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In January, I was delighted to be the opening keynote speaker for the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, one of the largest trade shows in the world. After my keynote, I led a panel discussion with some of the companies that are having a major impact on growing the game through innovative technology.

One of my panelists was Andrew Macualay, the CIO of TopGolf, one of the most innovative and fastest growing sports facilities in North America. Given that there is a video of their new Las Vegas facility circulating around the Internet (and which is gaining quite a bit of attention), I thought I’d run a clip from our discussion on stage. It’s pretty insightful in terms of the impact of TopGolf on potential growth of the game.

Here’s the Las Vegas TopGolf clip filmed by Golf Digest.

Sixty five percent of the children who are in pre-school today will work in a job or career that doesn’t yet exist. Half of what students learn in their first year at college is obsolete or revised—by the time they graduate. Fifty percent of the U.S. gross domestic product will be taken up by training and knowledge activities within the decade.

With all of these changes at hand, futurist, trends & innovation expert Jim Carroll helps some of the world’s leading educational organizations and institutions make sense of this rapidly evolving future. His clients include the American Society of Private Colleges and Universities, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence Conference, the American Society of Testing Professionals, the Pearson CITE National Education Conference, Cengage Learning Corporation, the College Board Colloquium and the National Association of College Stores.

In his keynote presentations, Carroll provides concise insight that links a wide variety of global social, demographic, scientific, technological, business and other trends to the impact on education. He provides a an understanding on the velocity of change impacting the industry, and why we need to rethink the context of “how we teach” in light of the realities that has knowledge growing exponentially, the foundation of knowledge generation forever changed and global social networks challenging traditional education delivery models. The reality is that the exponential growth of knowledge leads to massive career specialization—we are in the midst of a fundamental structural organizational and career change, and by 2020 or sooner, it will be all about “just-in-time knowledge.”

Carroll challenges audiences to think about innovation in the education sector that takes on bold goals to deal with a reality that has rapid knowledge obsolescence and emergence, the disappearance of existing careers and the emergence of new careers, an ongoing need for continuous knowledge replenishment and the migration of knowledge generation further away from academia. There’s a massively increased challenge from overseas knowledge generation, the fast emergence of new micro-careers, an economy that succeeds through knowledge deployment and a fundamental transformation in the role of educational institutions

In other words: much of the education structure that we have in place today doesn’t match the reality of what we really need to do, given the rapid change occurring in the fundamentals of knowledge—which is why innovative thinking in the field of education today is more important than ever before.

Every industry is set to be transformed as an era of hyper connectivity becomes the new norm. The result? Massive business model disruption; the rapid emergence of new competitors; industries in which customers empowered with mobile devices control a wide variety of devices that are a part of their daily lives; unique opportunities for deep analytical insight into trends and opportunities emerging in industries; a reinvention of manufacturing, logistics, retail, healthcare and other industries because of consumers that are empowered, connected, and enabled with a new form of lifestyle management that we’ve never witnessed before.

The Internet of Things is happening everywhere.

The CEO of a major US energy company hired Jim Carroll to do a video that put into perspective the impact of the Internet of Things on the global energy. There are some pretty profound changes underway.

Think about the video in the context of literally any other industry, and you realize the scope of the potential disruption that is occurring.

The Internet of Things is real, and it is unfolding at a blistering pace. We’re in the era of connected thermostats that link to an intelligent energy grid; autonomous vehicle technology that is self-aware, and networked into sophisticated, intelligent highway flow control systems. A connected trucking fleet that is self-diagnostic, predictive, and built for zero down-time . Intelligent home appliances that link to packaged food products that automatically upload carb, sodium and other dietary information as part of an overall health and wellness program.

Jim Carroll has been talking on stage about the Internet of things since the late 1990’s, when he began using the phrase “hyper connectivity” to describe a world in which “every device that is a part of our daily lives is about to become plugged in.” Since then, he has delivered his insight on the topic to a wide variety of organizations: several global technology leaders with a keynote talk on the future of home automation; several of the world’s largest HVAC companies about what happens when a global, intelligent home and industrial energy infrastructure emerges through widespread connectivity; consumer, food and packaged goods conferences about the impact of intelligent packaging. He has been booked by many leading global health care organizations for keynotes that have focused on what happens when consumers start aligning their wellness strategies through their own personal healthcare infrastructure.

The Internet of Things is a substantive, transformative trend that will provide more change in every industry in the next ten years than they’ve seen in the last thirty.

Jim Carroll already over a dozen years of on-stage experience with the topic, and can help you understand the strategies, risks and opportunities that you need to be aware of you move into a hyperconnected future. Consider one of the world’s most widely recognized futurists, trends and innovation experts for your next association, CEO leadership meeting or other keynote!

There’s a lot of hype about the “Internet of Things.” What does it really mean? Here’s a video clip  that puts it in perspective in terms of the future of golf!

The big issue with the iOT is that it shifts the speed of innovation in every single industry to the velocity of Silicon Valley. This means faster change, disruptive business models, the emergence of new competitors, the arrival of fascinating new technologies that provide both opportunity and challenge.

This is a topic that I have explored at length on stage in countless industries, and in a variety of blogs. For more, check out these posts:

  • Silicon Valley Innovation Velocity to Dominate Every Industry arrows11.gif
  • When Silicon Valley Takes Over Your Innovation Agenda  arrows11.gif
  • When Silicon Valley Takes Over Heath Care Innovation arrows11.gif
  • Major 10 Year Trend: The Future of EVERY Industry to Now Be Controlled by Silicon Valley arrows11.gif
  • From 2008 : A truly staggering, transformative trend yet to unfold arrows11.gif

The other day, I did a talk for a small group of senior HR representatives for a variety of Fortune 500 companies — including Owens Corning, Whirlpool, Eli Lilly, Goodyear, Proctor & Gamble, AT&T, Raytheon, Boeing and more.

My focus was on the future trends that are reshaping business — and what this would mean in terms of high performance leadership.

kevin bain graphic recording

My insight was captured by Kevin Bain — who, when he is not facilitating sessions, does a fabulous job in capturing the insight of others. Here’s his summary of my talk — click on it for a super hi-res version of the file.

Thanks Kevin! Check out his work at


There are big opportunities with mapping technology in the field of wastewater and water management, deep insight into healthcare trends with real time analytical community healthcare dashboards, environmental insight, and much more!

Today my oldest son, who just finished his degree in Physical Geography with a minor in Geomatics, starts a job working in his field — that of location intelligence!

He’ll be busy working with mapping technology, particularly ArcGIS from ESRI, in areas involving new abilities for deep insight into big issues. Quite simply, once we analyze our world with location specific insight, everything changes.

Given that, I’m a super-proud dad today!

And I’m particularly excited that he is embarking on a career which I think shows potentially huge opportunities for growth, both from a professional and personal perspective.

