17 Global Population Trends You Probably Don’t Know


When was the last time you thoughtfully considered the powerful force of something as simple as population? History is full of examples of how quickly a population change can impact a nation or our world! For example, China’s one-child policy is now causing serious implications for an aged society with few children to care for their elders.

Here are 17 population projections that will deeply impact our world in the decades ahead.

  1. By 2017, Baby Boomers will control 70 percent of America’s disposable income.
  2. More than 40 countries are expected to decrease their population between 2015 and 2050.
  3. Older Americans who describe themselves as lonely have a 45 percent greater risk of dying-and that the population of over-65 adults in the United States is projected to double in the next 15 years.
  4. By 2020, the majority of the world’s middle class population will be located in the Asia Pacific region.
  5. In 2035, 60% of the world’s population will be in cities.
  6. By 2035, almost 80% of the world’s population is projected to be in Asia and Africa.
  7. China’s population is expected to be overtaken by India (1.3 billion) within the next seven years.
  8. The collective working-age population of the world’s advanced economies will decline for the first time since 1950.
  9. By 2030, the current urban population of 3.6 billion will rise to five billion.
  10. The urban population of the developing world is expected to double between 2000 and 2030.
  11. Over 85 percent of the world’s population will likely live in a city by the end of the 21st century.
  12. The global rural population is now almost 3.4 billion and expected to decline to 3.2 billion by 2050.
  13. Over the next 40 years, Asia’s urban population is projected to increase from 1.9 billion to 3.2 billion.
  14. By 2030, a billion Chinese people will be city dwellers.
  15. Half the world’s population is expected to be online by 2019.
  16. Up to 2030 the world will need to build the equivalent of a city of 1 million people every five days.
  17. Labor markets will need to add 600 million new jobs by 2026 to accommodate changing global demographics.

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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

Source: Shaping Tomorrow

The Rise of Augmented Reality: Lessons from Pokemon Go

A few weeks ago our 17 year old mysteriously started taking walks in the middle of the day. He even took the dog! For some families this may be normal but for us, it is not. Our desert climate has summer temperatures hovering around 115 so an afternoon stroll is not common. In time, we discovered the catalyst for this spontaneous activity was something we have all come to know as Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go is driven by a trend called augmented reality or AR. Those of you who follow my future-oriented twitter account (@jlsuderman) have seen many tweets related to both AR and VR (virtual reality) over the past year. In fact, VR typically gets more media attention because of things like Oculus Rift. However, if Pokemon Go is any indication, AR may have an even greater impact in the short-term.

Augmented reality is achieved when we supplement our view of the real-world environment with computer generated input such as sound, video or graphics (Wikipedia). By overlaying reality with artificial reality, we create something completely new. It is something we cannot see with the naked eye – like Pikachu hovering in front of the palm tree in my front yard. In time, we will look back on Pokemon Go as a novel and mainstreaming introduction to AR.  However, as we look ahead we should experience some more exciting and revolutionary AR changes ahead.

Here are some ways we can expect to have AR invade our space:

  • Retail: Tired of trying on items in department store fitting rooms? Why not just upload your photo and try on clothes from the comfort of your home! Many on-line eyeglass companies already offer a version of this solution.
  • Sports: I can hardly wait for the day when I can hover my mobile device over the television image of Steph Curry and have his career stats pop up.
  • Entertainment: Your 3D movie glasses will one day be layered with Google Glass-like abilities which will provide layered images to your movie experience.
  • Emergency Services : What if a fireman could wear glasses which gave him a guided tour through a smoky burning building?
  • Defense: Some US Air Force pilots already conduct their flights in a small room in a basement. As drone pilots, they make extensive use of AR to fly their unmanned planes.
  • Archaeology!? If you want to think outside the box, this article provides a great case for the use of AR to make archaeological sites come alive!

Pokemon Go has given us a fun glimpse into the emerging world of AR. However, it is far more than a tempting digital distraction. It is a harbinger of the vast changes AR will bring. In fact, I believe AR will likely be to the next generation what computers were to my generation, and what mobile technology and wifi were to my children.

There are already projects in development which will embed AR within contact lenses. This level of hands-free AR will take it to a whole new level. In fact, over time AR will become ubiquitous. But in the meantime, enjoy the fun distraction of things like Pokemon Go. Over the past 24 hours, I’ve managed to ‘research’ my way to a level 5 Pokemon Trainer. How about you?

