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NESTA’s Predictions for 2016 – Part Three

NESTA is an innovation charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. Every year they publish their predictions for the coming 12 months based on the research and projects they have come across or been working on.

In 2016 they have 10 predictions which BIC Clients should consider when planning their Innovation Strategies and new product developments.

Here with acknowledgment to Nesta in the third and final Part of my consideration of four of Nesta’s predictions for 2016:

7. The Sticky and Sweet Future of Food Hacking

Nutritional supplements and food hacking are not new concepts but with the growth of wearables and smart phone apps it is predicted that in 2016 we will be entering into a new era of bespoke nutritional recommendations. A diet based on analyzing people’s DNA and combining that with the information gleaned about a person’s lifestyle, diet, sleep, mental and emotional states.

Food hacking will impact everyone, not just the web-savvy or health conscious; it could lead to a systemic change in food production and distribution. This in turn would lead us to a better, healthier world and 2016 will be the year we open our minds and our mouths to a new menu!

8. Patients become Citizen Scientists

We are in the middle of an explosion in the amount of data that exists about the health of individuals and it is believed that 2016 will bring a new generation of digitally enabled and patient-led research. There is so much digital information around currently, not only through smartphones and wearables such as Fitbits but also due to the digitization of all of our health records.

The same pill, therapy or diet will often have widely different effects from person to person and if we can understand and predict this more clearly then we can target care where it will do most good, leading to a more effective healthcare system as well as improving efficiency.

This data is produced, owned and controlled by patients and so it will be accessed on their terms! The technology is already here and improving all the time, we already have pills that broadcast a signal when they have been swallowed, cheap home ECGs and the ability to analyse individuals’ genomics and DNA.

Watch this space!

9. The Titans of the Sharing Economy meet their match

2016 is set to become the most interesting year yet in the life story of the sharing economy. We expect to see the continued growth and spread of those organisations such as Uber (on demand driver service through your phone app) and Airbnb (rent and let out your own unique places to stay).

The phenomenon of trusting strangers in the sharing economy will continue but there are still many issues around a fair payment procedure and so we are still unable to get away from the middle man who earns his commission.

Maybe in 2016 someone will come up with a way of directly transacting with anyone in a way that was invulnerable to fraud, a system that nobody actually owned and so no-one took a commission. Researchers are still looking into blockchain technology, similar to Bitcoins but it is clear that a radical re-think is required to further the sharing economy.

10. Universal Basic Income moves into beta

In recent year, the inability to tackle unemployment through conventional means combined wit the rise of job automation has prompted academics, politicians and commentators to revisit the concept of everyone having a Basic Income. Non means-tested income is much simpler to administrate making it compelling proposition when considering ways to reduce fraud or levels of bureaucracy in welfare systems. But is is fair?

Various projects have been trialled around the world and countries like Finland, the Netherlands, France and Namibia are continuing their research. It can provide a safety net for people wishing to retrain, enable citizens to make greater unpaid contributions to their communities, strengthen the fabric of social relations and reduce the burden of professional care. The reduction in poverty brought about by a basic income can provide children with a much better start to life. But the best way to tackle this is yet to be found!

These are all areas companies can be looking into as part of their own planning for the future in 2016 and if you would like further information about these predictions do visit the NESTA website – http://www.nesta.org.uk/news/2016-predictions