What big ideas will disrupt 2016? Top minds share their predictions

December 16, 2015

The end of the year is a time for quiet reflection — and bold predictions about the year ahead.

In our latest LinkedIn series, “Big Ideas 2016,” we asked Influencers to predict the top trends that will shape the coming year. From Arianna Huffington and GM’s Mary Barra to Pandora’s Tim Westergren and Kaiser Permanente’s Bernard Tyson, here’s what 80+ Influencers say is on the horizon for auto, education, entertainment, healthcare, oil and energy, technology, and other key industries.

YOUR TURN: Name the one innovation, social cause, business shift or event that you believe will define 2016. Tell us: What problem will be solved, or what industry will be disrupted by your Big Idea? Write your own post; be sure to use #BigIdeas2016 somewhere in the body of your piece.

Here are some of the top trends to watch in 2016. What are the trends you’ll be tracking?

No sleep… ‘til 2016?


A self-described “sleep evangelist,” Arianna Huffington predicts that more companies will recognize that “right now we’re in the middle of a sleep deprivation crisis, with devastating effects on our health, our job performance, our relationships, and our happiness.” (Huffington would know; the president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group once collapsed from sleep deprivation.)

Will you join the “sleep revolution” of 2016?

More industries will join the gig economy.


Musicians could be next to get a piece of the on-demand economy, Pandora founder Tim Westergren predicts. Dubbing 2016 the “year of the gig economy,” Westergren envisions building a pipeline for music artists: “With the right execution, we could create a musicians' middle class, just as Lyft has created a new set of professional drivers and Etsy a slew of independent online retail shopkeepers.”

Beyond music, what other industries might benefit from joining the gig economy?

We’re (finally) entering the golden age of female entrepreneurship


Female founders are shaking up businesses. Here’s what Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO of Ellevest, expects to see in this new age of entrepreneurship: More women finding their entrepreneurial spirit later in life, more sources of funding for women entrepreneurs, the creation of more “modern, people-friendly work environments,” and a major shift in mindset:

“[There is] a growing recognition that it’s not just one or two or three female entrepreneurs who can be successful, as in the old days of one-seat-at-the-table-for-a-woman in corporate America. Instead, there is room for the pie to grow and for us lift each other up.” — Sallie Krawcheck

Virtual reality will disrupt sports, entertainment, and live events.


Virtual reality, especially when paired with live streaming, will be the biggest game changer in 2016, says Peter Guber, the CEO of Mandalay Entertainment and owner of the Golden State Warriors. In this new universe, “a director or producer isn’t determining what you’re looking at, how you’re looking at it, or when you’re looking at it...”

“Rather than being a mere passenger, the result is a participatory experience with a far deeper level of emotional engagement than any other curated event can deliver.”  —Peter Guber

Big data without context isn’t useful. Let’s reprioritize human filters.


We've fallen in love with big data, but 2016 will see the return of human insights — at least if Stan Chrystal has a say in it. In reflecting on his time in Iraq commanding a Special Operations Task Force, McChrystal recalls how his team helped solve the data overload by running a 90-minute daily “Operations & Intelligence” meeting. At the end of the day, McChrystal found “[a] useful refrain was: what, so what, therefore this is what happened, this is why it matters, and therefore we should take this action. We used this phrase to drive home the fact that the ‘why’ matters just as much, if not more, than the ‘what.’”

What other areas might benefit from having more human filters?

In the coming weeks, we’ll also showcase Big Ideas from Influencers and members in these industries, and more:

Big Ideas in Healthcare

Big Ideas in Technology

Big Ideas in Recruiting & Hiring

Big Ideas in Education

  • “Let's Stop Arguing, and Start Collaborating” — Mike Feinberg, Co-Founder at KIPP

YOUR TURN: What one innovation, social cause, business shift or event will define 2016? Write your own post; be sure to use #BigIdeas2016 somewhere in the body of your piece.

Main graphics by Jacqueline Zaccor/LinkedIn; SlideShare graphics by Shumyla Jan/LinkedIn