Way back in 2007, I spoke at a conference in Houston within the insurance industry. Prior to going on stage, another speaker mentioned a newly emerging skill set involving “location intelligence.”

Bang – I saw a trend, and the rapid emergence of a new career – location intelligence professionals!

I’ve been speaking about that profession ever since on stage — and maybe my son was listening.

I think he is embarking on a wonderful new career with massive opportunities, and the potential for transformative insight that can help to reshape the world. There are big opportunities with mapping technology in the field of wastewater and water management, deep insight into healthcare trends with real time analytical community healthcare dashboards, environmental insight, and much more!

Congratulations Willie! It will be the adventure of a lifetime!


Video: The Next Generation and Sports
May 3rd, 2016, by Jim Carroll

From my keynote for the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show.

An article from Meetings.Net on a recent keynote I did in Orlando….

Carroll digitalnow_0

The key to engagement? Not only to change up the seating and format, but to hire speakers who are not afraid to shake up the event, and who know enough about the meeting content to answer a variety of questions in meaningful ways.

DigitalNow’s creative Collaboration Sessions engaged the keynoter speakers with the audience in ways that felt fresh and unscripted.

Some 250 association executives and technology experts who gathered at the Hyatt Regency Orlando last week for digitalNow experienced a creative approach to the traditional keynote. Each morning’s general session, which featured a thought leader on a big idea, was followed by a “Collaboration Session.”

Fusion Productions, the Rochester, N.Y.–based company that organizes the forum, and which specializes in new communications technologies aimed at educating and motivating, crafted the staging and format for these creative Collaboration Sessions. They were an interesting blend of a panel, which asked follow-up questions, interspersed with questions from the audience, all facilitated by a skilled moderator.

The staging made for interesting engagement. For example, for the opening morning Collaboration Session, keynoter Jim Carroll, futurist and innovation expert, sat on stage in a director’s chair, with the moderator standing just off to his side. The room was set in crescent rounds. The three panelists, all association CEOs, and thought leaders in their own right, sat in director’s chairs positioned approximately in the middle of the room, spread out in a semi-circle. They posed a variety of smart questions to Carroll, which were seemingly unrehearsed and which he candidly answered (as candidly as one who foresees future trends can answer). The audience piped in on occasion to ask questions, or sent questions via text messaging to the moderator, who skillfully interspersed meaningful comments and questions throughout.

The key to engagement? Not only to change up the seating and format, but to hire speakers who are not afraid to shake up the event, and who know enough about the meeting content to answer a variety of questions in meaningful ways.

Carroll, who in a later interview said he prides himself on being the “content guy who loves to get into the meat of the issue,” when hired by an association or company to keynote. “There’s always an overriding theme or challenge when I talk to the association CEO,” he says. “I get frustrated when an association confronted with big challenges hires ‘Shark Tank’ people as their keynoters. They’re choosing that over content?”

Because he’s hired by so many associations, and writes columns for association magazines, Carroll understands the association business. “Many associations’ annual events are on autopilot. Same old title, same old speakers, they talk about the same old stuff,” Carroll continues. “I see a need in the association world for short-term strategic meetings.” He also sees the need for video learning, particularly among younger people.

Bottom-line, says this futurist, face-to-face meetings will always be part of our future, because “at the end of the day, it’s about getting together for a wine or a beer” to discuss the day’s events and the business at hand. “You can’t do that virtually.”

Here’s a new video from my Sao Paolo Worldskills keynote: I’m taking about the global water challenge, and opportunities that come from wastewater recycling.

In this context comes Nexus e-Water, an innovative and fascinating solution to encourage use of “grey water”.

The focus of my WorldSkills keynote was how skills, trades, knowledge and education would be challenged by accelerating rates of change. This type of technology is a really good example!

Article: Want to stay relevant? Learn for a living!
April 26th, 2016, by Jim Carroll

JimCarrollOver on the CPA Success Blog at the Business Learning Institute, there’s a good article on the future of knowledge and careers.

It’s based on a keynote I did for the DigitalNow 2016 conference, in which I spoke to 300 association executives on future trends affecting their organizations.

Want to stay relevant? Learn for a living
April 23, 2016  /  by Bill Sheridan

Change and complexity? We’ve talked about this stuff to death, but nobody has illustrated for us how quickly things are changing quite like Jim Carroll.

The futurist — who also happens to be an accountant — keynoted the 2016 edition of the always-awesome DigitalNow conference in Orlando by scaring the crap out of the association professionals who paid good money to hear him speak.

Consider these nuggets from Carroll:

  • Sixty-five percent of children in preschool today will eventually work in jobs or industries that do not currently exist.
  • Half of what freshmen learn in their first year of college will be obsolete by the time they graduate.

“We live in a world of acceleration,” Carroll took the DigitalNow crowd. “The future is becoming the present faster than ever.”

“That future,” he added, “belongs to the fast.”

The culprit for much of this complexity? Technology. Moore’s Law marches on … much faster, in fact, than our ability to keep up.

That’s just the changing nature of the world today. And really, for the youngest generations, it’s not complexity at all. It’s just life, and they’ve been raised to roll with the punches.

For the rest of us, things are getting a little crazy.

Carroll says we’ve lost control of the pace of change within our respective industries. That control now lies with the tech geniuses in Silicon Valley.

What we can control is our ability to learn new skills — and to teach our clients what we’ve learned in the process. That might be our new competitive advantage going forward.

“We live in a world of rapid knowledge obsolescence,” Carroll said. “Our job is to deliver just-in-time knowledge to our clients and customers. We must help them confront their new reality and embrace the opportunities it presents.”

Put another way, Carroll quoted American writer Sidney Perelman: “Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century.”

Put still another way: The most important skill any of us will have going forward is the ability to learn new skills — to outlearn the pace of change, and help our clients do the same.

As I said earlier, Carroll is an accountant, so he speaks a CPA’s language. In a brief interview after his DigitalNow keynote, he tied his thoughts directly to the CPA profession. Here’s what he had to say.

Back in January, I was thrilled to be invited by the PGA of America to be the opening keynote speaker for the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.


I will admit I was kind of disappointed Golf Digest didn’t ask me for my thoughts — after all, it sort of seems like I’m becoming the Futurist-in-Residence for the PGA of America. Maybe that might one day come about!

It was the second time they’ve invited me in – I was previously involved in providing an opening keynote for the 2010 Annual General Meeting of the PGA.

In both cases, I’ve done a talk that has focused on opportunities to grow the game of golf, by taking advantage and riding future trends, whether having to do with technology, demographics or economic factors.

There’s a wealth of insight, including video, scattered throughout my blog. And in my unwavering belief that everyone who has a passion for this sport must do everything they can do to help to growth the game, I’ve managed to get my entire 2016 keynote on my site in video form.

