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Video : Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast!
November 17th, 2015, by Jim Carroll

Video from my keynote for APICS 2015 in Las Vegas. Simply stated.

Inspiration – Embrace the Future!
November 16th, 2015, by Jim Carroll


What Are Going to Do Today for Your Tomorrow?
November 13th, 2015, by Jim Carroll



Ask yourself this question: do you work in an organization that just simply doesn’t get it? Who is oblivious, blind, completely unaware of just how much business model change is occurring out there?

Here’s the thing — there are three types of people in the world:

  • those who make things happen
  • those who watch things happen
  • and those who say, “what happened?”

I’ve often pointed this out on stage, and have emphasized the point, by suggesting that the folks who find themselves last on the list sit back and say, “whoah, dude, what happened? Where’d that come from?”

In other words, they’ve been completely blind to the trend which would cause massive upheaval within their industry, or refuse to accept the significant business model disruptions which are already occurring.

Guess what — it’s happening right now as a lot of financial institutions don’t realize just how quickly mobile technology is going to change everything in the consumer financial services industry! Or in countless other industries where the blindness of current market leaders is leading them to their own “whoah, dude” moment.

So let’s make it simple: when it comes to innovation, make sure that you are in the first camp!

What should you do if you make that conscious decision, and are trying to steer your organization into the future?

  • turn forward! establish an overall organizational culture in which everyone is firmly focused on the future while managing the present.
  • change the focus: make sure that you link the corporate mission of today to the major trends and developments that will influence the organization through the coming years;
  • pursue speed: use a leadership style that encourages a culture of agility and allows for a rapid response to sudden change in products, markets, competitive challenges and other business, technological and workplace trends;
  • watch more stuff: establish and encourage an organization-wide “trends radar” in which all staff keep a keen eye on the developments that will affect the organization in the future;
  • share more: make sure that you’ve got a culture of collaboration in which everyone is prepared to share their insight, observations and recommendations with respect to future trends, threats and opportunities;
  • change responsibilities: ensure that staff are regularly encouraged to not only deal with the unique and ongoing challenges of today, but are open and responsive to the new challenges yet to come;
  • take risks: you won’t get anywhere if you don’t make sure that are encouraged to turn future challenges into opportunities, rather than viewing change as a threat to be feared.

I continue to be stunned by how many organizations today continue to be caught flat-footed by the pace of rapid trends that impact them. It seems like it should be so simple to avoid this. Yet there likely still lots of “whoah, dude” dudes out there.

I’m keynoting Mosaic AgCollege this January!
November 11th, 2015, by Jim Carroll


I’m honored to be one of the keynote speakers at the 2016 Mosaic AgCollege in Orlando in January.

It’s an annual event held by the Mosaic Company, the world’s leading producer of concentrated phosphate and potash, nitrogen fertilizers and feed ingredients for the agriculture industry, for their key clients.

My focus? The future of agriculture!

Big Trends In Agriculture: What Ag Will Look Like In 2045
Jim Carroll, an agriculture futurist and innovation expert, will look into his crystal ball and predict what agriculture will be like in 2045. Whether it’s driverless tractors, weed-zapping robots or data-transmitting crops, Jim will forecast what farms might be like 30 years from now, and encourage the industry to embrace high-velocity innovation. Jim is recognized worldwide as a “thought leader” and authority on global trends, rapid business model change, business transformation in a period of economic uncertainty, and the necessity for fast-paced innovation. You will not want to miss his predictions.

I do numerous keynotes throughout the agriculture industry, with a lot of detailed insight — so much so that after one talk, an audience member asked how long I had been a farmer!

Just this weekend, I was the closing keynote speaker for a dealer meeting for Reinke, the manufacturer of those large irrigation systems you see on farms all over North America.

As in every sector and industry, agriculture is an industry that is ripe for massive change and disruption — and the year 2045 might happen by 2025, if not sooner. We will certainly see a lot of autonomous vehicles, region specific plant varietals based on genomic science, rapid advances in precision farming, irrigation and big data technology, and more.

Spend some time in the agriculture section of my Web site for more insight — and stay tuned! I’ll report on my Mosaic AgCollege keynote in January!

