Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Two weeks ago I was invited to participate in the 'Churchill Club Debate', a Silicon Valley tradition where people with interest in the world of technology are invited to pitch and debate the 'tech trends' that will explode in 3-5 years time but is not widely known in the mainstream as yet. I took up the challenge with relish and battled it out with five other panelists! The winner was decided through the very democratic process of the audience voting. I came a close second to the science of proteomics and the potential of personalised medicine. Sharing my three minute pitch with my community because I know all you free spirits will love it! Let me know what you think - did the hippies get it right? Will going off-grid be the tech trend of the moment in 2025?
Good evening everyone and thank you for joining us.
It's impossible to talk about "tech trends" by themselves because tech doesn't exist of itself. We create technology to solve problems ...
So we need to start this conversation, by first imagining where we'll be as a society in 3-5 years' time.
What problems will we be grappling with?
What our mindsets will be like?
Will we have held onto our collective marbles?
Lets start with some time travel.
It's anyone's guess at this stage whether in 3-5 years, we'd have emerged from the pandemic ... or still be at home talking to our furniture.
Either way, the trust we have in our institutions, both public and private, will be at an all time low.
It's clear that the pandemic caught our governments with their pants down.
Their ideological 'argie- bargie' and 'tit-for-tat', have left us questioning if they'll ever mature beyond their juvenile sand-pit to meet the challenges of our time...
Then there are the many scandals, the pointless wars and the influence of lobby groups on public policy at large.
Governments have become too cosy with industry and the price has been the public's trust.
The mistrust is even higher with industry.
This sentiment took root during the GFC ...
And what the Big Banks started, Big Tech seems determined to finish; from using our own data to mess with our minds, propagating hate speech and fake news, to royally screwing staff, suppliers and competitors.
Meanwhile, the climate is being heated up the wazoo!
Turns out that scientists were too optimistic.
Temperature increases initially predicted for 2050, is now expected within the next decade or two. Extreme weather events will follow, stressing the very infrastructure we rely on for our survival - for food, water, essential supplies.
Remember the toilet paper saga? It was a preview how highly centralised systems perform under stress.
Everyone is trapped in the same, outdated economic system, which offers little incentive to change.
And it's hard to spot anyone in the political landscape with the conviction to put in the right taxes and targets, to force the change.
In summary ...
In 3-5 years time, we'll be a fairly miffed off bunch, living in a worsening climate, with the trust in our institutions in tatters - wanting to take back control of the things that are core to our lifestyle.
Technology that gives us this control, is the very technology that will explode ... and this explosion is just poised to take place in the Energy or Electricity sector.
Yes, just like the hippies, in 3-5 years we'll all be going off-grid - as we strive to achieve total energy independence for our home use and transportation.
The tech trend of the moment ...
Will be the coming together of various 'energy tech' into an 'off-grid package' that brings together:
Discharge of electricity - into smart electric vehicles, devices, appliances and potentially a smarter grid.
We'll be building our very own power stations at our homes.
All the component parts already exist - e.g. solar, batteries, inverters, electric vehicles, smart appliances, meters and apps.
In 3-5 years they will be more productive, more cost-effective and ready to coalesce and scale - to meet the demand.
Health warning: It was a debate and I had only three minutes... Emotion, theatrics and controversy had to take precedence over the nuances pertaining to off-grid tech ... ;-)