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Global business and technology think-tank FutureWorld has crafted a series of bold scenarios of the world beyond 2020, intended to create powerful debates around their impact on business, government and society.
So says FutureWorld founder and author Wolfgang Grulke: “We see a world ‘beyond 2020′ that is the most competitive ever. It’s a world in which taking risks is safer than doing nothing. Incrementalism will simply not cut it anymore.” Very few organizations are preparing for a radical future. “It’s a reality of life that the future is never urgent – until intrepid leaders make it so,” said Grulke.
So what awaits us in the World Beyond 2020?
A quarter of retail products are manufactured (3D-printed) at the point of use. Many expensive ‘products’ have morphed into free ‘services’.
75% of all retail is online. Malls are entertainment for the rich. Most business processes are audited in real time.
Everything that can be automated is. And customer service has been ‘outsourced’ to the people who know it best – customers themselves.
Bio and nanotech industries have revolutionised healthcare and disease prevention. Those who will live to 200 have already been born. Now there is talk of life beyond 500.
Age and experience no longer equals power. Youngsters commit the largest crimes (mostly electronic), are fighting virtual wars and managing the most complex investment portfolios.
In this world of ‘digital plenty’, the idea of the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is out-dated – there are only the ‘haves’ and the ‘want-nots’.
Everything we do in business and in our personal lives is stored in The Cloud and available anytime, anywhere and on any device.
Being connected is everything. Even the smallest business has access to virtually unlimited computing power and sophisticated software, in the cloud. New competitors are turning old industries upside-down.
‘Eco-wars’ have polarised the world. Only the previously rich West still has green passions, but can’t afford the consequences.
Water is the new scarcity and the new opportunity. Legislation gives every product a ‘water index’. Bottled water is now the preserve of the ultra-insensitive.
Leaders have learnt to thrive in a ubiquitously open and transparent world – beyond the luxury of hierarchies and control. They understand the future as well as the past. They network their dreams and inspire followership.
The detail behind these scenarios, and more, a downloadable presentation and hundreds of ‘MindBullets’ are available online.