IBMs 5-in-5 Predictions on Innovation Announced

IBM just announced their 5 innovations that will change our lives in the next five years with visual story maps and all!

A lot of it sounds very exciting. In general, it breaks down to five specific categories: Education, Retail, Healthcare, Security and Cities.

The theme for the next five years seems to be that the machines will be spending more time learning about us and our environment.

Rather than envisioning an apocalypse at the end of this theme, IBM chooses a different, more practical narrative where future computing and technology will truly assist us to make a better world.

In five years, IBM believes:

  1. Classrooms will learn more about YOU!
  2. Cognitive technologies will learn more about us and create new local shopping experiences that can not be replicated by online experiences
  3. Technology will help doctors better treat you by knowing your DNA
  4. Cognitive technologies will learn more about us and help city managers respond to our needs
  5. Digital guardians will protect you online from identity theft and more

I began to doubt my fears about how the world might end in hellfire by our new robot masters of the future (ala Terminator) as I read IBMs ideas. A lot of these technologies could truly assist us in making a better world or at least help solve some major problems we currently face.

I began to think wow, maybe I dont have to worry about how crappy my kids education might be in the future or maybe I wont have to worry too much about the history of disease in my family since the technology will be there to save us all!

But then my eyes drifted to the second tab on the IBM site labeled Past 5 in 5s and my thinking shifted to, Hmmm, I wonder if I am currently experiencing their predictions from 5 years ago?

So I clicked on the link and scrolled down to 2008.

Energy-saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint and windows it said.

I read more

City buildings will sense and respond like living organisms
Computers will have a sense of smell
Digital taste buds will help you eat smarter

My fears began to settle in again I realized that these predictions along with the ones announced this week are quite possible, but they are not innovations that can be available to us all at least for now.

So in reaction to IBMs 5 in 5, here are my five predictions for nonprofits in the next year.

  1. Foundations will embrace the need to support innovations in communications as an integral part of developing their programs
  2. Nonprofits will invest in communication design to simplify the complexity of the their marketing communications efforts
  3. Nonprofits, supporting foundations and supporters will raise funds to create more efficient and sustainable communication platforms
  4. Nonprofits will attend social media conferences less and will go back to marketing communications conferences with a focus on creativity and design
  5. Nonprofits will email for help this year… Sorry, I couldn’t help the plug for self promotion… Happy Holidays everyone!

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