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I was recently the keynote speaker at two major corporate events, both of which really have to seem a key theme at the heart of the “big issues” that organizations are faced with — and that is, we are in a period of time in which the very concept of ‘cash’ is being fundamentally changed, due to the impact of mobile technology.

The first event was for Visa’s 2012 Prepaid Forum in Phoenix — at which, in my keynote, I made the observation that “if you think about it, we’ve only redefined cash once in our history — when credit cards were introduced. We’re about to do it a second time as smartphones become the new credit Continue Reading

I often wonder if the discussion about health care in many parts of the Western world has come off the rails – with the result that many opportunities for real innovation are not being pursued.

That’s the focus of quite a number of keynotes I’ll be giving in the next few weeks, including for the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations annual conference in Jacksonville, the 2012 National Pharmacy Forum in Tampa for the Healthcare Supply Chain Association, and a private leadership event for the Mercy healthcare group based in St. Louis.

One of my key messages is that it’s time for bold thinking, big actions, and new ideas in the world of healthcare — and that can only be accomplished if people change the conversation.

What’s the problem? I think that many in the system are stuck in Continue Reading

I do a tremendous number of keynotes in the agricultural sector — from groups such as the Texas Cattlemen’s Association to the Mid-America Crop Protection Association to the US Farm Credit Co-op. As I note on my agriculture trends page, I “spent so much time customizing the presentation for one agricultural conference that at the conclusion, one fellow came up and asked him how long I had been a farmer!

With that in mind, I just got off the phone from a planning conversation for an upcoming agricultural keynote for the Grain Farmers of Ontario annual conference occurring this March.

I was speaking about generational turnover on the farm, the rapid emergence of new agricultural methodologies, and the impact of a significant acceleration in the science of agriculture.

Which brought me to mention an article I wrote way back in 2004, “I found the future of manure!” for Profit Magazine. Though a bit dated, it still helps to put in perspective some very critical and important trends — no matter what line of business you happen to be in.

What led to the article was that during my research, I discovered that a new career had emerged in this sector – professional manure managers. Heck, they even have their own magazine, Manure Manager

Can you apply the Continue Reading

A few years ago, right around the approach of the New Year, I wrote a blog post that I called ‘10 Great Words.”

Since that time, this inspirational post has become one of the most heavily tracked pages on my Web site; it also happens to provide the structure for the closing of most of my keynotes on stage.

In a few other years, I’ve updated the concept with other lists of inspirational words, and the meaning behind them. It’s always been a good way for me to clarify to my readers, and to my audiences while on stage, what they should be thinking about if they truly want to embrace the future and be an innovator.

With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about the words that might inspire people as they go forward into 2012. I’ve obsessed over this for quite some weeks now. I just haven’t been able to hit the right note.

And then while at the gym yesterday, and right Continue Reading

Here’s some of the key trends that I see unfolding through 2012 and beyond.

My unique job allows me the opportunity to see and hear what a lot of CEO’s and senior executives in a lot of organizations are thinking about. The  nature of my keynotes and small board / leadership meetings allows me to understand what folks are focused on. The research I do, whether for a major manufacturing conference in Las Vegas or a small corporate meeting with an ice cream company allows me to see the key trends that are unfolding right now.

And so given this unique perch, here’s some of the most important trends which will play out in the year to come.

  •  Biz competes again. North American and Western European companies have lived with constant fear, with the rapid rise of China, the BRIC countries and the N11 on the world  stage. And yet, we’re now witnessing a scene from the movie 2010: “HAL-9000 – ‘What’s going to happen?’ DAVE – ‘Something wonderful.‘ My sense is that a wide variety of industries, from agriculture to manufacturing to industrial design have been going through a renaissance of thinking in the last few years, and have learned what they need to do to re-innovate, grow again, and aggressively return to local and global markets. Read my “Build-America” blog post for some of what I’m thinking here — and stayed tuned!
  • The rise of the tinkering economy. The future is once again being built in the garage next door. But this time, it’s the hyper-connected, innovation oriented tinkering economy Continue Reading

Approaching a new year is always a good time to check your mindset. Do you have the right degree of optimism and enthusiasm to tackle the opportunities of the future? Are you spending enough time of thinking about what you can really do if you are innovative? Are you really prepared for how the ‘next generation’ of wired kids is going to change our world? Here’s a few video highlights from various keynotes throughout the year that might get you thinking!

