As we come to the start of another decade on Tuesday night, the media is full of predictions of what the next ten years will bring. Such predictions cover everything from technology and its impact, to the economy, social impacts and even religion.
When you talk to people their view is often coloured by who they voted for in elections or Brexit, or even their age and education. For example, the remainers invariably predict total gloom and doom on the scale of the great depression. They predict the end of the world under the combined hosting of Trump and Johnson.
These people back up their arguments with intellectual rigour based on the established norms of the past, while at the same time making judgements on likely political achievements based on the persons public persona judged against their own moral code.
What these sages are not recognising is that the people that are putting them into power are the very people that have lost faith in politics run using the established norms. This is not only true in America and the UK, but can be seen in France, in Germany, in Hong Kong and in many other countries across the world.
What the conventional thinkers need to realise is that simply not liking the people’s choice, or denigrating it because it does not agree with their choice, is insufficient to bring about change.
I believe that one prediction for the next decade is one where the people will only respond to those that listen to them. For example, simply trying to rubbish Trump is not a winning platform for the Democrats in 2020 and failure to understand this will surely ensure a second term for Trump.
Equally, I would counsel against rubbishing the people that chose Boris Johnson in such large numbers until there is evidence that he is not doing what he said he would do, and one week into the job is probably insufficient information for the establishment supporters to make an educated assessment.
But, however, important politics may be, this rise in people deciding to be listened to rather than talked at is likely to become much stronger in the coming decade in many other walks of life. Once the genie is out of the bottle it is difficult to get it back in.
For example, expect a backlash against ‘woke’ attitudes in the next decade. The last few years has seen a massive rise in things that one cannot say or speak about. This has not only resulted in an attempt to rewrite or suppress history, but has started to seriously inhibit the right to freedom of speech.
Likewise, most people are getting fed up with being told what to do or think by ill-informed celebrities that seem to operate on the ‘don’t do as I do but do as I say’ principle! Don’t tell me to reduce my carbon footprint while you fly around the world in private jets and live in places with carbon footprints bigger that my street!
As far as work is concerned, we all realise that artificial intelligence and robotics will eliminate many jobs in the same way that electricity did away with the lamplighters and the alarm clock killed off the need for knockers up.
However, there will also be a plethora of new jobs created to develop these new applications and the entrepreneurs amongst us will be the ones that look to create new industries that will create roles we haven’t even thought of yet.
At the same time, big corporations will need to take react to the changes brought about by AI. If they are to survive in this new world of people power then they need to realise more of the same is insufficient for survival.
Simply replacing workers with computerisation is not enough. They need to find new business opportunities and that means releasing the entrepreneurs throughout the business. Encouragement and rewards for real entrepreneurship in all levels of the organisation is essential.
Yes the establishment will try and hold on to their safety first approach and their indexed linked pension, big business will try and play King Canute for the sharholders, and parents will still try and force feed academic studies to their children whist having no idea of the world they are preparing their children for.
But, in the same way that it is the ordinary people that chose politicians that they believed listened to them, it is these ordinary people, untainted by convention, who will come up with the entrepreneurial ways to solve the problems that the next decade will throw up, whether in climate change, in large corporations or everyday social environments.
So, I am not able to give such a definitive description of the next decade as the establishment hindered figures, but I do believe that there is a positive move towards the future by the real people of the world. They have always been able to rise to the challenges and there is every indication that they are beginning to revel in it.
In all my work I have always had a real faith in the young people that I work with and that faith has always been rewarded. So I have no reason to believe that this will change suddenly in the coming decade.
So my message to the establishment and the conventional critics who look to the past for their trend predictions is, ‘for those of you who say it cannot be done, please get out of the way of those of us who are doing it.