Global Trends Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Social networks

The Yale Center for the Study of Globalization through its YaleGlobal online service has just launched an ebook A World Connected: Globalization in the 21st Century which is well worth the read for anyone interested in how globalization has – and will in future – impact our world, lives and work.  It’s a seminal collection of essays collated from over ten years of work by scholars, practitioners, politicians, and experts in the study of globalization. 

One of its most compelling points is its broad scope, covering the complex array of ways in which globalization is changing our world – often discussions of globalization narrow in to areas of economics and trade, or to the global capital markets which have had such an impact in recent years, or to the geopolitics of a new world order. With the notions of interconnectedness and interdependence as its lenses, the book not only explores these topics, but also the many ways in which globalization touches all of our lives and interweaves communities, countries and continents – including how cultures and societies develop, how we seek security, how ideas moving around the world are impacting creativity, how rising inequalities are changing societies, how China’s rise is impacting the world, and how we as people interact around the world.

...
Hits: 5053
0

Posted by on in MyBlog

The winds of reform are blowing in Asia at the moment. Or so it seems when one reads the headlines. Are the loosening of the authoritarian regime in Burma (sometimes called Myanmar) and the recent protests by Chinese journalists really manifestations of openness in these countries? 

To first check out the longer term trends, your occasional correspondent turned to the internationally recognized indices relevant for political governance. It turned out to be depressing reading. In terms of press freedom, both Burma and China score in the bottom five percent of the Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index over the past decade. The Freedom House Index, measuring political rights and civil liberties, shows similar results. In terms of corruption, represented by Transparency International’s corruption perception index, China’s result is near the middle among the world’s countries, whereas Burma is consistently cited as one of the three most corrupt countries in the index since 2004.

...
Hits: 4291
0

Posted by on in MyBlog

The news from the latest Consumer Electronics Show(CES) 2013 in Las Vegas got me thinking how much life has changed since I was a kid back in the seventies and early eighties. It doesn’t feel like that long ago, but maybe it is. At least that’s what technological developments are telling me. Like many other parents I am hugely concerned about my kids and their friends spending too much time on the iPad, computer, television and every other electronic device you can name – but in reality they are just doing the same things that I do and, for that matter, the rest of the world. Born in the early 2000s they are typical of generation Z or C – the connected generation. Technology and connectedness is in their DNA and being tech-savvy is critical for our future generation, as technology changes ever faster than before.

The internet is probably the most beloved invention since the car. More than 2.4 billion or 34.3% of the world’s population is online and Facebook, the world’s biggest social network with 1 billion users, just confirms the fact that we love being online, connected and living our life in real-time.  However, the internet is not only used as tool to connect people. Increasingly it is also used to fight inefficient transport services, outdated water and waste networks, rising pollution levels and increased demands for energy and housing in our ever more urban communities. Today cities are becoming more intelligent as high technology firms, including IBM and Cisco, cross industry boundaries to take on the challenge of city management. In many different forms, they offer highly efficient, next-generation computerized planning, information and control systems. For example, IBM has worked with Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro to use technology to better handle the challenges of running the city, from managing traffic flow, or coordinating public works crews to anticipating disruptive storms. Another smart new technology making a difference to city planning is Urban OS from Living PlanIT, which works like a PC operating system, monitoring buildings, traffic and services in order to help a city to run smoothly. Test beds for the Urban OS are currently being built in Portugal as well as London’s Greenwich peninsula, while Living PlanIT was selected as one of the World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneers of 2012 for its work in developing smart cities. Another interesting Internet-led development is connectedness in manufacturing. According to the recent report “Industrial Internet: Pushing the Boundaries of Minds and Machines” from  General Electric, the Internet of Things has the potential to add US$10-15 trillion to global GDP by 2030 and reduce billions of dollars’ worth of waste across major industries such as healthcare, energy and transportation.

...
Hits: 3661
0

Here's another quick preview from The Global Trends Report 2013, due out in just 2 days on November 14th. Look out for it soon.

Social needs, mobility, communities, societal impact and connectedness are at the heart of the business environment of the future. In this world the consumer can no longer be regarded solely as an individual, self-determining entity. They are connected, for better or worse, and that means the impact of the business-consumer relationship extends beyond the “target” of the relationship, i.e. the consumer, out to the extended networks and communities of which that individual is a part. This is a world where word of mouth and, increasingly, word of mouse dominate. There is nothing new about using our friends as source of best advice. What is relatively new is the way more and more people do it. We are moving away from “wisdom of crowds” to the “wisdom of friends.” Trust is the currency of the connected world.