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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com



An Exposé: Grading & the God-Complex

As a part-time professor, I have the responsibility and privilege of grading dozens of student papers each year. My best estimate is that I have graded over 500 papers in the past twelve months. It is a privilege to work with so many bright minds!

However, I have noticed a troubling pattern when I get enter ‘grading mode’. I have discovered that the more I grade, the more I tend to embrace the qualities of a god-complex. As a reminder, a god-complex “is an unshakable belief characterized by consistently inflated feelings of personal ability, privilege, or infallibility”. Perhaps this sounds annoyingly familiar to you as well?

For me, grading is a natural catalyst for this problem. Telling dozens of people what they need to improve is a simple way to induce the onset of god-complex. And in turn, it also spills over into other areas of life as well.

I get a bit picky.

I judge things I have no right to judge.

I give opinions about things that are none of my business.

And this is not a good thing!

So now that I’ve bared my soul, I’ll ask you to do the same. You see, I also have friends that demonstrate the symptoms of god-complex. In fact, you may be one of them! You see, I think we all suffer from this disease at times. And left unchecked, it causes all sorts of damage. So in the spirit of improving your health, I want to remind so about some of the places you can catch the god-complex:

  1. Graduation – A classy sheet of paper covered with calligraphy and signatures is often also accompanied by a case of ‘know-it-all’.
  2. A promotion – That nice salary bump, a new office and added responsibility often cause an inflated ego – a tell-tale sign of the god-complex.
  3. Being a parent – Preaching at your kids about all those lessons that you learned the hard way when you were a kid is often evidence of a runaway god-complex.
  4. Compliments – Mismanaged compliments can quickly lead to rapid swelling of the ego.
  5. Marriage – When you live with someone it’s really easy to identify their weak spots. This can easily turn into god-complex. Unless it is diagnosed early, it is a sure-fire way to kill a relationship!

Tim Harford, an economist and journalist sums it up well:

I see the god-complex around me all the time in my fellow economists. I see it in our business leaders. I see it in the politicians we vote for – people who, in the face of an incredibly complicated world, are nevertheless absolutely convinced that they understand the way that the world works.

Several weeks ago I blogged about the opposite of the God-complex, something called humility (see My Favorite Leadership Quality). Humility is the antidote to a God-complex. While we can liken the God-complex to a virus that we catch, humility is more like a muscle that we develop. While the God-complex can be caught, humility is not. Instead, humility is nurtured. It is something you must intentionally grow, develop and strengthen over time. So if the God-complex is a virus, the antidote – humility – is a muscle which must be stretched and exercised. Doing so provides the best antidote for the God-complex that I know of.

My in-box is full of papers that need grading so I must go. However, there is no need to be concerned for me. Writing this blog will be a healthy antidote for my god-complex for a few weeks. However, I know I’ll need another booster soon. How about you?

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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

The Two Faces of Charismatic Leadership

Charisma and I have a troubled relationship. I find myself drawn to it and have often enjoyed that special sparkle that a charismatic leader possesses. However, I have also been hurt by charisma when that sparkle takes on a dark hue. As a result, I have tried to understand how I can distinguish between the different shades of charisma. In other words, how can I discern whether a charismatic person is going to help me or hurt me?

My defining ‘charisma moment’ occurred when I discovered a study conducted 25 years ago (by House and Howell). In their study they discovered that charismatic leaders naturally fall into one of two categories. See if their results align with your personal experience.

  • ME Charisma: Also called, personalized charisma, leaders with ME charisma respond to challenges by prioritizing their own needs. Their tendency to place their own needs ahead of their organizations indirectly means that they believe their company exists to help them. Research shows that these individuals will engage in actions which are adverse to their company, be exploitative, self-aggrandizing (braggers), authoritarian, narcissistic, and non-egalitarian (do not view others as equal). As a result, followers of leaders who utilize ME charisma often encounter detrimental consequences.
  • WE Charisma: Also called socialized charisma, leaders with WE charisma are very different because they focus their efforts on organizational needs. They are egalitarian (view others as equal), and seek to create a vision that reflects the organization. They empower, give away authority, are follower-focused and typically refocus their personal sparkle on the organization or other people (instead of themselves). As a result, followers of leaders with WE charisma often encounter positive experiences.

If you are like me, you cannot help but read these descriptions and have names come to mind. We have worked for people with ME charisma. We have also worked for leaders with WE charisma. And I strongly suspect that, if I gave you a choice, you would all choose to work for the same charismatic style. The problem is that both of these methods can get results. However, if you value people in your organization, only one of these results matters!