I had a long conversation with a potential client in the manufacturing sector the other day; they’re looking to bring me in for a keynote in 2016. I’ve developed a reputation in the industry for some cutting edge insight into the key trends that are redefining every single aspect of the sector at an extremely furious, fast pace. I’ve headlined events for tens of thousands at major manufacturing conferences in Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando and Detroit.

Jim Carroll on stage in September 2011, keynoting the IMXchange - Interactive Manufacturing Exchange -- conference, with a talk on the future of manufacturing and the necessity for continuous, relentless innovation

Jim Carroll on stage in Las Vegas keynoting the IMXchange – Interactive Manufacturing Exchange conference, with a talk on the future of manufacturing and the necessity for continuous, relentless innovation

What’s going on? Here’s a quick snapshot:

  • collapsing product life cycles – simply put, products don’t have as long a lifespan in terms of relevance, consumer attention, rapid escalation of design ideas — whatever the case may be, with shorter life spans, manufacturing organizations are having to pick up the pace!
  • the Internet of Things and product redefinition – every device becomes connected, intelligent, aware… this has major implications in terms of how devices are designed and manufactured. Suddenly, many manufacturers are finding that they must integrate sophisticated user interface capabilities into their products, not to mention advanced computer and connectivity technology.
  • rapid design and rapid prototyping. We’ve seen incredible advances in the ability to conceive, design and develop new products faster than ever before. There is a constantly rising bar in terms of capabilities, and if you can’t pick up on this, you can be sure that your competitors will. The first to market with a new idea is often the winner.
  • the influence of crowdfunding on product design. There is no doubt that the global connectivity that the crowdfunding business model provides is resulting in a change in product conception. Suddenly, anyone can have an idea, fund it, design it, and bring it to market. What I’ve witnessed are situations where these small scale projects are light years ahead of what we’ve seen with established industry players. Crowdfunding is the new garage in many industries.
  • build to demand vs. build to inventory business models. Big auto companies build hundreds of thousands of vehicles, and shove them out to dealers hoping they sell. Tesla Motors takes an order, and builds the vehicle to send to the customer. Big difference — and this model is driving fundamental business model change across every aspect of the manufacturing sector.
  • agility and flexibility. The impact of build-to-demand models is that manufacturers must provide for a lot more change-capability throughout every aspect of the process, from supply chain to assembly to quality control. The ultimate in agility? The Magna factory in Graz, Austria, which can custom build a wide variety of automobiles from completely different car companies.
  • post-flat strategies. What happens when the world gets flat? Put a ripple in it! That’s been the focus of a few of my keynotes for several manufacturing clients. I’ve spoken about organizations who have evolved from having to compete with low-cost producers by focusing on price, to a new product lineup that is based on quality, consumer perception, brand identity, or IoT connectivity.
  • faster time to market. Consumers today have perilously short attention spans. In some sectors, such as fashion, high-tech (smartphones!), food and others, you’ve got to get your product to market in an instant — otherwise, you lose your opportunity.
  • rapidly emerging consumer demand. Closely related to time to market is the fact that new fashion, taste trends or other concepts now emerge faster given the impact of social networks. Think about the impact of food trucks — people can now experiment with new taste trends at an extremely low price point. The result is that new taste trends emerge faster — and food companies must scramble to get new products out to the customer faster. Long, luxurious product development lead times are from ‘the olden days.’ If you can’t speed up, you won’t be able to compete.
  • the fast emergence of same day delivery business models. Amazon, WalMart, Google and others are quickly building big infrastructure that provides for same day shipping. This has a ripple impact on demand, inventory, logistics …. a massive change from the old world of stockpiled inventory.
  • the arrival of 3D, additive manufacturing 3D printers and the inevitable shift to “additive manufacturing” from “subtractive manufacturing based on cutting, drilling and bashing metal..  probably the biggest change the industry will witness in coming years.
  • the acceleration of education requirements. Robotics, advanced manufacturing methodologies, machinining-in-the-cloud, advanced ERP processes : you name it, the skill of 10 years or even 5 years ago doesn’t cut it today. I had one client in the robotics sector observe that “the education level of our workforce has increased so much….The machinists in this industry do trigonometry in their heads.” That’s the new reality going forward!

