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DIGITAL TRENDSPOTTING 2019:1B— The Absolutely Necessary Prerequisite for a (yet) Better World

Did you wake up yet!? Well, if this year has not made you awake, then you are either a hopeless case or it is about time to wake up :-D Because this year has been like one long fireworks of digital explosions with profound consequences for us as a society, company and individual. Which makes it more relevant than ever with the digital trendspotting that we here annually offer.

So why should I worry about another trendspotting?

So cool, but why should I read a trend spotting about all this, why should I do it right now during holidays and why read a digital one? Our friend Harari puts it best, here condensated into three postulates:

1. Possibility in theory: In theory anybody can join the debate about the future of humanity.

2. Possibility in action: But billions of us can hardly afford the luxury of investigating.

3. Motivation: Unfortunately, you and (later) your kids will not be exempt from the consequences.

As a background to all this, we all must take the time to reflect on what we are doing, both as a “globe”, as a nation, company, family and, yes, as an individual. Both on how all this has consequences for our own future, but also what our own actions have for consequences for the future of the earth.

But why right now when I celebrate such a nice new year’s holiday?

Because none of us are exempt from the consequences, and because few of us have time to think 24/7 on what we are currently giving us into, yes that is precisely why it is perhaps just when we have a little holiday break that we should take the time to actually reflect on what is happening in the world and the consequences for our own future, and perhaps correct a small part of our own actions in order to not only influence our personal future but also the effect it will have on the world.

The right time to do so is when we change years. I am fully aware that not “the whole earth” is changing years at the moment, and to you I just excuse myself for being “late” (as for Jews and Muslims) or too early (as for Chinese, Thai and several other Asian friend) But on the whole, this applies at least as much, often even more, to all my friends even in those regions.

The greatest revolution of all time!

And because what we give ourselves mainly to is staged by the digital technology we are experimenting on and implementing on a lot of flanks, it is well the trend tension about social consequences for the digital technology that is one of the most important things for most of us to reflect, react and proactively act upon.

Because, whether you like it or not, it is the digital development that has the by far greatest impact on the world we live in right now. And, it will hardly (!) be less of that tomorrow. People talk more and more about “The fourth industrial revolution”, and in addition to calling it “industrial” only shows how stuck everyone is in the old instead of seriously understanding the new, the word “revolution” is a total understatement.

We talk IoT, drones, big data, quantum computers, robots, 3D-printers and a bunch of other cool disruptive techniques. Yet, most of it can be collected within the framework of three truly gigantic parts, three parts which, when eventually being tied together in different areas into a genuine ecosystem, once and for all will change the world more and, in less time, than ever before in world history.

Good, good, but what does this have to do with ME?

Well, once again, none of us will “escape” the consequences of this. But that is not all, because it is also so that in a global world there is very little you do, which in turn does not have consequences for the earth. And with it follows a huge responsibility — perhaps for most too burdensome to even reflect on. What you do in your everyday actions affects people on the very opposite side of the globe.

Without becoming too dramatic, your insights are therefore important for other people, even for our earth — where individual people’s thoughts and actions today play a completely different role for the global world. Sometimes indirectly as when you “vote with your feet” and choose to buy a Spanish tomato instead of a Turkish one, use an American iPhone instead of a Chinese Huawei, or buy a game made of environmentally friendly wood instead of a plastic toy that takes 500 years to break down.

Sometimes directly because what you do has the potential that not yesterday only spread in traditional media and word of mouth, such as when Rosa Parks refuses to get up on the bus and catalysed the whole “the freedom movement”, but today multiply reinforced by a total viral spread through mainly social media, such as when Mohamed Bouazizi lit fire and became the tipping point for the entire Arabic “spring”. *

But how can “little me” have responsibility for what is happening in the world?

Not to take the time to reflect at least once a year on where our world is going, and how you are both affected and affecting this world for both yourself and your future children, is not to be responsible. And, as the world looks today, I wonder if the word “responsible” is the sexiest thing in this world :-D

What exactly do you think the enormous power that the digital technologies bring with them should result in? What are the values that should govern what society we create in this way? And in what way can you, your company, and your country contribute to this, or alternatively, how can you maximize the opportunities and minimize the risks for what is the result of the whole thing?

All this is something that should be contemplated, which must -! — be contemplated, at least sometime every now and then, to then work as a platform and reference for the everyday thoughts and actions later when you have neither the opportunity to reflect on the consequences of every little thought and action in the everyday — often stressful — life most of us live today. The current digital trendspotting is a contribution in that direction.

So, what will this trendspotting be about?

For almost 15 years, I have published annual digital trendspotting, yes even long before the digital development was so widespread that it became a public interest — earlier as one of the most read in one of my homelands Sweden, but now with an increasingly global spread. As background, I have not only previous PhD studies that should make me sufficiently systematically educated to hopefully identify and document more broad patterns than mere “fun facts”, previously resulting in a number of books in digital strategy, more than 300 lectures, honorary assignments as founder of IAB and digital adviser at WFA.

But what is usually even more appreciated is that, as a digital strategist for some of the world’s largest companies and as a six-fold serial entrepreneur, I am usually practical enough not to allow this to be theoretically mambo jumbo, but always with the aim of having the potential to work as practical foundation for all of us who want to be inspired to use this knowledge and reflection for actual change.

An extremely spectacular year!

Moreover, this year is more special than usual. I have had over 100 travel days, with 45 trips to 25 different places all over the world. During these trips, I have not only held talks and worked with intensive tech development in the front of the development in the world, but have gained close acquaintance with some of the world’s sharpest brains within the very latest in technology and digital business. I have seen with my own eyes what is being created and where it is being created, I have been notified of both its intended consequences but even got to lift the blanket on some hidden agendas, and also got some hunches on what the upcoming techniques more unintentional consequences might well be.

And that’s the thing. This year is especially for this very reason. Because we have this year received the last building block to what will be the world’s greatest change over time. And it is sneak previews on this, that this trend spotting series will offer.

Firstly, to offer a cavalcade of what happened during the year of 2018, but above all to look at the broad patterns that indicates what is the tech trends to come in 2019, and perhaps even more what its consequences will be for you as an individual and for us all as a society.

In the next article we will start of by assessing whether the overall trend in the world is not a good state for humanity

· Published Sections So Far: Foreword, Section 1A, Section 1B, Section 1C, Section 1D, Section 1E, Section 1F

· Digital Trendspotting 2019: As an inverted Christmas calendar, the trendspotting will be delivered as goodies for the first weeks at the dawn of the new year. It will be delivered both on LinkedIn (, on Medium (, and some video abstracts in our blockchain journey at Insta (

· Digital contact: As usual, I love commenting and hot debate, so for anyone who wants to discuss, is hunting for key note speeches, or wants to be part of backing up the coolest digital venture in the world, call on WA +46733 90 18 80, or email at ;)



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Rufus Lidman

Rufus Lidman

Data disruptor with 50,000 followers. 300 lectures, assignments on 4 continents, 6 ventures with 2–3 ok exits, 4 books, 15 million app downloads.