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% [?]

Migration Magnets

Immigration is a key part of many cities’ and government’s economic development strategies so they are increasingly positioning themselves as migration magnets for feeder countries

Migration both within and between countries has been on the increase for many years and shows little sign of slowing as we move forward. As Professor Richard Black highlighted in the initial perspective on the topic:

“Although international migration has increased over the last few decades, it has done so slowly, rising from just 2% to around 3% of the world’s population over the period from 1970 to 2005.  It seems highly probable that this percentage will continue to rise slowly over the coming decade, or at least not fall, implying that by 2020 there will be more international migrants in the world than there are today. Read more

Popularity: 39% [?]

Water Management

Advanced water purification, irrigation and low-cost desalination technologies will be used in water stressed regions to help communities better manage the rising supply / demand imbalance

As highlighted in the key resource constraints chapter in section 1, water is the resource over which many governments, corporations and communities have greatest concern for the future: As populations increase and move to urban areas and as consumption rises in line with economic growth, water stress will be the main challenge for many parts of the world. Read more

Popularity: 14% [?]

Urban (Im)mobility

As greater growth, congestion and regulation impact the world’s cities, more informed choices drive shifts towards more efficient, more sustainable transport options.

Although all cities are in many ways different in terms of layout, structure and hence specific transport options available, many share similar issues and challenges around sustaining growth without gridlock. With increasing recognition not just of the efficiency and emotional problems from congestion, but also of the environmental implications, many leading mayors and supporting administrations have been taking steps to encourage citizens to make alternative choices. In many developed world cities primary challenges include encouraging people to change their existing habits and behaviours, while in the developing world it is often a case of encouraging people to make different choices around mobility that others have made in the past. With car ownership rising steadily in many nations this is no easy task. The challenge of future urban transport was examined in a number of different workshops within the Future Agenda programme – in Bangalore, Brussels, Cape Town, Delhi, London, Melbourne, Shanghai and Singapore. Across all these discussions it is clear that “it is not simply about stopping people using cars but is about improving the efficiency of car usage and providing viable alternatives;” nor is it just about “encouraging people to travel less by better co-locating home, work and leisure” or “developing wider eco-literacy.” It is about all of these and more: Urban transport is a complex issue driven by multiple different drivers on top of the geographic and cultural differences present. Read more

Popularity: 7% [?]

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% [?]

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% [?]

Intelligent Buildings

Increasingly smart, better connected, self-monitoring homes and offices provide safer, more secure, low energy consumption buildings able to self-manage heating, lighting, security and air-flow

One of the much discussed, but yet to be realised, dreams for architects, engineers and progressive developers in the idea of the zero-waste, zero-energy building: One which, in use, has zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions. As, operation accounts for 85% of the total whole-life energy consumption and buildings account for the majority of global CO2 emissions, this would be a big step forward. Alongside the design of an office, home or factory, and the materials used in its construction, a pivotal enabling issue in this aspiration is the idea of having intelligent buildings – ones which adopt low and high tech methods to ensure optimum management of resource. With major advances taking place across the ICT field, increased integration of control systems and, in some markets, regulations for the roll-out of smart meter systems, all the ingredients for the high tech option are coming into place. With several countries such as South Korea taking the lead, smart homes that control energy, ventilation, communication services and so on are starting to be built. By 2020, many see that the  majority of new buildings being constructed around the world, and many that are being refurbished, will be increasingly intelligent and so provide a big push towards the zero energy building that so many are aiming for. Read more

Popularity: 4% [?]

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