To that end, I was thrilled to see that Golf Digest Magazine ran an article on the Futurists who are providing opportunity for the game going forward. (I will admit though, I was kind of disappointed they didn’t ask me for my thoughts — after all, it sort of seems like I’m becoming the Futurist-in-Residence for the PGA of America. Maybe that might one day come about!)

Over on Facebook, there’s a group of passionate golfers who have established a group dedicated to sharing insight on how to Grow the Game. Anyone can join, but an invite and some bona-fides are suggested in order to keep the level of potential sales and other spam low.

When the Golf Digest article came out, some questions were made as to how much of it might come true. Given the number of PGA folks in the group who have seen me on stage, it was suggested I might offer up some thoughts. And so here I am!

David Cole – Virtual Reality

DavidColeDavid is certainly at the forefront of what is likely to be the biggest growth market in the world of technology in the next 5 years. The concept of virtual reality has been with us for quite some time; yet we are now at the tipping point where it is about to become very affordable, quite common, and certainly transformative.

There’s a lot of development occurring in the world of personal interactive sports and virtual reality; just a few weeks ago, we saw the release of the Oculus Rift, the first virtual reality device that provides for really fascinating, real interactive experiences. It will take us to a world of Xbox-like or FlightScope golf in our home that will make today’s experience seem primitive in comparison. Instead of just seeing August on a screen in front of us, we’ll be able to play Augusta, with our real clubs, in a fully interactive, lifelike 3D experience.

Yet David is talking about an even bigger future : that of immersive sports interaction. A few days ago, I was in discussion with a group that is seeking my insight on the future of the sports stadium experience. There is no doubt that fans in a football or baseball stadium — or at the TPC Stadium course — will use a lot more technology to enhance their experience, and become more involved…..

But David is going one step further. Let’s not just enhance the experience for those in the stadium — lets let others enjoy it too, from the comfort of their own home! Why not used advanced VR to let people travel to the Masters? Why not allow us to watch Brooke Henderson putt from just outside the ropes — even if we are a few thousand miles away — as if we were there? (A little shout out for a fellow Canadian there!)

The key will be putting the enabling technology out on the course in such a way that it doesn’t detract from the tournament or bother the players. To that end, I think Augusta has shown how this can be done with the immersive experience they already provide with the Masters!

David Douguet – Improving Lies – and Jihyun Moon – Making Grass Glow

DavidDoguetIn the world of agriculture, the acceleration of science is one of the most significant trends that is leading us to a fascinating new world, and both of the goals that are predicted in the article — turf engineered for particular climates, and grass that glows at night —  will most certainly come true.

It has to to do both with advances in genetic technology, as well as deeper insight into how to re-engineer plant varietals through non-genetic methodologies. And this ability to genetically reprogram seed varietals and combine them with traits from other species — while very science fiction like and probably pretty scary for some — is moving forward at a furious pace.

IMG_0064 copyRight now, DNA or genomic based science is hitting the accelerating speed of change known in the computer industry as “Moore’s Law.” That’s the rule that defines that the processing power of a computer chip  doubles every 18 months or less, and the cost cuts in half. That’s why we have the incredible power of a  supercomputer of just 10 years ago in our iPhones and Android devices of today. The cost of technology keeps decreasing at a furious rate.

The same trends is occurring with genetics. It took $3 billion to sequence the first genome; by 2009, that was down to $100,000, and just $1,000 a few years later. I often joke on stage that one day soon, we’ll be able to go into a local Best Buy and purchase a genomic sequencing machine. It might seem like a joke today, but it’s not.

What this collapse in cost represents s a future in which ideas like that of Jihyun are very, very real. Imagine what this will do for the game if we don’t have to quit at twilight but can continue on? Just a few years ago, the concept of 24 hour gyms seemed kind of off-the-wall – but because of shifts in work patterns and schedules, more people have a need to fit in their exercise routine at 3AM. So why not golf?

Dourest plans to rely on the same acceleration of science. We’re getting really, really precise in the world of agriculture, and turf management and designer-turf will have a huge impact on the game. In the world of farming, it’s already possible to have entirely different irrigation, fertilizer and pest control programs for one farm, and an entirely different set for another farm but a few miles away. I’ve been dealing with seed companies that can engineer a particular type of seed for one region that is totally different from the attributes of a seed engineered for another region.

In this world of micro-climates, we’re developing the ability to micro-engineer our actives for ever small land areas.

Overall, this means that the world golf superintendents will continue to become very, very interesting — and very, very challenging. But overall, it will only provide for opportunities of growth for the game. After all, why should we all have to suffer through the shame of blading the ball through Bermuda when a better, more localized version of turf has been engineered?

Kris Hart – Minding Millennials

I love these initiatives!

KrisHartEveryone knows that there must be tremendous efforts in growing the game through new and different methods of outreach to younger generations. After my keynote at the PGA Merchandise Show, I led a panel that included a number of folks who are making tremendous strides in this regard, including Kris!

CollegeGolfPass seems a like brilliant idea, particularly when you live through the experience of having a high performing golfer in the family who just didn’t quite “make the team.”

My 21 year old son Thomas boasts a 1-handicap, and in first year at university, tried out for the college team. It was fiercely competitive, and it didn’t go so well, such that his opportunity for competitive golf events pretty well disappeared. (I suspect that the sleepless nights that come with frosh week might have impacted his golfing ability that week, though.) Combine that with the idea that committing to the team would have meant playing every day, 7 days a week, with less time focused on his studies, didn’t exactly appeal to him.

Yet he would probably have loved the chance to play in a competitive environment without having to be on an elite squad — precisely what these two organizations seem to be focused on.

It’s good for the young people, and it’s good for golf.

David Williams – Searching for Golf Balls You Won’t Lose

DavidWilliamsGPS based golf balls are probably the holy grail of the marriage of technology and golf. I suspect they might be as common as nails in the next 5-10 years, and that today’s unlinked golf balls will soon be considered as ‘something from the olden days.’

The opportunity here is closely linked to the issue of engaging the Millennial generation as outlined above. My kids are 21 and 23; they’ve never known a world without the Internet, and actually laugh at the idea that their dad wrote 34 books back in the 90’s about how to use it! They’ve never known a world for the last 15 years at least, in which they haven’t had a mobile device or smartphone. GPS? It’s been a huge part of their world — I can’t even remember the last time they used an actual paper map.

And their generation will take to GPS golf balls like a duck takes to water. Not just for the convenience, but for the stats! For the last two years, I’ve been religiously using my GameGolf GPS tracker, which gives me a huge range of data on my game performance. (Or, as I tell some people, “it gives me really good data on just how bad a golfer I am.”) I’ve learned that 39% of my shots within 100 yards are within 15 yards (not bad!), and that . Yet it also tells me that….

The arrival of GPS golf balls with take us further down the world of interactive and personal-stats driven golf, which I think will be a great thing!

