20 Combinatorial Forecasts
A map of the technology horizon
Featured in FastCompany Co.EXIST: "When Technologies Combine, Amazing Innovation Happens"
IFTF’s Technology Horizons program is pleased to present its newest map for 2014, 20 Combinatorial Forecasts, which explores the future of technology at the intersections of different fields—available as both an interactive online map or a downloadable PDF.
The coming decade will be defined by technologies that span multiple traditional disciplines. It is simply no longer possible to understand the future by extrapolating trends from distinct domains such as Logistics or Artificial Intelligence. Innovation happens at the edges and in combination.
Preparing for a world in which code shapes law, biology shapes manufacturing, and emotions can be measured takes a broader understanding of emerging technologies to understand their applications and implications. If the objects we encounter in everyday life can be programmed to prevent us from breaking the law—for example, cars that can read speed limit signs and impose them on the driver—become the norm, entirely new careers and models of governance become possible. Where will the intersections of old disciplines, such as Logistics, Data, Networked Matter, and more give way to entirely new kinds of technology, new ways of thinking, and new approaches to solving old problems?
Each year, IFTF creates forecasts and maps charting the technology horizon for the next decade. In 2014, our 20 Combinatorial Forecasts map takes up the call to explore the shifting landscape in which many of our assumptions are grounded.
We present 20 Combinatorial Forecasts as a critical tool for navigating the future and how it might impact your organization. In addition to an online map, we’ll publish a blog post every few weeks that takes a deeper dive into many of the 20 forecasts. The map is an invaluable tool for understanding changes that might impact your organization from previously unrelated fields; for example, the emerging field of biomanufacturing—using biological processes on an industrial scale—may well redefine manufacturing as we know it.
We invite you to think big and draw your own insights from this map. Read through all the forecasts; take a step back and imagine yourself or your organization in this fascinating new landscape. What are the new opportunities for you? What are the emerging challenges?
The future of technology is an unfamiliar territory … how will you traverse it?
Diving into the forecasts ...
Every few weeks starting July 7, we'll take a deep dive into one of the map's twenty forecasts on the future of technology at the intersections of different fields.
- Week 1: Code becomes law
Stay tuned for more!