Here I am at the opening of the World Future Society conference featuring keynote speaker Lee Rainie, co-author of Networked: The New Social Operating System and Director, Pew Ressearch Center’s  Internet & American Life Project.  The program description says he will discuss the findings of the most recent expert surveys on the future of teen’s brains, universities, money, and the impact of Big Data as well as the battle between apps and the Web, the spread of gamification, and the impact of smart systems on consumers.  Knowing Lee, he will get all this into his talk at an amazing speed, with lots of humour and insights.  Here are my take aways:

* hyper-connected millennials, quick younger “superaskers” with critical thinking skills who master streams adeptly were slight favorites to be the future rather than the opposite according to Rainie’s recent reseach.  Those who will succeed in the networked world will have search skills, social network capital & a strategic mastery of attention.

* the future of money is definitely digital money — it’s already happening and is all about the smartphone.  However the rise of peer-to-peer currency will also be on the rise.

* Big Data will help us improve our lives, and facilitate, for example, “nowcasting” — real time forecasting of events.  Analytical tools will continue to get better.  Patrick Tucker, Deputy Editor, Futurist Update: “Computer science, data mining and a growing network of sensors and information collection software programs are giving rise to a phenomenal occurrance, knowabgle future prediction.”  Computers can sense more than humans.

* the future of higher education is in teleconferecing, distance learning, individual just-in-time learning and many hybrids,    Innivate or die, it’s all about the econmy and customers.  David Eillis: “from a transaction to a process ,,, lifelong in new spaces and includes peer-to-peer collaboration.”  The default is online.