There’s also a big pace of play issue here. All of us know that one key complaint about golf is that it takes too long in today’s hyper-busy world. (Though personally, I live for the 4 hour 16 minute round that I get at my home club)

Tommy Morrissey – Ending Handicaps

TommyMorrisseyWhat an inspiring story — and it bodes well for society and for the future of the game. L

et’s give a shout out to Rich O’Brien, who runs *another* popular Facebook group that focuses on helping and encouraging disabled golfers.

I think that any golfer realizes that there can be tremendous payback from helping the disabled – both physically and mentally — discover the joy that can come from the world’s most maddening sport.

Over on Rich’s forum, I told the story of a friend of mine that was hugely inspirational.


LDRICI dont’ disagree with the predictions made about the arrival of golfing robots, and the fact that it will engage  the next generation, provide for some unique entertainment opportunities, and generate a lot of news coverage.

I just hope that I don’t have to bring my high-handicap game to bear against one of these devices!





Henry Boulton – Measuring Mental Toughness

Which brings us to Henry’s concept — that just as we physically train for the sport of golf, we will place an increasing focus on mental preparation.

HenryBoultonTo a degree, it’s happened already — gone are the days of Henry Varden and others preparing for the tournament the next day with buckets of Scotch the night before; instead, we have a world of PGA Pro’s with an army of sports and game psychologists in tow.

And so if my GameGolf device can provide instant GPS based measure of my round, it’s not a stretch to think that there will be a device that will help me analyze and dig deep into my mental state, both during and after the round.

Paige Spirant

PaigeSpiranacThere was a huge uproar in the world of golf about the role of Paige in the article – and yes, we live in a world in which sex sells.

Despite that, the fact is we live in a celebrity-driven, media-heavy, social-network-immersed world. Paige is one of several who has understood this reality in the world of golf, either by chance/accident or through a deliberate strategy.

Just look at what happened when Bubba unveiled the Bubba-Hoveer — there were hundreds of thousands of views in just a matter of hours.

Like it or not, in our world of hyper-connectivity, we’re likely to see more folks like Paige gain local, national and global attention for their role as ‘influencers’ of the game, even though they might not have the ultra-low handicap of other golf superstars.

Certainly that’s the case with me — I’m a relatively high-handicap, yet have passionate love and enthusiasm for the game. It only seems natural as a global futurist who has advised organizations such as Disney, NASA and others, that I might be gaining more attention for my views in the world’s greatest sport.

Bottom line: are the trends outlined in the Golf Digest article good or bad for the game?

My perspective?

Purists will argue that technology and fast science will come to ruin a very traditional game. After my opening keynote for the PGA Merchandise Show, one golfing traditionalist took exception to what I spoke about. I’ll dig out a link to that when I can — right now, I’m about to head out for a round of golf in Phoenix before my next keynote!

When I’m taking about future trends and innovation, my message can provide a degree of discomfort, concern, worry, and sometimes outright anger amongst my audience.

Yet the reality is this : we’re all going to be part of the future, and so we might as well make the most of it.

That’s why advice has always been this: “Some people see a trend and see a threat: other people see the same trend and see an opportunity.”


Health care: The Future is Now
April 22nd, 2016, by Jim Carroll

“Previously unthinkable advancements such as the 3-D printing of personalized knee replacements are happening now”

A report on my keynote for the 2016 Benefits Pro conference in Fort Lauderdale earlier this week.

Health care: The Future is Now
BenefitsPro, April 2016

When listening to futurist Jim Carroll speak, one thing becomes apparent quickly: The future belongs to those who are fast.

Onstage Monday delivering the keynote at the Benefits Selling Expo inside Great Hall 3, Carroll delivered a rapid-fire, deeply insightful “fast future” presentation on where the future of health care and benefits is headed. And to hear him tell it, it is bright for those who would embrace the impact of mobile technology and how the Internet of Things (IOT) will reshape the entire process of health care a lot sooner than later.

For starters, Carroll explained, 10 years from now, health care will look nothing like it does today. A fundamental transformation, he explained, is on its way, and in many cases, already happening. Genetic testing and DNA sequencing will forever alter the manner in which illness is forecasted, diagnosed and treated: in advance of the condition arising rather than after the fact, the way medical professionals do now.

Years ago, he said, having a hand-held device that monitors vital signs, takes your blood pressure, and reads your EKG was the stuff of science fiction. Today, it is a reality, courtesy of the Scanadu Scout (a tool now being tested by more than 7,000 people in more than 70 countries), and that tech will only become less expensive as time goes on. It’s not farfetched, Carroll added, to imagine a day when you can walk into Best Buy and purchase an inexpensive device that does all these things and more, including diagnosing future ailments.

With the advent of technologies that monitor health signs via wearable devices and mobile devices connected to the Internet, only those patients requiring critical care will also change the way hospitals operate — which is advantageous, considering the number of baby boomers who will comprise so much of the U.S. population in the coming decades.

What does all this mean? Massive opportunity, for those who would think forward and recognize how the IoT will shape the world of pharmaceuticals and benefits. The World Economic Forum posits that the global economic impact of the five leading chronic diseases — cancer, diabetes, mental illness, heart disease, and respiratory disease — could reach $47 trillion over the next 20 years.

What if technology could allow medical science to get out in front of that, so that those costs could be slashed?

Carroll said such a world is not as far off as it would seem. Such revolutionary developments in health care virtualization will be driven by big goals and big thinking, said Carroll. Onscreen, he showed the frightening statistics on obesity levels in the U.S. over the past few decades over a map of all 50 states, staggering numbers that illustrate one of the great health challenges of the modern age. However, that’s not even the biggest worry looking forward.

“Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will be the great challenge of our time,” said Carroll, noting that his mother-in-law had suffered and died from the condition (Jim: it was my father in law...), the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. Going forward, however, developments in science will allow for earlier detection and better treatment options.

Luckily, medical knowledge, Carroll said, is doubling every eight years. Previously unthinkable advancements such as the 3-D printing of personalized knee replacements are happening now; the growth of replacement organs is something that will be available to medical professionals within years, not decades. Ingestible technology will be able to show us how we’re responding to medications, by offering diagnostics on how our bodies are reacting to treatment.

The greatest challenge faced by health care CEOs, Carroll said, includes the need to focus on a direct relationship with the customer — which will require wholesale re-engineering of member plans — and rapid deployment of mobile products to meet customer expectations. People will become far more engaged with matters of their own health, as they are empowered with technology that’s connected to their mobile device.

Carroll acknowledged what he called the “organizational sclerosis” that hampers big ideas and innovative thinking, but offered this piece of advice for those whose ideas may alter the health care landscape: “Think big, start small, and scale fast.”


“A futurist at work….”

I came across the article below on Facebook one day, and don’t know where to attribute it to — but it’s a highly relevant article!

If you work in a creative place in your mind, enjoy!

If you must suffer through the relentless challenges of the creative person in your life, enjoy it too!!


