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% [?]

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% [?]

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% [?]

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% [?]

Solar Sunrise

Increasing national government focus on energy security and climate change drives the uptake of large-scale solar as the leading renewable supply

The combined pressures of rising global energy demand, increasing concern about climate change, greater focus on the advance of ‘peak oil’ and heightened awareness of the challenges around energy security are driving many countries to look for alternative energy sources. While long term prospects rest on technological breakthroughs and the wider adoption of nuclear energy that decrease the use of fossil fuels, as highlighted in section 1, the next decade is still very much where oil, gas and coal are the major sources of energy. With India and China growing fast, and so requiring greater energy to fuel this growth, with the US still very much “addicted to oil” and with governments yet to agree a global way forward, the energy world in 2020 will, according to International Energy Agency projections, still be over 70% fossil fuel based. 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% [?]

Electric Mobility

With France and Germany taking the initial lead roles, in parallel with the electrification of public transport, electric cars take off and form over 10% of the world’s vehicle fleet by 2020

It is has been a long time coming, but 13 years after the global launch of the Toyota Prius hybrid, a host of companies have all electric vehicles slated for launch over the next few years. The alignment of technology development, targeted incentives and economies of scale together with a fundamental change in consumer sentiment has started the ball rolling towards a future where electric mobility has a significant role in global transportation. By 2020, experts predict that nearly a third of all cars being sold will be electric and that electric cars will form over 10% of the world’s vehicle fleet. Read more

Popularity: 27% [?]

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% [?]

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