That’s a lot of change, and there’s even more underway.

Want more? Watch this!

VIDEO: Atlantic Design and Manufacturing 2013 Interview with Innovation Expert Jim Carroll from ThomasNet on Vimeo.

When Apple Fails…..
November 10th, 2015, by Jim Carroll


At the end of last year, I wrote a little document, 25 Trends for 2025. It’s a good read — and might provide you some insight into some of the unique trends that might provide opportunity and challenge going forward.

The 24th trend I wrote said this, predicting that by 2025:

Apple is Delisted

Once one of the world’s most innovative, cash-rich, highly valued company, Apple enters a new phase in 2025 when it is delisted from most global stock markets.


Most industry leaders never survive; there is always someone with a better idea.

It’s the age old rule of business: incumbency is not a guarantee!

I was thinking about this post last night, when I packed up my new 4th Generation Apple TV to send it back to Apple.

What a failure of a device. Without the ability to link to it via a Bluetooth keyboard or App as with prior generations, it just became a madly infuriating failure.

It’s the first Apple device I’ve ever returned — and my family and I probably have some 50-75+ Apple  devices in our lives through the last decade.

I don’t know what the Apple Engineers were thinking with this decision, but to me, it just seems like such an obvious failure that perhaps they are losing touch with their customers and the evolution of their products.

Do they care? Are they complacent? Perhaps, probably. Will they even both to respond to one small customer in a customer base of hundreds of millions? Probably not. Could they engineer themselves into extreme failure in the future? Perhaps. History has taught us that no organization is guaranteed success into the future!


Popular Mechanix magazine envisioned the autonomous vehicle in the 1950’s. “Connected cars” and autonomous technology are expected to generate $131.9 billion by 2019 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.7% from 2013 to 2019

I’ve been doing a number of keynotes in the automotive, trucking and transportation sector. Groups such as Volvo/Mac Trucks dealer conference; the Colorado Transportation Summit, the National Association of Truck Stop Owners, Chrysler, and various motor vehicle dealer association conferences. I’ve also had some fairly widespread coverage in the media. There are a large number of blog posts about my observations in the Automotive & Transportation section of my blog.

This is a FAST moving industry, with SEISMIC changes underway.

Basically, vehicles have been built the same way for the last 100 years — they run on carbon, are driven by people, don’t connect with other vehicles, and operate independantly. The business model has involved “car dealerships” and “car salesmen” and consumers frustrated with what they’ve always perceived to be a one-sided relationship.

Now, for the first time in 100 years, massive change is underway — more vehicles will not be carbon based, but based on alternative energy sources. A growing number will drive themselves. And they will interconnect with other vehicles and intelligent highway infrastructure, with profound implications on efficiency, traffic, urban and highway design, not to mention safety. A future in which a large number of the next generation might not actually purchase a car — but simply use some type of vehicle sharing service. If they do purchase a car, they will likely do it online.

You couldn’t have a bigger change than that!

And it promises a massive shakeup as the speed of innovation is shifting from automotive/trucking companies to Silicon Valley. Consider one implication: one estimate suggests that “connected cars are expected to generate $131.9 billion by 2019 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.7% from 2013 to 2019.” (Connected Cars: Legal Hurdles and Issues Monitor Worldwide. Oct 2014)

The challenge is this: the auto industry is somewhat ill prepared to cope with the speed of change. They are still of a mindset that involves palatial automative dealerships, when an increasing number of consumers simply want to purchase a car that they’ve already researched online. Car dealers who cling to the same way of doing business that was in place in 1960 and 1970 — a very frustrating experience for most consumers.

At the same time, we see Tesla Motors selling cars online, and setting up ‘showrooms’ in shopping malls — and various state car dealer organizations fighting back in the courts. (The casket industry tried to fight a battle against people selling caskets online. It didn’t go well!) We see Uber indicating that its ultimate business model might involve being the car service for everyone, in a world in which few people actually buy cars!

That’s why senior auto executives, motor vehicle dealer associations and others in the industry need a good, frank discussion around the future of their industry, and what they need to do to turn these perceived threats into opportunity.

