THE YEAR 2024: ME, WE and AI!

SBS Swiss Business School > News > THE YEAR 2024: ME, WE and AI!

Kloten-Zurich, 5 January 2024

As the year 2023 ends, we will remember it as the year of the obesity pills and the rapid increase of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI).

2024 is a leap year, which means it has 366 days. One more day to enjoy! So, what are the trends for this year? I try to mention some of them. Keep on having SBS learning fun!

1. By Bye Social Media

Older Millennials and Gen X will get away from social media. They will get back to real life with real individuals. They will start reading books again…who would have thought it? And they will pay attention to other generations again! Video messages will increasingly replace voice and written messages on social media.

2. Crisis and More Crisis until Polycrisis

We do not have more crises in the world. A Crisis is anything that has the potential to negatively affect the reputation or credibility of an organization. It is just that the media are paying more attention to it. An example: commercial aviation was safer in 2023 than in any previous year. Only two fatal accidents occurred for the past 12 months, compared to six in 2022. War and crisis are interrelated, all characterized by mutual mistrust between adversaries. If there is a crisis around the corner, it will be in commercial real estate in the coming year. Watch out for banks with too many of these properties; it could get really bad again.

3. Smart Watches Instead of Smarter Phones

The global sales of smartphones are stagnating; on the other hand, the sales of smartwatches are growing. Parents are hesitant to give their kids a smartphone but seem to have fewer problems by offering them a smartwatch. It is more of a feeling of security and fear that something will happen to their kids. As an implication of this, Apple will lose its status as the most valuable company in the world and will be surpassed by Microsoft, ‘however’ this is more of an educated guess.

4. Elections and Elections

I counted seventy-six elections in 2024, with key political elections in South Africa, the US and the UK, India, Taiwan, Russia, European Parliamentary elections, and many more. Since the European population is getting older, usually meaning more conservative, right-wing parties will have an advantage. Since COP 2023 and the agreement that oil consumption should decrease, oil-producing countries will become less important, and the commodity countries that produce the raw materials for the green deal will become more important. A backlash against environmental policies that involve increased costs passed on to consumers will affect the opinion of voters! In the US, growing concerns over federal government debt, sustainability, and the fiscal path forward will be issues for the November Presidential elections. So, the end of the conflict in the Middle East and the end of the Russian-Ukrainian war will be determined by the American voters!

5. Cultural Stagflation

Due to the tight labor market, the search for talent will continue in 2024. In recent research, global employers say it is a challenge to retain valuable colleagues. They cite factors such as high workload, competition, and work-life imbalance as facets that need to be improved to encourage employee retention. Employers do not understand what employees really want, and employees feel that they cannot give more than they do right now. Therefore, cultural stagflation will persist throughout the year. So, if you want to find a work-life balance, find real friends instead of deal friends!

6. Crypto Currencies Get Into the Industrial Phase

Some cryptos have survived their crisis moment; others will start flourishing again. Eighty percent of the G20 countries have now created their crypto-currencies legalization framework, allowing the opportunity to shift towards an institutionalizing (meaning banks allow the trade of financial products in crypto currencies) and industrialization (industries allow payments in cryptos) of these currencies. New exchange-traded funds in Bitcoin are created and traded. More transactions are taking place in Bitcoins, and companies are starting to use the technology. Limited supply and increased demand will lead to an increase in price/value.

7. The Increased Importance of IMPACT

Research with impact, impact investing…the word impact is the key these days. There is no single definition, but at its simplest, it means the significant difference your activity makes. Businesses have a more prominent role to play than only serving their shareholders. They need to serve society at large. On a personal level, real impact, whether in work or life, is not easy to quantify but will be more felt by the people around you. Small gestures at home, more meaningful conversations at work, and focusing on impact rather than on managing contribute to something real and sustainable for the long term.

8. Geopolitics for a Reshaped World

The tension among the twins, the USA and China, as well as the existing conflicts that dominated the world news in 2023, will remain. Although more companies are doing on-shoring and friend-shoring, technological advancements and supply chain disruptions will continue to affect global trade. Elections in Taiwan might have an impact on the global electronic chip industry. The BRICS countries are now composed of ten; the five original members are India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Ethiopia. Ten members will find it more difficult to find common ground, but one of the goals is to drive the de-dollarization of the global economy. Will the Swiss Franc remain a safe haven?

9. Smartsumption and Joyconomy

A growing group of conscious consumers wants to have a more unique relationship with the brands and products they own. Instead of “more and more consumption,” “less and less” is the new motto. Consumers will still buy brand products, but fewer, and they are constantly searching for price discounts and best deals, which are available only for a brief time! So, we will consume smarter but less!

Also, consumers have had it with bad news, with news about inflation affecting their own wallets, etc. They are searching for new moments of joy and want to celebrate unexpected successes more intensely.

10. Twenty Five Years of SBS Swiss Business School!

2024 will be a joyful year for SBS as we celebrate our 25th anniversary throughout the year with special events. We will keep you posted.

Have a wonderful year!

Bert Wolfs, Ph.D.
Academic Dean