Looking back over the 20 years since the advent WorldWideWeb, I remember back when scientists were the only ones who had this magical thing called “bitnet” that let them send messages instantly by computer. Then came the days of dial-up and amazement when “you’ve got mail.” In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s when we were forecasting the impact of technology on education, school administrators were worried about how to wire their buildings. Who knew that soon wires and computers would become passe for students who can do it all with cell phones. So much of what seemed outrageous at the time is commonplace today: “Your Life on a Card,” “Video Games Prepare You for the Workforce.” In 2001 our Window Into Talent forecast Social Networks at the center of workforce issues, and no one was sure what that meant (years before Facebook).
Now I’m wondering: Which ideas that seem outrageous today will be commonplace in 10 or 20 years? How about “we raised our collective IQ with new technologies and systems for improving human interactions that will enable us to solve global problems”….or at least figured out how to keep cell phones from going off during concerts.