Therefore, charisma is neither good nor bad. Rather, why charisma is used is the heart of the matter. Some will choose to use if for self-serving purposes while others will use it for the benefit of those around them. In fact, I really don’t have a troubled relationship with charisma at all. I only have a troubled relationship with ME charisma. And I think that I should!


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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

Source: Stephen Fogarty, The Dark Side of Charismatic Leadership

When Scarcity is Your Friend

Today’s guest post is by my friend and colleague, Dr. David Stehlik.

Are you a knowledge worker? Are your primary responsibilities the creation, assessment, management, reduction, or conversion of information? If so, you need to consider how the information boom and an ever-connected world will impact your career. However, before I offer some career-strengthening strategies, take an inventory of your response toward two world-shaking shifts.

  1. The amount of available information is massive and growing. What is your perspective regarding the ease of access to information blocks, like Wikipedia and similar encyclopedic repositories? Information hasn’t always been so cheap. Today users of information pay for access primarily through connection fees, but not for acquisition or upkeep (Wikipedia, for instance, takes donations). The new information depots are forcing the value of general information downward, especially commoditized information which functions as a resource (dates, figures, formulas, names, locations, etc.). Since information is power, how skilled are you at finding these free or low-cost resources?
  2. Our interconnectedness is like never before. Manufacturing, logistical, and networking innovation, both at the production and infrastructural level, have promoted information access. This has further compounded information growth and reduced barriers to entry. More brains than ever before are creating, learning, acquiring, are opinionating together. And, for those who run their operations on information, the importance of reducing costs to connectedness is swiftly rising. Since more brains are better, how effective are you at connecting to create solutions?

What does that mean for you, the knowledge worker? As a result of these two changes, your challenges are likely going to increase. Why? Let the following list help you think through how these global shifts will impact your ability to compete.

  • Can what you do be learned through information that can be shared openly without legal ramification? Through connected media?
  • Can what you do be accomplished remotely (i.e. could you fill your functional role during a snowstorm with your internet, telephone, and mailing/delivery/support/etc. services intact)?
  • If others can learn what you know, are they likely to develop the ability to do your work?
  • If others have easier access to that information at lower costs than you faced when you acquired it, then are they likely to develop those abilities sooner?
  • If the markets for information are competitive, then is that pool of information (from information creators/manipulators) likely to become less valuable or more valuable over time in order to attract purchasers? Or, will it become cheaper or more expensive?
  • If learning the practices of information-users becomes more widespread at reduced costs, then will the quality of training be more likely to improve or diminish? Remember that training is an information market also.

These shifts are inducing a “chase effect,” where the processes required to reach particular levels of competency are shrinking (because of fewer steps or a shorter time-frames). We are experiencing the commoditization of existing communicable knowledge.

Perhaps you’ve already understood at least one of these implications. Simple dealings with information are becoming much cheaper. Organizations will expect it and demand it. If computer code can be written to routinely create the documents you make (with the information you use, without highly trained facilitators) then it will be! This is based on the assumption that low-hanging fruit always gets picked first. If information can be commoditized, then it will be commoditized in time. Whoever leads this endeavor will be rewarded, and that is likely to take place with automation’s aid. But, most of us cannot create the picking machines that catch that fruit. We are the fruit, and as a result that means we need to ensure that our fruit matures high on our trees.

How does one maintain a high knowledge worker desirability rating? The simple answer is scarcity. You need to change your scarcity setting. Where can a knowledge worker develop and/or demonstrate greater scarcity? Among other solutions, you can work on the following

  1. Expertise. Increase the level of skills acquired and used. Know what you do well.
  2. Efficiency. Increase your speed of knowledge production. Be fast at what you do.
  3. Excellence. Increasing the quality of information you produce. Be good at what you do.
  4. Non-Emulation. Increase the difficulty of brand duplication. Distinguish what you do.

Skilled knowledge workers must learn to rarify their skills. This will help them avoid the pending threat of the commodification information. It is no longer good enough to just know. Knowledge is becoming a commodity. Instead, 21st century knowledge workers must have rare expertise, efficiency and excellence in order to stand out.

Forthcoming posts will delve into ideas for developing your competencies to further rarify and increase the desirability rating for the knowledge worker.

