Trends That Will Determine Life and Death in the 2020s

Alan Murray – the President and CEO of Forbes Magazine – asked “some of the smartest people we know” their ideas about their predictions for the 2020s and you can read about that here and here. For the record, Alan Murray is also one of the best & brightest.

Among the ideas of Forbes’ best and brightest* include:

  • Cell-Based Meat (i.e. Plant-Based Meat 2.0)
  • More Tech Tools for Farmers
  • Increasingly “Morally Load-Bearing” Businesses in order to save capitalism.  It can’t just be about profits.
  • More Partnerships Between Business and Government
  • Less Emphasis on Academic Resumes and More Emphasis on Actual Competencies
  • Crispr Changing Our Medical Care Forever
  • Data Privacy as a Civil Right
  • Prioritization of Face to Face Contact
  • Ensuring that every Supply Chain is Inclusive and Efficient

[*Note: These are the “Best and Brightest” in terms of business and economics but Forbes didn’t ask the “Best and Brightest” in the non-profit/spiritual community world.]

Here’s my shot at Trends That Will Determine Life and Death in the 2020s – with all due respect to Alan and Forbes.

  1. Our fundamental health will be determined by what we feed ourselves everyday: the food we eat, the media we consume, the emotional environments in which we live, and the spiritual grounding we cultivate.
  2. Farmers will need more than tech tools.  They’ll also need fair compensation, and clean water and soil.
  3. Capitalism without justice for “the least of these” will result in global catastrophe and war.  Business leaders with souls will be in high demand.
  4. Partnerships between business and government, business and educational institutions, government and communities of faith, non-profit organizations and business, government and educational institutions will be the norm. We won’t excel without each other.
  5. Competencies will determine staffing more than degrees.  The minister of visitation will be the one gifted in pastoral care whether she has an MDiv or not.  That fancy degree will impress your Mom, but your inherent and developed gifts will be what gets you the job/call/vocation/position.
  6. Crispr is cool, but God will still be God.  To quote Ethel Johnston Edmiston, “It’s amazing what the LORD has let us learn.
  7. Our privacy will continue to be breached but there will always be parts of us that only God knows. Our deepest prayers will always be our own no matter who knows our geo-location or playlist.
  8. Being there for each other – face to face and live and in color – will be everything. Knowing how to create and find authentic community will be THE must-have life skill.
  9. Designing the supply chain – whether we are talking about the pipeline to call new spiritual leaders or the pipeline to recruit rural health care providers will need to ask at every step:  who is not at the table? We have got to include everyone because everyone is served best when everyone is included.  Please read this book.
  10. We will continually need to ask ourselves: Why?  Why am I pursuing this goal?  Why do I expect this outcome?  Why do we continue to do it this way? Why am I telling this story? Why does this feel right?  Why am I spending my time this way?

The 2020s are full of possibilities.  Even if you read what The Pew Research Center has to say at the close of 2019 and are bummed out about #2  (i.e. The decline of Christianity is continuing at a rapid pace in the U.S.) there is great hope and incentive to change the way we are the Church.  Happy New Year!





3 responses to “Trends That Will Determine Life and Death in the 2020s

  1. Jan, these are great. With all humility would you think snout sending them to the author- esp the ones where they neglected to include non profit and faith communities.


  2. really positive piece for year’s end…. I needed this. Thanks!


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