It has been proven that highly creative people’s brains work quite differently than other brains.

That special brain wiring that can create such wonderful art, music, and writing can often lead to strain in a relationship, because of those differences.

If you’ve ever loved a highly creative person, you know that it can seem like they live in their own little word at times, and that thought isn’t far from the truth.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you are in love with a highly creative person:


The highly creative mind is one that is running at full speed all the time. Although it can be a source of crazy, spontaneous fun – it can also be a burden. Highly creative people rarely keep normal sleep cycles, and are often prone to bouncing from one task to another throughout the day. It can be exhausting to try to keep up.


The flow of creativity is a cycle, full of highs and lows. Some people may consider this “manic” behavior, but in reality, it is just how the creative process works. Keep this in mind as your partner goes through these natural ebbs and flows. The low periods aren’t permanent.


Creative minds need air to breathe. Whether it is their own little work space or an escape to somewhere quiet, they need a time and place to be alone with their thoughts. Some people are inclined to think that if nothing is being said that there is something wrong, but with creative people that is not the case. They are just working within their own head.


When a creative person is on task, they are fiercely intense. The change from being scatter-brained to hyper-focused can be difficult to deal with, so just understand that it is how their brains work. Don’t get frustrated.


Creative people feel everything on a deeper level. What doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, can be crushing to them. It’s that same passion that goes into whatever they create that drives them to love you, so understand that with the good – comes the bad.


Creative people often express themselves in experiences, instead of just saying what they want to say. It is a way of sharing themselves that personifies who they are. At times, it can be difficult to figure out what a creative person is saying, so don’t be afraid to read between the lines.


Being creative can be a serious internal struggle. Motivation, enthusiasm, direction, and drive can all be issues for creative people. Some days it is hard for them just to get out of bed, and other days you can’t get them to slow down. Be patient in the lulls, because there is usually a burst of activity right around the corner.


Creative people, because of their intense emotional tendencies, tend to rely on intuition over logic. They go with their gut. Some people consider this to be more on the “impulsive” end of the spectrum. The creative mind doesn’t rely on logic to make a decision, it relies on experience and passion.


When people create, especially for a living, they are always struggling with acceptance. That is art. They have to wear their hearts on their sleeves, and so they always question whether or not what they are producing is good enough. Being supportive is the key to loving a creative person.


Creative people are almost always children at heart. That care-free nature can seem immature and impetuous – but it is all part of the deal. Understand that the aspects of their creative brains that you love are the same ones that make them somewhat irresponsible when it comes to being an adult.

The Kids Who Own Our Future!
April 8th, 2016, by Jim Carroll

I was pleasantly surprised by how many kids knew all about Spock! Read on to find out why I spoke to a bunch of 10 year olds about a television show from the 60’s….

So I golf with this guy at our Club.

He’s a grade 5 teacher, and this has led to some fascinating discussions about the next generation.

At one point, he asked me to come in and speak to his class.

I initially demurred; while I spend a great deal of time speaking at massive association conferences and private corporate events, I’m not really quite sure whether my message on future trends would resonate with a bunch of 10 year olds.

Boy, was I wrong!

This week I went in and spoke to 40+ Grade 5 kids. What an exhilarating experience!

I come away from speaking to this group with an appreciation and respect for the world view that this generation has.

What topics did I cover? They didn’t know what a futurist was until their teacher explained it to them — and they were apparently quite excited to hear from someone who earns a living writing, speaking and thinking about future trends.

I built a little talk that focused on some big trends that they might find impacting their lives in the future — and also an overview of some of the unique jobs and careers that they would see in their lifetime.

I did seek some input from folks on Facebook — after all, this isn’t my normal type of audience — as to what I could talk about. One fellow suggested that I should talk about ‘boogers.’ Sure. Not.


Wow, there was a lot of excitement when I arrived …. ! Folks, I wasn’t in Kansas anymore!



Of course, my plan was I wasn’t simply going to stand in front of them, and speak about things — I wanted to get them engaged and involved, through discussion, and, of course, text message polling!


Um, isn’t technology a really powerful tool for learning? Why do we ban it?

The class was prepped in advance by teacher that they would be allowed to bring their phones, laptops and other mobile devices into class. That apparently had them extremely excited, and when I I was in the room, the excitement was palpable.

I started out by observing that currently, many school rules forbid  the use of cell phones in class. So, I asked them right off the bat to take out their cell phones and other devices, so that we could poll the room as to whether they should be allowed to use them.

The opinion, which came in live within seconds, was about as expected. (I gave them a fun third option — most of the class knows that the teacher is an avid golfer!)


(Oh, and for the record, I did manage to talk about boogers, by showing my Facebook post where someone suggested I should talk about boogers!

I open many of my talks with a series of observations about the Jetson’s and Star Trek – and how predictions about the future from these TV shows are now becoming a part of our lives much earlier than expected. Here’s a clip where I cover this on stage — in this case, for the Sports & Fitness Industry Association in New Orleans, where I addressed several hundred CEO’s of major sporting goods manufacturers. My key point? We live in the era of the accelerating future.

What was cool was that many of the kids knew about the Jetsons and Spock — I would have expected the numbers to be lower…..

From there, I covered a number of other things, but really zoned in on two key slides: 10 trends that would impact their future, and 10 “really cool future jobs.”

10 trends? I spoke about autonomous vehicles, smart homes, intelligent eyewear, hyperconnected sports equipment, programmable weather, vertical farms, aging populations/longevity, connected agriculture, an immersive world, and smart medicine. There was quite a bit of discussion – and laughter – as they asked questions or provided their own insight on these trends.

Some of this directly related to their curriculum — which I addressed in another slide:


I was fascinated to learn that their teacher had showed them my “Could the Energy Industry Be Mp3’d” video. This video, arranged for by the CEO of the massive energy utility PG&E out of San Francisco, has me exploring the opportunities and challenges that are emerging with micro-grid energy technology, alternative power sources, and mobile device control of our own personal energy infrastructure. They were really into this topic, and I was really quite thrilled with the fact that they really understood the potential of what is emerging in this space.

I asked them — with all of these trends — did they think about what they wanted to be when they grew up. The answer was pretty interesting!


I then took a look at some future jobs and careers — but only observing for them that there would be a lot of fascinating future career options. The future isn’t just about doctor, nurses, firemen and office professionals — it involves a lot of really funky new career. Like agricultural drone pilots, healthcare robots mangers, outer space tour guides (which ratcheted up the energy levels in the classroom quite a bit!), water architects, 3D printer clothing designers, computer hacker anti-hackers (which again, provoked a bit of discussion), remote sports performance analytic, smart highway traffic managers, and smart packaging advertising managers!

Cool future jobs

I closed with some advice on the attitudes and ideas that should carry them forward into the future — and that they really can control their future if they excel in class and in their learning ability. With one big piece of advice:

Do Homework

And at the end! They presented me with a thank you poster — and another very nice surprise!


