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Tis the season for predicting the year ahead. Where we in the tech and design worlds imagine the exciting possibilities of our collective creations.

Except this year it's a little different. This year we hit a wall. This year the idiots took over the asylum. The question now is what happens, and what are we going to do about it.

So here's my 2019 roundup, and for once I hope to be utterly wrong.

  1. Defunding and dismantling of major citizen-centric digital design programs. See Death of GDS.
  2. De-globalization reactionary efforts will directly undermine global citizen-centric digital design projects. See the above example and other stories.
  3. Increasing co-opting and unauthorized use of citizen & social data by governments, corporations, and the military. Some of it even for good.
  4. IoT, VR and AI design efforts monumentally exceed design efforts that actually improve basic services.
  5. Government-as-a-platform becomes a more distant vision, but provides an opportunity as a unifying platform for the opposition. See: Pirate Party, Iceland.
  6. Digital self-service efforts and new technologies further cut jobs, benefits, and prospects for increasingly skilled workers, further stoking the flames of nostalgia (not a metaphor). Alternatives are slower to emerge and lack unified funding and support.
  7. In the real world (rebranded as simply "R") environmental degradation actually *accelerates* despite increasing and obvious negative natural demonstrations clearly described by facts, science, and sweet infographics. See: Easter Island and this list.
  8. Lies and fascism officially rebrand as post-truth and alt-right and steadily infiltrate digital-first millennial echo-chambers. See: Word of The Year.
  9. Nuclear proliferation creates opportunities for endless hilarious memes, and Frankie Goes To Hollywood are digitally re-incarnated and return to the charts.
  10. Oh, and flying cars. Maybe.

There's so much possibility. It feels that today we have the means to solve almost any problem at scale. There's a desire to do more, to do better, to innovate and improve in almost every field. For this more optimistic perspective, see any. other. trends. list. :)

But let's not kid ourselves, it's going to be a rough year.

Warren Anthony
By Warren Anthony

Warren is a design leader working to improve our experiences with products, services and systems by putting people first. He leads the Experience Design practice at EY Vancouver, working with clients including the City of Vancouver, the Government of Canada and Microsoft. He's an active contributor as part of EY's Global Future Consumer and Future Cities teams. In previous lives he led strategy, UX and digital design teams at DDB London and FCV Vancouver scooping major awards for work with Hasbro, Volkswagen and Philips.