...
Hits: 3798
0

The last two weeks have seen unprecedented social unrest around the world – the democratization of everything is spreading but frankly it’s not a pretty sight.  Just think back on the headlines:

  • China and Japan facing off over disputed ownership of islands in the East China Sea – with demonstrations and violence against Japanese businesses in China as nationalist sentiment rises, compounded by the anniversary of a politically sensitive incident.
  • Demonstrations, violence and deaths across the world from North Africa and the Middle East to Indonesia and Pakistan as Muslims protest over a cheap and nasty film ridiculing Islam, clearly produced by less than a handful of bigots to incite religious turmoil.
  • Ongoing strikes and renewed violence as South African miners demand higher wages and clash with security forces, even as some returned to work.
  • Massive demonstrations in Portugal and Spain against austerity measures as standards of living fall and unemployment soars – plus renewed demonstrations by Catalan separatists.
  • In India, tens of thousands protest against government plans to open the retail trade to foreign investors, as well as rising fuel prices.
  • Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, re-elected this year, targeted by up to 50,000 demonstrators in Moscow, calling for an end to his rule.
  • In Argentina, President Cristina Kirchner’s government facing the largest pot-banging protest ("cacerolazos") since taking office as people protested over corruption scandals, crime and management of the economy.
  • Occupy Wall Street protesters back to mark the anniversary of the movement, although with fewer feet on the street and continued tensions with police.
  • Continuing protests over natural resources in Peru, particularly directed at the mining sector, leaving one more person dead this week.
  • Ongoing protests over the July election of President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico, amid accusations of vote-rigging and media collusion, including a cyber-attack this week on government, political and media websites.
  • The threat of renewed protests in the Chinese village of Wukan, as elections have not brought the desired changes in government control nor the return of land sold illegally.  

The list could go on – frustration and anger is boiling in societies around the world over: their own government’s management of economy and society; perceived threats to livelihoods; inequality; religious insults and intolerance; crime and corruption; and natural resource ownership.  It’s a potent cocktail of grievances. The cost to societies in terms of driving divisions and damaging livelihoods and economies is massive. What’s causing the unrest? And what can we do about it?

...
Hits: 2432
0

Posted by on in MyBlog

Natasha Deonarain, MD, MBA is a board-certified family practice and urgent care physician with 20 years of experience in both Canada and the United States. In her upcoming book, The 7 Principles of Health: Your Call to Health Consciousness, she talks about a new paradigm for optimal health that’s based on a different paradigm than that used in Western medicine. Natasha kindly shares her thoughts on how the US healthcare system needs to – and can become – more patient-centric.

To see where America’s healthcare future lies, we should take a few lessons from the book and music industries.

...
Hits: 4159
0

Information and communications technologies are advancing rapidly, reshaping all aspects of our work and lives, from telecommuting to how we find information to how we interact with others.  The implications for providers of commercial goods and services are enormous, from how they manage their increasingly tech-literate workforce to how they interact with consumers and customers over time.  For the public and non-profit sectors, the changes are equally significant with new ways of connecting with constituencies, gathering tax returns or polling information to new ways of engaging communities in social activities and philanthropy.

With the data deluge increasing, there is an “attention arms race” going on – organizations are competing not only within their industry but across all industries and forms of information to gain – and keep – the attention of their consumers and customers.  It can’t be done alone.  Organizations need to manage a growing array of channels and intermediaries through which their information is filtered, aggregated and relayed to target audiences, including search engines, social networks, news sources, mobile communications providers and purchasing portals such as apps stores.  

...
Hits: 10328
0

The Wall Street Journal has set tech and investment banking pulses racing today with an article suggesting that Twitter may be a prime takeover target.  Although reported talks with Facebook and Google have been “low-level” and don’t seem to be going anywhere fast, the article has well and truly put Twitter on the block at an estimated valuation of US$8 to 10 billion. Round numbers are so much easier when we are talking tech-based financial excitement, don’t you think? So let’s make it easy and stay with the 10 figure.  Based on the report, that’s 222 times reported 2010 revenues of US$45 million or 100 times estimated 2011 revenues of US$100 million.   And the reason it made a loss in 2010 is that it was investing in growth, both of data centers and employees. With 175 million users worldwide (more than the WSJ and New York Time and growing) plus new advertising revenues (and growing too), it sounds like a good deal, right?

