It is well past December 21, 2012, and the human race has survived the worst of the apocalypse predictions in over a decade. The world is looking at the start of a new year, a period of poignant expectation – and so we at MapsofWorld start to take a look at the expected trends and developments of 2013.
Some of the major developments are known and have been determined such as Croatia’s accession to the European Union and the Eurozone and the expiry of the Megatons to Megawatts Program between Russia and the United States. New Zealand is also set to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and a smooth transition with be attempted in the country. The outcomes of most other trends are not quite as unambiguous or clear.
Technology Trends in 2013
Towards the end of 2012, Forbes published Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013.
The list read –
• Mobile Devices Battles
• Mobile Applications & HTML5
• Personal Cloud
• Internet of Things
• Hybrid IT & Cloud Computing
• Strategic Big Data
• Actionable Analytics
• Mainstream In-Memory Computing
• Integrated Ecosystems
• Enterprise App Stores.
The battle of the mobile devices is hardly a surprise. In 2013, mobile devices will outdo PCs to become the most common tools for Web access. Windows 8 is likely to fall in place right next to iOS and Android. 2013 is likely to open to the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Mobile World Congress to be held between January 8 and 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. In the early months of 2013, we are likely to have seen the launch of BlackBerry 10. Samsung Galaxy S4 could come later in the year. While Apple has no likely event scheduled yet an iPad Mini update and even an iOS7 launch cannot be ruled out. Google and Motorola are set to launch their X Phone to rival Apple and Samsung. The X Phone is rumored to have many innovative features and is to be followed shortly by the X Tablet. Microsoft is likely to start marketing its Surface Pro tablet in January 2013. By 2014, annual mobile app downloads from app stores is likely to cross the 70 billion mark. 2013 is likely to set up the trend. 2013 should also be important with regard to creating 4K resolution programs and content for UHD televisions.
The 2012 US Presidential Elections was closely followed by millions of people across the world. Barack Obama’s re-election to the White House made history. Just as we see the close of this epic battle, the world gears up to witness another epic election next year – in Germany.
The German federal election in 2013 will determine the 598 members of the 18th Bundestag - the country’s federal parliament. A regular election is meant to be held on a Sunday or on a holiday between September 1 and October 27 next year. The dates may vary in exceptional circumstances. If Angela Merkel, the current German chancellor wins next year's elections, she will become Germany's second-longest-serving postwar chancellor. Her record will have been beaten only by Helmut Kohl. Merkel will also be poised to becoming Europe's longest-serving female head of government overtaking the record of Margaret Thatcher.
Among the other elections to watch out are the Palestinian Presidential and Parliamentary elections and the Israeli Parliamentary elections. The outcome of these shall have a huge impact on peace and progress in the region. With Italian President Mario Monti having resigned and Silvio Berlusconi deciding to contest the polls in 2013, the fate of Italy will be closely watched in 2013. Another important power transition is the one to take place in the PRC. Xi Jingping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China is also expected to become the President of China in 2013.
Apart from these, in 2013 Presidential polls are likely to be held in Armenia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Ecuador, Kenya, Paraguay, Montenegro, Madagascar, Mongolia, Iran, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Georgia, Tajikistan, and Chile. Parliamentary elections are likely to be held in Jordon, Cuba, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Ecuador, Djibouti, Malaysia, Malta, Guinea, Andorra, Albania, Norway, Macau, and Turkmenistan
Space Adventures 2013
The Martian landing of the rover, Curiosity, was one of the biggest events of 2012. 2013 promises not to be left behind when it comes to cosmic adventures. In November India’s space research organization, the ISRO plans to launch the indigenous Mars probe called Mangalyaan.
The Mangalyaan Mars probe will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in the state of Andhra Pradesh - Sriharikota. The probe will be launched with the help of a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket. Unlike Curiosity, Mangalyaan is an orbiter and not a rover and is unlikely to land on Mars. Mangalyaan will be India's first mission to Mars and is likely to cost the country $83 million.