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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com


StehlikDavid Stehlik is an MBA professor in the domain of corporate and healthcare finance, equipping mostly mid-career professionals in stewarding the future with present financial savvy. His training and experience include personal & corporate strategy, foresight & social prescience, and leading change among others. He can be reached at dstehl@gmail.com

Mobots & More: 21 Business Terms You Need to Know

Do you know what Peak Stuff, The Internet of Energy and eSports all have in common?

They are all new terms which Goldman Sachs believes that business leaders need to understand. These words signal changes in our industries which will impact how we do business. Take a look at the 21 terms and see how many you know (Bhattacharyya) .


1. eSports

Organized, competitive computer gaming has become a mainstream spectator event (online or in an arena). Now it’s becoming a big business, generating considerable revenue for advertisers.

2. Mobots

Mobots are robots capable of changing positions autonomously. They’re a combination of an automated guided vehicle and a collaborative robot with sensing abilities that can work alongside humans. Demand for mobots is expected to increase in manufacturing, military, services, logistics fields and in hospitals.

3. Peak Stuff

We’ve accumulated so much stuff that some of us no longer want to buy any more of certain types of goods, including clothes and other household items — a drastic change from consumer-driven growth of the past 50 years. Goldman quoted Ikea’s head of sustainability saying, “in the West, we have probably hit peak stuff. We talk about peak oil. I’d say we’ve hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak home furnishings.” In other words, we are spending more on experiences than physical belongings.

4. Bots

A bot, otherwise known as a chatbot, is a type of software designed to automate tasks over the internet that are ordinarily handled by humans. They often operate in conjunction with instant-messaging platforms, and got a huge boost this year when Facebook opened up Facebook Messenger to third-party bot development.

5. Athleisure

A portmanteau of the words “athletic” and “leisure,” athleisure is used to describe the fashion trend that’s seen clothing used for exercising increasingly worn in other contexts, including work and social settings. Athleisure has been called one of the fastest-growing clothing categories of recent years.

6. Yield-to-Worst

According to Investopedia, yield to worst means the lowest potential yield that can be received on a bond without the issuer actually defaulting.

7. Machine Vision
Machine vision allows a computer to use imaging-based automatic inspection to complement manual inspection for quality control, read bar codes to ensure parts are in the right area and to help orient robots. It’s becoming a part of the manufacturing process, from food and beverages to automobiles and pharmaceuticals.


OLED stands for organic light emitting diode. Developed by Kodak in 1987, it’s seen as an alternative to the traditional LCD (liquid crystal display) enabled by LEDs used in smartphone, TV and tablet screens. OLED is seen as superior to LED in providing better color contrast and faster response times. Although it is currently in early adoption, its market is expected to grow to over $33 billion by 2020, according to IHS estimates cited by Goldman.

9. 5G

5G is the next generation of wireless technology expected to be mainstream in 2020. It’s the next step up from 4G/LTE. “5G should provide 100x faster wireless with typical 5G speeds of 1Gbps compared to typical 4G speed of 10Mbps,” wrote Goldman analyst Simona Jankowski.

10. Net Metering

Net metering is a policy, implemented by most states, to compensate rooftop solar owners for excess power they generate and thus offset the cost of the power they draw from the grid. Currently, 44 states and the District of Columbia have a net metering policy, though the growth of solar has resulted in some debate over how much solar owners should be compensated.

11. Space Congestion

After 50 years of rocket and satellite launches, space is getting crowded. Debris from destroyed satellites and other space junk is piling up, and that shrapnel that can destroy other satellites and hinder access to space. This is creating complications for national security, satellite communications and GPS navigation.

12. Liquid Biopsy

As tissue biopsies are seen as costly, painful or potentially risky for the patient, the advent of the liquid biopsy allows DNA sequencers to detect cancer directly from the blood. This could be a $14 billion market by 2025, wrote Goldman analyst Isaac Ro.

13. See Now, Buy Now

Keep your wardrobe up to date without having to wait six to nine months from when an item hits the runway and makes it to the physical or online store: “Technology has democratized fashion and luxury. Purchasing decisions are no longer made in the VIP rooms of large stores by the few, but by a growing base of aspirational middle class consumers,” wrote Goldman analyst Carl Hazeley.

14. Craft

You’ve heard of craft beer, but producing other artisanal products in small batches is becoming immensely popular, particularly among the young. “Millennials, who represent the largest age cohort in the U.S., are more experimental, seek bolder flavors, and have a high propensity for things that are perceived to be more ‘authentic’.” The craft market now includes spirits, soda and other “farm to table” food items.

