Can corporate PR go back to the future?

Remember the 1989 film, Back to the Future Part II?

In it Marty McFly and Doc Brown time travel to October 21st, 2015. Their futuristic exploits saw people using personal drones, mobile payment technology and biometric devices. Despite looking 25 years into the future when the film was made, the producers got these predictions eerily accurate, together with a host of others, including the use of wearable technology and video phones.

So when I saw a recent piece of research outlining the seemingly outlandish jobs that tomorrow’s workforce will be applying for, I started wondering about how much of this will come true. Are the researchers blessed with the same amount of foresight as the directors of Back to the Future, Part II? Or are they relying on guesswork?

And how wonderful it would be for corporate PR practitioners to know which of these will be the next hot jobs! Imagine the strategic advice you could give – 25 years in the future! As a PR consultant, you would certainly be in great demand.

One of the jobs that we will be applying for from 2025 onwards is predicted to be a space tour guide. Just a few years ago, people would have scoffed at this idea. Yet thanks to recent strides forward from the likes of Virgin Galactic, maybe the Earth’s orbit will become the new destination for adventurous travellers, wanting more excitement than merely jumping out of an aircraft or going white-water rafting.

Another job is predicted to be the personal content curator.  By the late 2020s, software-brain interfaces, pioneered by teams of neuroscientists, will have started to enter the mainstream, allowing mass audiences to read and capture thoughts, memories and dreams. Personal content curators will help people to use these systems to increase the storage capacity of their over-stretched minds, providing services that allow them to dip in and out of treasured memories and experiences at will.

Again, is this merely science fiction? The now common use of cloud-based technology that powers increasingly complex data analytics and processing means we may well see this as a role advertised in the job-centres of the future.

Other jobs of the future are predicted to include a rewilding strategist, responsible for stitching together viable ecosystems from stressed landscapes as the planet struggles to cope with some nine billion of us jostling for space, and human body designers who will use bio-engineering to create a huge range of customised human limbs – both fashionable and functional.

So, how accurate are these predictions? Unlike Marty McFly or Doc Brown, I’m not blessed with the ability to time travel, so I’ll let you know in 25 years’ time.

Written by James Bishop, Director

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