Every year I look forward to the Harvard Business Review's Breakthrough Ideas List and the 2008 list will get you thinking. The obvious ones are in there - globalization, sustainability, technology. In addition there are several mindbenders related to technology.
- Here comes the P2P (Peer-to-Peer) Economy - enabled by the internet and rise of social networking, they predict a distributed economy with many consumer-producers (think Long Tail). Makes me want to pick back up my Wikinomics book.
- The Gamer Disposition - This does a nice job of summing up the key attributes of the gamer generation (millennial, Gen Y) and why this is not a passing trend that they will grow out of. The five key attributes are: 1) Bottom-line oriented (think winning and leveling up); 2) They understand the power of diversity (they have been poning noobs with their friends from all over the globe and appreciate different skill sets in their hordes); 3) They thrive on change (when is the next release comin' out dude?); 4) They see learning as fun; 5) They marinate on the edge (rapid prototyping and experimentation are the norm).
- Making Alternate Reality the New Business Reality - this one explores how real-world simulations are possible using these virtual world platforms (like Second Life). The author says that the broad collaboration features and innovation functionality inherent in these platforms may become "the new operating system for the real-world of business."
- The Metaverse: TV of the future? - I am quoting this one, "The next dominant interface is likely to be the metaverse, where people interact and do business through avatars that actually inhabit the virtual space. Lessons for how companies should prepare to compete and survive in that environment come from historical parallels in the early days of broadcasting." See my post on our experience wth accounting education for a real example.
- Giving Avatars Emote Control - explores the issues of displaying real emotions using avatars and the risks of exposing too much or worse yet using it to deceive people you meet in the metaverse.
- Happy Metadata Trails - user-generated content and the proliferation of metadata and tagging (think folksonomy) mean lots of opportunities to understand customer behavior and get things done in new ways. They also point out the darker side related to privacy issues. By the way, your Profession is already an innovator here with the XBRL initiative.
We took time this fall to develop our own self-study training on these Web 2.0 technologies and were ecstatic at our results - we have our entire staff now trained and experienced with Web 2.0. See our training site here cpalearning2.com and you can visit us in SecondLife on CPA Island
Are you doing anything with these new technologies?