15. The Infinite Shelf

A concept that describes the vast advantage online retailers have over bricks-and-mortar retail stores. The virtual shelf can serve a broader range of customers and build demand for certain items that would not perform well in a physical store.

16. Immersion

Immersion, or immersive storytelling, is the idea of allowing virtual reality technology to mimic being physically present in an alternative environment. The technology is changing videogames, live events, journalism, video entertainment and educational experiences.

17. Synthetic Biology

This branch of science allows genetic engineers to develop apples that don’t brown when bruised or breed salmon that grows faster than normal. Despite the technological advances, consumer acceptance of these products has not yet been tested.

18. V2V / V2X / V2I

Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) or vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology allows cars to communicate with other road users, infrastructure and even pedestrians and cyclists. It could be used by both human-driven and autonomous vehicles, and could allow for wireless toll and parking payments. It would also allow autonomous vehicles to “see” what the human eye could perceive.

19. Ayurveda

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has shaken up the Indian consumer goods market. Ramdev’s company, Patanjali Aurved, markets products from toothpaste to consumer healthcare based on Ayurveda, a system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. Patanjali generated $1 billion in revenue from scratch and has beat out multinationals like Unilever, Nestle and Colgate.

20. Internet of Energy

The “Internet of Energy” means the process of upgrading, digitizing and automating electricity infrastructure, leveraging advanced hardware and software. The concept has taken off in China, the world’s largest energy market and biggest investor in renewable energy.

21. Basic Income

The concept of basic income is about introducing a universal benefit that everyone receives, regardless of income or employment status. It has been touted as a means to reduce income inequality. Although the idea was rejected in a referendum in Switzerland, analyst Sumana Manohar notes that it is gaining interest elsewhere.

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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

Photo Credit: TEFL

Source: Bhattacharyya 

20 Quotes from Alvin Toffler: Honoring a Pioneer

This week the world lost a great mind when Alvin Toffler passed away at the age of 87.

Perhaps the greatest futurist of his time, Toffler is best known for his book Future Shock (1970). “His insatiable curiosity drove him to challenge common perceptions and offer keen insights into the trajectory of business and civilizations” (Toffler Associates). As a guru of the post-industrial age he is heralded for his anticipation of the transformation brought about by the rise of digital technology decades before it occurred.

In honor of his legacy, today’s blog contains 20 of his best quotes.

  1. The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
  2. Change is not merely necessary to life – it is life.
  3. Most managers were trained to be the thing they most despise — bureaucrats.
  4. Technology feeds on itself. Technology makes more technology possible.
  5. Knowledge is the most democratic source of power.
  6. You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.
  7. One of the definitions of sanity is the ability to tell real from unreal. Soon we’ll need a new definition.
  8. Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.
  9. You can use all the quantitative data you can get, but you still have to distrust it and use your own intelligence and judgment.
  10. Anyone nit-picking enough to write a letter of correction to an editor doubtless deserves the error that provoked it.
  11. If you don’t have a strategy, you’re part of someone else’s strategy.
  12. A library is a hospital for the mind.
  13. The future always comes too fast and in the wrong order.
  14. Individuals need life structure. A life lacking in comprehensible structure is an aimless wreck. The absence of structure breeds breakdown.
  15. It does little good to forecast the future of semiconductors or energy, or the future of the family (even one’s own family), if the forecast springs from the premise that everything else will remain unchanged. For nothing will remain unchanged. The future is fluid, not frozen. It is constructed by our shifting and changing daily decisions, and each event influences all others.
  16. The Law of Raspberry Jam: the wider any culture is spread, the thinner it gets.
  17. It is better to err on the side of daring than the side of caution.
  18. Parenthood remains the greatest single preserve of the amateur.
  19. Any decent society must generate a feeling of community. Community offsets loneliness. It gives people a vitally necessary sense of belonging. Yet today the institutions on which community depends are crumbling in all the techno-societies. The result is a spreading plague of loneliness.
  20. Science fiction is held in low regard as a branch of literature, and perhaps it deserves this critical contempt. But if we view it as a kind of sociology of the future, rather than as literature, science fiction has immense value as a mind-stretching force for the creation of the habit of anticipation. Our children should be studying Arthur C. Clarke, William Tenn, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Robert Sheckley, not because these writers can tell them about rocket ships and time machines but, more important, because they can lead young minds through an imaginative exploration of the jungle of political, social, psychological, and ethical issues that will confront these children as adults.

Alvin Toffler | 1928 – 2016

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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com