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Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

See Halcyon's unique reporting on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and contact us to discuss how we may be able to help you contribute to and/or create value from the SDGs.

Halcyon monitors, analyses and advises upon personal, organisational and societal issues and responses. Contact us to discuss how we may be able you deal with these issues and develop your own responses.

Follow Halcyon's forthcoming 52:52:52 campaign on Twitter, which will feature 52 issues and 52 responses over 52 weeks.

Personal

Personal - i.e. problems you may face and possible responses, at the individual or small group level.

What May Change in the Future?
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Halcyon In Future 21 April 2018

 

As 2018 gathers pace, it is worth examining the trends that may impact us all, over the years and decades to come. You can see how such trends may unfold, year by year, below. Please contact us for help in creating value from these trends.

What 's Changing? - Energy
Energy
Halcyon In Business 21 April 2018

 

2018

On Sufficiency
Sufficiency
Halcyon In Kal… 18 April 2018

 

 

Asserting that money must connect to your soul, activist Lynne Twist sought the truth of her relationship with “scarcity” and “sufficiency” in a series of encounters with people at the extremes of poverty, wealth, fame and anonymity. She found inspiration and resistance in the scenarios she shares from her 50 years as a global activist and a fundraiser for the Hunger Project.

What's Changing? - Conflict

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2018

  • Our World in Data analysed conflicts in which at least one party was the government of a state and which generated more than 25 battle-related deaths are included. The data refer to direct violent deaths. Deaths due to disease or famine caused by conflict are excluded. Extra-judicial killings in custody are also excluded.

 

What's Changing? - Work

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Please see below selected intelligence about work. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers in our external environment.

See also:

 

April 2018

 

March 2018

  • Automation is continuing to move income from workers to owners, according to a new study by the Brookings Institute. "Displacement need not imply a decline in employment, hours, or wages. Rather, it simply requires that the wagebill - that is, the product of hours of work and wages per hour—rises less rapidly than does value-added".

 

January 2018

  • The informal sector – the part of the economy where people work/employ without declaring it to the government –comprises 41 percent of the GDP of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. That’s a massive amount of untaxed income and unregulated working conditions.

 

January 2017

  • Forecasts on the impact of technology on the future of work are deeply polarised, creating fear of the challenges to come and inaction on new opportunities. What do we know about the transformation underway and what short- and long-term innovations hold the greatest potential to navigate these changes?

June 2016 

  • Asking "what’s the future of the workplace?", an MIT professor predicted that new technologies will enable more decentralised decision making and ultimately more freedom in business. 

 

 

May 2016 

 

 April 2016 

 

 

 

March 2016 

  • About 200 million people are unemployed globally, according to BCG. As a result of demographic shifts, there will be a need for 600 million new jobs over the next 15 years to keep current employment rates stable, particularly in Africa and Asia. At the same time, many companies cannot fill positions because applicants lack the right skills, especially in developing countries.

  

 February 2016 

  

 

January 2016 

 

 

 

December 2015

 

 

 

  • A new book, The Refusal of Work, argues that the time has to come to challenge the work-centred nature of society. The author, David Frayne, an academic who looks at consumerism and radical approaches to work, describes the powerful view that jobs are an expression of our creativity and selves. There is for some, a religious devotion to work. He writes: “Gratifying work is a fantasy that we have all been trained to invest in, ever since our teachers and parents asked us what we wanted to ‘be’ when we grew up.” Moreover, he argues that “those activities and relationships that cannot be defended in terms of economic contribution are being devalued and neglected”. How different this is from economist John Maynard Keynes’s prediction in 1930 that in 100 years we would devote most of our week to leisure.

 

  • Real estate billionaire Jeff Greene warned that technology will kill white-collar jobs. He says new forms of technology will only exacerbate the growing gap between the rich and the poor, because, he claims, we have left ourselves unprepared for the inevitable automation of many jobs traditionally done by humans. He said: “What globalisation did to blue collar jobs and the working class economy over the past 30 or 40 years, big data, artificial intelligence and robotics will do to the white collar economy - and at a much, much faster pace.”

 

 

 

November 2015

 

  • The European Commission, together with the European Business Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR Europe), launched the European Pact for Youth, a mutual engagement of business leaders and the EU to improve the chances for young people of getting a job, at the Enterprise 2020 Summit. The Pact is an appeal to all business, social partners, education and training providers and other stakeholders to develop or consolidate partnerships in support of youth employability and inclusion.

 

 

 

 

  • The OECD unemployment rate was stable at 6.7% in September 2015, 1.4 percentage point below the January 2013 peak. Across the OECD area, 40.9m people were unemployed, 8.0m less than in January 2013, but still 6.4m more than in July 2008, immediately before the crisis. The euro area unemployment rate declined by 0.1% to 10.8%, its lowest level since January 2012. Within the euro area, the largest fall was in Spain (down to 21.6%, now having decreased every month for two years). The unemployment rate in September was stable in Japan (at 3.4%) and in the US at 5.1%), while it increased in Canada (to 7.1%). More recent data show that in October 2015, the unemployment rate fell by 0.1% in the US (to 5.0%) and in Canada (to 7.0%).

