Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Views of the Future


Housing: Not Cheaper

“We will have a density more like New Jersey — but our state is six times as large as New Jersey in area. The big players will dominate the housing business, and they will change housing production to manufacturing techniques. Housing will not become affordable. About 25% of our costs are government imposed: Impact assessments, standards, time.”

Pat Neal, chairman, executive committee, Neal Communities, home builder, Sarasota


“Fifteen to 20 years from now, we are going to see a new generation of buildings/ urban design influenced by driverless cars and ride-sharing trends. For example, garages will be designed to eventually turn into office space, workforce housing or retail space as the demand for parking decreases.”

Louis Archambault, real estate attorney, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Miami

Power Suits

“You will see wearable robotics. You will see them for people with mobility issues. That will be kind of a suit you wear. It will give you that extra benefit in terms of slight force — stand for longer periods of time, detect a fall, if for whatever reason you don’t react fast enough, and do some action to keep you from falling. The next thing you’ll see will be for workers, anyone doing a repetitive task, (to wear) powered exoskeletons. I hope to see (exoskeletons) assisting people with paralysis.”

Peter Neuhaus, senior research scientist, Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, Pensacola

Up, Up and Away

“Florida is now entering an era where a confluence of factors, including scarcity of land in key areas, along with lack of mass transit, is driving vertical construction. These micro-cities are allowing people to live closer to their work, as well as providing access to recreation and amenities not normally found in purely suburban environments. We will see downtown areas in non-traditional areas, such as certain sectors of the I-4 corridor, Jacksonville, and of course, South Florida, leading the vertical way.”

Joseph Kavana, developer, Metropica, Sunrise

Florida Institute of Technology, like FLORIDA TREND, turns 60 this year.

Also celebrating its 60th year: NASA. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act in 1958, and NASA began that year on Oct. 1.


“Brightline will change Florida’s demographics and interconnectivity. We will see large population concentrations near transit stations as people will move north in search of affordable workforce housing opportunities and hop on the train to go to work anywhere in South Florida and Central Florida. Brightline will help bring both regions closer together. I wouldn’t be surprised if Central Florida and South Florida begin to act as a block in lobbying efforts to improve public transportation and affordable housing across both regions.”

Noah Breakstone, managing partner, BTI Partners, Fort Lauderdale


“I would expect by 2030 we will have established our state as a leader in cybersecurity resiliency. We’ve seen tremendous progress in the area of A.I. and machine learning and deep learning that will impact society in ways that we’ve only dreamed of in the past.”

Eman El-Sheikh, director, Center for Cybersecurity, computer science professor, University of West Florida, Pensacola


Office Gossip

“By 2030, we should expect that a multigenerational workplace will become commonplace across Florida. With life expectancies increasing, and the financial ability or personal desire to retire decreasing, four generations — Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, Millennials and Generation Zs — will all be sharing a water cooler for the first time. But Florida isn’t ready. We need to change aging stereotypes, bridge the digital divide and recognize the opportunities of employing older adults.”

Peter Kaldes, president, CEO, South Florida Institute on Aging, Fort Lauderdale

Special Deliveries

“The definitions we now attach to ‘freight,’ ‘going shopping’ or ‘delivery’ will be obliterated. Dealing with 26 million Florida residents and 150 million visitors is going to cause us to move and order everything in revolutionary new ways. The theories of today — driverless trucks, delivery drones, and universal shopping — will be routine realities.”

Ken Armstrong, president, CEO, Florida Trucking Association, Tallahassee

No More Mall

“In 15 years we will see a new breed of commerce centers that will result from the transformation of traditional retail malls into mixed-use commercial and entertainment centers. Virtual and augmented technology — integrated with advanced data analytics — will be a big part of how entertainment will be delivered and how commerce will be done in that new generation of assets.”

Ken Krasnow, executive managing director, Colliers International South Florida, Miami

Foreign Money

“In Florida, Miami is by far the largest magnet of private foreign capital. But that is poised to change in the next decade or so. Developers who fund their projects with foreign capital are now looking for development opportunities in sleepy coastal communities and underdeveloped areas close to large urban centers. In 15 years, foreign capital will be behind many of the future hotels, office buildings and retail centers across Florida’s emerging destinations.”

Rodrigo Azpurua, president, CEO, Riviera Point Development Group, Miramar

Bank On It

“By 2020, there will be fewer than 75 banks headquartered in Florida that will include a handful of larger Florida-based banks and credit unions that compete effectively with the large out-of-state mega banks. Branches as we knew them are going to largely disappear. They will be far fewer, and they will primarily serve as advice centers.”

Dennis S. Hudson III, chairman, CEO, Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida, Stuart

Personalized Travel

“We are in an increasingly competitive market across the world. Of the things that are on our near-future radar, the big one is the hyperpersonalization of travel. With Hilton, they have what are called connected rooms so that based on your preferences as a traveler all of those customizations are ready as soon as you walk in the door — the temperature of the room, the lighting.

“We’re really focusing on transformative travel where it’s a personal fulfillment, local immersion into things that aren’t ordinary, aren’t routine — ziplines in Ocala or swimming with the manatees in Crystal River.”

