Top 10 Forecasts from Outlook 2005 (Fonte)

Each year since 1985, the editors of THE FUTURIST have selected the most thought-provoking ideas and forecasts appearing in the magazine. Over the years, Outlook has spotlighted the emergence of such epochal developments as the Internet, virtual reality, and the end of the Cold War.

Here are the editors' top 10 forecasts from Outlook 2005:

1. Skills for tomorrow: In the future, even more emphasis will be placed on skills that cannot be automated. These "hyper-human" skills include caring, judgment, intuition, ethics, inspiration, friendliness, and imagination. Instead of a "secretary," for instance, you might become an "administrative response specialist" by developing your situation-management and problem-anticipation skills. --Richard W. Samson, "How to Succeed in the Hyper-Human Economy," Sep-Oct 2004, p. 40

2. Skills for right now: Can you work in a team? Solve complex problems? Communicate clearly in print and in person? These are skills that employers are increasingly demanding, according to Syracuse University public-affairs professor Bill Coplin, author of 10 things Employers Want You to Learn in College. Among the skills that will help keep workers marketable in the near term are self-motivation, time management, strong oral and written communication, relationship building, salesmanship, problem solving, information evaluation, and leadership. --Futurist Update, Feb 2004

3. Worm shortage ahead. Increasing worldwide demand for fish is creating a shortage of worms to supply anglers and fish farmers. To supplement dwindling fresh-worm supplies from local worm farmers, exporters are developing new high-tech worm-storage methods such as cryogenics. --Environment in Brief, Nov-Dec 2003, p. 7

4. Winning the battle against the desert. For less than a dollar a tree, Tunisia is planting 40 million trees a year to combat desertification. The government-sponsored "green wall" project uses military manpower to keep costs low; soldiers are also being deployed to help nomads adapt to farming. Observers believe Tunisia's program could serve as a model for its Saharan neighbors. --World Trends & Forecasts, Government, May-June 2004, p. 6

5. All-day eating. Rigid distinctions among breakfast, lunch, and dinner--and of the times of day they occur--are fading as individuals fit their dining habits around more flexible and fluid work and life schedules. Restaurants accommodating these blurred dining habits will offer a mix of big, little, and medium meals during all hours. --Art Siemering, "Cooking Globally, Eating Whenever: The Future of Dining," May-June 2004, p. 52

6. Coral reef loss may rival that of rain forests. Hurricanes, disease, climate change, pollution, and overfishing are decimating the coral life on many of the world's reef ecosystems. The loss of 80% of Caribbean coral reef cover in the past three decades exceeds the rate of tropical forest loss. Researchers now predict that, with global climate change, coral reef ecosystems will se greater changes in the next 50 years than they have faced in the last half million years. --World Trends & Forecasts, Environment, Jan-Feb 2004, p. 14

7. The global wage gap is closing. Rapid income growth in China and southern Asia is helping to narrow average income inequality worldwide. This represents a turnaround over historic trends, according to Penn State sociologiest Glenn Firebaugh. --World Trends & Forecasts, Economics, Mar-Apr 2004, p. 7

8. Children's aggressiveness may increase as they spend more time with video games than television. Because gaming is more participatory than watching TV, children exposed to violence in video and computer games are more at risk of acting out on aggressive impulses. --World Trends & Forecasts, Society, July-Aug 2004, p. 16

9. Older workers could help expand the business day. A steadily growing cadre of older workers could expand the productive working days of businesses. Older people--whose numbers are rising rapidly--tend to be early risers and at their sharpest in the morning. An early-riser work shift of 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. could expand commerce in cities as more businesses offer services for the early birds. --World Trends & Forecasts, Economics, May-June 2004, p. 19

10. Water "wars" could prevent the real kind. Working out their conflicts over water may help countries and regions resolve other conflicts. Cooperation among Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians on water issues in the Jordan River basin, for instance, involves processes of negotiation and decision making that could serve as a model of collaboration, says one researcher. --World Trends & Forecasts, Government, Mar-Apr 2004, p. 9