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% [?]

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% [?]

People Tracking

The acceptance of being tracked by your mobile is accelerated with the adoption of ticket-less transport systems, increased surveillance and financially successful location-based services

Anyone who has used an iPhone will be aware that location services are now embedded in most smart-phones. By the start of 2010 there were over 6000 location-based iPhone apps, with 600 new ones being released every month. Equally those who may have used Google Latitude will be aware of how easy it is to see where your friends are real time on the basis of their phone location. For many the ability to be positioned by your mobile phone location may seem a new development but it has actually been used for quite some time Read more

Popularity: 4% [?]

Intelligent Highways

Mesh networks and ubiquitous mobile connections deliver the much heralded intelligent highway to improve safety and increase capacity while at the same time reducing congestion

The intelligent highway is a term used by many in the automotive industry and government bodies to describe a world where cars don’t crash, congestion does not occur and there are no accidents; a world where cars automatically detect a problem ahead and avoid it through either slowing down or taking alternative routes. Intelligent highways, when they arrive, will significantly reduce the number of deaths on the road, make travel smoother and faster and, all things being equal, means that we use less energy for mobility. The dream of transport professionals has been much discussed, has been the focus for multiple programmes over the years and led to many false starts. However, in the eyes of many, the reality is on the horizon and with forthcoming regulation, technology deployment and cooperation between manufacturers, looks like being part of our world by 2020. Read more

Popularity: 4% [?]

Switching Off

Being disconnected in an always connected world is a growing desire met by virtual cocoons at home but, in an increasingly crowded world real physical solitude becomes an option only for the rich

In one workshop it was highlighted that in an ever-present always-connected world, people will sometimes want to disconnect, to switch off and be, for a time, not available. In another it was mentioned that for many professionals today, rather than talk to their spouse, the last thing they do at night and the first thing they do in the morning is check their mobile for messages. While some find this lifestyle attractive and in many ways addictive, for others it has become apparent that it is not healthy and there must be an alternative. Read more

Popularity: 2% [?]

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% [?]

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% [?]

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% [?]

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