If 2001 – 2011, what weâ€™re calling the “Digital Decade,” has taught us anything, it’s that change is now routine. It has taught us that many long-established rules don’t last long and that we are just now on the cusp of even more dramatic change.
With all that in mind, what might occur after the tenth annual MIMA Summit has passed us by? Here are some random prognostications for the next decade, 2011-2021:
Data storage and transfer costs have been near or at zero for some time now. Camera, screen and encoding technologies get less and less expensive and video capture and editing software gets easier and easier to use. My first prediction is ever-present video, for every computing device and display surface. We will come to prefer our content in motion, often created and always controlled by ourselves. We will walk away from static, inflexible materials and towards moving surfaces and ambient sound. This shift will change the biology of how we interact with each other and with our knowledge. It will often overload us, and stillness will stand out.
Every Surface A Display
Due to innovation in microelectronics, bonding and paint, and fabrication technologies, every wall, tabletop, ceiling, floor, containment material and vehicle exterior will have the capabilities to display digital information. It will be horrible and wonderful all at once. You won’t pick a color for a wall because it can be any color, anytime. Or it can be a video. So, on the one hand, we might not need to carry anything with a screen because everything could be our screen. It also seems possible this technology could capture input as well as display data, meaning you might not need to carry a keyboard or trackpad either.
The New Facebook, By And For The People
I think one of two scenarios might happen with our current most popular network: The first is some form of government presence in the network that is demanded by the people. This might be a reaction to a perceived rise in corporate power, a policy gaffe on Facebook’s part, or a desire to insure rights and protections. Consider this scenario similar to government regulation of broadcast frequencies or air travel. As networks grow more prominent in public life, we will ask where and how they ought to be accessible to all, all the time.
The New Facebook, Isnâ€™t Facebook
Or, if we take the last ten years as any kind of indicator, our society will soonâ€”despite massive, rising adoptionâ€”walk away from accounts on facebook.com. We just will, because of what it has become, has not become and because of what isn’t, which is new. This natural evolution is one of any network’s biggest threats. It will spur constant acquisition of perceived threats to leadership. It will someday inspire an actual marketing campaign for Facebook. And yet, another idea might simply take root and do to Facebook as it has done to networks before it.
The New Education
Perhaps the biggest change I see occurring in the next ten years is the beginning of the end of education, as we know it. Too many empowering technologies, the ever-increasing globalization of DIY groups, and the growing sense education should and must change will drive profound effects. Grading will be based on interests, not age. Point systems common to gaming will replace grades. Education will be supplied more and more by a global network of those who are willing to teach versus a mandate of state and local government. Education will not occur in centralized buildings and, perhaps most important, education will not be confined to specific age segments. Graduation day is forever.
I hope you’ll join us this October 11-12 at the tenth annual MIMA Summit when Wired’s Chris Anderson and Google’s Avinash Kaushik keynote along with over 50 session speakers. I’m sure you’ll hear even more (and better) prognostications that inspire useful conversations in the days that follow.
â€” Tim Brunelle