What purpose does looking back at the past serve? Life, after all, must be lived forward. Sure, but it can only be understood backward
The much-awaited, much-prophesized 2020 is finally round the corner. As you get ready for new predictions and examination of some of the old prophesies—you bet there were plenty—we do a somewhat dull job of looking at the past.
That is a customary exercise that media does every year. A year is a shorter time period and the focus is usually on discreet elements—events, people, technologies, mergers, quotes…and all such lists that are easier to glance through; in any case, they are fresh in memory.
We could certainly have done a similar job for a decade. But beyond being a reference list and bringing in some nostalgia, that would serve little purpose. On the other hand, a period of ten years is a good time frame to look at how things are changing.
What purpose does it serve? Life, after all, must be lived forward. Sure, but it can only be understood backward.
What is there in writing about the past? All of us know that.
That is precisely why it is more challenging to do that. Do you remember what people predicted about 2010-2019 in 2010? You do not. So, whatever one writes is good, as long as it sounds good. No one comes back to question you.
Needless to say, one cannot even think that way while writing about the past.
What we present here in this issue is a short history of ten years—written like a historical non-fiction; not a school text. That is why the eight trends that we present here will not come as any surprise to you. If you—the people who contributed to these trends—get surprised, we have a problem somewhere. We do not deserve to be doing what we are doing.
So, those eight trends are just the starting point. Please read what happened earlier that contributed to the trends in these ten years, how the trends impacted various stakeholders, what are the different manifestations of those trends, and why they—and they alone—made it to the shortlist and not many others. Besides, of course, how they may unfold from here onwards.
Within the texts too, do not expect to make great discoveries. Most of you—I say most, because some of them impacted some of you a bit more than some others—would identify with a lot of these propositions, reasoning and examples.
In short, they should act as both a reminder and organizer of your own thoughts. If we succeed in doing that, we would have succeeded with the story.
All the best for a new year—and a new decade.