This year has been quite a disruptive year around the world. In many ways, there has been a fundamental shift in how decisions are made, value is generated and work is performed. Networking and social connections have had quite a bit to do with this shift – both politically and in our work environment. Both for and against the individual.
Distributed networks and collaboration are capturing consumers and individuals experiences. There has been an increase in the tools that can be used to mine all those connections (Big Data). The individual is becoming more relevant at the crossroads of change, whether it is the redistribution of awareness or action. People are becoming more active in trying to shift their environment, some see this new wave of capability as very empowering.
Social technologies are becoming an important lever to increase influence -- permeating our work and personal lives. They are enabling individuals to recognize others like them, as well as those who are quite different in how they view the world.
Naturally there is a bit of work involved in finding those others, since many are content to interact with those similar to themselves. The information is out there though for those who want to diversify their views. Individuals are beginning to recognize that they can influence their future and how value is perceived.
In addition to all this internal capability, externally, our home’s lights, heating and security systems can be controlled via smartphone from anywhere in the world. We’re living in a world where almost any new appliance purchased can be (or soon will be) connected to the Internet. We can control them or they can even interact with each other. Our social network will soon start to include machines as well as people, even if all they can do today is prepare our environment for more effective social interaction.
There have been demonstrations of smart pill bottles that tell you when and how much medicine to take, cars that tell you when you are too drunk to drive or that help you brake more effectively and nano-medicine measurement techniques are coming that will measure our health by taking readings from the things we touch and share those readings.
We can be thankful for these possibilities… It is a world where the early adopters may already live. It does make you think about how things will change.