This is Part 3 in a series of ASK ALAN columns about MetaTrends and their influence on business in the ROARING 2020s. Part 1 shares with you MetaTrends 1 – 5. Part 2 shares with you MetaTrends 6 – 10. According to Google, “MetaTrends,” are the macro forces shaping our future. And, these phenomena will impact all factions of human life.”


Capturing the benefits of MetaTrends

Peter Diamandis, futurist and founder of “The X-Games,” (, says current “MetaTrends are resulting from human longevity, the surging smart economy, AI-human collaboration, urbanized cellular agriculture, and high-bandwidth brain-computer interfaces, to name a few.”

Diamandis suggests, “Entrepreneurs and Business Owners see beyond the immediate implications of current technology and capture the enormous business opportunities on the horizon.”


Five (More) MetaTrends to Consider

Number 11: “The insurance industry transforms from ‘recovery after risk’ to ‘prevention of risk.’

This next decade, a new generation of insurance providers will leverage the convergence of machine learning, ubiquitous sensors, low-cost genome sequencing, and robotics to detect risk, prevent disaster, and guarantee safety before any costs are incurred.”

Consider the infrastructure required to support this humongous change in our culture of doing business. This industry sector will spawn a million+ new businesses, that don’t exist today!


Number 12: “Autonomous vehicles and flying cars will redefine human travel (soon to be far faster and cheaper)

Fully autonomous vehicles, car-as-a-service fleets, and aerial ride sharing (flying cars) will be fully operational in most major metropolitan cities in the coming decade.”

The cost of transportation will plummet 3-4X, transforming real estate, finance, insurance, the materials economy, and urban planning. Where we live and work, and how we spend our time, will all be fundamentally reshaped by this future of human travel. Our kids and elderly parents will never drive.


Number 13: “On-demand production and on-demand delivery will birth an ‘instant economy of things’

Urban dwellers will learn to expect ‘instant fulfillment’ of their retail orders as drone and robotic last-mile delivery services carry products from local supply depots directly to your doorstep.”

This MetaTrend is driven by the convergence of networks, 3D printing, robotics, and AI. As deployment of regional on-demand digital manufacturing (3D printing farms) takes place, individualized products can be obtained within hours, anywhere, anytime.


Number 14: “Ability to sense and know anything, anytime, anywhere

We’re rapidly approaching the era wherein 100 billion sensors (the Internet of Everything) is monitoring and sensing (imaging, listening, measuring) every facet of our environments, all the time. Global imaging satellites, drones, autonomous car LIDARs, and forward-looking augmented reality (AR) headset cameras are all part of a global sensor matrix, together allowing us to know anything, anytime, anywhere.”

In this future, it’s not “what you know,” but rather “the quality of the questions you ask” that will be most important.


Number 15: “Disruption of advertising

As AI becomes increasingly embedded in everyday life, your custom AI will soon understand what you want better than you do. In turn, we will begin to both trust and rely upon our AIs to make most of our buying decisions, turning over shopping to AI-enabled personal assistants. Your AI might make purchases based upon your past desires, current shortages, conversations you’ve allowed your AI to listen to, or by tracking where your pupils focus on a virtual interface (i.e. what catches your attention).”

As a result, the advertising industry—which normally competes for your attention (whether at the Superbowl or through search engines)—will have a difficult time influencing your AI.


MetaTrends can help you plan the future direction of your business!



Alan Adler is an Executive Coach, Business Consultant & Speaker. He’s worked for Westinghouse Broadcasting, as a producer/director and with senior management at AT&T, as a corporate spokesperson. Additionally, Alan has been an entrepreneur, creating and growing his own business, Alan Adler & Associates. As a result, he knows management, media and marketing. Alan specializes in helping entrepreneurs through mid-sized businesses, improve profitability. He lives in Huntersville, NC with his wife Mindy. They have two grown children, two adorable grandchildren, and a rescue dog named Bentley.




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