Technology is a tool, and when it’s combined with innovation and entrepreneurship it can help us change the world and improve the lives of everyone who lives on this blue marble we call Earth, and as our technologies become more powerful and sophisticated our ability to transform global culture, industry and society accelerates.


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Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who supported me over the past year to make 2017 my most enjoyable year yet, and here’s to a prosperous 2018 to you all.


Canada and UK partner to develop the West's first Quantum Radar system


Building on the firm foundation of 2016 and 2017’s Griffin Emerging Technology Starbursts this year’s 2018 Starburst is the culmination of over a decade’s worth of ceaseless investigating, monitoring and tracking the appearance and development of new emerging technologies from every corner of the globe. It’s also clear that, year on year, the volume of new emerging technologies is increasing, and that their impact, power, and sophistication, and ergo their ability, to transform global culture, industry and society, especially as many of them become increasingly democratised, with a pace and voracity never seen before, is also increasing.


The 2018 Griffin Emerging Technology Starburst, with 2018-2017 Compare.


They, whoever “they” are, say a lot changes in a year, computer chips get faster, displays get sharper, storage devices get larger, but a year in the life of emerging technology is like none other that you’ll ever experience. In many ways, it’s like watching technology development on steroids, with what seems to be a decade’s or more progress crammed into just a scant twelve months. And it gets faster and more furious every year.


Featured Futurist: Stuff Magazine, The Invisible Wearables


In this year’s Starburst, which displays 169 of the world’s most promising and coveted emerging technologies, each with an addressable market value of at least $500 Billion spread across 11 categories, I have expanded the horizon timeline from 2035 to 2040, giving you a clear 23 year view of what’s coming, and promoted 42 new emerging technologies that weren’t in last years’ Starburst. Among the hundreds of other emerging technologies I track these include, for example, a new, reconfigurable “unhackable” computer platform, a new communication technology that sends data without using signals, a relatively promising alternative to Blockchain, and six new types of computing platform, and all that’s for starters.

By creating and publishing these Starbursts I’m hoping they help spark people’s imagination, and demonstrate to us all, young and old, rich and poor, that nothing is impossible. For example, a couple of years ago we researchers managed to downloadupload and stream images, information and movies directly from people’s brains, using Artificial Intelligence (AI), neural interfaces and the latest fMRI technology, and elsewhere other researchers used these same technologies to build the world’s first human telepathic interface, then, last year, thanks to new developments in the field of lasers, optical sensors and quantum communications technology, researchers teleported photons 300 kilometers into space, and used nano technology to build the first prototype cancer hunting nanobots. And thousands more world firsts and breakthroughs besides.

The Starbursts also have a more practical application though, and that is to help governments, individuals and organisations foresee new disruptive threats to their businesses, economies and industries, and to help them accelerate the development of new products and services.


ARM unveils DynamicIQ, its chip to conquer artificial intelligence


In 2017, I’m happy to say, the 2017 Starburst had the impact I hoped it would and it was used  by, among others, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers, whose handsets are in the palms of billions of people, and high tech semiconductor companies, whose chips power tens of billions of devices, to hundreds of other smaller organisations, to map out the future of their industries, and alternative industries, help them ideate the next twenty years of products and services, and, perhaps more importantly to “figure out what comes next.”

Signing off for now, if I could give you one piece of advice, from all my years of being a “futurist,” it would be forget what you know, open your mind and look forwards to what’s coming, because it’s going to be an awesome ride, and if you want to know more then you’re in the right place, check out my blogs, keynotes and videos, hold onto your hats and let’s go down the rabbit hole.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.


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