By Marianne O’Connor, Sterling CEO
At the dawn of 2024, it is already clear that two subjects will dominate mindshare (and headlines) throughout the year in our neck of the woods: AI and elections.
Without diminishing the impact or importance of either topic, the level of noise generated by both is already inching toward fever pitch. From a professional communications perspective, we predict continued challenges to conducting conversations about anything else in this atmosphere throughout the year.
That said, there are a lot of other important issues and fascinating innovations worthy of attention. There really are more than two things to talk about in coming months, and a wide spectrum of powerful stories aching to be told. So let’s set aside existing hype and anticipated histrionics to explore some worthy subjects that may break through the din this year:
Electrification adoption, data center growth, and increased emphasis on manufacturing will stress the electric grid further in 2024. To meet our ever-escalating energy needs in a sustainable way, we will see a concerted effort to greatly accelerate the pace at which we bring renewable energy solutions online.
According to somereports, women’s health will represent in excess of $44 billion total globally by 2030. Given the vast size of the opportunity, I think we’ll see major women’s health issues — spanning the continuum from puberty through menopause, but particularly in later life stages — move to the front burner on the research side, the investment front, and the commercialization process.
I think we’ll see a huge push in the US for sustainable on-shore battery manufacturing in 2024. 3D printing will play an important role here, as will dry-process capabilities that can demonstrate they’re ready for prime time. Similarly, I think we’ll see new natural materials — like nano-silicon anode materials — incorporated into mainstream battery manufacturing.
We’re likely to see major moves in 2024 to develop and deploy emerging technologies that foster coastal resiliency. Bolstering ocean health is vital to human life (and potentially lucrative), so I think we’ll see investment dollars flow from both the US government and traditional VCs. Marine ecosystems must build the capacity to thrive in warmer waters and the resiliency to rebound from a host of climate change-related stressors, and sooner rather than later.
While it dovetails with both AI’s rise and this year’s US election stakes, regulatory movement carries its own momentum. 2024 will see more data privacy regulations come to life in an effort to enhance privacy protections for the digital footprint of all consumers, especially minors. In addition to GDPR, California’s CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2024. Generative AI governance will be a central conversation, especially in light of new laws that regulate AI, such as the US’ “Guidelines for Secure AI System Development” and the EU’s “AI Act.” Violating consumer privacy will become very costly in 2024.
Need your company’s story to break through in 2024? Reach out to Sterling Communications today. We’re here for you.