I think the kids learned quite a bit — how to think about the future, why its important to think about what comes next, and why they should focus on learning how to continually learn.


“One day, the kids in Grade 5 today will be the leaders of tomorrow. As a futurist, I come away with a deep respect for their insight and knowledge.”

I would do the teacher/golf buddy a disservice if I didn’t come away with a summary of my own learnings from this adventurous sessions, so here’s what I know:

  • I have a tremendous respect for how in tune this group was with the future — for example, their discussion around alternative energy sources and micrograms show that they really get that we live in an era of unprecedented opportunity
  • there was a very real realization in the classroom that technology is going to drive forward much of this opportunity
  • they were really excited about using PollEverywhere in the classroom, which allowed for some instant insight and feedback on the issues we were covering. I am still a big believer that tech can play a big role in the classroom
  • on the other hand, they can easily be distracted by tech. The teacher set a rule that when they weren’t participating in the poll, they had to place their mobile device on the floor, screen down, and not being used. Two kids lost their device during the session for disrespecting this rule! I can only imagine if I could have an audience of 7,000 in Las Vegas respect the same rule — as a speaker, on stage, you see countless numbers of people on their devices

One day, the kids in Grade 5 today will be the leaders of tomorrow. As a futurist, I come away with a deep respect for their insight and knowledge.

I also come away with even more respect for my golfing buddy, the teacher of this energized group of 10 year olds. If he has taken his class into the world of science and tech with the topic areas these kids were talking about, then he is doing a remarkable job to shape the future for all us. Now that’s a real futurist!

Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Bates! See you on the golf course!



Dow Interviews Jim Carroll on the World in 2025
April 7th, 2016, by Jim Carroll

DowChemicalI was recently interviewed by IN Magazine, the global publication of Dow’s Packaging Division, for why thoughts on trends that will impact the packaging industry, and hence, throughout the consumer and packaged goods sector.


Four trends driving change towards 2025 are…….

  • Impact of technology, especially digital
  • The next workforce generation has a fundamentally different outlook
  • Growth potential across many markets thanks to economic volatility
  • Quicker prototyping, designing and testing to reduce time to market


10 years is a long time with the potential for many changes – how do you see the current “norm” changing over time?

We are witnessing massive transformations across every single market, industry and profession. The rate of change is accelerating dramatically compared to past decades, a trend we expect to
see continue.

The impact of technology and the acceleration of science are having a huge impact on this. In addition, our collaborative global community is enabling ever-faster discovery and implementation of new ideas. The power of the next generation shouldn’t be underestimated – as a generation they are highly skilled at seeing and implementing new ways of doing things – in addition to the emergence of new industry competitors.

One of the biggest drivers impacting many industries will come from a shift in control, with Silicon Valley driving the pace of change and innovation more than ever. Industry now has no choice but to act and innovate at the same speed to stay ahead of the game.

Consequently, tomorrow’s world is going to be an entirely di erent place. In fact, I think it’s fair to say, it will be completely transformed. We’re on the edge of absolutely massive change!

Below, Carroll outlines what he sees as top trends.

Africa will have ceased to be a rural continent 

By 2025, the majority of the world’s population will live in less than 30 mega-cities demonstrating a continued trend towards global urbanization, driven in part by greater economic security and an ever increasing global middle class.

There are great opportunities for the development of business involving “mega-city infrastructure support services”, for example – transport, water, and energy “micro-grids”. As you can imagine, the support system for a city of 20-40 million people is vastly di erent to that of a small city.

It’s great to see so many innovators out there already looking for viable solutions, for example, how do we generate energy for such cities? We can see technology emerging to facilitate this switch, just two examples being glass buildings generating solar energy and vertical farming – if we can build skyscrapers for people why can’t we do this for our food supply?

Much of the world will have “gone up”

Because of mass urbanization we are running out of space leaving two solutions: dig down or build up. Towering buildings incorporating innovations in construction will be one of the business growth stories in the years leading up to 2025.

Many pioneering thinkers are now looking at how we can best use the limited space we have left. For example, we are now able to build structures out of wood that are eight to 10 stories high because of our deeper understanding of science, methodologies and architecture. This is providing urban areas with lots of new potential. This innovative “skyscraper” technology is going to be a big trend leading into 2025, with new jobs emerging as a result (for example, vertical farming infrastructure managers).

A dichotomy of life-expectancy will be the new normal

Rapid advancements in medical science in the western hemisphere, the impact of lifestyle changes, and a new “super-health” diet will lead to the first human living to 140. Yet, at the same time, society could be grappling with a decline in life expectancy in Asia, Africa and the Middle East as sectors of the population develop the same lifestyle diseases as North America and Europe.

We are going to see big changes in the pharmaceutical industry, both in packaging and the product. Accessible and intelligent packaging – with packaging becoming part of the product – will see a big tech-up. In theory, a pill will have the power to transmit information from the body
to the package and to the doctor. Tiny bio-sensors will be embedded in all kinds of packaging. Packaging will also help verify counterfeits and we will be increasingly able to track our wellness through mobile devices and bio- connected medical devices, including small chips under the skin that feed critical data back.

Sub-Saharan Africa will have emerged as the world’s new China 

This area holds a wealth of opportunities, for example, in infrastructure development. We have seen this happen previously in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) as they transitioned into middle class. Consequently, it now costs substantially more to produce goods in these countries compared to 10-20 years ago and companies are starting to explore where the next big business opportunities exist. Naturally they are being drawn to these new regions which have huge unlocked potential – not forgetting, we will see almost a billion new consumers entering the global market in the next decade!

We are also seeing an increase of “in-sourcing” with companies taking production and bringing it back locally as it is no longer cost effective to manufacture overseas.

Read the full PDF here, including insight on packaging issues.


I just wrote an article for the PGA of Canada, around the issue of new technologies coming into the game. Enjoy! You can access the full PDF of the article As a PGA Pro, What Are You Going to Do with Drones?


Sometime in the next few years, someone is going to arrive at a golf course and have their entire round filmed by a drone up in the air overhead. It will follow them around via a GPS link ; their fellow players might be annoyed at first, but with the ultra silent motor, they’ll soon barely notice.

Or will they? Might drone technology present your golf club with the ultimate breach of golf etiquette?

The idea is not far-fetched at all – just visit the Web site for the Lily Camera (, which ships in just a few months. Turn it on, start your round, and it will follow and film your round!

There are a few questions that come with this fast- paced technology:

What will your club policy be? Will you ban drones or welcome them? Might they be a fascinating tool to help grow interest in the game, which all of us know is a critical imperative? Not only that – might they prove to be an invaluable teaching tool at the same time that they emerge as a critical annoyance?

