Supercities. Nanotech. Robotics. The future of the UK

HSBC’s Future of Business report predicts that the economic downturn, alongside increased emphasis on internationalisation will profoundly alter the UK’s "business map" as the 21st century unfolds.

It forecasts a new regional geography with the birth of five new "supercities" and a map of tomorrow populated by nanotech and cybernetics with a growing emphasis on bio and tech sciences driven by new economic income streams.

According to the report’s author, Martin Raymond, these changes are being driven by the recession, which will create an emphasis on interpersonal skills in business; technological advances; the demand for new and flexible ways of working; more trade taking place across international borders, and a rise in entrepreneurship.

Raymond says: "In the last decade, the notion of the ‘culture capital’ became a buzzword, as cities such as Cardiff, Newcastle, Gateshead, London and Liverpool worked with so-called ‘starchitects’ such as Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Wilkinson Ayre to create business opportunities and global profiles. We are about to see innovation, technology and wireless connectivity being used in the same way, according to our panel of experts.

“They predict the rise of ‘supercities’ and regions such as Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool and Brighton over the next 20 years. These supercities and regions will derive their status, income and prestige from new economic income streams such as biotech, stem cell research, innovation, gaming and even alternative work practices and business models.”

The report also identifies four new types of entrepreneur that are set to capitalise on the current environment.

Transpreneurs, "an elite new breed of super-global entrepreneur with connections and workspaces all over the world", are set to dominate the British business environment. Followed by Referral Economists: commercially-minded folk who have emerged from the social networking boom, are "always on" and are building businesses on word-of-mouth alone. The Slash Slash Careerist is the product of the MySpace School of business. They see themselves as brands and their customers as fans. And last, but not least, the Collaborateer. The Collaborateer walks the fine line between information and piracy. Everything is negotiable and capitalism is paramount.

Which one are you?

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