Prediction- and Trend-Palooza – (early) 2020

Futurists are not big on making “predictions.” That said, looking over all the ideas that other people have across the landscape of the economic/social/government landscape is a valuable exercise. Many of these won’t come true, or may not come true in the ways we think they will, and some will happen. Surely other things will happen that we didn’t see coming. More to the point…what is around the corner from these predictions?

I like looking at them…but I take them all with a grain of salt and a degree of skepticism. As stated earlier in this blog…they are more valuable as a collection…and I think they communicate as much or more collectively as they do individually.

These are amusing, interesting, disturbing and complex. I’ve tried to gather up a few I thought were particularly of note…but this list isn’t exhaustive at all. Offered just to begin getting our brains wrapped around the idea that 2020 is here…and new things will keep coming! (I’ll keep adding to this list in the early months of 2020 as I’m sure more will be coming!!)

Let’s learn together and use all this (and more information) that we discover and gather to build the future we want. But first – a couple of bonus pieces that stretch our creativity and reflection skills!

Predictions and Forecasts for 2020

Tech predictions for the decade ahead: What will happen by 2030? (2019)

5G is coming – what does it mean? (2019)

How AI and automation will change the way we use technology in 2020 (2019)

4 ways work will change in 2020

Government trends 2020

Trends in digital mental health 2020

2020 Strategic trends glossary for higher education

Top trends in higher education

State of mental health in America 2020

5 consumer trends in 2020

The U.S.’s top jobs in 2020 according to LinkedIn

15 AI predictions for 2020

Tech trends for 2020

Another interesting piece reflecting some history – it’s about how the social science research from 2010 to 2019 foresaw some important contemporary developments. Love a good shout out to the role of history in futures work! The 2010s featured a lot of great social science. Here are my 12 favorite studies. (2019).

This is from last year – geopolitical forecast

Navigating a world of disruption (2019)

New article wrapped up and out for review! Social Work and Foresight!

This is the first in a series of multiple upcoming articles in process regarding social work and foresight/futures practice. Wish me luck in the review process!!

Social Work, the Future and Technology: A Foresight Lens and a Call to Action for the Profession

Laura Burney Nissen

Abstract

As we head into the year 2020, a set of questions looms large over the social work profession.  Are there social problems of the future that are “around the corner” from what we can see right now that may change the way we think about power, social problems, possible solutions and opportunities?    What new opportunities might appear, and would we as a profession, be able to spot and leverage them to advance the well-being of vulnerable people with whom we work and ally? This is a paper that explores what being more future facing might look like as social workers and educators, using technology as a sample focus area and introducing foresight practice frameworks and methods that are available to assist us.  Foresight practice is a collection of ideas and methods that support individuals and groups to be more effective (and foresightful) in navigating increasingly turbulent economic, political, natural and social ecosystems.  It’s goals are to a) to develop collective intelligence, agility and imagination b) do so in the service of increasing intentional evolution of thought and action, c)  refine the ability to anticipate with greater proficiency and finally d) increase the probability of co-creating desired futures in keeping with social work values including but limited to antiracism, human rights and social justice.  The paper ends with a call to action for social work to amplify and evolve its strengths to join the interdisciplinary community of those using forecasting methods to build a better future. 

A Futures Lens on Homelessness

As a social work scholar who is also a futurist, I’m interested in understanding how current trends will intersect to set the stage for current social problems and challenges.

Among the most alarming social problems of our time, is that of homelessness (or a preferred term “houselessness”).

Here’s a quick round up of some resources I found illuminating what thinkers, activists and concerned community members see ahead. This list is always under development.

International lens on the issue of homelessness – developed in Finland, this is a collection of essays (policies and practice) on the topic. Entitled Homelessness 2030: The Future of Homelessness. (2019)

The critical number that shows when housing breaks down (2019). Powerful mention in this piece that the UN predicts that by the year 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in cities. This is an overview of how to get ahead of this issue with an eye toward the future.

New report predicting surge in elderly homeless by the year 2030 (2019)

Why Americans are retiring into homelessness (2019)

Helsinki’s radical approach to end homelessness (2019)

Variety of reports on “resources” tab (and great website overall) discussing the UN’s stance on housing as a human right. (2019)

Four homelessness trends in 2018 and what they mean for the future (2019)

Other links:

National Alliance to End Homelessness

Here’s a link (from the site above) to statistical and graphic overviews including some trend info.

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

National Coalition for the Homeless

US Interagency Council on Homelessness

Laura’s Sabbatical Reading List – Some Books!

I’m reading (a lot!) on my sabbatical. A few folks have asked me to put a list together so I did! It’s mostly general futures books (you can find other more extensive academic articles readings elsewhere on this blog). Here you go. Have fun and don’t forget to share ideas of books I may have missed. Note: I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get all of these read on my sabbatical. I have other things I’m doing…but it was a good exercise to get them all together and reprioritize which feel most important for me to read next. Isn’t a GREAT problem to have too many good books to read? I feel lucky.