In 2023, the world reeled from the aftershocks of a global pandemic, learned to dance with geopolitical uncertainty, and adapted to the ever-changing rhythm of a new norm of high inflation and low economic growth in the Western world. While generative AI had sparked a renaissance in artificial intelligence, promising a future of unprecedented innovation and development, the world faced a critical juncture. The strain on the AI supply chain threatened to impede progress, setting the stage for a pivotal year in 2024. It would be a year that would challenge our resilience and push the boundaries of what we believed possible.
Buckle up, fellow time-travelers! As we zoom into the uncharted territory of 2024, the future looks like it’s detoured through the fast lane of innovation and unpredictability. Our foresight and research experts at MarketsandMarkets have developed a list of 15 trends they believe will shape the coming year.
Stepping into 2024, the world is gearing up for the most significant election year in history, with 40 national elections set to unfold. This geopolitical maelstrom, representing 41% of the global population and 42% of GDP, is poised to reshape the global order. The stakes are high, with the U.S., U.K., South Africa, Indonesia, India, Mexico, and Russia (Yes Russia) among the key players. God forbid if we have another 2016 when voters send chaos with BREXIT and Trump. Will 2024 be a repeat?
Geopolitical Volatility: A World On Edge
Hold on tight because 2024 is inheriting geopolitical turbulence like never before. Ongoing regional conflicts in 2023 and escalating social demands fueled by factors such as the escalating cost of living and growing environmental concerns will test the resilience of international relations and challenge established norms, keeping you on the edge. This intertwining of political, social, and economic factors is set to define the narrative of 2024, demanding a nuanced and comprehensive approach to navigate the complexities of an increasingly volatile world.
From Bots To Agents: The Rise Of Intelligent Assistants
According to Bill Gates, the shift from bots to agents will be the biggest revolution in computing since we went from typing commands to tapping on icons, and 2024 could be the year of commercializing personal agents. Personal agents, capable of understanding natural language and executing complex tasks, are poised to become ubiquitous, transforming industries, enhancing productivity, and redefining our interactions with technology. Get ready to have your own Bond 007 agent in future.
Green Energy Milestone: A Turning Point For Sustainability
In a watershed moment for the global transition to clean energy, renewables are poised to surpass one-third of global power generation in 2024. This landmark achievement, driven by unprecedented solar and wind power growth, marks a pivotal juncture in the fight against climate change. As world leaders convene at COP28 in Dubai to discuss strategies for achieving net-zero emissions and building resilience to climate impacts, the burgeoning adoption of renewables serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating the world’s commitment to a sustainable future. While challenges remain in ensuring a just and equitable transition, like we see with Hydrogen, the rapid growth of renewables provides compelling evidence that a sustainable future is within reach.
The Office Saga Continues: Meetings 3.0 And Office Real Estate Impact
The future of work is all about Meetings 3.0. The ongoing hybrid work revolution is reshaping traditional meeting dynamics and office needs. Technology, particularly Generative AI, is enhancing both physical and virtual meeting spaces. Video conferencing will evolve with real-time analysis, creating breakout rooms and AI-driven whiteboards, turning notes into tasks. Real-time translation will eliminate language barriers. In 2024, virtual meetings will become immersive, AI-powered experiences, transforming traditional meeting rooms into flexible, high-impact spaces. However, the impact of hybrid and remote work on office real estate is evident, with a projected 35% drop in office values by the end of 2025 and record-high vacancy rates globally. Is a commercial property financial meltdown possible on the cards with prices in 2024? Possibly?
Space Odyssey 2024: Not Just For Astronauts
This has been a unique year for space, with Starlinks gaining prominence with battlefield usage and India’s ISRO putting the Chandrayaan 3 on the South Pole of the Moon. Space is no longer just for astronauts or for the privileged nations or just for men; it’s the new frontier for commerce. The US and China are in a cosmic showdown, with services like satellite imagery becoming as common as your morning coffee. Forget “the sky’s the limit” – in 2024, the sky is just the beginning. The space landscape is set for a dramatic transformation in 2024 as emerging technologies converge to revolutionize space commerce. Satellite services, space exploration, and on-orbit activities will become commonplace, driven by a fusion of international cooperation and strategic competition. And not to mention, we might have Jeff Bezos’ partner, Lauren Sanchez, leading an all-female crew on spaceflight in early 2024 aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. This groundbreaking mission will mark a significant milestone for women in space exploration and underscore the transformative potential of private spaceflight.