 

 

October 2015

 

 

  • In One Algorithm to Rule Them All, strategy+business argued that we’ll likely see is unemployment creeping up, downward pressure on the wages of more and more professions, and increasing rewards for the fewer and fewer that can’t yet be automated. Meanwhile, in Will automation replace our jobs?, the professor of management practice at London Business School, discussed the impact of automation trends in the workplace, and in particular how this will affect the work of internal communicators.

 

 

 

 

  • Looking much longer-term, in On the Edge of Automation, in five hundred years from now, claimed venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, fewer than 10 percent of people on the planet will be doing paid work.

 

 

  • KPMG’s recent piece, Bots in the Back Office: The Coming Wave of Digital Labour explored the ‘withering’ BPO industry. KPMG’s report said “The concept of labour arbitrage as the primary value lever of business process outsourcing (BPO) is dying. The geographic discussion is giving way to automation."

 

 

  • The EU28 unemployment rate was 9.5% in August 2015, stable compared to July 2015, and down from 10.1% in August 2014 - details.

 

 

 

September 2015

 

 

 

 

 

August 2015

 

 

 

 

  • As Europe’s post-crisis workers live through huge labour market upheaval, with growing numbers surviving on short-term contracts, the Financial Times analysed what this means for young people, business and the economy. The FT believes that, in Europe, the increase in temporary work is sinister, as it reflects a rise in precariousness rather than autonomy.

 

 

 

 

July 2015

 

 

 

 

  • Unemployment across emerging markets has risen sharply this year, reversing a six-year slide, even as it has continued to fall in developed countries. The figures compound a worsening slowdown in emerging markets, driven by a fall in commodity prices and a pullback in global trade, which threatens to drag consumer spending down.

 

 

 

 

June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

May 2015

 

 

 

 

 

April 2015

 

 

 

 

 

January 2015

 

 

 

 

 

November 2014

 

 

 

  • Tower Watson's The 2014 Global Workforce Study: Driving Engagement Through a Consumer-Like Experience provided a detailed view into the attitudes and concerns of workers globally, with responses from 32,000+ employees across a range of industries in 26 markets. Key findings: (a) just four in 10 employees are highly engaged, so there is room for improvement, (b) regardless of employee age, base pay is the reason most frequently cited by employees for joining or leaving a company and (c) 41% of employees cite job security as a key reason to join a company.

 

 

October 2014

 

 

 

 

  • In The Future of the Workforce - a world of contingencies, Shaping Tomorrow argued that the changes in both the nature and skills required of employees and the dynamics in the global labour market are creating both uncertainty and opportunity. Many labour trends have been stable for long periods of time, yet are now entering a period of greater change. Contingent workforces are on the rise. For example: businesses will face a shrinking workforce and fiercer competition for skilled workers; many service industries may shed much of their workforceto automation and more of the workforce may be located in service sectors and the average output per worker (and thus average productivity in the economy) will rise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 2014

 

 

 

 

August 2014

 

 

 

  • The informal sector – the part of the economy where people work/employ without declaring it to the government –comprises 41 percent of the GDP of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. That’s a massive amount of untaxed income and unregulated working conditions.  

 

December 2015

 

 

 

  • A new book, The Refusal of Work, argues that the time has to come to challenge the work-centred nature of society. The author, David Frayne, an academic who looks at consumerism and radical approaches to work, describes the powerful view that jobs are an expression of our creativity and selves. There is for some, a religious devotion to work. He writes: “Gratifying work is a fantasy that we have all been trained to invest in, ever since our teachers and parents asked us what we wanted to ‘be’ when we grew up.” Moreover, he argues that “those activities and relationships that cannot be defended in terms of economic contribution are being devalued and neglected”. How different this is from economist John Maynard Keynes’s prediction in 1930 that in 100 years we would devote most of our week to leisure. 

 

  • Real estate billionaire Jeff Greene warned that technology will kill white-collar jobs. He says new forms of technology will only exacerbate the growing gap between the rich and the poor, because, he claims, we have left ourselves unprepared for the inevitable automation of many jobs traditionally done by humans. He said: “What globalisation did to blue collar jobs and the working class economy over the past 30 or 40 years, big data, artificial intelligence and robotics will do to the white collar economy - and at a much, much faster pace.”

 

 

 

What's Changing? - Food

Food

 

 

Understanding food - where it comes from; how to get it to everyone who needs it in a cost-effective but sustainable way; what's healthy and what isn't - has never seemed a more urgent challenge.  Halcyon is therefore monitoring key food-related trends around the world.