Learn about new industrial revolution at 2019 Benefits and Pension Summit

The industrial revolution has shaped the world, demonstrated by three dimensions: communications, energy and transportation, according to one futurist.

However, the lifeblood of a new industrial revolution will be data, says Nikolas Badminton, futurist speaker, researcher and chief executive officer of Exponential Minds, noting all industries will be touched by the momentum this has created.

“The signals of change I speak about are those things happening today that show potential to change the world in the next five, 10 and 20 years,” he says.

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Badminton will be sharing these ideas and more during the keynote presentation at Benefits Canada’s 2019 Benefits and Pension Summit at the Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre on April 17, 2019.

According to Badminton, the three main signals are:

1. Big data: Master the data, he says, highlighting the importance of the insights it presents, as well as how it can create useful and useable knowledge to help people be better informed and more efficient.

2. Artificial intelligence: Machine learning will tap into the hidden patterns in data and “create incredible value in the world,” he notes. “It’s estimated that by 2030, it will have a $15.7-trillion impact to the global economy.”

3. The internet of things: Sensors, says Badminton, are built into every device, structure and building today. “It’s expected by 2025, the internet of things will have more than 100 billion connected devices worldwide, each with a dozen or more sensors collecting data. This phenomenon is known as the trillion sensor economy. A future with sensors giving information from surrounding surfaces, autonomous cars, wearables, workplaces and homes is not that far away, and will change the way we live, work, invest and play.”

Read: A final forecast on the future of Canada’s pension industry

From these developments, he says, new technologies, business models and billion-dollar companies will emerge to disrupt the finance, insurance, benefits and pensions industries. “Big technology, startups and new finance companies are looking to employ new technologies to shake up the financial planning industry.

“It’s not as simple as replacing what we have today, as there are regulations and strict ways the finance industry has to work,” adds Badminton. “What’s interesting is that the new players started by affronting the traditional industry with claims they’re obsolete and will be out of business, and then switched to being partners with them. The combination of old wisdom plus new energy and thinking will be powerful.”

As for the advisor world, he sees two narratives emerging — the end of the advisor and a hybrid advisor.

“Advisors that ignore the use of data and machine learning in their work will no longer provide the best advice and it will be clear to the clients. The result will be that clients will choose lower-risk investments and decisions using on-demand algorithmic advice using mobile apps. This will be the standard for the majority of people in the younger generation — 45 years and younger.”

Read: Majority of employees see opportunity for AI to improve workplaces: survey

However, investors with more complicated and higher value portfolios will look to their advisor to provide wisdom matched with insights and “advice from specialist advisor applications that tap into specific datasets using machine learning. This will be key to longevity as a ‘human advisor.’”

The one piece of advice Badminton offers executives leading these charges and changes is to have an open mind. “When you see new players enter the market, ask yourself, ‘How will they impact my business?’ Complacency is your worst enemy in the new world.”

To attend this session and other DC pension and benefits topics, register for the 2019 Benefits and Pension Summit here.