Vanishing Point

7 Key Disruptions Organizations Should Consider for 2018

Posted by Dave Baber

Dec 21, 2017 11:15:00 AM

Toffler Associates keeps an ever-present eye toward the future. An important step in the process of identifying and contextualizing predictions is taking the time to consider the current environment, past trends and events, and the ways that expectations proved out in reality.


Summarizing 2017, we see seven disruptions and impacts that we believe will shape business, infrastructure, economy, and societies in 2018. Some are inherently optimistic; others are risks to mitigate. In every case, these are big ideas and important considerations as you take a breath over the holidays and plan for the year to come.

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Cyber Risk To Your Organization's Future Value

Posted by Masseh Tahiry

Dec 14, 2017 9:45:00 AM

Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, mixed reality (augmented and virtual reality), blockchain, and even cryptocurrencies are emerging as pillars of any enterprise transformation. This has resulted in hyper-automated processes, accelerated supply chain productivity, and growing customer loyalty. But, as organizations digitally transform to create and enhance their future value for their workforce, customers, and shareholders, they are exposing themselves to more cyber risk.


Organizations must anticipate future threats and take control of the risky environment. To start, organizations must understand the evolution of technology and cyber threats – past, present, and future – as they test new business models and adopt new technology.

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Investing in Shared Citizenship

Posted by Caitlin Durkovich

Dec 6, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Every day we wake up with headlines that describe the immense difficulties we face as a society. We hear about issues with infrastructure, health care, societal expectations, technological advancements, and more. It's not possible to address these challenges linearly. The ecosystem in which we live lacks sufficient controls to isolate the complexity of each issue. Gaining the perspective and understanding necessary to create real solutions requires a holistic, integrated approach that takes into account individual interests, social challenges, and active investment in a resilient future. 

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Why Leaders are Failing to Embrace Disruptive Technology (and How to Fix the Problem)

Posted by Tyler Sweatt

Nov 29, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Over the past couple of years, the focus of my work has been helping organizations wrestle with the promise and challenge of disruptive technologies. I’ve participated in, led, and observed countless presentations about viable emerging technologies and disruptive companies. As part of the discussions, we have examined potential threats and risks, and constructed scenarios and preparations. I’ve worked with clients to determine the investment and portfolio compositions necessary for robust, sustainable growth. I’ve helped to build and prepare teams to brief boards of directors, interviewed more than 300 leaders across industries, and done hundreds of hours of research. Through this work, I’ve come to a single, clear realization: we’re doing it wrong.

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Optimism is the Most Potent Tool Your Organization Can Possess

Posted by Hans Davies

Nov 16, 2017 8:45:00 AM

“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”

- Dr. Maya Angelou


In general, the world is in a relatively grim mood. Over cable news airwaves, on social media, in the local coffee shop, at the dinner table – everywhere people gather, there seems to be an undercurrent of pessimism. This sense that the world is worse than before isn’t without reason. There is turmoil in the Middle East and Asia, refugee crises, geopolitical tensions, an economic crisis in South America, and more. But the fact is, things aren’t worse; the world is continuing to improve.

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Humanizing AI: From Data-Driven Decisions to Insight-Driven Wisdom

Posted by Eric Chase

Nov 8, 2017 9:15:00 AM

Since the 2016 election, the news cycle offers up surprises on almost a daily basis. In situations like Brexit, Catalonia, and Kurdistan we see significant re-writes of long-held geography, politics, and history. Forces like North Korea and Iran continue to challenge long-held notions of global dominance and threat. ‘Fake news’ is created, spread, and adopted at nearly uncontrolled speeds because it’s often compelling and resonates with the potential of truth.

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Not if. When. How do you prepare for the unexpected?

Posted by Caitlin Durkovich

Nov 1, 2017 9:30:00 AM

A slew of recent events has raised the question about the best ways for organizations to prepare for unexpected but inevitable events. Human nature – and therefore corporate nature, pushes us to rely heavily on the comfort of the absolutes that live in the rearview mirror. Even with the influence of sophisticated predictive analytics, planning for the future too often begins with a backward look and ends with the current state. Events throughout history remind us of the precariousness of such a shortsighted approach.

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The Importance of the Social Contract in a Time of Desynchronization

Posted by Dave Baber

Oct 25, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Go back with me for a moment to the 15th Century. It’s the Age of Enlightenment, a time marked by unprecedented progress and disruption. Information reached the masses through Gutenberg’s breakthrough printing press. Philosophers like Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau pondered the relationship between people and government. Leaders emerged from across society, asking questions of the religious, wealthy, and aristocratic ruling classes. Citizens questioned the idea of monarchies. Scientists debated the principles of the universe.

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A Look at Education, Culture and Wellness in the Future Workplace

Posted by Dave Baber

Oct 19, 2017 9:30:00 AM

The Future of Work is a buzz phrase. If you want proof, Google search it – you’ll get approximately 468 million hits. It’s also a prevalent topic for consulting and advisory firms (natch), employment agencies, leadership programs, and business magazines. But it’s a misnomer. It’s no longer the “future” of work. It’s the current reality. With the ever-increasing pace of change in corporate, government, educational, and social environments, we reach ‘future state’ often before we can adequately prepare.

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Clarity in the Chaos: The Value of ALTERNATE FUTURES® Scenario Planning

Posted by Jason Fieger

Oct 11, 2017 9:00:00 AM

May you live in interesting times.


There’s a legendary saying of (questionable) decent. Some attribute it as an ancient Chinese saying, while others say it was British Foreign Secretary Austen Chamberlain (1924-1929) who had spent time in China and who may have picked up the sentiment – if not the saying – while there. As the story goes, he related that “May you live in an interesting age” is a curse heaped upon an enemy and then mused that in fact, "no age has been more fraught with insecurity than our own present time." 
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