Last time I had these sorts of conversations was about ten years ago.  That’s when various friends and family were comparing notes about the Caribbean islands they were thinking about retiring to.  We don’t live on a Caribbean island today, neither do they.  So why are we back in bubble-land? (By the way since my last post on bubble or no bubble reports of secondary trading of Facebook suggest it is valued at more than Amazon now. Meanwhile the Huffington Post is being acquired by AOL for US$315 million.) There is no financial calculation that can make sense of these estimated valuations and yet venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (of Andreessen/Netscape fame) said it bought more than US$80 million of Twitter shares through exchanges for private-company stock.  They have been there and done that, so why are they along for the ride?

...
Hits: 6695
0

Posted by on in MyBlog

GUEST BLOG from Greg Rice, CEO Activate Media, long-time Silicon Valley investor and tech guru:  FaceBook now has 600 million users, less than six months since it passed the 500 million mark, and membership growth shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. It seems almost unbelievable that in less than seven years we have witnessed its transformation from a protected walled garden for the best universities to the fastest growing social medium the world has ever known. But, explosive growth usually comes at a cost. In this case we have relatively inexperienced and trusting users sharing their lives on social networking systems that are evolving quickly and with unknown consequences.  This has implications both for the users and the businesses that reach users through social networks.

For me, the real issues for users are anonymity and trust. Most people feel protected and insulated using social networks because they think they are posting content in their own environment and using the internet makes them anonymous. They seem to think that the only way their information will be found or used is if they tell someone about it and give them access to use it.

...
Hits: 5969
0

Posted by on in MyBlog

Look out for our January 2011 GT Briefing, which gives you a single source to find some of the more interesting and important trend forecasts and predictions for 2011. There’s so much out there – typing Trends for 2011 into Google on January 1st 2011 gave us around 46 million results – that we did this partly for our own sanity but also (hopefully) so others will find it useful.  Do let us know!  It’s an eclectic mix of forecasts, on topics including: Global trends/macro trends (including us of course!), consumer trends, economic trends, financial markets trends, technology trends, social media trends, mobile trends, design & fashion trends, health & wellness trends, retail trends, travel trends and marketing trends.  Sources range from the FT, Trendwatching.com and McKinsey to the IMF, Mashable, TripAdvisor and The Food Channel.  No doubt we have missed some (feel free to let us know) and there are still more coming out daily (of which a couple below), but all have offered us some food for thought as we look ahead. Here are just a few of the themes across the forecasts that we took away.

A two-track world for economic growth

...
Hits: 8823
0

The holiday season, particularly in Western developed economies, is the retail high spot of the year, when sales surge and high-ticket items get bought.  For the shoppers it is also a pre-cursor to the post-holiday sales season when bargains abound, increasingly important in the post-recession world where frugality is a new-found virtue.  This year, however, highlighted the shape of things to come, summarized in a Wall street Journal headline: “Phone-wielding shoppers strike fear into retailers.” M-commerce is here and as it grows will radically reshape not only the retail industry but how people shop – it’s power to the people in yet another industry.  Traditional trolley wars, often focused on delivering the best price on a basket of goods, will no longer be relevant.  Walls of bricks and mortar stores have become transparent and porous. Consumers, armed with smartphones plus an increasing array of mobile shopping and price comparison apps, can now pick and choose the best deals on individual products and services without the hassle of visiting multiple stores.  And they can check what their friends like, real-time, too.  Soon, if not now, they can also pay with their smartphone – or virtual wallet. Welcome to the world of virtual trolley wars!

M-commerce is at an early stage with various studies suggesting it is still just a fraction of e-commerce sales today.  For example an Ovum and Verdict Research report suggested the UK m-commerce market was worth around UK£ 122 million in 2009 versus UK£ 21.2 billion for total e-commerce.  However, m-commerce will grow fast with UK sales expected to more than double by 2013 to UK£ 275 million, and some global estimates suggesting a global m-commerce market in excess of US$ 119 billion by 2015.  A 2010 Forrester report on the state of mobile commerce in Europe suggests a similar picture, with only 2% of respondents to their survey reporting purchasing products via their mobile phones, although 16% have used phones for shopping-related activities such as researching products.  However, smartphone owners are much more likely to engage in mobile shopping – and this is a rapidly growing group worldwide. The Gartner Group suggests that smartphones will account for 46% of total mobile phone sales worldwide by 2013, with Italy and Spain leading the way –in 2009, Nielsen estimated smartphone penetration in new mobile handsets purchased was 28% and 23% respectively, with the U.S. following at 17%. The message is clear: Smartphones are going to be key mobile shopping devices in future so it’s time for retailers to act, but they need to think about it from the consumer perspective.

