Another dot in the blogosphere?

Aptly named Horizon Reports

Posted on: September 5, 2017

I stopped tweeting about or recommending any Horizon Reports after being privy to the processes behind one such report and reading the work of Audrey Watters [latest example].

I had insights to Singapore’s 2012 Horizon Report. Almost five years ago, I described how the trends identified then were heavily influenced by entities with edtech aspirations and how the trends were out of sync with other reports.

Audrey Watters has always been critical of the reports because the trends are disjointed. For example, a likely trend mentioned five years ago is not the norm now. While this might be due to the difficulty of forecasting, this does not explain why one long term trend appears in one report and not in a later report as a mid term trend.

This lack of continuity might be due to the fact that the self-selecting groups that form the leadership and advising boards come from different sectors. They are like the proverbial blind men describing the elephant based only on which part of the elephant they can feel.

My simple-minded critique of the Horizon Reports is that they are aptly named. You can try walking to the horizon, but you will never reach it. You cannot. You will only see more horizon.

You can also walk in any direction depending on the paths and barriers in front of you. As a result of doing this, you will see different things as you change directions.

Viewed this way, the reports are meanderings of guides who cannot be sure where to go and what to anticipate. The takeaway? Woe to anyone who buys in to what these blind men say as they cling on to different elephant parts.

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