In the midst of all the current uncertainty, many people are seeking greater clarity around how the future may unfold – both globally and locally. Therefore, as part of the World in 2030 project, we have curated a specific perspective on the UK in 2030.
As with all our Open Foresight projects, UK 2030 is built through dialogue with informed individuals holding alternative outlooks on how things may unfold. This PDF provides an initial collation of some of their views on what is certain, probable and possible. We will use it to initiate further period of consultation over the next month.
With this in mind we would very much welcome your thoughts – especially around the areas that you agree with, those you disagree with and your suggestions about what is missing. Your knowledge will add both richness and depth to this point of view. We will share an updated and more detailed summary before Christmas. The ambition is that this can then be used to both inform and challenge assumptions so we can all gain a clearer perspective on the future of the UK.
The UK in 2030
Key Shifts and Alternative Futures – An Initial View for Debate
Purpose of this Point of View
What will the UK be like in 2030 post-Covid, post-Brexit and post-Johnson?
What changes are already locked-in and what is open to future variation?
This is the starting point for exploring potential shifts for the next decade.
In times of uncertainty, having a clear view of the next decade is a challenge.
However, if we differentiate between the certain, the probable and the possible
we can build a clearer picture of the future of the UK to challenge assumptions.
What We Know
Based on detailed forecasts by multiple independent and government bodies,
we know that there are several issues about the UK in 2030 of which
we can be increasingly confident, if not absolutely 100% certain.
A Changing Demographic
By 2030, the UK will have the fastest growing and second largest population in
Europe: SE England will be the main centre of this growth. Society will be ageing
faster and proportionally we have fewer children. It will also be more diverse.
Emphasis on the Local
With more single households, sustained working near home and delayed
retirement, many seek to make more of their local communities.
Finding common interest and activities is a priority for several.
By 2030, the UK will have dropped outside the world’s top ten economies.
The service sector dominates further with most income focused on the South.
Public and private investment prioritise more diverse future opportunities.
Accelerating to Zero Carbon
As the tangible impacts of climate change such as more frequent flooding,
hotter summers and shorter winters are accepted, resilience is a priority.
The UK achieves 100% renewable energy supply for the majority of year.
Continuing a trend, the UK is more unequal with a rising GINI coefficient. The
share of income for the top 1% grows further, with the middle and lower classes
having less disposable income. Health and education inequality also increase.
By 2030, 5G will be available to 90% of the UK population with 6G launching.
The digital divide narrows as low-cost access is delivered as a common
ambition. Questions on data transparency, value and control however remain.
Three Alternative Futures
As the UK deals with the aftermath of Covid, Brexit and the advent of a new
King, more independent regions and new trading relationships, there are
different future pathways emerging of what the nation may be like by 2030.
UK 2030 Future Pathway A: Free Trade Champion
A low tax, low regulation Britain is open to unrestricted global trade.
Technology innovation and service sector growth drive increasing GDP with
benefit shared through regional infrastructure projects and skills development.
UK 2030 Future Pathway B: Healing Communities
A regrouping around core shared values is at the heart of communities starting
on a journey of reconnecting. New collaborations seek to reignite the economy,
overcome recent conflict and rebuild a collective future national identity.
UK 2030 Future Pathway C: Regions Realigning
After the fragmentation of the UK, different regions are variously moving
forward. Some gain from accelerated re-integration with the EU and more self-
governance while others struggle with anger and resentment as inequality rises.
Your Perspective on the UK in 2030?
What do you think? What will be the most significant change and how will this
play out over the next decade? Please add your perspective into the mix and
they can be included in the updated, more detailed, shared view in December.
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