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The world in 2020

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World-renowned experts in 16 key areas, including money, work, data and cities, were invited to share their ideas on the future and make predictions (see here for the list of people involved). Their findings have been published in a book called Future Agenda: The World In 2020 – but we’ve distilled the top ten for you.

  1. Corporate lego: With more free agents and outsourcing, non-core functions within organisations are interchangeable and easily rebuilt around value-creating units.
  2. Virtual authenticity: Trusting our digital credentials allows us to participate confidentially in open global transactions to gain access to what we want, when we want.
  3. Automated people care: Robotic-assisted care and remote monitoring provides economically viable support for the sick and elderly so people can stay at home for longer.
  4. Mass medical tourism: Medical tourism goes mainstream as low-cost cardiac surgery and broader healthcare provision join dentistry and cosmetic surgery to have global impact.
  5. Dynamic pricing: Pervasive smart meters and ubiquitous tracking services create platforms for the dynamic pricing of resources, access and travel to manage demand.
  6. Lease everything: Rising sustainability issues and the increasing cost of ownership will shift the balance from ownership to access. We will prefer to rent rather than buy.
  7. Less energy: Consumers are incentivised to use significantly less energy as escalating growth in carbon emissions forces utilities to change their business models.
  8. Mobile money: Proven systems built on mobile connectivity provide a tipping point in the shift towards the cashless society.
  9. Clean shipping: Under increasing pressure to improve efficiency, growing freight shipping adopts a range of alternative policies and power systems.
  10. People tracking: The acceptance of being tracked by your mobile is accelerated by ticketless transport systems, increased surveillance and successful location-based services.

What does the world in 2020 look like to you? Comment below.

Read more about the Future Agenda by clicking here or buy the book on Amazon, RRP: £25.

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