In the small business world, I often look into my crystal ball and predict what will happen next year. But with the black swan event known as COVID-19, it has become almost impossible to predict what will happen next.
On the Small Business Radio Show this week, I interviewed Professor Mauro Guillen who is Wharton Business School’s leading thinker on global business trends. He has new book, “2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything”, in which he gives an analysis of the economic, demographic and technological trends of today to predict what the world will look like a decade from now.
Small Business in the Year 2030
Professor Guillen believes that when we are confronted by massive change, people either freeze or go to the other extreme immediately and start to reinvent themselves. His advice is that when so many things are changing, avoid either extreme and move gradually. Do not make irreversible decisions when so many things are uncertain.
He has seen the current pandemic accelerating trends that are already going on like the adoption of technologies in areas such as tele-medicine and ecommerce. These changes happen out of necessity when in person contact is not possible.
Professor Guillen also sees that by 2030, the population above 60 years will be the largest consumer group and have more purchasing power than any other demographic in the country. He points out that younger generations are having a hard time saving money and during the pandemic, many are now moving back in with their parents.
By 2025, he predicts that more wealth will be owned by women than men. The pandemic may slow this trend since it is hurting women more than men since they tend to work in service occupations.
Professor Guillen believes that everyone working remotely all the time is not sustainable since we are social creatures. He thinks a hybrid model of work will develop where employees go back to the office two to three days a week.