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The 50 big ideas for 2017: What to watch in the year ahead

Source | LinkedIn : By Laura Lorenzetti Soper

Let’s be honest: We’re ready for 2016 to end. After a year of polarizing politics, devastating natural disasters and a growing number of global refugees as wars wage on, we want to hope that bigger—and possibly better—things lay ahead in the new year.

To get a sense of what’s next, LinkedIn editors reached out to some of our most prescient writers—our Top Voices, Influencers and members of our Next Wave list—as well as other people who inspire us to find out what they’re predicting in the coming year.

Their responses are encouraging, humorous and sobering. Some are ambitious, possibly overly so: We’ll finally fix the internet, ridding it of trolls and anonymity. Others are specific and practical: Instagram will debut clickable links. Surely, not all of these ideas will materialize, but the vision and sentiment behind them is worth reading—and working towards. If it takes five years instead of one, for example, to transplant the first pig kidney into a human, we’ll take it.

So, without further ado, here are the 50 big ideas for 2017:

1. The IPO market snaps back.

This year saw the fewest number of companies make their debut on stock exchanges since 2009, according to Jay R. Ritter, a professor at University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. The broad post-election rally — the S&P 500 is up 5 percent — should make companies a lot more willing to sell their shares. The big test: Snap Inc., the parent of Snapchat, said to have confidentially filed its papers for a $25 billion IPO as early as March. If it’s successful, it could clear the way for other high-profile unicorns, like Airbnb, to follow. Ritter’s also watching the energy industry, rebounding from the glut in oil prices. Where he’s less optimistic: biotech. While those companies drove IPOs in the past couple of years, the Valeant-induced scrutiny on drug prices “kind of choked off the enthusiasm,” he says.

2. Social media gets held accountable…

“It’s unclear just how much the outcome of this presidential election was impacted by the fake news controversy surrounding Facebook and Twitter. What is clear, however, is that social media companies will be held more accountable for the content posted to their sites, and in 2017 they will have to find the sweet spot between free speech and censorship,” predicts Mahesh Vellanki, an investor at Redpoint Ventures. Read his full prediction here.

3. …And media isn’t let off the hook, either.

2016 featured the rise and ravages of fake news, and the coming new year will bring a radical rethinking of where we get our information and how, predicts Top Voice and best-selling author Ryan Holiday. “The sudden awareness of fake news, the endless political scandals and conflict, fatigue with polarization will mean that people are going to ask themselves: Why am I consuming all this?” says Holiday.

Read On…

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