By Huw Martin
As a boy I was a huge fan of sci-fi, the first big boy film I watched in the cinema (other than Pete’s Dragon which doesn’t qualify) was Krull, then it was the original Star Wars films as well as Planet of the Apes alongside the ever consistent Star Trek.
All of these films as good or bad as they were dazzled me with the promise of “The Future”. Whether it was ray guns, flying cars, spaceships or strange shaped ears, these films excited my younger self with the incredible advancements of humanity and what feats that we could dream about.
40 yrs on we look forward to 2020, a year full of innovation and creativity, a year with the promise of safe driver-less cars, robots, AI & Machine learning at the fore and of the ever increasing use of technology to further advance our lives.
That said, here are some of the predictions that would happen in 2020 I found whilst browsing the internet which brought a smile to my face;
- Human feet will become just one big toe! In a lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1911, a surgeon by the name of Richard Clement Lucas made a curious prediction: that the “useless outer toes” will become used less and less, so that “man might become a one-toed race”
- We will have ape chauffeurs! In 1994, the RAND Corporation, a global think tank that’s contributed to the space program and the development of the internet, said they expected us to have animal employees by the year 2020
- Everyone will stop drinking coffee & tea. In 1937, Nikola Tesla predicted that “within a century, coffee, tea, and tobacco will be no longer in vogue.” “The abolition of stimulants will not come about forcibly,” he wrote. “It will simply be no longer fashionable to poison the system with harmful ingredients.
In reality, 2020 looks like being the year of the unknown. Yes I’m sure there will be some incredible advancements that will make lives better but in the same breath there looks to be some real uncertainty and challenge that’s coming.
In the UK we face the very real prospect of (irrespective of my point of view);
- A very protracted exit from the EU (remember the withdrawal agreement is simply stage 1)
- IndyRef 2
- Some challenging economic times with limited growth
So how do we mitigate these risks and stay positive through the tough times to come?
In my view we need to do a number of things starting with building resilience into our business model, ensuring that whilst things may be challenging as a core business we have strong financial health, that we manage risks as importantly as opportunities and that when things do become difficult its the strength of the team that pulls you through.
The culture of an organisation is also a key component to seeing you through unknowns, a willingness to stay positive, to understand that with every threat there is an opportunity and with good companies no matter how big or small there is value in doing the right thing and especially for people who are committed to making a difference to their customers.
I see 2020 as a year of challenge and opportunity, hopefully the opportunities will out-way the challenges and I’m confident that we as a company will be resilient enough to come through the other side irrespective of what the year throws at us.