FLASH FORWARD: THE NEXT TEN YEARS

Sparks Grove was founded ten years ago with one mission: prioritize experience over everything. At the time –before social media, e-commerce, and iPhones – our experience-driven approach was initially met with skepticism.

Then it caught fire.

Ten years later, we see the future anew. In that time we’ve grown dramatically, and had the privilege of serving dozens of the world’s greatest brands through hundreds of engagements. As we pause to celebrate our first decade and look to the future, here are the ten admittedly optimistic things we predict will have the greatest impact on business and life over the next decade.

1. They’re not just customers, they’re humans, and the experience (and everything) is different.

The future will be even more human than it is today. An organization’s ability to meet higher-order human needs on an omnipresent digital platform will be the singular difference between flourishing and fizzling out. Technology will enable customer experience to evolve to be more human, less transactional, and more emotional. This shift will challenge businesses to co-create with a conscience, put purpose over profits, apply data to achieve cognition, and adapt rapidly and radically.

2. The automotive industry will undergo a complete transformation.

The auto industry, and the way we commute in general, will change more in the next ten years than it has over the last 50. Robotics will take the wheel. Advances in municipal systems involving public and private transportation will change how our cities move – forming a ripple effect on how roads are designed, how our work places are utilized, how our homes are architected and redefine our on-the-go experiences. The industry itself will revisit and transform the car ownership experience.

3. New business models will transform how work happens.

The way we work and where we work will look very different in ten years. Teams won’t be static, but assembled and reassembled dynamically to tackle new and shifting goals, work against distinct end goals, will work when and where they want, connected not by an office, but through technology and virtual reality. Meanwhile, robotics will introduce a new class of talent, both human and non-human, and fundamentally impact compensation and pricing models.

4. Experiences will become more individualized, brand integration will become software, and consumers will benefit from it all.

Harnessing the power of digital and data, brands will become masterful craftsmen of hyper-personalized micro-experiences with customers, delivered proactively and as part of a holistic relationship. In pursuit of frictionless transactions, the next decade will bring increased brand integration. And where brand integration can’t create ideal experiences, a new class of niche organizations will crop up to deliver them.

5. Advanced connectivity will redefine community.

Over the next ten years we will move beyond likes and emojis, with immediate multimedia connectivity that evokes heightened empathy and action. These higher-level connections, like human emotions themselves, will be powerful, beautiful, and sometimes painful. As virtual connections expand, so will the value we place on in-person interactions, and the environments, products, and services that support them.

6. Renewable energy will be mainstream.

By 2026, the leading indicators of fossil fuel’s end will arrive in the form of inexpensive and prolific renewable energy. Fueled by an estimated $11.4 trillion in investments over the next 25 years*, the world’s power-generating capacity and advancements in sustainable energy systems will loosen our dependence on fossil fuel, and set the stage for reliance on theoretically inexhaustible sources of energy.

* “New Energy Outlook 2016,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance, June 16, 2016

7. Digitization will come bearing data’s double-edged sword.

Data, used ethically, can make everything we do easier, more customized, more cost efficient. Yet the potential for unethical use or inadvertent misuse of data threatens our progress and prosperity. In ten years, full digital mitigation will require new safeguards to protect not just our identity, but our very humanity, in order to harness technology’s ability to connect, not fragment, through education, purpose, and community.

8. Digital ubiquity will give more power to the people.

What we consider normal today – everything from swiping a credit card to driving ourselves to work – will seem archaically inconvenient in ten years as our lives firmly enter into a state of full digital mediation. Cloud integration will narrow the number of devices we employ to do more, empowering people to rein in and utilize technology as a means of creating connection and efficiencies like never before, ironically allowing for people to be even more human.

9. We’ll connect for the common good.

Increased, improved connectivity will make the world smaller. True, bidirectional empathy will spur mutualism and understanding, eliminating confusion, and instilling more trust in the good of other human beings. The future of connectivity will allow individuals to have greater impact more easily, positively encouraging a global community of individuals to be better versions of themselves for the world’s greater good.

10. With added capacity, humans will accomplish more, with greater purpose.

With great hope, we believe that the efficiencies technology will create over the next decade will open wide spaces for the expansion of human potential. With that potential we will prioritize purpose. The higher order needs for respect, trust and consciousness will be the new business measures. People will begin buying into things more than just buying things. We will mobilize around a greater good. We will design great things through human-centered processes that lift us all. We will share freely – data, emotions, ideas – for the betterment of everyone.

IGNITING PROGRESS

Together, we are building our best future now. It is a place of human opportunity, where technology and the depth of humanity will co-collaborate to ignite great progress.

Learn more about how we can build the future together.

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