That’s what I’ve been doing a lot of lately — and so if you are reading this and are in the industry, give me a call!

I just remembered about this article; Real Estate Australia (the national association for realtors) interviewed me about future real estate trends. You can find the original article here.

6 ways the real estate game will be different in 2045
by REA , 26 JUN 2014


If you view the current trends towards technology, private sales, and other disruptors as a threat, you are in the wrong frame of mind. Some people see a trend and consider it a threat. Innovators see the same trend and see an opportunity.

Close your eyes for a minute and just imagine how modern life, and modern real estate would look like to your old boss in 1985… (That is if you had a boss in the ‘80s, or were even born…)

While this new world of connectivity makes perfect sense now, much of the way we live, and the way we buy things for example, would have seemed absurd back then. Considering we’re still living in an age of paper rental applications, the real estate industry is often a late adopter when it comes to new technology. Sure, we’ve made some fundamental reforms over the last decade, with agencies embracing online profiles, mobile apps, and online lead generation. However, the industry is expected to undergo some major shifts in coming years.

The point is, agents need to be not only keeping up with tech trends but staying ahead of them. We speak to one of the world’s most famous futurists Jim Carroll and ask what the industry should expect over the next 30 years? Prepare to suspend your disbelief and your sense of what is possible…

1. Agents in jeopardy?

When asked whether the role of the real estate agent was in jeopardy, Carroll remains non-committal. “Will more clients opt to use private means of purchasing and selling property? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on the agent.” Adaptation is the name of the game, with Carroll saying: “If you view the current trends towards technology, private sales, and other disruptors as a threat, you are in the wrong frame of mind. Some people see a trend and consider it a threat. Innovators see the same trend and see an opportunity. Your frame of mind on how the business is changing will define how you will reinvent yourself to turn it into opportunity.”

2. Farms in the sky?

The way future cities are developed (i.e. increasing urbanisation, higher density housing) will affect the real estate game, and Carroll brings up one of the major trends he perceives affecting real estate in the future: “Vertical Farming. My research tells me that 21st century farming infrastructure will involve towers – 25, 50, 100 storeys – that are dedicated to crop production. Why? Year-round crop production and increased productivity – 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, there are no crop failures, and it adds energy back into the grid. Already there are 800 million practicing urban agriculture called ‘city-farmers’ according to UN statistics. So yes, cities are going to change. And real estate agents should be ready to sell farming listings in the middle of a city.”

3. Your patch of dirt?

Carroll denies that property ownership will become an unaffordable fantasy for much of the middle class in 2045. “A patio, a cold beer, and kids: It’s a dream for everyone. It always will be. People aspire to space. The space may change, the method to buy it, but the fantasy won’t.”

4. Suburgatory?

What will become of suburbs – will they continue to expand, or fall into slow decline, much like many shopping malls? “I heard this question 20 years ago. People change, design changes, and right now, there is some kid in a garage somewhere defining the suburb of the future. I have no idea what that kid is thinking, other than that her mind is wired unlike mine. She’s grown up in a world with Internet 24 hours a day. They will reshape the world – and their neighborhood – in their image.”

5. Senior housing?

In residential real estate, Carroll argues senior housing will be “one of the dominant trends”. “People are living longer,” he says. “The typical baby born in western society today will live to be 100. Longevity for a part of the population is one of the challenges of our time. Society won’t be able to build all the seniors homes required; and so they will live at home. Technology will lead to “bio-connectivity. Hospitals going virtual – a doctor will be able to monitor non critical care senior patients from afar using connected medical devices.”

6. The constants?

It’s easy to look around and wonder what elements of the business will disappear or lose relevance. Will open for inspections, auctions, or cold calling go the way of the fax machine? Carroll argues that while the minutiae of the business will undoubtedly change, the core elements will remain unchanged. In other words, “People matter. People will always matter. Trust, reliance, reputation. Keep that, and you’ve got what matters. But only if you are open to the future.”

From GE Reports, October 28, 2015 (link)

Technological advances from the Industrial Internet to renewables are transforming the energy industry. Here are the key trends to watch over the next decade.