Stephen Lawson, vice president, government relations, Visit Florida, Tallahassee

Capital Ideas

“When you look at the state of Florida, one of the largest overlooked natural resources we have is the private capital, private wealth in the citizens of Florida. I don’t believe Florida as a state has done a good job of organizing that private wealth into funding structures for idea-stage through early-stage investing. I would like to see Florida in the next 10 years become more active in allocating a greater percentage of Florida’s net worth toward idea- and seedstage capital.”

Timothy J. Cartwright, chairman, Tamiami Angel Funds; general partner, Adrenaline Venture Fund I, Naples


The Human Quotient “As artificial intelligence comes on line, it poses the question, what value does humanity provide that machines can’t? That’s the crisis I see coming. Our education system is still focused on training people to be good employees rather than focusing on them being creative leaders. We just recently opened the Innovation Hub with that in mind, giving students the opportunity to be creative problem-solvers. When you talk about the future 25 years down the road, these are some of the ways we’re preparing for it.”

Ken Baldauf, director, Florida State University Innovation Hub, Tallahassee

K-12: Diversity

“A handful of heavily bunkered ‘one-size-fits-all’ factory schools will remain; but the range of learning options will exceed even what we see in higher ed today — big, small, classical, online, faith-based, STEM-heavy, etc. — with lots of innovative hybrids, too. There’ll be an emphasis on finding the best ‘fit’ for each child ... and an appreciation for the vital role parents play in children’s learning.”

William Mattox, director, Marshall Center for Educational Options, The James Madison Institute, Tallahassee

Higher Ed: Top Tier

“I’m very bullish on Florida’s future for many reasons. One of them is that Florida has the top state college system in the country. They are going to produce the graduates that we’re going to need to diversify our economy. We’re going to lead the pack in the future. With our reasonable tax rates and being a great place to live, we’re going to see a lot more people with talent move here, and that’s going to be the key to everyone’s future.”

Jerry Parrish, chief economist, Florida Chamber Foundation, Tallahassee


Water, Everywhere

“Climate change, including more-extreme rains and future droughts that scientists say could be worse than any in the 20th century, will prompt some needed changes: We’ll see a vast expansion of water storage — using both restored wetlands and man-made structures to protect Floridians from floodwaters and pollution and to conserve water for dry times. We’ll also do a better job of recycling water, from rainfall to wastewater, while phasing out the use of potable water to irrigate lawns. Also needed: A debate about whether large commercial water consumers such as farmers and mining operations should pay something for the groundwater they pump from the Floridan Aquifer.”

Cynthia Barnett, journalist, author of “Mirage,” “Blue Revolution” and “Rain,” Gainesville


Constellations of Satellites

“We’ve moved from an era where we were launching eight to 12 on average to 23 last year. This year, we should do somewhere in the 30s. The 45th Space Wing is planning on 48 launches per year by 2020. Elon Musk is going to 50 launches by himself. Blue Origin will start launching two years from now. They could be launching one or two a week. If you add United Launch Alliance and Virgin Galactic, by the year 2030 you’re going to be looking at between 100 and 200 launches a year.

“We have perhaps 1,700 satellites today and another 450 that are inert or dead in the sky. We’re dealing with a company here called OneWeb that wants to put 800 satellites up in a constellation. They intend to replace that five years later with 2,500 satellites. That’s one company with constellations of satellites providing global connectivity to the world. There are 26 constellations we track. That kind of connectivity is going to enable a new kind of trade and economic well-being. I see Florida as not only significantly benefiting from that but also being able to provide the economic framework for global trade here on Earth.

“There are going to be destinations for tourists or research platforms. You’ll see a significant amount of low Earth orbit or even lunar activities conducted by commercial entities.”

Frank DiBello, president, CEO, Space Florida, Cape Canaveral


Print Me a Car

“We’re moving into this virtual area where we’ll be able to do everything on computers in terms of creating the product, testing the product and manufacturing the product. We’ll just print it. I promised the Navy in 2075 they can print their aircraft carriers. Directionally, that’s where we’re going. We’re going to see, especially on the Florida Space Coast, this integrating of engineering and manufacturing.”

Michael Grieves, “Digital Twin” pioneer, executive director, Florida Institute of Technology’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design, Melbourne



“First, investigators are developing novel biological markers of disease that promote early diagnosis and provide targets for therapy. Second, researchers are developing programs to raise awareness of dementia to enable early detection of disease symptoms and drive patients towards appropriate therapies. Third, researchers across the globe are working to develop and test new medications with over 150 compounds currently in clinical trials. The convergence of these approaches will drive our success.”

James Galvin, professor, integrated medical science, associate dean, clinical research, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton


“Our discovery in identifying (a particular) bacteria found in (some) milk and beef as a trigger for Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis will help to advance treatment with more effective and lower-cost medications. In the next few years, our translational research discoveries and scientific advancements in Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis may offer new molecular testing and better, personalized treatment for millions of patients suffering from these diseases.”

Saleh Naser, infectious disease researcher, professor, UCF College of Medicine, Orlando


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