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Future of Resources - Insights from discussions building on an initial perspective by Suzanne Benn - UTS Business School

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The initial perspective on the Future of Resources kicked off the Future Agenda 2.0 global discussions taking place through 2015. This summary builds on the initial view and is updated as we progress the futureagenda2.0 programme. www.futureagenda.org

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Future of Resources - Insights from discussions building on an initial perspective by Suzanne Benn - UTS Business School

  1. 1.  The  Future  of  Resources        Insights  from  Discussions  Building  on  an  Ini4al  Perspec4ve  by:    Prof.  Suzanne  Benn  |  UTS  Business  School  |  Sydney  
  2. 2. Context   The  ini4al  perspec4ve  on  the  Future  of  Resources  kicked  off  the     Future  Agenda  2.0  global  discussions  taking  place  through  2015.     This  summary  builds  on  the  ini4al  view  and  is  updated  as  we  progress.   Ini4al   Perspec4ves   Q4  2014   Global   Discussions   Q1/2  2015   Insight   Synthesis   Q3  2015   Sharing     Output   Q4  2015  
  3. 3. Reaching  the  Limits   Growing  popula4ons  and  rising  consumer  demand  related  to  higher   standards  of  living  across  all  socie4es  are  increasing  consump4on  of   resources  and  we  are  in  danger  of  exceeding  the  Earth’s  natural  thresholds.  
  4. 4. More  Demand:  Less  Efficient  Produc=on   The  world’s  output  of  iron  ore  has  roughly  tripled  since  2000  and  we  now  see   declining  grades  of  ore  which  require  greater  energy  input  per  unit  of  output.   Demand  is  increasing  but  produc4on  efficiency  in  some  areas  is  declining.  
  5. 5. More,  Not  Less  Waste   While  many  aspire  to  a  zero  waste  system,  we  see  growing     volumes  of  waste  especially  in  ci4es,  par4cularly  food  waste    –  30%  of  which  is  now  thrown  away  every  day  in  Europe.    
  6. 6. Decoupling   Many  are  ques4oning  when  the  perpetual  economic  growth  model     can  be  subs4tuted  -­‐  whether  we  can  achieve  ‘prosperity  without  growth’     and  what  role  decoupling  of  these  two  can  play.    
  7. 7. Digital  Transparency   Innova4on  will  drive  improvements  in  resource  produc4vity:  Digital   connec4vity  will  provide  greater  transparency  on  how  we  use  our  resources   and  the  environmental,  social  and  financial  impact  of  their  use.  
  8. 8. Societal  Ac=on   We  may  see  a  significant  bo_om-­‐up  groundswell  of  opinion  in  society     outside  government  and  industry  that  creates  a  socio-­‐poli4cal  shi`    that  demands  ac4on  on  addressing  resource  demand.      
  9. 9. Net  Posi=ve  Impact   More  fully  embracing  the  principles  of  cradle  to  cradle  and  the    circular  economy  can  help  us  go  beyond  being  carbon,  water     or  energy  neutral  to  achieving  net  posi4ve  impact.  
  10. 10. Global  and  Regional  Agreements   While  bilateral  trading  rela4onships  are  more  probable,  the     opportunity  for  global  and  regional  agreements  has  to  be  pursued     in  order  to  show  intent  and  direc4on  of  travel.  
  11. 11. Ac=ve  Divestment   A  poten4al  change  is  the  influence  of  the  divestment  movement  which  is   currently  focused  on  persuading  ins4tu4onal  investors  to  divest  from  fossil   fuels,  but  which  in  4me  may  extend  to  investments  in  other  resources.  
  12. 12. ShiJing  The  Dial   As  our  individual  and  collec4ve  footprints  become  more  tangible  and  be_er   communicated,  bold  moves  to  shi`  the  dial  are  needed  across  the  board.     New  management  approaches  and  business  models  are  needed.      