As a PGA Professional, you should be thinking about these issues. Right now, drone technology is where the Internet was in about 1993, and in the next 1-2 years we are going to see explosive growth in both the number of drones as well the sophistication of the feature set they support.

I was thinking about this while out for my latest golf round in Florida a month ago; I’m pretty wired up already, and maybe I just need a drone to complete my wired golf-self.

I’ve got my GPS watch to help plan the accuracy of my shots, and I’m a very active user of the GameGolf GPS tracking system. It monitors every swing, and at the end of the day, builds me an interactive map of my round with all kinds of useful insight on my performance. I joked to my playing partner: “It provides me with really good insight on how bad I am.” Not only that, but the golf cart I was driving had the latest in on-board GPS tech, providing me even more information on the course and hole layout.

That’s 3 GPS devices. What’s to prevent the addition of a 4th, in the form of a self- flying drone?

Like every sport, golf is bound up in a rich tradition and history. The idea that drones might become part of the game will make some go apoplectic; as did the arrival of golf carts in the 1960’s, as did the arrival of GPS shot tracking technology in the 1990’s!

Think about what happens when a golfer utilizes a drone to lm their round. We’re in the era of social networking and it’s not far-fetched to think that someone will will edit the video highlights of their round to share it with friends; they might even send it to the their PGA Professional to help analyze it for training purposes; or they put it some other unimaginable use.

Which leads us to another question: could it be an invaluable teaching aid? Imagine working with an aspiring golfer on the range, trying to x their slice. Moving beyond filming the swing with your iPad or iPhone, you might now be able to lm the student from above and provide them even more insight into their swing patterns, and help them really visualize the nature of a slice. Could it be a good thing, or something rather ridiculous?

I’m sure I don’t know – all I know is that drone technology is going to invade the game of golf faster than we might imagine. Already in Japan, there is a course that is using drones to deliver snacks, drinks and golf balls to players on a course!

What’s your club policy on drone usage — do you have one? Have you even though about this as an issue? And what will you do as a PGA Professional to incorporate this fascinating new technology into your instruction methods?


Jim Carroll is a leading international futurist, speaking at dozens of conferences worldwide. Most recently, he was invited by the PGA of America to keynote the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show in in Orlando, where he spoke on the challenge and opportunities that new technology presents to the game. He’s a high-handicapper with good intentions, and is an active member at Credit Valley Golf & Country Club in Mississauga.


More food for thought! Here I am at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show, speaking about the issue!

Best ever golf lesson.
April 1st, 2016, by Jim Carroll

Pay attention.

The Ultimate Golf Lesson….. ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS!!!

Posted by Bunkers Paradise on Monday, March 30, 2015

Back in 2003, or maybe it was 2005 …. I was invited by DaimlerChrysler — then the merged entity of Chrysler and Mercedes Benz, a merger which would eventually fail — to participate in a strategic planning session that would look at the future of the auto industry.

And so I travelled to Mercedes HQ in Stuttgart, Germany for a two day session. I came away with the feeling that this was an industry that just didn’t “get it.” I still don’t think they do.

The goal of the meeting was to define what the industry would look like in 2013 … 10 years on. I was the outsider, the futurist, with the job of challenging their notions as to how the future might unfold. It was a small, intimate meeting — 20 very serious auto engineers and marketing types, and me.

At that meeting, I predicted, with some uncanny accuracy, today’s Tesla Model 3 announcement.

At that meeting, I suggested that Google might become a car company. Of course, at the time, these auto engineers laughed at me. What a foolish futurist! The thing is — I had my story right in 2003. I just thought it would be Google, and never thought it would be a new company like Tesla.

Think about what is unfolding today: Google, Tesla, Apple — what’s the difference? — my point back in 2003 was that in the future, Silicon Valley would come to define the pace of innovation, structure, manufacturing, and indeed, the concept of how to bring a car to market.

If you watch a few videos — here’s an event in 2006 for an audience of 3,000 engineers in Florida, in which I spoke about my 2003 experience:

Here is a longer clip, in which I predict the structure of the auto industry that is unfolding before us today:

What is today all about? It’s another sign that the auto industry as we know it is dead. Gone. In the dustbin of history. Everything is changing at a furious pace.

In 2003, I nailed the idea that people would buy a car a year in advance as a beta! So far today, it looks like we have 150,000 orders worldwide as an estimate. People lined up for a car that they are willing to buy only based on a promise of being at the leading edge. A company that has a business model that involves “building to customer demand” as opposed to “building to inventory.” Massive transformation of an industry bound up in 120 years of tradition (give or take a few years…..). And a tweet from @elonmusk that suggests they haven’t nailed the design of the car yet, but will make it up as they go. In other words — it’s a beta!

Every industry is faced with similar transformation and challenge. The future belongs to those who are fast, who are prepared to think big and bold, and are ready to challenge existing norms.

Insurance, banking, finance, travel, healthcare. Folks, what’s your GoogleCar? Do you not get that we live in transformative times, in which the foundation of every industry is being subjected to massive change? Who is redefining your industry? Are you prepared to get aggressively involved, or will you just watch it happen? Are you going to be Tesla’d by someone who is redefining your industry today, yet you laugh at the concept?

I welcome today’s announcement! It’s about time that #tesla and #model3 catch up with what I predicated some 13 years ago.

But if you watch the second video — I only have one question: @elonmusk, will it ship with the “Tesla Car Party in a Box?”

Custom video production!
March 31st, 2016, by Jim Carroll

If it’s not possible to bring me in for a keynote because of a scheduling conflict, you can always do the next best thing — arrange for a customized video keynote! What’s involved? You provide the production and video edit team — and Jim provides his detailed, customized insight! Or Jim can work with some established partners to pull it all together.

Here are a few clips that give you a sense of what we can do!

  • the CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) engaged Jim for production of a video that he would use on stage as part of the opening of a big energy conference. The goal was to get across the seismic changes occurring in the energy industry. Here’s the result — “could the energy industry be MP3’d?” It’s a provocative little film clip that I filmed with TAG Productions in San Francisco in August — we took a half day to shoot and get some basic material down, and then they worked their magic to make a magical video!
  • Another great example: Deloitte South Africa were extremely interested in bringing me Jim in to host their annual 2010 “Best Company to Work For in South Africa” awards presentation, but I was unavailable due to a prior commitment. So I worked with Riverbank Pictures, to prepare a 15 minute customized video, based on the theme, “What Do World Class Innovators Do That Others Don’t Do?”, which helped to set a tone of challenge and opportunity for those attending the annual awards presentation.
  • for a time, CNBC and I had discussions about a series of video vignettes looking at the future. Sadly, it never went forward, but we did get some great clips, including one on a ski hill!
  • and last but not least, a major telecom company engaged me for a series of clips related to technology and small business……
    If you are interested in exploring the option of a customized video keynote and in doing something unique for your next corporate event, feel free to contact Jim for details.

