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Future of technology is a path of paradoxes, says The Futures Company

29 November, 2011

CHAPEL HILL, NC — The Futures Company released today another in its ongoing series of thought-provoking Future Perspectives white papers, Technology in 2020. This report takes stock of the impact that digital technologies are having across all areas of society and business and looks ahead to the innovations and transformations that will transpire over the next decade. In particular, Technology in 2020 focuses on the paradoxes of change that are the central, controlling dynamics shaping the impact and future of technology:

  • As technological change now slows, the pace of the changes created by technology in the economy and society at large is rapidly accelerating.
  • The interconnection of digital technology is growing by virtue of the increasing unbundling of digital technologies.
  • The individualistic experience and empowerment of digital technologies is intrinsically social, thus inherently communal in its effects.
  • The path and speed of technological evolution will be governed by things that have nothing to do with technology per se, including social behavior, network economics, laws and regulations, institutional frameworks and infrastructure, and business models.
  • Mere extrapolations of technologies themselves will always be wrong predictions of the future.
Andrew Curry, a Director in The Futures Company’s London office and author of the report, emphasizes that the importance of these paradoxes for businesses and other organizations is in “the need to experiment and encourage diversity in such a way that failure and unexpected developments are survivable.”

Curry adds, “The next evolution of technology for consumers will be a much more accessible and fully integrated experience into their lives. Throughout the next decade, this will necessitate innovative business models and organizations and new business organizations. But the paradoxes of change will be so challenging and often so unexpected that every business will make missteps. Success itself will be found in the paradox of being nimble in the face of failure.���

In addition to this insightful view of technology as a whole and its impact on the marketplace in general, over the next several months, Technology in 2020 will be supplemented by a series of in-depth analyses of what the future of technology means for specific areas, including home, cities, identity, social networks, health, retail and work.

For more information
Emily Parenti at +1 919 932 8626 or email  

About The Futures Company
The Futures Company is the leading global foresight and futures consultancy, formed in 2008 from the coming together of The Henley Centre, HeadlightVision and Yankelovich. Through a combination of subscription foresight services and custom research and consultancy, we create commercial advantage for our clients by helping them to take control of their futures. By exploring the future needs, motivations and behaviors of consumers, and the broader dynamics shaping the marketplace, we unlock the future of consumers, brands, categories and companies.

The Futures Company is a Kantar company within WPP with teams in the UK, US, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and India. 
Follow The Futures Company on Twitter @FuturesCo and Facebook

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