At Skild, we’re kicking off the year by consulting our Magic 8-Ball. And with every shake, we’re getting the same message: “The challenges of 2022 will become the challenges of 2022.”
That’s deep, Magic 8-Ball. Very deep. But we see where you’re going with this . . .
When it comes to innovation, the most critical and successful challenges are informed by the challenges we’re facing in our daily lives. One drives the other — it’s as simple as that.
So, what does that forecast for 2022?
- Workplace: The need for hybrid/flexible work environments has never been greater. We heard quite a bit about this last year, but it’s not going away. Organizations will seek new and innovative ways to construct a “workplace” that mutually benefits both them and their employees.
- Transparency and accountability: In order to attract and retain quality employees, organizations will have to immediately adapt (if they haven’t already done so) to a new way of doing business. Making money can no longer be a sole purpose; social mission, transparency of engagement, and genuine care for the well-being of their employees are paramount.
- Environment: Climate change continues to weigh on all of our minds. For example, focusing on a net-zero emissions policy is critical to the survival of our planet. With every passing year, we’re seeing more extreme weather patterns and intense natural disasters — wildfires, hurricanes, drought, tornadoes, flooding. Without purposeful change, these events will only worsen.
- Healthcare: The most clear and present danger to our planet is also the greatest threat to our health: COVID-19. Yes, we have vaccines, but without additional innovation, the pandemic may not be going away any time soon. Perhaps more insidious, though, is healthcare workforce burnout, which, when combined with supply-chain issues, creates a perfect storm wreaking havoc on some of our most vital resources.
- Technology: With the internet of things continuing to accelerate exponentially, it is vital that we pay attention to the associated risks. Targeted innovation around cyber threats and other digital hazards is vital as we seek to protect our identities and finances from bad actors. Efforts to safeguard cryptocurrency and personal health records will be at the forefront of innovation for 2022 and the foreseeable future.
- Education: Challenges in the world of education are nothing new. However, fresh ideas are more critical than ever before, in order to teach and engage young adults while keeping them safe. By “safe,” we’re referring to an environment that’s free of gun violence, illness, and bullying. Challenges will continue to seek novel ways to combat threats to our most vulnerable population so that they can develop into the leaders of tomorrow.
And we’ve only touched upon some of the biggest challenges impacting the world of challenges. Others include infrastructure, geo-political relationships, emotional wellness and issues of addiction . . . and free to add other topics that are weighing on your mind.
As we begin 2022, we once again look to Skild’s Magic 8-Ball to see if this year will welcome some of the most important innovation challenges to date. And with one shake, we learn our answer: “It is decidedly so.”