DC area, Barter Systems Inc., has over 1400 members. Members can barter a mailing list management service for stress management or maid services.
The notion of value is being redefined for the 21st century. Consumers have choice. They want personalization, and to participate in value creation, shifting the mindset to “made with me.” Value will also be about “shared with me” as the ownerless economy expands. This will be driven particularly by younger generations who value experiences they can share – and that also deliver benefits to society - over possessions.
We are entering an era of information tsunamis: mind-boggling global data torrents , all-pervasive social-local-mobile (SoLoMo) connectivity, widespread ‘wikilikean’ transparency expectations (both B2C as well as B2B), rapid changes in interface technologies (AR, gestures, voice-control, nano-technologies, bionics, AI etc), the hyper-realtime speed of information and media, and of abundant consumer choice in pretty much every sector of commerce and business.
Rateocracy can be viewed as a tectonic power shift toward technology-empowered stakeholders, but it can just as easily be viewed as the construction of a digital village in which a business’s reputation returns to the immediacy of small-town life.
We are seeing a shift away from mass consumption towards mass communication. Whatever can become digital will become digitized. The contents of entire rooms (libraries, offices, etc.) have been condensed into a footprint the size of a single laptop. Expect major changes in the consumption patterns of today’s youth – particularly in America and Europe. Younger generations are becoming less interested in accumulating debt for the purchase of cars and housing. Renting and sharing are becoming more common arrangements for large physical assets. Economics is becoming less about ownership and more about access.
Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds Global Trends 2030 is intended to stimulate thinking about the rapid and vast geopolitical changes characterizing the world today and possible global trajectories over the next 15 years. As with the NIC’s previous Global Trends reports, we do not seek to predict the future—which would be an impossible feat—but instead provide a framework for thinking about possible futures and their implications.
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