Insights December 20th, 2021

Chief Futurist Nikolas Badminton chats with Jeff Sammut on SIRIUSXM’s Canada NOW about his trends to watch for 2022 – retail goes dark , work gets flexible, new tech cities will be unveiled, and central banking will be shaken by the introduction of a new competitor to the dollar. You can listen to this interview in the Youtube video below, and read the full transcription as well:

The full transcription of the interview is as follows…

Jeff Sammut: Award winning futurist researcher keynote speaker Nikolas badminton joining us on Canada now. And, Nick, what we wanted from you this week was some predictions on next year. And you’ve got four trend areas to watch for in 2022.

Nikolas Badminton: Yeah, I mean, these are trend areas, I want to be clear like, as a futures designer, a futurist, foresight practitioner, we don’t, we don’t predict anything. It’s just like, you know, what you’re going to watch, in the next 12 months sort of start to really gain pace. And every year, I’ve been doing this for seven, eight years, and every year, you know, we’ve got these four areas. So retail, and work and cities and central banking. And I just think that, you know, if you’re out there in the world, watching the news, sort of living your life, these are going to start to have an impact on you.

Jeff Sammut: Okay, so let’s start with retail. What What kind of shift are we going to see there?

Nikolas Badminton: Yeah, so So the pandemic, we saw a lot of this behavior shift to like curbside pickup, ecommerce, and whatever. And that’s kind of manifesting itself on both sort of big box retail and on the food side of things. So retail is going to shift to what they’re calling dark stores, which are like stores you can’t walk in and buy things from. But these will be stores in malls that will be used as distribution hubs, you’ll see the big players like Amazon, whoever, buying up huge malls or buying up huge big box stores, and just literally closing the doors and using them first sort of micro hubs for distribution. And that’s going to be a big thing. On the flip side with food, retail, dark restaurants. So companies like Wendy’s and whatever, literally opening restaurants where they can cook food to just service people that order food through applications and whatever. But on the flip side of that, as well, you’ve got ghost kitchens, which is going to be getting really prominent during 2022. So ghost kitchens are very, very large commissaries, where, literally 10s 10s and dozens of kitchens can be operated out of one particular kitchen, you can operate lots of virtual restaurants, the way you order food through through applications as well. But here’s the flipside, food is getting more expensive, right. And there’s just a report that just came out with Canada’s Food price report for next year. And they’re expecting, you know, Canadian food prices to surge by five to 7%. But to gain customers, you’re going to find these big companies driving the these these ghost kitchens and dark restaurants offering you cheaper food than you can buy so that they can gain your custom. So that’s going to be really kind of screwy, but definitely something to watch out for.

Jeff Sammut: Do you think that restaurants are going to scale back, let’s say on locations and ones that you can dine in on so they could save that, that 5% or whatever that they need to spend on the food that they’re going to give the public?

Nikolas Badminton: I think if you’re talking about quick service, restaurants and franchises, yeah, absolutely, that’s going to be the case, you’re also going to have these artisanal restaurants that we’re seeing on our high streets, that are really going to demand our attention. And I think you know, there’s a call to action for everyone to spend local, and don’t go to the big QSR. Ours, right? But yeah, you’re gonna, you’re gonna see the shift happen. And you’re gonna see a lot of automation in these in these food retail outlets as well.

Jeff Sammut: Let’s get to work. Four Day workweeks. This is something that that we have talked a lot about, over the course of the pandemic, are we going to see that with more regularity in 2022?

Nikolas Badminton: I really think so. And there’s a number of countries around the world that have been playing with this for a while. But I think in Canada, you’re gonna see companies that are trying to keep their employees happy. And I think that people working Monday to Thursday, or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, Friday, becoming more commonplace, I think that there’s going to be huge competitive advantages to attract people to places like that as well. And and we all know that in those four days, you can probably get just as much work done as you need. So there’s going to be this this cultural shift. And again, this comes from the pandemic times that we faced over the last couple of years. But on the on the flip side of that, you’re also going to have these hybrid models of working at home working in the office and a lot of people are saying only 25% in the office, and 75% a home but it’s going to be really flexible going forward.

Jeff Sammut: Tech Cities. Let’s get into into that. Are we going to start seeing like big tech city plans, like is that going to start happening? More in 2022?

Nikolas Badminton: Yeah, I mean, just in the last couple of months, we saw a billionaire out of the US say that he’s got a city called Tulsa that’s going to be coming. You’ve got people like Bill Gates, buying up hundreds of 1000s of acres of land outside of Phoenix, Arizona, potentially for cities, you’re going to see places like no farther down in the states come up with new legislations that makes it easier to build new cities. And we’ve already seen, you know, companies, cities all the way from like Hershey, with Hershey, Pennsylvania and Disney, a whole bunch of different people, it’s going to be inevitable that we’re going to see these new cities, and they’re going to be placed in places where they can sort of get tax breaks and tax benefits as well. I just think that in the next year, we’re going to see some big plans unveiled. I mean, here in Toronto, we saw Google, in their Sidewalk Labs project, sort of Palau of what they were going to do, and sort of the, the eastern side of Toronto down down on the lands just on the water there. And I actually think one of the big reasons was, you know, they’re gonna go somewhere where they can literally be masters that their own domain is getting too difficult to deal with, with cities and legislation and the activists as well. So you know, they’re gonna go and create their own their own realities, Jeff?

