Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Future Starts Now

I just read a short paper titled "Future Trends and Their Implications for Extension" (shared by Anne Adrian in FriendFeed). It listed a number of important trends which will impact Extension in the future. No big surprise that technology was one of them.

Last week, I attended an open forum where a senior member of our campus administration was asked to elaborate on the comment "technology in the year 2050 will be unimaginable". The reply was simply "it will be unimaginable". Cute and correct.

Here is my reply... it will be unimaginable. Therein lies the challenge and the opportunity. How do we prepare for something we know is coming (change) without understanding its nature or impact? Whether its technological, societal or economical, we participate; engage the drivers for change and bring them into the context of our work.

In general, technology will get smaller, more powerful, more portable, more available and much more unavoidable. But, I don't really believe in predicting the future of technology. Because it isn't as important as how it will be embraced by a new generation, which is the more difficult prediction.

We shouldn't be worried about the future of technology; we should be worried about the changes taking place around us which we don't understand and where we aren't engaged.

The future is already in motion.