The Institute for the Future looks at what happens when technologies intersect.
Innovation occurs both within fields, and in combinations of fields. It’s perhaps the latter that ends up being most groundbreaking. When people of disparate expertise, mindset and ideas work together, new possibilities pop up.
In a new report, the Institute for the Future argues that “technological change is increasingly driven by the combination and recombination of foundational elements.” So, when we think about the future, we need to consider not just fundamental advances (say, in computing, materials, bioscience) but also at the intersection of these technologies.
The report uses combination-analysis in the form of a map. IFTF selects 13 “territories”–what it calls “frontiers of innovation”–and then examines the linkages and overlaps. The result is 20 “combinational forecasts.” “These are the big stories, hot spots that will shape the landscape of technology in the coming decade,” the report explains. “Each combinatorial forecast emerges from the intersection of multiple territories.”
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