As we wind down 2011, it’s a good time to reflect on some of the events I highlighted this year. It proved to be quite the year year, with many fascinating events where I opened or closed a large scale conference or corporate meeting with a keynote address.

One of Jim's key themes is the opportunities of the future - at one in Las Vegas, one fellow was so inspired by the message that he asked Jim when he might consider running for President of the United States. Click to watch!

As we approach the end of the year, everyone turns their attention to 2012 — and begins to wonder “what comes next?” All of my clients are focused on that theme when they engage me for a keynote or corporate workshop — and so a sense of what they were thinking about in 2011 gives you a good sense of what’s going to be important in 2012!

Some of the highlights from this year includes these events:

  • CSC Executive Exchange 2011, St. Andrews, Scotland. A small, intimate, invitation only event where I shared keynote duties with Jimmy Wales, the Founder of WikiPedia. I had CEO’s, CIO’s and CFO’s of some pretty major global organizations. Key theme: “The Next Wave of Digital Game-Changers” – I took a look at how every industry is soon to be caught up in Silicon Valley velocity, as technological comes to change every industry at lightening speed.
  • McKesson IdeaShare 2011, San Francisco, California. Changing roles, changing opportunities. I open this annual event with a message for 4,500 pharmacist / owners that with significant challenges and change in the world of healthcare and retail, the time is ripe for them to innovate Continue Reading

If knowledge is doubling every eight years, no single person can keep up with it. That fosters greater fragmentation of skills, and thus greater competition in the marketplace for niche-oriented skills.

I’m working away at preparing for a keynote for an ice-cream and dairy company today. Not that this has anything to do with the topic of the “future of knowledge.”

But going through some old slide decks while preparing, I came across a list I used a year ago for a keynote that summarized my thoughts about the “future of knowledge.”

I’ve written extensively about all of these topics online or speak to them at various keynotes, particularly in the education sector. In essence, we’re living in a period of time that is witnessing these trends unfold at blinding speed, all related to the evolution of knowledge.

  1. Rapid knowledge obsolescence
  2. Rapid knowledge emergence
  3. Disappearance of existing careers due to 1)
  4. Rapid emergence of new careers due to 2)
  5. An ongoing need for continuous knowledge replenishment because of 1-4
  6. The migration of knowledge generation further away from academia (i.e. community colleges, high end manufacturing skills) because of the need for faster new knowledge deployment
  7. A massively increased challenge from overseas knowledge generation
  8. The fast emergence of new micro-careers because of specialized knowledge
  9. An economy that succeeds through knowledge deployment
  10. A fundamental transformation in knowledge delivery

Putting a little more detail on these trends? A few years ago I addressed a prestigious groups of educators on this theme. Here’s Continue Reading

The folks at PollEverywhere — the service that I use to conduct live text message polling while on stage — have just run an interview with me over on their blog as to how I utilize the tool.

I’m reposting it here since it does provide a good overview of just how wonderful and interactive their service is.

Jim Carroll is recognized one of the world’s leading international futurist, trends & innovation experts — and he’s got the client list to prove it, having provided his insight to such organizations as NASA; Lockheed Martin; National Australian Bank; Pfizer; Diners Club; HJ Heinz; and PPG.

And he’s a raving fan of Poll Everywhere — using the service in a huge range of global Fortune 1000 and other organizations as well as countless association Continue Reading

I’m off to Europe to keynote two events; the first, a private talk on future health care trends Continue Reading