This is a presentation on how governments, companies and cities are using foresight and insight to place better future growth bets. Linking together recent research on radical innovation from www.innovationleaders.org and some of the key insights from the Future Agenda project, it aims to share views, stretch thinking and stimulate debate on areas of future focus and how best to deliver. It is being presented first on 29 March in Amsterdam
Making More Intelligent Bets
Insights on Future Innova0on Opportuni0es
29 March 2017 The world’s leading open foresight program
Foresight and Insight
Many see that beCer foresight and insight are pivotal
capabili0es that enable leading companies to both make more
intelligent bets and successfully scale them to have major global impact
Organisa0ons increasingly want to iden0fy and understand both the
an0cipated and unexpected changes so that they can be beCer
prepared for the future and see new opportuni0es early.
The Future Agenda is the world’s largest open foresight program.
Run as a global dialogue across all con0nents, it accesses mul0ple views of the
next decade so we can all be beCer informed and so s0mulate innova0on.
Future Agenda in Numbers
The ﬁrst Future Agenda programme engaged a wide range of views in
25 countries. Future Agenda 2.0 has doubled the face-to-face interac0on
and signiﬁcantly raised online sharing, debate and discussion.
Future Agenda 1.0
Future Agenda 2.0
Over 1 trillion sensors are connected to mul0ple networks: everything that can
beneﬁt from a connec0on has one. We deliver 10,000x more data 100x more
eﬀec0vely but are concerned about the security of the informa0on that ﬂows.
Imbalanced Popula5on Growth
A growing popula0on adds another billion people but it is also rapidly ageing:
a child born next year will live 6 months longer than one born today. While
migra0on helps to rebalance, increasing dependency ra0os challenge many.
Key Resource Constraints
Economic, physical and poli0cal shortages of key resources increase and drive
increasing tension between and within countries. As we exceed the Earth’s
natural thresholds, food and water receive as much focus as oil and gas.
ShiSing Power and Inﬂuence
The centre of gravity of economic power con0nues shiaing eastwards, back to
where it was 200 years ago. Recent superpowers seek to moderate the pace of
change but the reali0es of popula0on and resource loca0ons are immoveable.
The escala0ng cost of healthcare is further stressed by the need to support
the old and the chronically ill. Spending 20% of GDP on healthcare is seen as
unsustainable so hard decisions are taken around budgets and priori0es.
Rising air pollu0on in many ci0es is killing people and becomes
a visible catalyst for changing mind-sets and policies across
health, energy, transporta0on and urban design.
The shia to fully autonomous transport is an evolu0on via truck platoons on
highways and small urban delivery pods. Connected cars create the network
and test the technologies for the eventual revolu0onary driverless experience.
Mass urbanisa0on, reduced ac0vity and poor diets are accelera0ng the
rise of obesity. Levels of obesity in most ci0es are growing fast and the
associated healthcare burden will soon account for 5% of global GDP.
Individuals recognize the value of their digital shadows, privacy agents curate
clients’ data sets while personal data stores give us transparent control of
our informa0on: We retain more ownership of our data and opt to share it.
The Changing Nature of Privacy
As privacy is a public issue, more interna0onal frameworks seek to govern the
Internet, protect the vulnerable and secure personal data: The balance between
protec0on, security, privacy and public good is increasingly poli0cal.
Truth and Illusion
The Internet has democra0sed knowledge and changed the nature of who we trust
and why. As conﬁdence in large organisa0ons declines the search for trustworthy
alterna0ves evolves. What we believe is changing how we behave.
Broader access to improved educa0on acts as a major catalyst for
empowerment, sustained economic growth, overcoming inequality and
reducing conﬂict. We need an educa0on system ﬁt for the digital revolu0on.
Rising Youth Unemployment
With unemployment rates over 50% in some na0ons, access to work is a rising
barrier. Especially across North Africa, the Middle East and southern Europe,
a lost genera0on of 100m young people fails to gain from global growth.
