David Evans: Predicting the future for a living taught me we have to look backwards to look forward

My knack for thinking about the future started at an early age. About 35 years ago, as a boy in Scotland, I noticed the decaying buildings around me and thought, “Why can’t cement heal itself when it cracks?” Just a few weeks ago, this nascent prediction came true. Henk Jonkers of Deft University of Technology in the Netherlands announced bioconcrete—a new type of self-healing cement that fixes its own cracks using bacteria.

Twelve years ago, while I was working for Cisco, I predicted that we will see a “network that dwarfs the Internet in the next decade” and that the Internet would be part of everything around us, and even be on us and inside us. Today we know this as the Internet of Things (IoT). What I called “micronets” at the time became the genesis of Cisco’s groundbreaking research on the Internet of Everything (IoE). Today, I’m co-founder and chief technology officer at Stringify, which aims to help people make better use of the Internet of Things.

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