In my previous article, Towards an Open Future, I discussed the two type of systems that operate in the world: Open systems and closed systems. The hope for the future lies in open systems, and that is where the potential for the success of the brewing Quantum Revolution also lies.
In that article, I said how closed systems are rigid and mechanistic, and continue doing the same thing and operating in the same way, even if the approach has proven to not work, while with open systems there is a degree of openness that allows for the cross-pollination and cross-fertilization of minds and ideas, which then allows for ideas to then take shape. It is holistic in nature.
Open systems are based on an infinite and expanding universe, one that continually evolves and grows. A closed system is based on finiteness, and does its best to resist growth and maintain the status quo, because it does not see how to get past itself.
And as I pointed out, we, as human beings, are open systems, and thus we continue to evolve and grow. And the type of world we want to live in and the systems we want to develop and cultivate are open systems.
With that in mind, I thought I would preview trends that are occurring now or are coming soon that represent what an open system, open future and open world could bring.
Here are some of the trends in culture, technology, science and spirituality:
1) Design: The New Kinko’s – Makerspacers will continue to pop up in cities around the country, similar to Kinko’s during the desktop publishing explosion. 3D printing and similar technologies will also drive a locally distributed manufacturing movement, allowing for small batch production and customization.
2) Education: Digital Education – Technology is revolutionizing education from the networked group learning of the MOOC – Massive Online Open Courses – to software that makes learning fun and engaging for young learners. Look for a surge in free and paid online schools.
3) Finance and the Economy: The Sharing Economy – Due to economic constraints and lack of job growth, an economy of sharing and barter services will grow and penetrate the mainstream. Look for both community and commercial ventures to offer access to tools, space, services and media.
4) Finance and the Economy: Virtual Goods Exchange – As digital, social and other virtual goods and currencies become increasingly important, look for a marketplace to trade virtual goods and alternative currencies to emerge.
5) Finance and the Economy: Patchwork Nation – Products and services that serve the growing segment of patchwork careerists, slasher-workers, and micro-entrepreneurs will proliferate.
6) Health: Quantified Health – Sensor networks and big data will be used to pioneer systems and methods to seamlessly solve personal and public health issues. Moving beyond the Quantified Self movement, data-health practices will become commonplace and integrated into everyday life.
7) Health: The Microbiome – The real impact of our microbial ecosystem is being revealed by new research. Health-oriented companies will develop innovative methods for healing and balancing our bodies and environments using microbes.
8) Internet Culture: Effortless Content – Services like the content-simplifying app Summly and the Google Now intelligent personal assistant are helping uses effortlessly find content and information.
9) Music: Hackstruments – Hacked instruments and new musical interfaces will make new creative performances possible and lower the barrier to entry for new musicians, offering intuitive creative music creation experiences. Novel sounds and genres will be born from this offshoot of the Hackdesign movement.
10) Spirituality: Explosion of Conscious Media – Content that explores the intersection of science and spirituality, metaphysics and mysticism accelerates in popularity as cultural factors drive a search for meaning and technology makes conscious media accessible to all.
11) Spirituality: Rise of the Nones – The non-religious spiritual movement will continue to grow and proliferate
12) Travel: Personal Vehicles – Experimental single passenger cars, driverless vehicles and modular personal transportation systems will grow in popularity. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication will become more prevalent, offering a safe driving experience.