Regular readers of the EntreWorks blog will know that I am a big fan of the UK organization, Nesta, which seeks to support innovation and creativity throughout Great Britain and the world. Each year, Nesta staff and partners make annual predictions for the coming year, and, while they’re not always right, the predictions are always interesting. This year’s list is no exception. The Nesta team provides a big list of new ideas ranging from the emergence of crowdsourced politicians to a boom in backyard renewable energy to the US losing its dominant control over the global internet infrastructure.
I’m particularly intrigued with two predictions that relate to workforce and economic development. First is the transformation of job hunting via new forms of social media. Several interesting new social media sites, such as State of Ambition, Backr, and Discoverables, are transforming the online job search process. These sites aren’t just job posting venues, but provide a means to link into powerful networks—the real secret to a successful job hunt. As these networks gain traction in 2014, the process of finding a job will become much more efficient and hopefully less painful.
Nesta experts are also predicting a boom in city wide innovation. This effort already has a lot of traction in the US, with many cities setting up offices of innovation or creating new Chief Innovation Officer positions. In 2014, this movement will become a regular business practice for cities around the globe. I’m especially excited about how this movement is evolving from a sole focus on making government more efficient and effective (a very laudable goal) to a broader mission of creating Cities of Service where new approaches to innovation are also being used to address pressing social challenges like poverty, homeless, and neighborhood revitalization.