Introduction and Initial Thoughts
I t d ti d I iti l Th ht
Context of Programme
Context of Programme
The Future Agenda is cross‐discipline programme which aims to unite the best
h d d l h h h b
minds from around the globe to address the greatest challenges of the next
decade. In doing so, it is mapping the major issues, identifying and discussing
potential solutions, suggesting the best ways forward and, we hope, as a
consequence, will provide a platform for collective innovation at a higher level
than has been previously been achieved.
The Future Agenda programme is bringing together a wide audience of global
expertise, in order to gain a clearer vision of the future in a dynamic and
accelerated manner and to collaboratively address the key challenges we all face
between now and 2020.
All participants in this programme are free to use the material on the website
(www.futureagenda.org) as they wish as long as they reference the source.
( f d ) h ih l h f h
Topics Being Addressed
Topics Being Addressed
The Future Agenda Programme is covering 16 key topics:
• Authenticity • Health
• Choice • Identity
• Connectivity • Migration
• Cities • Money
• Currency • Transport
• Data • Waste
• Energy • Water
• Food • Work
The following pages highlight some of the initial views on these
Authenticity has great salience in our times because new information
and communication technologies have greatly expanded the
scale and scope of the inauthentic.
We are seeing a changing balance between variety and cost.
Consumers are making a trade‐off in a smart way
and cost is winning over variety.
Can planners adapt with sufficient speed to create policies which address the
challenges we face? There seems to be a disconnect between the complexity
of challenges of the urban age and our current set of solutions.
The internet has finally gone mobile.
In 2010 the number of subscribers reaches 1bn.
By 2020 there may well be as many as 50bn devices connected to each other.
The introduction of a broad‐basket ACU (Asian Currency Unit) as the third
global reserve currency will provide the world with the opportunity to
more appropriately balance economic influence and trade.
As we move on from web 2.0 to web 3.0 and beyond, we have many opportunities
but also challenges ‐ such as how to filter good information from bad,
and whether the Web can really have truly global societal impact.
The global energy system sits at the nexus of some of the deepest
dilemmas of our times: prosperity versus poverty; globalization versus security;
and growth versus the environment.
In the next decade, the world economics of food will change and food will
change the economics of the world. Investment in food production,
research and technology development must become a priority.
The next ten years is not likely to be the time for change, but instead a time that
“stressors” on the system become progressively evident. Increased burdens
of demography and chronic illness will remain unabated.
The main issues for us to address going forward are the
challenges associated with the complex impact of
identity and identities in communities.
We need compromise between polarised positions that seek to
classify migration as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – or between positions
that see migrants as ‘deserving’ or ‘undeserving’.
It is the means of exchange that is most immediately subject to the pressure
of rapid technological change, particularly since we are at one of those
inflexion points that come along from time to time.
We live in a world at the point of significant change:
Around half of us recognise that we need to travel less,
just at the same time as the other half want to travel more.
As well as putting a huge strain on resources such as fresh water and energy,
another billion or so people added to the planet in the next ten years
will certainly demand more and so create more waste.
Unlike most of the resources we consume there is no alternative for water –
it is the only natural resource with no substitute. Today over 6bn people
share the same volume of water that 1.6bn did a hundred years ago.
As income increases in India, China, Brazil, and elsewhere,
growth in demand for skilled services will occur
disproportionately in these emerging economies.
Sixteen parallel discussions are now all underway:
Global experts are adding their views.
The more who join in the better the debate and
everyone who participates can use the insights.
So, go on, give it a go… take a look, see what others
are saying ‐ add your comments and share your views.
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