Dr. Rick Huijbregts' Blog Posts

Making Predictions for 2017...or Not.

I started this blog right after the new year. For some reason, it is proving the be the toughest one to write. I may choose not to write it all together.

My intention was to make some predictions for 2017. I have done this a number of years in a row, and I am certainly not the only one doing it. Rather than coming up with a new or updated list of predictions for 2017, I was about to decide to simply re-share my 2016 views:


Digital transformation, Internet of Things, Platforms, Security, 3d Printing, Autonomous things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Ambient User Experiences where trends and technologies that I believed would shape 2016 and were to pave the way beyond. Truth is, in trying to write this blog, I figured that the list would be mostly the same. Based on the predictions by organizations like IDC, Gartner, Accenture, EY, and IBM I concluded that I was right: most 2017 predictions are largely repetitive from 2016, just a little bigger, better, and faster.

Then, I wanted to put all these great innovations into perspective. Amidst great technological advancement, the last year seems to have also repainted the landscape of the world that we live-- in ways that not many would have predicted.

In my blog, I wanted to call out the rise of populist voices which led to an unprecedented exit of Britain from the EU, a growing movement in other European countries, and an equally unexpected outcome of the US elections, not to mention the rather disturbing executive orders that were signed in the first week of the new government. I wanted write about the (in my opinion) negative trends in regards to the environment, privacy, security, discrimination, equality. I learned that more people than ever before had to flee their homes because of violence, prosecution, war, and climate (yes, climate refugees are a real thing) - and we are just watching. Those that say that this doesn't really concern us are not seeing that 13 million American children still live in poverty and come to school hungry. The list of sad realities seems to be getting longer, and to write about them would turn an upbeat blog into doom and gloom. So, I'm not going there.

Next, I wanted to connect the world we live in with the amazing innovation in technology and explore how we once and for all could create a better place for our children--without sounding naïve or airy-fairy. I've rewritten those paragraphs now many times and am not seeing it clearly. Maybe I need more time, or just focus on the things that I can impact myself instead.

The idea then would be to summarize my resolutions (rather than predictions) on what my own 2017 focus would be to have a more positive impact on the world we live in.

I was going to call out two areas of focus for me: Balance and Talent. To achieve the former, I shall leverage amazing collaboration technologies to work smarter rather than harder and focus on the more important things in life. Family, health, and contributing to creating better places (and communities) to work, live, learn, and play, would top my list.

For the latter, I will expand and intensify my work and passion for the academic sector. I plan to continue to teach at Harvard (on smart cities, leadership, and new in 2017: smart buildings). I will also keep advocating for the re-imagination of an integrated education system (from kindergarten to higher education) that is better equipped for tomorrow's digital expectations in a turbulent world. I therefore gladly continue my duties as member of advisory boards, program advisory committees, and executive-in-residence at George Brown College. However, as I write this, I realize that this is something for me to do and that it may not even remotely sound interesting to others.

In other words, this blog that I was planning to write (with technology and innovation predictions; connecting it making a better world; and linking it to some of my own resolutions) is proving to be tedious and unexciting.

I thus am not going to write it.

So, all there is left to say: Happy New Year ! I look forward to continued partnership and friendship with all of you that look at ways to apply technology, innovation, and human sensibility to make for better, smarter, safer, and equitable business, industries, cities, countries…and ultimately a better world.

#2017 #resolution #economy #digitaltransformation #trends #vision #rickhuijbregts

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