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5 ways the world will change in five years: Non-Obvious Dinner

How will the world change in the next 5 years? That is the prompt for the annual ‘Non-Obvious Dinner’ organized by Jeff Rollins and Ben duPont, two entrepreneurship leaders whom I’ve come to meet in launching Technical.ly Delaware.

I was among 100 guests invited by the pair to the historic Wilmington Club earlier this month asked to arrive with an answer to that question. First, over dinner, we shared at tables of 10, and we chose the best at our table to present to the entire group, and one was chosen as the most interesting and believable way the world would change in the next five years. (here is another idea from someone who attended last year)

The overall winner this year was from a guest who traveled from the Pacific Northwest and predicted that in the next half decade, the k-12 education system will be uprooted by the blended classroom, in which at-home, web-based learning supplements and in turn changes how education happens.

Here’s what I shared, which garnered some questions and chatter but the winning idea at our table wast that in five years, cyber fraud would outpace healthcare as the top fear for seniors:

  • We are in the most accessible peer-to-peer moment in American history, and I don’t think it will last. so I believe we should influence now what our future will be as that moment closes.
  • Why? The developed world is reaching Internet ubiquity: We have impacted digital divide enough that the focus is turning to media literacy. A lot of us are using tools to publish and connect we don’t quite understand yet.
  • Our leaders have also rushed to the social web platforms, celebrities and politicians in addition to many of us.
  • It’s new enough that many if not most of those leaders are still personally using these tools. We’re still discovering best practices. It’s a widely connected world.
  • I think we’ll lose much of this. We’ll get more sensitive to our privacy settings, more PR will lead social web channels. Government will better understand how to mitigate. We’ll increasingly micro organize
  • More automaton and our connected world can make the world more transparent but access is already waning. So let’s work to keep transparency as an ethic of the web. That means holding each other to those standards to influence the future.

Here are the various other ideas I thought about sharing:

  1. Cities and municipalities will become the most important unit of government as polarized and bureaucratic national politics fails to take on broader challenges.
  2. Technology will be a field like sales, every company will hire for it and every community will need a community of it.
  3. The Northeast corridor will become an identifiable community as urbanism develops a clearer identity.
  4. The web will create a divided media environment in which the most narrow niche media and expansive national or global media thrive.

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