Hyper-connectivity is transforming many industries — few more so than the energy sector. The expansion of the industrial Internet and power of Big Data analytics is enabling power companies to predict maintenance failures and approach zero downtime, while smartgrids and apps are empowering consumers to become producers.

Could the energy generation and distribution industry find itself in the same position as music companies did n the past — stuck defending an older and entrenched business model, rather than embracing new ideas, concepts and methodologies?

“We are now in the era of `personal energy infrastructure management,’” where connected consumers are gaining increasing control over energy consumption and production, says Jim Carroll, a futurist and energy expert.

The quickly shifting energy landscape means utilities and other industry players must be careful not to be “MP3’d” like the music industry, says Carroll in an interview, in which he also discusses the prospect of achieving energy access for all and the potential for renewals to replace fossil fuels as the dominant energy source:

How much progress will we make in improving energy access to everyone on the planet in 10 years, with the help of microgrids and off-grid solar and other solutions? 

One of my favorite phrases comes from Bill Gates: “People often overestimate what will happen in the next two years and underestimate what will happen in 10.”

I think we live in a period of time when there are several key trends impacting out future use of energy. An intelligent, connected and self-aware grid. An accelerated pace of innovation with non-traditional energy sources — there are now window panes for building construction that generate solar power. Major investments and innovation with energy storage battery technology. I don’t think any of us can really anticipate how quickly all of this is coming together.

Will renewables top fossil fuels as the dominant energy source?

History has taught us that significant progress is more incremental than dramatic. The key point is that globally, we are at an inflection point when it comes to energy. Right now, we’re 90 percent carbon, 10 percent renewables, give or a take a few points. At some point — 10, 20, 50, 100 years? — we’re likely to be at 50-50.

A lot will happen with scientific, business model and industrial change between now and then. We’ve had this predominant business model based on carbon that goes back 100 years, but will that last forever? We’d be delusional if we thought so. What is known is that the carbon energy industry has made tremendous and somewhat unforeseen strides with increasing output — shale, horizontal drilling, smarter drilling and production technologies. Yet the same thing is happening with renewables — and it’s probably happening faster. In the long term, I believe we will see a gradual and inexorable shift to renewables.

How much will we be able to reduce the carbon footprint of the power industry, as technological innovation brings down the cost of renewables?

The technology — as well as consumer/industrial demand for new alternatives — will continue at a faster rate but will run up against increasing regulatory and business model challenges. That’s why I have challenged utility CEOs to ask the question, “Could they be MP3’d?” Could the energy generation and distribution industry find itself in the same position as music companies did n the past — stuck defending an older and entrenched business model, rather than embracing new ideas, concepts and methodologies.

How will the relationship between consumers and producers of electricity change, given smartgrid technologies, mobile app connectivity and the increasing availability of small-scale renewable power sources?

I always stress that we are now in the era of “personal energy infrastructure management.” What does that mean? I have the ability to manage my heating and air conditioning spend through an iPhone app. In the not too distant future, I believe my local neighborhood will have some type of swarm intelligence — linked to local and upcoming weather patterns— that will adjust its consumption patterns in real time based on a series of interconnected home thermostats. My sons are 22 and 20 years old, and we’ve had an Internet-connected thermostat in our home and for over a decade. They live in a world in which they are in control of remote devices, include those that manage their energy use.

How much will energy efficiency improve, with the help of the Industrial Internet and Internet of Things and Big Data analytics?

Some people might view the IoT as being the subject of too much hype at this point. Maybe that is true, but it is probably such a significant development that we can barely comprehend its impact. Think about it this way: every device that is a part of our daily lives is about to become connected. That fundamentally changes the use and purpose of the device in major ways. Add on top of that location intelligence — knowing where the device is, and its status. Link together millions of those devices and generate some real-time and historical data — the possibilities boggle the mind.

We are increasingly in a situation in which the future belongs to those who are fast. That might be a challenge for the energy and utility sector, but it’s a reality.

A hole in one!
October 26th, 2015, by Jim Carroll

Video – Manufacturing: A Global Renaissance!
October 26th, 2015, by Jim Carroll

The International Manufacturing Technology Show is one of the largest manufacturing conferences in the world. I was invited to lead a panel discussion focused on how the industry has reinvented itself through innovation. It’s a quick, short clip that puts into perspective why manufacturing is leading the way in innovation.

