Rather than dwell on the past any more (this is Alumni Futures, after all), I thought that for fun I'd make a few predictions for 2018. Ready? OK...
- We will have a structured quantitative benchmarking system across the profession, and it will be largely automated.
- In the US, commercial affinity relationships (like alumni credit cards, insurance, and travel) will be legally regulated and providers will have to be licensed by government. Associations and institutions will be required to solicit and document competitive bids before selecting business partners.
- Admissions and recruiting will drive a dramatic internationalization of alumni relations; international students become international alumni, after all.
- Online communities won't exist. Electronic interaction will be so completely integrated into all our behavior that we won't think of it as a separate activity, any more than we think of people we talk to on the phone as a "telephone community."
- Finally, and on that same note, a few short years from today we will all be connected to each other online. Anyone online will easily be able to find the most direct connection between himself and anyone else online. Today's clumsy, fragmented so-called "social networks" will be replaced by a layer of complete connectivity that spans the electronic world the way an operating system lies across a single computer's functions today.
Now it's your turn.
What are your predictions? Where is the profession going, and how it will change?
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