Nobody can predict the future—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Understanding what’s in store for your business and others in 2016 could help you find opportunities you can capitalize on, risks you’ll need to watch out for, and possibilities you won’t want to miss.

We can help. Here are 14 trends, ideas and companies that could be the next big thing:

Boomer-preneurs eye the exits »

A wave of business owners is expected to retire in the next few years, meaning an unprecedented opportunity for buyers

3D printing finally gets real »

The technology won’t replace factories any time soon, but it could still transform enterprise manufacturing

Shop by text »

Some retailers are going back to the future with their latest play on mobile e-commerce

Take a “business walk” »

To improve policy-making, some municipalities are encouraging economic development officers to get out from behind their desks

“There’s a whole new world of decentralized commerce” »

Hubba’s Ben Zifkin explains why brands have a hard time keeping product information straight online, and how his company fixes that

Health care goes high-tech »

The glacial pace of approvals for health products remains a hurdle for life sciences firms, but massive and growing markets beckon anyway

Making your customers wait »

Creating artificial scarcity can be good for your brand and your sales. The case for being exclusive

Co-living is the new solitude »

Millennials are opting out of mortgages and choosing grown-up dorms instead

Same-day everything »

In the e-commerce age, the ability to get goods to consumers’ doors is a must-have. Why delivery is such an important differentiator

“There’s a huge group of ‘underbanked’ people” »

Trulioo’s Stephen Ufford explains why there are still lots of un- and underbanked people, and how his company helps change that

Empathy is design’s big buzzword »

Friendly products win the hearts and wallets of overwhelmed consumers. Adapt your user experience accordingly

“There’s always a new channel to monetize” »

Payfirma’s Michael Gokturk explains why the future of retail is multi-channel and how his company plans to enable it

Silicon Valley’s next frontier is infrastructure »

For too long, software dominated the ambitions of technology startups. Now they’re turning to making real things

“There’s a real hunger among consumers for different and better lending options” »

Borrowell’s Andrew Graham explains why marketplace lenders are hot right now and how his intends to succeed

• • • • •

These articles are part of the Next Big Thing package in the February 2016 issue of Canadian Business. Subscribe now!.

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