What's Forecast for 2014? 5 Predictions for the New Year

1. The Gamification of Education - connecting like-minds to consolidate learning.
It's a well known fact that gaming captures a teenager's attention for hours whilst the traditional, listen-and-learn, lecture-theatre environment is failing to capture imagination with quite as much vigour as once did. 2014 will be the year when inspired educators seek to have fun with existing technology by way of making their material more captivating in its consumption. This will further open up the accessibility to advanced learning material. It will give Further Education Establishments a competitive challenge that will see them specialize with strong unique selling points or struggle to stay alive as information created by learners for learners, in practical, digestible terms - finds fun ways to reach its audience.
2. The Internet of Money - leaving behind the legacy of the recession - will it bite again?
#Bitcoin is gaining attention as financiers and entrepreneurs ask whether or not this currency is worth investing in. When I spoke with Andreas M. Antonopoulos, a leading #Bitcoin pioneer, his answer was clear. "Bitcoin is more than money for the internet, it's the internet of money". When you think about what the internet has done in terms of decentralizing communication, levelling the audience reach of a growing talent pool and increasing the accessibility of advanced learning materials as inclusively accessible - suddenly you can see how a currency with such a strategy as its raison d'ĂȘtre could implode the money markets as we currently know them to be.
The recession left us very slow at making decisions - whether we're able to push past the cold-climate mindset the financial dip collectively caused remains a challenge for 2014. Analysts predict a potential market collapse as interest rates rise in May/June and we're far from completely out of the dark days. The future is open to innovators and entrepreneurs willing and able to embrace the open doors such dramatic shifts in the sands of society - create.
3. Pinpoint Marketing and SOCIAL Engine Optimization - building on mobile, location, sensory and diverse data technologies to accurately target you at your most receptive.
Adverts dotting the sides of our screens and positioned as banners on pages are no surprise to us - quickly we've learnt to largely ignore them. Adverts disguised as cleverly positioned posts from our friends - entertaining, enlightening, captivating in their ingenious designs... infiltrating our social networks, pinpointing our needs with alarming accuracy and stimulating us into sharing them with our friends... 2014 will see the rise of directly targeted marketing. Created for social sharing, such advertising will blend with peer posts and leverage the trust you have in your network by way of enticing you into to a sale.
It's scary. If you're selling something you need to know how the power of such promotion works if you intend to retain your market share. Your search field will narrow as analytics get "better" at giving you what they think you want. Search Engine Optimization matters but SOCIAL Engine Optimization will matter more in 2014.
4. "Mean Green" (selfish shockers we thought we'd all out grown) - giving rise to an environmental agenda of growing economic interest as viable business models emerge.
A friend of mine's 19 year old daughter asked for a real fur scarf for Christmas. I've been a vegetarian for 27 years - and an active feminist all my live - what I mean is I live to expect equality between men and women and give nature my full respect. We have had all of these debates endlessly; the environment, equality, poverty etc. - "Green" - as this colour has come to mean. I predict 2014 will sadly shed light on selfish acts we thought we'd outgrown with regards to disrespecting minority groups and disadvantaged individuals as well abusing nature and the environment. Such behaviour, seemingly unacceptable a few years ago will go relatively unreported and openly tolerated throughout the year.
This bad behaviour will be counteracted by Green communities, further incentivised by a noticeable decline in support for their cause. Suddenly the Green movement will gain momentum and accelerate in the right direction as re-innovated technologies become cost effective and viable business models emerge - particularly in respect of the supply of Green Energy.
5. Cross-cultural collaboration like we've never seen - driven by Millennial minds; people around the world, connected by a common cause, sharing and transferring know-how on a large scale.
The bottom-up revolution in the restructuring of society will gain momentum as the millennial generation empower ways of collaborating, creating together, sharing and transferring knowledge and skills in ways the baby boomers could never imagine. 2013 showed us how huge groups of people can quickly be pulled together through the power of social media - and how first hand facts, recorded and shared from the scene will spread faster than the information reported by mainstream media. Quite where this collective force will carry us throughout the year - remains to be seen.
By Celia Gates
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What's Forecast for 2014? 5 Predictions for the New Year
What's Forecast for 2014? 5 Predictions for the New Year
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