Jeff Sammut: Yeah, our city’s going to embrace crypto. You think that’s going to happen? And in 2020?

Nikolas Badminton: I think the new cities are we’ve already seen places like Miami, you know, sort of very, very bullishly sort of say that they’re going to embrace that the new mayor of New York as well, I’ve seen entire countries and we spoke about this on the show. Like El Salvador, there’s also a lot of a lot of people from the US go and live in Puerto Rico or Costa Rica or whatever, all these places. So yeah, you’re going to have these places. Now I’m not particularly bullish on on Bitcoin and crypto and whatever. But I do think that there’s going to be some big shake ups in the next year around currency, central banking and such like,

Jeff Sammut: Okay, well staying with with that with currency and shifting to a banking, the final trend that we’re looking at in 2022, you think that one of the big tech players is going to announce their own currency,

Nikolas Badminton: At least one of the big tech players, probably out of the US, in fact, it’s probably definitely going to be out of the US. I think one of the big tech players is going to, they’re going to come in, it’s not necessarily going to be about crypto Yameen. You’ve got people like meta, aka Facebook, saying that they’re going to start to crypto, micro payments on WhatsApp and whatever, okay, everyone’s playing around with this. But the big shakeups is going to come in when you get a big tech player and they say, Hey, we run this closed ecosystem, and maybe it’s around food and E commerce and whatever you can maybe guess who I’m talking about. Now, here’s $1, equivalent currency. And it’s not crypto, it’s within their own ecosystem. They might use different technologies to secure that and securitize that behind the scenes. But they could securitize that against the business that they operate, which is ultimately a trillion dollar market cap business with with like, unbound profits, right. And what’s really interesting about this is like, you’ll have the choice to, you know, maybe build your own business and trade and earn this kind of alternative dollar. Or, you know, you might work for the company, and you can earn this alternative dollar. And for a period of time, very much like getting ghost kitchens, to reduce food prices to get you on board, as a customer, it’s like this dollar is going to be worth more than the American dollar or the Canadian dollar or the UK pound. And you can suddenly you can buy all your food, you can buy all your goods, you can do all your transactions through the platform that we provide is a bunch of payment systems and whatever, next year 2022, I think we’re going to start to see some movements, and it’s going to really shake those central banking or, you know, central bankers to the core,

Jeff Sammut: What would be if there is one, the hidden agenda behind this, this big tech company doing something like that.

Nikolas Badminton: Once you can control your own destiny, in terms of external forces, have a exerting some influence on how you operate with like regulations and such like, you can basically do whatever you want, you can run a more efficient business, you know, from a taxation from an operational expenditure perspective, you can get people on board, in terms of building your own micro economies, this is sort of the Holy Grail. If you’ve got a walled garden technological system, then and you’ve got this ability to motivate people to be part of your private economy, then, you know, it’s it’s gonna really shake things up. And, you know, Facebook, tried to do this two to three years ago with a cryptocurrency that was stabilized against the US dollar called Libra. And that’s still sort of in the background, some rule someone you know, the House Democrats in the US wrote them a letter and said you can’t do and, you know, there’s, there’s gonna be a lot of tension again, we’re gonna see a lot of big government, big tech tensions as we go through the next few years. But, you know, warning shots have been fired in the crypto world. Here come the big guns in 2022 is going to be when they when when it leaves One of these big players is going to come in and really shake it up.

Jeff Sammut: Well, we’ll look for that in 2022 and maybe reference this conversation when we have our conversations. Next year. It’s your birthday tomorrow. Have a happy birthday, my friend from everybody here in Canada now, to you enjoy the day. Nikolas Check it out. Futurist researcher keynote speaker Nick Bampton, happy birthday again, pal and we’ll talk again next week. Thanks, buddy. Oh, chatty. Next. All right, talk to you next week. Next week. Actually, we’re gonna find out more about the book that Nick Badminton is writing so we’ll get a sneak peek at that.

About Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is the Chief Futurist at and a world-renowned futurist speaker, consultant, researcher, and media producer. He helps trillion-dollar companies, progressive governments and the media shift their mindset from “what is” to “WHAT IF…” The result is empowered employees, new innovative products and incredible growth that leads to more revenues and a more resilient future.

Nikolas advised Robert Downey Jr.’s team for the ‘Age of A.I.’ documentary series, starred in ‘SMART DRUGS – a Futurist’s journey into biohacking’, and features on CTV, Global News, Sirius XM regularly. His mind-expanding research and opinion can be found on BBC, VICE, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Techcrunch, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Forbes, Sputnik and Venturebeat. 

Nikolas provides the opening chapter – ‘Start with Dystopia’ in a new book – ‘The Future Starts Now: Expert Insights into the Future of Business, Technology and Society’ on Bloomsbury. His new book ‘Facing Our Futures’ is due out in 2022 on Bloomsbury and equips executives and world leaders with insights and foresight tools to imagine disruption, strengthen strategic planning, and see unforeseen risks.

Nikolas is a Fellow of The Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce – The RSA. The organization has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years with notable past fellows including Charles Dickens, Benjamin Franklin, Stephen Hawking, Nelson Mandela, and Tim Berners-Lee. 

Cities Society Work

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA (FRSA), a media personality, and has worked with over 400 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

Contact Nikolas