The People's Republic of China will attempt to secure the country’s first unmanned Moon voyage of a lander and a rover in a lunar mission known as Chang’e 3. Though the exact date of Chang’e 3 is not yet known, it is fairly certain that the mission will be undertaken in 2013. In 2013, China also means to launch the Tiangong-2, a space laboratory as part of the Project 921-2 space station program. Tiangong-2 is expected to replace Tiangong-1, which was China National Space Agency's prototype module.
As part of the New Frontiers program, NASA plans to launch the Venus In-Situ Explorer mission to planet Venus sometime in 2013. The probe is likely to land on Venus and perform experiments to provide us an understanding of the Venus ecosystem. The other NASA launch set for 2013 is the spacecraft called MAVEN. Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) is meant to orbit Mars and study the planet’s atmosphere.
Economy In 2013
World and regional economy will be in sharp focus through 2013. It came as quite a surprise that despite all the moments of crisis Eurozone made it intact through 2012. With the Italian Prime Minister and a leading economist Mario Monti having resigned, it seems quite likely that Italy may once more be thrust into the throes of economic crisis. It is also likely that all may not be well with the French economy. Currently French 10-yr government bonds yield 1.9% vis-à-vis Spanish and Italian bonds which provide about 5 to 6 %. German elections are likely to determine the economic policies of the country in the days to come. Asia, on the other hand, is set to rise with Asian stocks performing better. According to the OECD, the Chinese economy is set to overtake the US by 2016 in an extension of the trends of 2013.
Top Jobs For 2013
In December 2012, the Forbes Magazine published the top and most coveted jobs of 2013.
Software Developers (Applications and Systems Software)
Accountants and Auditors
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
Computer Systems Analysts
Human Resources, Training and Labor Relations Specialists
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Sales Representatives (Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific)
Information Security Analysts, Web Developers and Computer Network Architects
Public Relations Specialists
Most of these jobs have shown a tremendous growth since 2010, according to author Jackquelyn Smith. There has been an increase in 70,872 software developer jobs bringing the increase to about 7%. The average software developer earns about $90,530 a year and there is a likelihood of a 30% increase in the number of jobs by 2020. The second on the list is the job of an accountant or auditor. There has been a 3% increase with over 37,100 jobs being added since 2010 and an average accountant or auditor earns $61,690. Market research analysts and marketing specialists are likely to be most in demand after the two professions. There has been an increase in 31,335 such jobs since 2010 marking a 10% increase. Market research analysts and marketing specialists earn about $60,570 a year.
World and Environment
Resource crunch is likely to be the watchword in 2013. In 2050, the world population is likely to reach the 9 billion mark. The demands of the burgeoning population on environmental resources are likely to cause a much sharper increase in demand in comparison to the supply. Food and drinking water, pollution-free air and environmental preservation shall be some of the key issues we will need to address this year.
USA: Hope Vs Apprehension
A Washington Post – ABC Poll revealed, however, that people are more apprehensive about 2013 than any other year in the previous decade. Just above 53% Americans who took the survey declared that they were “hopeful” about their lives in 2013; a staggering 44% declared that they are “fearful” about their futures in the coming year. If Americans sound dismal, the rest of the world is possibly worse - only about 40% people across the globe are hopeful and look forward to the next year while about 56% respondents said that they are increasingly fearful about their lives in 2013.
Among Americans extended talks about the ‘fiscal cliff’, a prolonged recession, and fears of a slow recovery are major reasons for such apprehensions. 3 of 4 Americans believe that the US economy is still in recession despite the fall in unemployment rates. About 45% Americans believe that that the Democrats and Republicans are not capable of reaching an amicable compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff. The deadline for reaching a new budget compromise is December 31. About 60% are concerned that the economy could suffer if the deal is not reached.
2013 promises its share of exciting and anxious moments. Do you think this year will be outstanding in terms of the direction it sets?