Interview: Jim Carroll on Innovation
October 22nd, 2015, by Jim Carroll

“I keep discovering things that I think world-class inno- vators do, such as focus on their speed and ability to change. They focus on understanding how their customers are chang- ing or changing their business model before they change it themselves”

Here’s a quick little article in which I’m asked a variety of questions around innovation. Get the PDF.

A few key observations that I make:

  • “I think people shouldn’t make the word [innovation] mysterious. They need to understand that it’s not just about the invention of new products or new services. It goes back to that fundamental issue of ‘how do I run my business better, grow my business and transform my business.’ I think if people get caught up on innovation as new product development, they miss a huge opportunity in terms of what they can do.”
  • “One of my catchphrases, which I picked up from a big financial client, is: “Think big, start small, scale fast.” That can work for big organizations, but it can also work for a small company.

“Think big”—you’re small and obviously want to grow. You’ve got to have really big ideas and big goals in terms of what you might hope to accomplish, in terms of trying new ideas and exploring new things and doing things you haven’t done before.

“Start small”—play with a lot of new technologies, try a lot of new ideas, take risks. Do some projects in which you might succeed at some things and you might fail, but at least do things. So you start small, you try out a whole bunch of small things. This builds up your experience, and the more experience you have, the better position you’re in for success in the future.

“Scale fast”—learn how to scale it. How do you ensure you can keep doing these things as you grow?




In August, I had the pleasure of attended the WorldSkills 2015 competition in Sao Paolo Brazil, and opening the associated leadership forum with senior executives, educators and government officials from around the world.

WorldSkills? You haven’t heard of it? I came away convinced that it is one of the most important, and yet ‘under-the-radar’ global initiatives that  provides future opportunity to the next generation of student, industries and nations. I will be blogging more on my observations in the weeks to come.

For now, read this article which summarized my keynote, and catch a clip where I spoke about the challenges that come from the acceleration of the  knowledge required in the area of skilled trades.

Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast: Futurist Jim Carroll Speaks At Worldskills Leaders Forum
(Article from the WorldSkills Web site)

On 13 August, at the WorldSkills Leaders Forum, as part of the WorldSkills Conference Programme, Jim Carroll, one of the world’s leading experts on international trends and innovation spoke on the rapid changes facing the world.

“65% of children in preschool today will work in a job that does not exist now,” announced Carroll to the approximately 450 international leaders of technical and vocational education within governments, industry, education, and unions gathered at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 to build the global skills movement.

Carroll established that today is the era of major transformation and supremacy of big ideas. Organizations not only need to consider what their current competition will be doing in the future, but also need to assume that new entrants to their profession will reinvent the approach of businesses that operate as they have always done.

“Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century,” noted Carroll. Technology will change every element of our lives at such a rapid pace that half of what vocational students learn in their first year will be replaced with new technology knowledge in three years.

To be successful in a fast paced environment, Carroll recommended people “think big, start small, and scale fast.”

His advice to the WorldSkills community was to constantly question how the hyper connectivity offered by technology will impact the skilled careers. Carroll encouraged participants to look at the future with optimism not fear. Carroll is recognized as a thought-leader and author of “The Future Belongs to Those Who Are Fast” and “Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast”.

The WorldSkills Leaders Forum is a global event on the most topical themes – based on input from WorldSkills Delegates and Members. The WorldSkills Leaders Forum event itself serves to kick-start dialogue among attendees – individuals and organizations striving to exploit and develop the power of the global network of WorldSkills to meet the needs of industry, commerce, and those who educate and train the next generation professional – to the mutual benefit of all concerned.


For years, I’ve spoken throughout my client base as a keynote speaker as to how the essence of global research and development is changing.This includes keynote presentations to some of the world’s leading educational associations and corporations; industry and professional conference associations; and even two events for NASA, with a number of astronauts, astrophysicists and other deep thinkers in the room!


Watch a true piece of art – this time-lapse video by my 22 year old son, using a ‘time-lapse slider’ running on a Raspberry Pi, that he built by drawing upon ‘the global colloborative mind.’