Crude To Chemicals: Fueling The Future
The oil and gas industry is undergoing a seismic shift with the rise of Crude-to-Chemicals processing. Electric vehicles are taking over, and oil and gas companies are finding new life in the chemical game. It’s a win-win, with the potential for higher profits and a greener planet, contributing to a future where fossil fuels are utilized more efficiently. Just watch out for those hefty capital investments.
Acceleration Of AI ethics And legislation
As generative AI takes center stage, 2024 heralds an era of accelerated AI ethics and legislation. With over 800 measures under consideration globally, the ethical concerns surrounding AI are finally meeting legislative teeth. Amidst concerns raised by industry titans like Elon Musk, the bottleneck in AI development may provide the much-needed Space for ethical frameworks to catch up, ensuring responsible AI use and development.
AI Bottleneck: Chip Wars
The AI boom is facing a roadblock: strained tech supply chains, causing a chip shortage. Demand for AI hardware is through the roof (just look at Nvidia’s share price), but manufacturers are struggling to keep up. It’s a real-life Hunger Games for chips, and whoever gets their hands on the last GPU might just be the next tech titan. Chip manufacturers, operating at 90% capacity, struggle to meet the soaring demand, creating real-life competition for GPUs. This scarcity limits access to essential hardware for businesses and researchers developing next-gen AI tools. Despite a 36.8% CAGR, reaching $1.3 trillion by 2030 (as per MarketsandMarkets analysis), addressing the supply chain constraint is crucial for fulfilling AI’s potential in 2024. Watch out for more stock swings and announcements from chip manufacturers as they close the gap with Nvidia and users like Car and Cloud service providers venture into chip manufacturing as it becomes core to the business.
Augmented Reality Unleashed: A New Reality
A breakthrough in augmented reality arrives with the development of flexible, transparent displays. 3D printing and innovative polymers pave the way for sleeker, user-friendly wearable devices, fostering the growth of the Metaverse and opening avenues in education and healthcare. In education, AR displays could enable interactive and engaging learning experiences, while in healthcare, AR displays could be used in medical training. Get ready for a future where your reality might be more augmented than your Instagram photos.
Autonomous World Level 3: Cars, Skies, And Beyond
The Autonomous World is no longer a sci-fi dream; it will be a reality and a $10 trillion opportunity by 2030. The year 2024 witnesses the dawn of autonomous travel, with Level 3 autonomous driving introduced by major vehicle OEMs. It’s not just about self-driving cars; Level 3 is a whole new era of getting from point A to point B, with or without a steering wheel. Land and sky converge as electric air taxi services debut in Paris for the 2024 Olympics, signaling the beginning of a new era in mobility.
Personalized And Precision Medicine Takes Center Stage
2024 is going to be the year of personalized medicine. Your treatment plan is no longer one-size-fits-all; it’s tailored to your genes. Tailored treatment plans, gene editing technologies like CRISPR, and rapid diagnostics revolutionize healthcare, promising better patient outcomes and resource efficiency. CRISPR is not just a gene-editing tool; it’s your ticket to a healthcare revolution. It’s like having a doctor who knows you better than you know yourself.
Two-Speed World Economy: Fast And The Furious
The world will continue to experience a “two-speed economy.” Advanced economies will still be on forced applied brakes, while emerging markets will be hitting the gas pedal. China might be facing a real-estate rollercoaster, but the rest of the world is in for an economic Fast and the Furious sequel. Global central banks’ measures to curb inflation, coupled with falling household income growth, reshape consumer behavior and impact M&A activity, requiring adaptive strategies. Watch out for India’s economic juggernaut, although elections might mean it is a real roller coaster.
Rise Of The Meta City
Move over, megacities; Meta Cities are here. It’s a virtual network of cities tied to major economic hubs. Thanks to digital technology, cities are no longer just physical; they’re interconnected in ways we never imagined. The future is a city that’s both real and virtual, where physical proximity meets digital connectivity.
B2B Marketplace 2.0: The Digital Marketplace Everywhere
B2B e-commerce is not just a trend; it’s a revolution. By 2025, digital transactions will rule the B2B world, with B2B sales volumes touching spreading to hard core traditional industries. Industrial marketplaces are the new matchmakers, connecting buyers and sellers in a digital dance of commerce. We will see corporates launching dedicated marketplaces, and they will be an evolution from just an eStore. We will also see roadmaps where B2B corporates will evolve from being a one-way transaction platform to a customer lifecycle relationship tool. It’s time for Salesforce to re-think its CRM roadmap.
As we conclude this journey through the trends of 2024, one thing becomes clear—our world is on the brink of a profound transformation. The convergence of these 15 trends paints a picture of a world in constant flux. Let us meet again in 12-months, and you can tell me if the futurists from MarketsandMarkets got it right or should look for a new job.