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 – 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: 42% [?]

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% [?]

Turkey launches own Future Agenda

Ahead of the rest of the world, Vodafone Turkey has launched its own version of the Future Agenda programme today in Istanbul. To kick start the programme fourteen business leaders have contributed their views on topics ranging from the future of currency, future of air travel and future of education through to more specific issues such as mass medical tourism, electric mobility, migration magnets, water management and live experiences.

A dedicated website ( is sharing the initial views and, as the programme goes forward, will act as a focus for new insights from the events and discussions taking place over the next months. All initial perspectives were filmed and a montage of the interviews are included on the homepage.

Popularity: 14% [?]

Richer Poorer

Widening differences in wealth generation between and within urban and rural communities extends the gap between rich and poor, and the have and have-nots – but they need each other

According to the UN, in recent years the gap between richer and poorer households has widened in most areas of the world despite strong economic growth that has created millions of jobs. This has applied not only in the gaps between some rich countries and some poor ones, but also within many nations: The rich / poor gap in the US has increased just as it has in Brazil. This has been driven by a number of factors, many of which are increasing rather than decreasing going forward. Urbanisation is perhaps the most significant issue. The ways in which governments use taxation and spending on social activities to redistribute wealth show little sign of changing; nor do the effects of access to education as a catalyst for greater differentiation of opportunity. Over the next decade, many experts across the world see that the gap between the haves and the have-nots will grow, even though there will be ever more inter-dependency, in some areas, between wealth-generation across the social spectrum. Read more

Popularity: 4% [?]

Mobile Money

Proven systems built on mobile connectivity and increasingly flexible means of financial exchange provide a tipping point in the shift towards the cashless society

The ability to replace cash with digital money transferred by mobile phone has been one of the big ‘next big things’ for well over a decade now. Proponents have been predicting widespread use of mobile payments for a range of activities from transportation ticketing and buying a can of Coke for years and have seen that this would all take off in the technology savvy European markets, probably led by partnerships between banks, IT firms and mobile operators. What few recognised was that regulation and willingness by consumers to make the shift would be such a barrier and what even fewer saw was that serving the unbanked in Africa would be the catalyst for change. Today, with more money flowing around Africa by mobile phone, the adoption of micro-payment systems spreading globally and associated regular coverage of the impacts in the FT, WSJ and the Economist, many now believe that we really are at a point of change. Read more

Popularity: 2% [?]

Local Currency

The revitalisation of bartering, decreased trust in banks and increasing avoidance of higher taxation broadens the adoption of alternative stores of value for trade in regional and virtual communities

Allied to the changing role of money globally, several commentators see a rise in the wider adoption of what have been labelled as local currencies. Over the next decade, more people will probably prefer to use more regional, local or even personal currencies. Local currencies have been attracting a lot of attention and there is history in this space ranging from Local Exchange Trading Systems, frequently derided as ‘babysitting tokens’, to Time Banks and so on. However, the next generation of money may be more about so called ‘alternative currency’ rather than a return to the approaches of the past.

There have been many variants of local currencies within specific areas for some time but most of these have been limited in terms of scalability. For example, Disney Dollar banknotes are issued and accepted in Disney theme parks and carry pictures of characters including Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Goofy. In South Korea, Samsung employees have also been partially paid in the form of company currency which can be spent in Samsung owned stores. Equally but less officially, within prisons cigarettes have been a long standing form of currency. Read more

Popularity: 1% [?]

Third Global Currency

A great event in Delhi on Monday focused in deep on the issue of the future of currency and built on the initial view. Here is where we are after this discussion:

With the rise of Asia, a decline of the Euro and greater debt, an alternative to the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency will emerge – most likely is a parallel broad basket ACU currency Read more

Popularity: 4% [?]

Future of the Village – Part One

Much of what has been discussed in the Future Programme so far has focused on many of the macro drivers of change and their impact within large centres of population. Given trends such as imbalanced population growth, increasing urbanisation and pervasive connectivity, it is worth asking what the key changes will be outside the cities? To address this question, three workshops are taking place in villages around the world to bring together a different perspective on the emerging future – one in Ghana, one in India and one in the UK. The first of these took place on Saturday in the Red Lion pub in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell – a typical Oxfordshire village around an hour from London. Using a number of key topics from the initial perspectives as stimulus, we discussed the probable impacts and implications of the changes the next decade will bring. Read more

Popularity: 3% [?]

End of Chimerica

Linking across numerous topics from a future influence perspective, but also with specific influence to the future of currency, a new working paper from HBS is well worth a look. It compares the current US / China relationship with the previous export led rise of Germany and Japan. As one would expect, Niall Ferguson and Moritz Schularisk have some useful comments to add to the mix.

Some key points include the following:

“Like many another marriage between a saver and a spender, Chimerica was not destined to last. We believe that the financial and economic crisis of 2007-9 has put the marriage on the rocks. The reduction in the imbalance between the United States and China – in short the dissolution of Chimerica – is now indispensable if equilibrium is to be restored to the world economy.”

“The financial crisis of 2007-2009 marks the beginning of the end of the Chimerican relationship. First, the Chinese authorities understand that heavily indebted American consumers cannot be relied upon to return as buyers of Chinese goods on the scale of the period up to 2007. Second, the Chinese dislike their exposure to the U.S. dollar in the form of close to two trillions of USD-denominated reserve assets.”

Read more

Popularity: 4% [?]

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