...
Hits: 5427
0

As 2011 looms closer, thoughts naturally turn to what lies ahead.  What events will we see unfold? Which hopes will be realized and which will be dashed?  What new ideas and companies will burst on to the scene? Who will make the news? One of the things we have on our agenda here at Global Trends is thinking about who will be the next generation of shapers and influencers.  The last twenty years have seen unprecedented shifts in the influence landscape – a new emancipation.  While we have a reasonable idea of who – and what – is influencing our lives and work today, the influence landscape is moving so fast that it is critical to look ahead. So let’s take a quick look at some of the people, companies and ideas that might influence the next year – with more in-depth reports to come.

Even as recently as twenty or thirty years ago, the people with influence were relatively easy to spot: the President or Prime Minister of a nation, religious leaders, CEOs, and probably your parents.  Their influence was based on a combination of position, experience, knowledge, wealth – and most importantly control of the (limited) channels of communication to the “people,” for to have power influence must be spread. No longer – power is shifting away from position and traditional measures of status towards a much more fluid, fickle and democratic power structure.  Today it is about the power of “me” and “we” more than the power of “they.”

...
Hits: 5971
0

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that the Wikileaks release of US diplomatic cables highlighted that we are living in an age of unprecedented transparency, one where information is increasingly a base of power – a base from which individuals can wield enormous influence in addition to countries and companies.  Whatever you believe about Wikileaks and its founder, the ongoing saga has brought into the public domain what many commentators have been speculating on and security experts fearing: Infowars.  Cyber-attacks have been carried out both on Wikileaks and on companies which have chosen to withhold services from the organization, by  loose, nameless (some call themselves Anonymous) communities of hackers using social media to organize themselves.   So what are some of the major pros and cons of radical transparency?

Some Pros

...
Hits: 7739
0

Dinner was interesting last night as a microcosm of life in a connected economy.  My son (12 years old) happily informed me that since he had forgotten his homework he had usefully employed the time checking out the top iPad apps.  By the way, I bought the iPad to experiment with it as a business device and have now concluded it is an entertainment device... with his help obviously.  In rank order the top 3 iPad apps last week were: Angry Birds Hallowe’en (the developers have sold out for a lot of money), the McDonalds finder, and the wonder of the last 2 weeks, the app to find a French petrol station with fuel (their sales must have gone up at least 100,000% in the last 2 weeks – see my post on the Camargue. 

All of which poses an interesting question... which do you download first, assuming you are somewhere in France amid the denial of demographic reality? If you are in need of food, it’s clearly McDonalds first (depending on how you view fast food). Or do you need the fuel-finder first (to get to McDonalds)? And what happens if you can’t find fuel or McDonalds?   That’s why Angry Birds is No.1...

The growth of apps is an interesting – and very recent – phenomenon for business.  As a recent perspective from Booz & Co. suggests:

...
Hits: 5508
0

Posted by on in MyBlog

Boundaries are blurring in many industries.  For an example see our article "Who's Looking After You?" which focuses on how industry boundaries are blurring in the health and wellness value space.  Value in this case being defined from the consumer perspective. 

Put a lot of consumers together and you find communities of choice emerging, often enabled by social networks. And we are spending increasing amounts of time on these networks and in these communities. Nielsen estimates that nearly 70% of online users globally visit social network sites, and that social networks/blogs now account for one in every four and a half minutes online -- or 22% of total time spent online worldwide. The average visitor spends 66% more time on these sites than a year ago, almost 6 hours in the month of April 2010 versus 3 hours, 31 minutes last year.

...
Hits: 4232
0

Posted by on in MyBlog

While global trends are by definition long-term in nature, they are also uncertain and ambiguous.  Our assumptions will be tested regularly, while many changes continuously occur, whether small and evolutionary and step-change and discontinuous.  Here we highlight some of these ongoing changes, reflect on their impact, and hopefully help to stimulate some conversations along the way.

One trend that has been on my mind in the last week is The Mobile Time Machine (see 10 Key Trends to Watch, http://www.globaltrends.com/features/strategy-a-leadership/67-10-key-trends-to-watch), which talks about how exploding mobility is compressing time. My son has just been on a school trip to Rome.  It used to be that parents packed their kids off on such trips with some extra pocket money, a disposable camera (with maximum 36 exposures) and high hopes for stories of culture, gelati and fun on their return.  Not any more! Even before the trip started, the class twitter feeds were up -- with the odd technical hitch given the kids are much better at social media than parents or the school. Parents could share the ups and downs of Roman public transport, the best pizza spots and the potential for their beloved offspring to get lost in hide and seek among the ruins.  Add text messages and random phone calls, and parents could keep track of whether the class was enacting gladiatorial battles in the colosseum, hanging out eating ice-cream or hiking up Vesuvius.

...
Hits: 6181
0