TODAY I am facilitating a strategic planning session and while   I am sitting here, I realise how difficult it is to really plan ahead in today’s ever changing, technology-driven environment.

We are planning ahead for the next five to ten years, but we   also   know that with new innovative products being pushed to market many of the things we are envisioning will be different at the time it would have come to fruition.

Let us take an example If you planned ahead ten years ago, you would not have predicted the enormous uptake of mobile phones, mobile internet connectivity or even the incredible size of services like Facebook or Skype. Ten years ago there was only a small uptake of mobile phones and now we cannot imagine anybody not having a mobile phone.

What are the services that we will not expect to be main­stream in five to ten yearsω

Did you really envision that there will be a game console that interacts with or without you even holding any controlsω A game console like the kinect that sees you enter a room and then identifies your hands, legs and body as the controlsω Or even this game being able to identify your face and add you to the players of the game in progressω

When I think of the way we plan for the future, I know that the exercise of planning strategically years in advance is not only a very difficult thing to do, but also very brave.

I   am willing to say that in five years’ time we will all be reading eBooks and we will have devices on which we read ClickKliek each week.

The way in which we communicate, play and interact with devices will change dramatically.

At present most of our strategic planning is nothing more than guesses and the way I see technology is changing, they are short-term guesses. I think we should just hold on and see what will happen as things change.
.  Nico Baird is an Instructional Designer: Media at the Central University of Technology, Free State, and New Media and Educational Technology enthusiast and can be contacted at