Four Unexpected Macro Trends for 2013 and Beyond: The Last Two

By Frey, Thomas | Journal of Environmental Health, May 2013 | Go to article overview

Four Unexpected Macro Trends for 2013 and Beyond: The Last Two


Frey, Thomas, Journal of Environmental Health


The April column covered the first two unexpected macro trends for 2013 and beyond. This month's column will cover the last two.

3.) Multidimensional Literacy --The Evolution of Consumable

Information

Contrary to what most academics think, literacy is not just about reading and writing. It can be, but that becomes a very narrowminded way of looking at the world.

People in the U.S. are consuming information 11.8 hours every day, and they are doing it in many different ways:

* Photo literacy--Currently over 250 million photos are uploaded onto Facebook every day.

* Video literacy--Google recently announced that videos are being uploaded to YouTube at a rate of 48 hours of video every minute.

* Coding literacy--With over 8,000 coding languages currently in existence and new ones coming into play faster than old ones are going away, people who are "code literate" are in huge demand.

* Game literacy--The video game industry is expected to grow from $67 billion in 2012 to $82 billion in 2017 with game playing in 70% of all households.

* App literacy--Between Apple and Android, over 1.5 million apps are currently in existence and this number is climbing rapidly.

* Device literacy--The "Internet of Things" is growing exponentially, and Cisco estimates the number of devices connected to the Internet by 2020 will hit 50 billion.

* Social media literacy--One out of every five page views on the web is on Facebook. With over one billion registered users, Facebook is leading the pack, but there are many other brands of social media like Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn nipping at Facebook's heels.

In addition to the ones listed above are streaming music, podcasts, audio books, movies, courseware, and many more.

Only a small percentage of the information we consume is the written word, and this percentage will continue to decline as we develop newer, faster, and better ways to package information.

Yes, we still need to know how to read and write, but trying to exist in a world without being able to create videos, edit photos, download music, operate devices, or write code will be increasingly difficult.

Competing for jobs in the future will require people to be broadly literate, with the advantage going to those who are the most multidimensional.

4.) The Legalized Marijuana Movement--Nudging the Snowflake That Started the Avalanche

People have been predicting the legalization of marijuana for decades. To say that legalization was highly anticipated is something of a gross understatement.

The problem is that everyone was predicting California would be first. In fact, most of the secret laboratories at the tobacco and pharmaceutical companies for testing and refining pot are based in California. But Colorado and Washington decided to go first.

Unbeknownst to most, these companies have already begun leasing space in Colorado and Washington to better position themselves for the first wave of business opportunities.

While both states are wrestling with an entirely new type of "controlled substance" legislation, lobbyists on both state and federal levels are being put into place to help "guide" people's thinking.

What most people are missing is that marijuana is already one of the most researched substances in all history. …

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