Ready for disruptions?

It’s always useful to look back what happened, to analyse the past and try to learn something from it. But the real fun comes when you unleash your imagination, apply some of the learning and think about what could likely happen in the future.

And that is actually my plan for this summer break: to think about the disruptive innovation(s) ahead of us. In this little project, I will stay with the big picture perspective, which remains necessarily coarse-grain. And I am less interested in specific forecasts for concrete technologies and their entry into market (leaving that facet of future innovation, for example, to Gartner’s hype cycle). Instead, I want to focus on mega trends such as urbanisation, globalisation, digitisation and decentralisation, and the effects that they are likely to have. Which revolutions are gaining momentum and building up strength as we speak, in front of our eyes, underneath our feet, but without us consciously realising them yet?

The resulting storyline of “disruptions ahead of us” falls into four major themes: politics, macro-economics, Big Business, and energy and material flows (the why and the how of their disruption). For each of them, I’ll be looking for symptoms of current problems and signs of emerging solutions. In part, these novel solutions are already on the horizon and seem quite tangible, yet others are far more speculative. And while I do hope that my conjectures are at least plausible, please feel free to disagree and suggest alternatives. I’d be particularly interested in your ideas which potential disruptions I’ve missed in this short overview.

So off we go – next stop: disrupting politics.



  1. This sounds like some good reflecting time over the summer break. I look forward to appreciating your views on the larger pictures we need to sketch over tough problems and issues. As you rightly say, there are weak signals, well even rather loud ones that contain directions we need to travel
    Enjoy your travels, reflections and most of all your summer break- Regards Paul

    • Thanks for the encouragement and indeed a valuable reminder: What is signal, what is noise? I’ll keep that in mind as I think through macro-economic disruptions.
      Much appreciated – Regards Ulf

  2. Fantastic storyline for any time of the year to explore. Focusing on those four mega-trends, I would urge you (and remind myself) to look at them more as interconnected and interdependent than individual and independent trends. Enjoy your summer break.

    • Thanks for the feedback, that’s wise council.
      As always, this journey unfolds as I take it: step by step. I’ll look for the interconnections along the way. And after a while (a few posts) it’ll be useful to look back and try a more integral view. So stay tuned 🙂

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