See the results of the Future Agenda programme on our new site

New Future Agenda Website

We have now launched the new futureagenda website on futureagenda.org – this highlights the results of the 12 month insight programme so that people, companies and governments can now use them to inform, challenge and identify new opportunities. All of the previous content from the global discussions will stay active so that you can access it but you may find that the 52 new insights provide a better starting point for you. The associated book and ebook include the same material.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Global Launch and New Website

We are now just 72 hours away from global launch event in Istanbul and the updating of this website with the new one. The new book and website both allow navigation from topic to topic as well as more conventional read through so hopefully people will find that useful as some of the linkages are quite revealing. As well as all the original content from the programme, the new website includes all of the synthesis from the new book, pdfs of each section / insight and reference material as well as links to supporting sites etc. This original wordpress site will continue to operate in the background so you can also still access the source insights from all the varied workshops and on-line comments. Lastly, the new website has been designed so that it can be embedded in other sites so we will ensure that coding for that etc is also made available.

Popularity: 41% [?]

Key Global Insights

The 52 key global insights from the Future Agenda programme have been summarised in a presentation and are now available for download. These will be detailed in the new website and book being launched in November.

As well as the 4 certainties for the world in 2020 (imbalanced population growth, key resource constraints, universal data access and Asian wealth shift), the presentation provides 6 clusters of additional insights with 8 topics in each. These clusters are health, wealth, happiness, mobility, security and locality.

Popularity: 8% [?]

Mega City States

Increasing economic competition between cities over-rides regional and national priorities as city mayors lead bolder initiatives to place their cities at the front of the global stage

In the Judge Dredd comic book series, Mega-City One is a huge fictional city state covering much of the Eastern United States linking an urban corridor stretching from Atlanta to Quebec. With a population of over 400m it is one of around 30 mega-cities which dominate the world and outside which, in Cursed Earth, there is no law. It’s true that this is an extreme view of life in the 22nd Century, but some would say that the growth and importance of mega-cities is very much a 21st Century issue. Read more

Popularity: 11% [?]

Virtual Authenticity

Trusting in the exchange of our digital credentials allows us to participate confidently in open, transparent global transactions to gain access to what we want without the hassle

Proving what is real in an increasingly complex world is seen as a significant emerging challenge by many organisations. Although individual companies and even sectors have their own solutions to the problem of verifying what is the authentic, there isn’t a simple answer to this, nor is there likely to be. While this is a major challenge in the physical world with the counterfeiting of everything from aircraft parts and pharmaceuticals to clothes and DVDs all on the rise, in the virtual world the problem is even greater. In the varied discussions around this topic during the programme a number of alternative perspectives were shared and, a significant proportion of these aligned around the crux of the issue: “In a world where it’s ever easier to make copies, the significance of authenticity is increasing, and gaining ever-greater moral value.” Read more

Popularity: 8% [?]

Choosing God

The increasing fragmentation of society and looser connection between religion and the state in some regions sees more of us turning to God to help define who we are

There has always been a desire to counterbalance choice and individual responsibility with a sense of moral certainty.  This goes some way to explain the growing trend toward faith.  As John Micklethwait and Adrain Woolridge point out in their book, “God is Back”, “In a world of ever greater competition displacement and opportunity, faith has become a useful attribute for prosperous people.  But religion also fulfils a role lower down in society providing support for those who have lost out in global capitalism or feel bewildered by it.”  This probably explains why, across the globe, belief in god is on the increase. Read more

Popularity: 4% [?]

Local Foods

Increased transparency on resource availability, food security, land use and eco-literacy accelerate the shift towards mass consumption of locally grown and processed foods

After nearly a century of interest in global foods sourced from different countries, in some regions there has been a steadily growing middle class focus on returning to locally produced foods: The organic movement, seasonal produce and “locavores” have all come on to the food industry radar in many developed world countries over the past few years.  Across the globe, in the varied workshops and conversations undertaken over the past twelve months, we can see an alignment of multiple drivers of change around food from GM crops and improved irrigation through to concerns about national food security and an increase in urban farming. Together these are leading many of us towards a global solution to food supply that is increasingly focused on the local. Although the approaches differ from region to region and state to state, a world in 2020 where more people are better fed through more intelligent use of resources is, it appears, on the horizon. Read more

Popularity: 3% [?]

Credible Sources

With greater information overload we will shift our focus from simply accessing the data to also include the source of real insight to distinguish what we trust

As connectivity increases and the information being generated around the world rises, many of us will be faced with ever more data, insight and comment that we will have to try to make sense of. As was highlighted repeatedly in the programme, “the biggest challenge is simply to manage the huge amount of data out there.” Many see that we already have too much data, are too dependent on information and this prevents us making decisions: “Too much reliance on data to guide our views has meant that we have lost intuition. Going forward we need to rise above the mass of information so that once again we can make more focused decisions.” Read more

Popularity: 2% [?]

Dense Cities

As urban migration increases, efficient, densely populated cities are the blueprints for more sustainable places to live rather than distributed options like Houston and Mexico City

Historian Tristram Hunt commented early on via the Future Agenda programme blog that “we are currently living through one of the great eras of urbanisation with the great megalopolises of China, Africa, India and South America assuming the cultural and economic dominance which Berlin, Rome, Moscow and London used to enjoy in the 19th and 20th centuries.” He sees that “after a decade of unprecedented urbanisation and industrialisation, China’s cities now resemble the nightmare metropolises of mid-19th century Britain. Accounts of the pollution, ill-health, and overcrowding in Nanjing or Chengdu eerily recall the worst excesses of 1840s Manchester or Glasgow.” But at the same time, the same cities will offer the opportunity to meet the challenges of rapid urbanisation as “many of them also provide the seeds for solving our climate crisis. For the world’s developed cities are coming under increasing pressure from their informed, engaged citizenry to mitigate their environmental impact. And they also contain the technical and innovative capacity to address the problem. So, Berlin has managed to cuts its carbon emissions by 15% and Toronto by some 40% over the last fifteen years. In London, Ken Livingstone successfully developed a pioneering climate change strategy which led to a 19% drop in C02 emissions from traffic inside the congestion charge zone.” Read more

Popularity: 34% [?]

Corporate LEGO

With more free agents and outsourcing, non-core functions within organisations are increasingly interchangeable and so more easily rebuilt around the value creating units

Organisations have already started to be more permeable and flexible. Increasing use of consultants, free-lancers and other temporary staff has blurred the boundary between employee and contractor in many large companies. In addition, the outsourcing of such functions as IT, HR, finance and other so called ‘back-office’ jobs, often to different countries, has saved money but also increased the complexity of the organisational framework. While many companies today still see themselves as entities with employees in control of a wide range of value creating and support activities, by the end of the decade more and more organisations will be networks. Read more

Popularity: 3% [?]

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