Garry Golden, Futurist
Garry is a futurist and ended the conference. He asked about change and if we still will see it over the next decade. Will it be as dramatic? He asked what will lead to more dynamic changes?
- Population growing (elderly)
- Virtual Reality
- Outcome of the next presidential election
- DIY technology (maker crafts)
- Climate change
- Demographic transitions
- Goepolitics on the global stage
- Genetic engineering
But...a lot will NOT change. The majority of things that we do, will not change over the next decade. Society, social norms, our institution...there will be solid ground for us.
Creepy Line - thrown around on Twitter, it came from the chairman. Eric Schmidt said “Google walks right up to the creepy line of personal data, but we don’t cross it.” But, it’s not just Google, Facebook, tech companies. The Creepy Line is something we need to thing about and how it might move. Maybe to some it’s more compelling and not creepy.
Outputs should be part of our mission: It’s not about how many attended the adult literacy class, but how many went on to community college or went on to something else?
Futurists work against a “cone of plausibility.” When you look out, there is a line. There are things that aren’t going to happen, Their job is to figure out the Plan A that everyone is working toward. But if things change, Plan B or C can also be adjusted to.
Futurists do not talk about no constraints in the world or tell us what we want to hear. It’s really about being a “nowist” and paying attention to the present. We want to avoid being surprised.
The mindset is more like an artist than an engineer. We have to try to understand what we don’t understand.
He talked about archetypes of the future. Continued growth, disciplined constrained, Transformed, Declined-collapse.
Data that is growing:
- Social Data (social graph, Facebook likes)
- Health Data (Fitbit, Apps on phones)
- Device Data
- Experience Data - enriching experiences part of our growth
Our ebook is reading “us.” Measure the Future is a project that rides on this.
So, will our app in 2020 ask just not for our calendar but our social graph? Will it ask for our learning graph? We won’t escape this, and we might have to navigate it.
We do not have the money, care and services to serve aging populations in the next 15-20 years. Can libraries help fill in those gaps? The baby boomer generation is aging and not spending as much. Spending is what drives the economy.
When we think of creepy compelling, there are three buckets.
- Aging in Place - keep seniors independent
- Creative Aging - keep the senior mind active
- Workplace Skills - we are working longer
He thinks libraries, a trusted institution, will have a role in closing the word gap that children hear.
Libraries will be the place for new types of learning toys for kids.
He ended talking about how every major company is racing to create "bots" or an intelligence assistant. Watson was the big one. This is a spectrum. Right now we are in "roll your eyes" phase. Bots that we think are terrible or not good are going to be powerful in the next few years. Amazon Echo has had a lot of sales. People love it, and Google has one coming out, called "Home." There is a creepy line when people think of "bots" as friends. Will we integrate bots in our libraries?