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% [?]

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: 40% [?]

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: 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% [?]

Systemic Euthanasia

The escalating economic and social costs of supporting ageing beyond natural lifecycles leads to wider acceptance of assisted suicide for those who have had enough

Given the certainty of imbalanced population growth and the increasingly ageing population, some claim that there are people born today who, if they wish, could live for over 200 years. With the current record at 120 and a host of people already living past 115 , there is little doubt that, with technology advancing as quickly as it is, physically adding another 80 years or so is looking possible. Whether or not mental capacity can be sustained for that long may be a greater challenge, but the world will certainly get used to more and more centenarians; in the UK alone there are over 9000 of them today. Read more

Popularity: 11% [?]

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% [?]

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% [?]

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