  13. 13. Whole-­‐Life  Design     There  is  widespread  applica4on  of  processes  focused  on  lifecycle  design     that  seek  to  maximise  the  use,  reuse  and  recycling  of  materials,     components  and  products  in  order  to  minimise  end-­‐of-­‐life  waste.  
  14. 14. Poli=cal  S=mulus   Poli4cal  consensus  creates  the  condi4ons  for  a  societal  and  business  opera4ng   context  more  focused  on  resource  efficiency  -­‐  including  a  long-­‐term  focus,   fiscal  s4mulus,  skills  development  and  greater  cross-­‐border  collabora4on.  
  15. 15. What’s  Mine  is  Yours   We  see  development  and  prolifera4on  of  an  economic  system  built  around   sharing  of  human,  intellectual  and  physical  resources  that  promotes  access   rather  than  ownership  and  that  is  fuelled  by  technology  and  connec4vity.    
  16. 16. Emerging  Norms     Influen4al  developing  economies  drive  new  rules  and  prac4ces  where   individuals  and  organisa4ons  design  for  risk  and  vola4lity  -­‐  and  are     no  longer  limited  by  legacy  business  models  and  infrastructure.  
  17. 17. Seeds  of  Change   More  frequent  physical  shock,  such  as  Beijing’s  smogageddon  and  the  more   severe  early  impacts  of  climate  change,  will  finally  drive  mass  change  in  global   social  adtudes  and  mass  adop4on  of  the  ideology  of  sustainability.    
  18. 18. True  Cost  Products  and  Services   Rising  consumer  awareness  and  demands  for  transparency  mean  that  product  offers   reflect  true  costs  of  produc4on  and  resource  extrac4on.  ‘Externali4es’  throughout   value  chains  become  ‘internali4es’  -­‐  changing  the  way  we  think  about  pricing.  
  19. 19. Predictable  Conflict  and  Unusual  Alliances   Conflicts  over  scarce  resources  are  not  new  but  will  become  more  frequent,   widespread  and  ‘close  to  home’.  New  conflicts  will  lead  to  ‘unusual  alliances’   between  divergent  groups  with  mutual  interests  in  specific  resources.  
  20. 20. Weak  Governance,  Strong  Interests   Weak  leadership  and  weak  governance  over  the  best  use  of  resources  will   remain,  leaving  the  debate  to  vested  interests  and  grassroots  movements.   2025  will  be  a  cri4cal  moment  of  hindsight  on  decisions  being  made  today.  
  21. 21. Resource  Migra=on   We  will  see  mass  migra4on  con4nue  due  to  localised  scarci4es  of     essen4al  resources  such  as  food  and  water,  but  also  in  line  with  the     shi`ing  geography  of  resource-­‐driven  work  opportuni4es  and  economics.  
  22. 22. Resource  Awareness   Mass  awareness  of  the  need  to  manage  resources  sustainably  will  become   reality  but  will  arise  from  myriad  sources  (formal  educa4on,  local  campaigns,   disasters  etc.)  leading  to  global  recogni4on  but  fragmented  understanding.  
  23. 23. Waste  Not  Want  Not   Waste  will  increasingly  be  seen  as  a  useful  resource.  Bio-­‐waste  being  used  to   generate  gas  and  materials  being  re-­‐cycled  and  re-­‐used,  may  be  precursors  to   the  idea  of  processed  waste  becoming  a  product  in  its  own  right.  
  24. 24. Dematerialisa=on  of  Infrastructure   Investment  in  resource-­‐heavy  infrastructure  declines  as  big-­‐data     and  digital  networks  help  us  to  use  current  infrastructure     more  efficiently  (or  even  bypass  it  en4rely).  
  25. 25. The  Bio-­‐sphere   The  bio-­‐sphere  will  come  to  be  seen  as  just  another  resource,     albeit  one  which  demands  a  ‘give  and  take’  rela4onship  rather     than  simple  extrac4on  and  exploita4on.  
  26. 26. Future  Agenda   84  Brook  Street   London   W1K  5EH   +44  203  0088  141   futureagenda.org   The  world’s  leading  open  foresight  program   What  do  you  think?   Join  In  |  Add  your  views  into  the  mix     www.futureagenda.org  

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