Recap: The Future of Multimedia – An Interactive Tour


Topic: The Future of Multimedia: Visual, News, Music & Social

This discussion was led by Columbus Futurists member Onyemobi Anyiwo. He took the group on a journey recalling how we received information – news, music, movies – and communicated with friends and family – starting with 1967, and then jumping 10 years forward until we reached present day.  Very interesting not only to see how technology and social behavior has evolved – but also how we recollect those changes.  Many people in the room had no memory of the earlier times – they weren’t born yet!

The exercise made the discussion less abstract – lent an air of reality as everyone remembered how their tools and their preferences had changed over the years,

Finally, the discussion looked ahead – what would the situation be in 2027 – 10 years hence? The possibilities are at once kind of clear – a continuation of current trends – and obscure – as we don’t know what unexpected disjunctures in technology might be waiting for us.

From the promo for the meeting:

The last 17 years  has seen dramatic changes in the ways we receive media content. 20th Century Media “Goliaths” have been slain by 21st Century Media “Davids”.  Home video companies like Blockbuster & Hollywood Video were hurt by Cable On-Demand & Pay-Per-View services, and eventually finished off by Redbox and Netflix.

Music stores like Tower Records which used to be staples of shopping malls across the country, have closed their doors due to the creation of the MP3, their subsequent sharing via P2P networks (Napster, Kazaa, etc), as well as the purchase and streaming options offered by Itunes, Amazon, Pandora & Spotify.

Cable News, which introduced the 24 hours news cycle, is unable to keep up with the likes of Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms in terms of delivering breaking news.

Speaking of which, even cable television itself is faltering as more and more people are joining the “cordcutting” revolution and opting for streaming services powered by media sticks & boxes, such as Google Chromecast, Kodi, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, etc.

But even the new media titans aren’t safe themselves from being supplanted by newer up-and-comers. And technology like Augmented and Virtual Reality promises to deliver more interactive types of media that we previously have only been able to imagine. So the question is: What is the future of media? Where do we go from here?

Some suggested reading resources (any one of these articles serves as fuel for the discussion):

Another great discussion in an exciting agenda emerging for our meetings this year.

Recap: The Future of the Evolving Worker

Topic: The Future of the Evolving Worker

(meeting 4/27/2017)

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ” – Alvin Toffler

Humans in general seek out meaningful work.  Part of that need is based on sustenance – it is a time-honored tradition to trade our time and skills for compensation by the beneficiaries.  And another part of that need seems to be an inner drive to seek out meaningful ways to spend our time – whether compensated or not – to validate one’s self-worth, to contribute to a personal legacy, or other psychological reasons.

The structure of the relationship between the provider of time and skill (employee) and the beneficiary (employer) is undergoing radical change.  Much of that change is based on the radical changes in commercial enterprise caused by the influx of technology.  Other aspects of change cascade from initial technological impact, to a fundamental restructuring of social relationships in almost every dimension.  It seems like we are waiting on one last development to flip the balance.  Much like one last grain of sand on a perfect cone can cause the entire structure to collapse and assume a new form.

We have some idea how the nature of jobs – and, more generally, work – is changing.  But what must we as individuals – and as a society – change to keep up, and accommodate new rules for finding sustenance, and for finding personal meaning and satisfaction?

This changing picture for people – and all the adjustments and changes they will have embrace for a future success and a future economy – is the topic of our discussion this month.

Some suggested reading resources (any one of these articles serves as fuel for the discussion):

Building on our discussions of blockchain  and the future of jobs in the last two meetings – this focus on people – a key factor in shaping the future – is a primary consideration in projecting an economy for coming generations.