While the global middle class grows, in the West increasing inequality for
some drives a rela0ve decline in middle-income popula0ons. Coupled with
the erosion of secure jobs, the US in par0cular sees a steadily shrinking middle.
Climate change, conﬂict, resource shortages, inequality and poli0cal elites unable or
unwilling to bring about necessary change all trigger unprecedented migra0on to the
North. Over the next 50 years, as many as 1 billion people could be on the move.
The path to a connected, accessible and distributed infrastructure is fraught
with complex, costly and risky issues: Upgrading and repurposing systems to
make them more open plus on-going maintenance need signiﬁcant resources.
The vast majority of our ci0es are not prepared for ﬂooding. Many districts
and households can no longer get ﬂood insurance and are in jeopardy.
It’s going to get worse before it gets beCer.
There are increasing high levels of man-made pollu0on
in many of the world’s seas and liCle actually disappears.
By 2050 there will be more plas0c than ﬁsh in the world’s oceans.
As service provision and consump0on becomes ever more digital, automated
and algorithmic, those brands that can oﬀer more emo0onal engagement
and human-to-human contact become increasingly aCrac0ve.
People are having to work for longer to support longer re0rements.
Flexible working prac0ces and policies are emerging, but some
employers con0nue to remain ambivalent about older workers.
With a land mass bigger than India, China, the US and Europe combined, few
doubt the scale of the African con0nent and its resources. However, un0l
recently, only some have seen it as the growth market that it is fast becoming.
Declining Government Inﬂuence
Na0onal governments’ ability to lead change comes under greater pressure
from both above and below - mul0na0onal organisa0ons increasingly set
the rules while ci0zens trust and support local and network based ac0ons.
Over the past 40 years China has grown apace, mostly without concern for
long-term environmental impacts. However, now faced with major
challenges, a bright light of sustainable development is emerging.
Standards Driving Trade
Interna0onal regula0on is progressively aimed at freeing up trade and making
it simpler and less bureaucra0c – but there are a number of agreements,
standards and protocols that some are seeing as increasingly constraining.
Cash con0nues to be gradually replaced by digital money, providing
consumers with more convenience and choice – and organisa0ons with
lower cost transac0ons. Wider adop0on enables new oﬀers to proliferate.
Increasing transparency of society’s reliance on nature, intensify
requirements for business to pay the true cost of the resources provided
by ‘natural capital’ and so compensate for their nega0ve impact on society.
Speed to Scale
Greater global connec0vity, growing consumer wealth and broader
reach all combine to accelerate the 0me to 1bn customers and a
$10bn valua0on for start-ups and new corporate ventures alike.
Minimising Food Waste
30-50% of our food is wasted either in the supply chain or in consump0on and
could feed another 3 billion. Op0mising distribu0on and storage in developing
countries and enabling beCer consumer informa0on in others could solve this.
Op5mising Last Mile Delivery
Seamless, integrated and shared last-mile delivery replaces ineﬃcient
compe00on and duplica0on of goods distribu0on. Greater eﬃciency in moving
things is as important as in moving people and so a major focus for innova0on.
Storage, and par0cularly electricity storage, is the missing piece in
the renewables jigsaw. If solved, it can enable truly distributed solar
energy as well as accelerate the electriﬁca0on of the transport industry.
Building Data Marketplaces
Data is a currency, it has a value and a price, and therefore requires a
market place. An ecosystem for trading data is emerging and anything
that is informa0on is represented in a new data marketplace.
Governance of Machines
Automa0on spreads beyond trading and managing systemic risk.
As we approach technology singularity, autonomous robots and
smarter algorithms make ethical judgments that impact life or death.
Partnerships shia to become more dynamic, long-term, democra0sed,
mul0-party collabora0ons. Compe0tor alliances and wider public par0cipa0on
drive regulators to create new legal frameworks for open, empathe0c collabora0on.
New forms of ﬂaCer, project-based, collabora0ve, virtual, informal
organisa0ons dominate - enabled by technology and a mobile workforce.
As such the nature of work and the role of the organisa0on blurs.
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