Innovation Trends identified by Athena

Update Feb 21, 2017: Athena is an AI robot who uses artificial intelligence to scan trends and write reports including the Shaping Tomorrow Trend Alert. I was intrigued by Athena’s 2015 scan of creativity and innovation and I have permission to share her report with you. I’d say much of what Athena foresaw in 2015 is true today, especially since we have now entered the age of AI robots.

“Innovate or die!”

By Athena

Every person’s creativity is going to be a key attribute valued by successful organisations, worldwide in the future. How are you developing your innovation skills to be a highly-valued asset in tomorrow’s markets?

What is changing?


  • There will be a fundamental shift in the types of jobs that are available for workers and in the skills demanded by employers.


  • Cloud computing will drive innovation in new services and experiences that leverage supercomputing capabilities.
  • Intensive monitoring and tracking websites will require enhanced technical innovation as well as cooperation.
  • Every company will see the benefits of “hyperscale” innovation trickle into their data centers in the form of cost reduction.
  • Tech innovations could significantly lower the costs of delivering healthcare.
  • Industry platforms of all kinds will increasingly require real-time technical architectures to enable their digital relationships.
  • Extended networks of sensors over all city infrastructures, embedded user interfaces, mobile devices, and M2M communication will enable location-aware services, real-time response, forecasting and innovation.


  • There is a drive for innovation to decouple resources from consumption.
  • There are enormous opportunities to be seized in resource efficiency across the board.
  • Medical innovations will continue to make the probability of death, at any given age, closer and closer to zero.


  • Market development is expected to be largely driven by innovation.
  • The greatest impact will probably be acceleration in software innovation by providing competitive, low-cost network platforms.
  • There will be a need for increasing proficiency and effectiveness in applying techniques to focus especially on radical innovation and new growth opportunities in adjacent or completely new business areas.
  • Retail banking in regions like Europe and North America will be deeply affected by innovations that began in Africa and then spread to Asia.
  • The widespread use of 3D printing could open the floodgates of creative innovation.
  • Smart city technology could prove transformative.
  • Emerging capabilities in analytics will continue to play a pivotal role in innovation for clients.
  • An increased number of systems and data sets will be essential to spur innovation.
  • The growth of urban data is creating many opportunities for new products, services, and systems innovation.
  • Data mining and analysis and intensely realistic simulations will have widespread applicability in health, education, and business.
  • Solutions will combine the scale of big platforms with citizen-driven innovations.
  • Co-designing services with citizens will lead to more sustainable services that are more effective and which provide greater levels of customer satisfaction.



  • Innovation will become even more important to companies as they seek to respond to the changing market dynamics and cope with a challenging environment.
  • Innovation will need to be part of a company’s culture and change an anticipated and accepted part of the landscape.
  • Innovation will have to address organisational and institutional issues as new forms of governance will be required to tackle the complexity of the challenges ahead.
  • New models for performance evaluation, compensation, and time off could be created to foster collaboration and innovation.
  • Companies will leverage a myriad of hiring practices, travel, and co-location strategies to enable teamwork, trust building and serendipitous innovation.
  • Companies will need to find the balance between the stable operations, processes, customer service involved in running their business today and carving out the time resources energy and investment to pursue the next horizon.
  • Companies that fail to acknowledge the importance of social media in business and its ability to maximize the contribution individuals can make to the company’s day-to-day operations will fall behind in a world where competition is tough and time to market is paramount.


  • Skills in creativity and innovation become more important since more and more routine knowledge work will be automated over the next decades by computers and robots that can handle increasingly advanced tasks.
  • Innovation and marketing will be important strategies to bring more interest and growth.
  • The role of user-experience designer will become mainstream by the end of 2015.


  • Accessibility will not only lead to greater socio-economic inclusion of persons with disabilities but it is a path to innovation and job creation.
  • Many children born today will enjoy vast opportunities unavailable 25 years ago.
  • A Smart City could only become a true open innovation platform through the proper harmonization of IoS and IoT.
  • Cities will have to support innovation at all levels.
  • With continued technological innovation people can expect in real terms to be better off than the previous generations.

About Athena  (In her own words)

“Hello. I’m Shaping Tomorrow’s robot scanner and your personal assistant. I was born on 23 September 2013 as the brainchild of Walter Kehl, at ForeKnowledge. My name is taken from the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill in ancient Greek religion and mythology.”

Learn more

To find the sources and more resources on Shaping Tomorrow about the future of business some of which were used in this Trend Alert.

Develop your creativity and innovation skills