My emphasis has always been that the Internet has led us to a new world of ‘crowd-thinking’ in which anyone can look at any idea, and figure out how to pursue the idea, and develop a new skill, capability, form of insight or simply a new “thing.” The foundation for crowdthinking includes crowdfunding initiatives; vast knowledge and information archives; the sharing economy, global collaborative communities and other fascinating developments. It’s a trend that is shaking up R&D efforts worldwide, because it accelerates knowledge. Ultimately, crowd-thinking is leading to some very significant change in every industry. More on that later….

No trend is complete without it ‘hitting home’ in a personal way. That’s why you need to watch this this fabulous time-lapse video, which my 22 year old son Willie Carroll painstakingly filmed, edited and pulled together over a period of over a month. Watch it here, or view his blog post about the project WcFotography.

It’s a ‘time-lapse’ video — in which Willie’s 35mm camera takes a picture using a time-lapse slider ‘machine’ that he built. The slider makes the camera moves a fraction of an inch, then waits, and then takes another picture. Repeat, several times over an hour. Stitch together multiple photos into video clips; link those together, layer on some fabulous music, and you’ve got a true piece of art. Willie built the hardware and figured out the software, by tapping into the global creative mind. You can get a basic sense of how it works below. When he first got it working — which, even though I was away at a keynote — was a truly inspiring and fabulous moment!

As an avid part-time professional photographer (see involved in corporate, wedding and other photographic shoots, Willie is always eager to push his skills to the limit.

Willie spotted the idea for a time-lapse slider when it was floated as  a KickStarter project — but at $1,000, it was a bit out of his range. He decided that he could build one on his own; he researched the project and found both the hardware and software solutions online. Through a sometimes excruciating process through the summer, he saw the project through to success. The slider was built using a Raspberry Pi computer; rails, a motor and timing belt that he sourced through eBay; and software that was developed by a fellow named David Hunt in Ireland, who ultimately provided Willie with the inspiration for his project.

Once it was finished, Willie took the rig back to university, and on weekends and during time off, visited his beloved Gatineau Park to capture a wide variety of fabulous photographic-video sequences.

As a dad, I couldn’t be prouder.

I’d encourage you to share the video — it’s posted above on Vimeo. I’d also encourage you to check out his  photography Web site. If you’re based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, you might consider engaging him for your next photography project!

Learn more over at


“As consumer expectations for technology driven experiences increase exponentially, answering the phone and handwriting tee times onto a paper tee sheet are no longer the norms.” – Derek Sprague, President, PGA of America

In many of my keynotes focused on future trends and the necessity for constant, fast innovation, I often speak about the massive transformation occurring in most industries as the result of the acceleration of business models through technology.

Just consider the impact of Apple Pay, which speeds up the pace of change in the credit card industry; Internet-linked medical devices which allow for virtual healthcare; and Tesla Motors, which is shaking up the global auto industry.

What’s the impact? One estimate suggests that up to 40% of the S&P 500 will no longer exist ten years from now, if they fail to keep up with fast moving technology trends. That’s a pretty staggering thought.

Given this, every CEO in every industry needs to think as to how they avoid THE BIG MISS — playing up a golf analogy — and avoid the disruption occurring all around them.

While preparing for my keynote for the Sporting & Fitness Industry Association keynote, I reached out Derek Sprague, President of the PGA of America, for his observations on how technology has impacted the golf industry, and more specifically, the membership of the association, the PGA Professional. These are folks who are instrumental in the management and growth of golf courses, professional instruction on learning the game, and other aspects of a multi-faceted career. (I was the opening keynote speaker for the 94th Annual General Meeting of the PGA a few years back.)

Derek nailed it in two succinct observations:

In the last five years, video software, launch monitors and game tracking devices (like Game Golf) have brought the technology tools of elite professional players to the masses.  Understanding how to integrate volumes of performance data into traditional teaching methods has become “commonplace for PGA Professionals.”

Not only that, but yield management and mobile-oriented buying platforms aren’t just for hotels and airlines anymore.  As consumer expectations for technology driven experiences increase exponentially, answering the phone and handwriting tee times onto a paper tee sheet are no longer the norms.