2014. May, I’ll open the Professional Records & Information Services Management annual conference in Bonita Springs, Florida, and will focus on some of the key issues in terms of corporate records management.

They recently interviewed me, and have run this article on my keynote.

Futurist Jim Carroll to Urge Faster, More Strategic Innovation During PRISM Keynote Address
By Carolyn Schierhorn

World-renowned futurist and innovation champion Jim Carroll intends to spark conversation, creativity, and commitment to strategically lead change when he delivers the opening keynote address on May 17 at the 2016 PRISM International Annual Conference in Bonita Springs, FL.

My role will be to challenge PRISM members to accelerate their ability to deal with the faster rate of change that their businesses are going through and come up with solutions, opportunities, and ideas faster,” said Carroll, whose upcoming motivational talk is titled “What Do World Class Innovators Do That Others Don’t?

During the past 20 years, Carroll has led or keynoted all manner of corporate events and association conferences, serving clients as diverse as Walt Disney Co., NASA, and the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. “I speak in virtually every industry on every kind of topic,” said Carroll, who is based out of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. This gives him a broad, interdisciplinary perspective that allows him to see patterns, identify nascent trends, and gauge whether innovative ideas from one realm will work as well in another.

But Carroll’s knowledge of records and information management (RIM) dates back decades. He made his first foray online in the early 1980s while working as a CPA for a major accounting firm. “I was on the precursors to the Internet before a lot of other folks,” he said. “I had been building a global e-mail system—a global collaboration machine—for the firm when I undertook a new project: the development of a document capture, storage, retrieval, and access system.”

Carroll points out that information management expertise is typically viewed by companies as tactical knowledge. “It’s viewed as a practical role by senior management—simply a necessary evil,” he said. “But records retention, access, security, and privacy are really strategic issues. Look at all the things that can go wrong.” During his address, Carroll will urge the RIM industry to transition to a more strategic role.

Indeed, Program Planning Chair Christopher Powell Jones hopes Carroll will galvanize conference attendees into pressing for a strategic voice in their clients’ decision-making. “We have a window in which we can help our existing clients solve problems related to the way they deal with information,” said Jones, a consulting team leader for Secure Records Solutions in Tallahassee, FL. “We already have our clients’ trust. If we don’t take advantage of that, they’re going to decide to solve their problems elsewhere, perhaps using technologies that aren’t the best fit for them.”

Seizing Opportunities to Lead

Given the explosion of data in many fields, the RIM industry needs to be at the vanguard, proactively seeking and promoting solutions, said Carroll, the author of several books on innovation. For example, he points to the ever-growing amount and complexity of information that could potentially reside in electronic health records. “What happens if you have a patient who is linked to a hospital by a remote blood pressure device or a remote glucose monitoring device?” he asked. “Is that a hospital record, or does that data belong to the patient?” The RIM industry should be at the forefront of defining what is a record and establishing the policies and procedures for storing and retrieving such information, Carroll said.

Similarly, with the advent of the Internet of things—a world of such hyperconnectivity that most household appliances and industrial machines will be monitored and
controlled online—RIM professionals must become thought leaders on how all of this generated data will be organized, protected, and accessed, he emphasized.

In his book The Future Belongs to Those Who Are Fast, Carroll reveals why so many organizations are “innovation laggards,” as he puts it:

  • They fear the unknown.
  • They have a culture that is risk-averse.
  • They are unwilling to confront the truth.
  • They have a short-term focus.
  • Inertia is easy.
  • It’s easy to avoid tough decisions.
  • They fail to adapt to fast markets.
  • They refuse or are unwilling to adapt to new methodologies and ideas.
  • Like most other fields, the RIM industry needs to become more nimble and forward-thinking, according to Carroll.

A lot of research and development today is occurring through Kickstarter,” Carroll observed. “It’s occurring in what we call the maker or tinkerer community. A lot of organizations are flat-footed while kids are reinventing their industry.”

We know this is a world with massively increasing volumes of information. And the ability to sift through it, sort it, find it, and turn it into something relevant is becoming more complex,” said Carroll, noting how important it is for RIM executives to understand what is happening in Silicon Valley. “Clearly, research institutions, universities, and companies like Google and Amazon are developing new algorithms for how to deal with all of this data.” RIM firms will need to reposition themselves to stay relevant, he said.

Carroll’s keynote speech should jump-start discussions and brainstorming among meeting participants. “My objective,” said Jones, “is for Jim to begin a conversation that will inspire the rest of conference, which has the theme ‘Navigating the Oceans of Opportunity.’ Jim will get us thinking about all of the opportunity that is available to us, given our existing resources, and about the opportunities that lie ahead. There is a lot of room for our profession to grow. I expect Jim to paint a picture of the different areas we have to explore.

“My objective is for Jim to begin a conversation that will inspire the rest of conference.”—Christopher Powell Jones

On his website,, Carroll provides 10 tips on how to become more innovative. During his address, Carroll will elaborate on a number of these insights, explaining how they apply to the RIM profession:

  • Hire people you don’t like. “The reason you don’t like them is because they are different, and that is probably the exact reason why their ideas are important,” he writes.
  • Forget everything you know. “Knowledge is momentary,” he states. “Learn to grab it when you need it. And don’t assume that what you know right now will have any relevance tomorrow.”
  • Get young. “Take the time to listen to young people—anyone 10 years younger than yourself,” he advises. “They’re building the future right now, and you’ll do well to understand it. Their future is hyperactive, interactive, and multi-tasking.” Millennials get bored more easily and are more entrepreneurial than previous generations, Carroll notes.
  • Appreciate wisdom. “At the same time you listen to young people, be patient with anyone 10 years older than yourself,” he writes. “The fact is, they possess something that you might not have yet—experience and the wisdom that comes from having been there. Your impatience for change might delude you into thinking that things are far easier than they really are.”
  • Forget permanence. “Get with the program—everything is temporary and change is constant,” he says. “Accept that, and the rest comes easy since it will help you
    focus on what needs to be done rather than looking back at what was done.”
  • Make decisions. “Don’t be someone who asks ‘What happened?'” Carroll urges. “Make things happen. Far too many people have forgotten how to analyze information and move forward based on what they see.”
  • Change your focus. “Old glories and corporate nostalgia won’t define future success,” he stresses. “Aggressiveness and adaptability will. Stop thinking about the past, and focus firmly on the future.”
  • Trap creativity. “It’s a precious resource,” he says. “The ideas, thoughts, and initiatives of those who surround you can be your most potent weapon.”
  • Think clear and present opportunities. “Don’t focus on the negativity of change,” he warns. “Instead think about what can be done.”
  • Get excited, and be happy. “Studies show that most people don’t like what they do,” he writes. “That’s sad. Change your attitude, and you’ll find that things really can improve. The next year is full of opportunity, and it’s yours if you want it.”


Carolyn Schierhorn is a freelance writer based in Wheaton, Ill.

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