That’s a pretty concise summary – the skills of the membership base has to change at a very fast pace as dealing with new technology comes to dominate an increasing aspect of their role. And it won’t end anytime soon — for example, think about how quickly drone technology will come to challenge the game in new and different ways.

Here’s a video clip from my keynote, about why it’s necessary to avoid THE BIG MISS.


Video: Meet Jim Carroll!
October 16th, 2015, by Jim Carroll

Essentially, Jim assists in organizations in dealing with the future, trends and innovation through three distinct types of events:

  • as the opening or closing keynote speaker for the annual meetings/conferences of national or international associations
  • keynotes or workshops for private corporate leadership events, ranging from small groups of 15 to several hundred executives, often sponsored by the CEO, for a vast range of global Fortune 1000 companies
  • keynotes or panel discussions on customer oriented meetings or promotional events

Here’s a video clip from my recent keynote for the Sporting & Fitness Industry Association Leadership Summit in New Orleans; it’s from my intro where I’m speaking about how predictions from the future — involving the Jetson’s and more! — are becoming real, much faster.

It’s a great clip, and will challenge you to think how an era of accelerated transformation is changing industries, business models and more.

I’m in the airport lounge at LAS. 3 keynotes in 13 days, all of them wildly successful.

LasVegas 2015

“When you are on stage in Las Vegas, you have a massive opportunity to do your best work : engage, inspire and motivate! And you come away with a feeling that as a global futurist and keynote speaker, you’ve changed lives!”

I realized this morning that I’ve now done close to 100 keynotes / executive sessions in this town in the last 15 years, with audiences as small as 30 (a group of legal executives for a massive global infrastructure company), to 7,000 (Burger King’s global franchise conference at the Centre for the Performing Arts,) to 1,000 executives for liquor companies …. how appropriate for Vegas!

Las Vegas is where a keynote speaker earns their stripes. You get on stage with an audience that is tired, overwhelmed, diverted by distractions, and needs a high energy speaker to get their attention.

Which is why my tag line, when people ask me what I do for a living, is “I go out and talk to large groups of hungover people!” And that’s the line I use when I walk out on stage and introduce myself to the audience.

The city provides a buzz that is comparable elsewhere for a speaker — with the result that some of my best work has been done in this city. (I’ve had some marginal results as well; every speaker does…..)

Let’s put it into perspective. In the last 13 days, I’ve done keynotes for:

  • a group of recruitment professionals, seeking insight into how to engage and attract the next generation of doctors
  • a major North American construction company
  • and an audience of 2,000 for the American Production and Inventory Control Society

When you get on stage on stage in Las Vegas, it can be the most exhilarating experience in your life. It’s Vegas! The staging is wonderful. The buzz is vibrant. The Twitter feed is alive. And if you do it right, you win the audience.

When you are on stage in Las Vegas, you have a massive opportunity to do your best work : engage, inspire and motivate! And you come away with a feeling that as a global futurist and keynote speaker, you’ve changed lives!

It might be a city that often has the toughest audience in the world, but it’s where as a keynote speaker, you prove your worth.


Video: The Nomadic Workforce
September 30th, 2015, by Jim Carroll

Another clip from my “World Class Innovators” video.

Back in 1997, I coined the phrase “nomadic workers” while writing my book, Surviving the Information Age, and made these predictions:

  • The number of full time jobs has begin to dramatically shrink – yet, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg in the change of the relationship between employer and employee, as the nomadic worker becomes the dominant form of corporate resource.
  • Companies will hire the best talent, regardless of where that person might be. A new form of career competitiveness is emerging, with extreme competition for this group of nomadic workers – highly skilled individuals who call the shots.
  • Where people work from won’t matter – a trend that has implications for the future of both rural and urban economies.
  • Lifestyle choice will come to dominate career decisions. The nomadic worker carries different attitudes towards life and work, and rejects many of the currently accepted “norms” of the corporate environment. Their attitudes will revolutionize the world of work.
  • The shape of tomorrow’s company won’t be defined by the walls in its offices – it will be defined by the reach of its computerized knowledge network, and its ability to tap into the skills and capabilities of the nomadic worker, wherever they might be.

I was pretty well bang-on with those trends!