WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
The 2010 Ten-Year Forecast Map of the Decade benchmarked the big forces that will shape the decade: The Carbon Economy; The Water Ecology; Adaptive Power; Cities in Transition and Molecular Identity.
WHAT ARE WE SEEING?
Shaping Tomorrow argued that turbulence ahead is likely as a raft of new technologies changes the shape of the economy, the workforce, and organisations. Companies need to plan ahead to understand the new skills and job loss implications to reduce the potential disruption.
Its survey into what might change by 2020 found that, primarily, the focus was on digital transformation. The transformation will come from the combined impacts of sensors, embedded intelligence and the internet of things plus robotics and new forms of automation - especially as these move increasingly into services; not to mention social media and yet to be developed tools enabling new forms of collaboration and of intelligence arising from big data analytics. But a host of other technologies will also drive change in markets and processes - nanotechnologies, biological sciences, 3D printing/ bio-printing.
More specifically, some of the impacts of these changes may include:
- Making the workplace less and less place-specific, resulting gradually in less demand for commercial buildings, but increased demand for new organisational forms, new approaches to management and leadership, and new tools
- Intensifying competition which will continue to put downward pressure on costs, requiring companies to do more with less, faster
- Bringing robots into ever more corners of the economy, especially services starting with low level skill replacement - e.g. self-ordering/ paying via screen in shops or restaurants and automated distribution and warehousing using robots and drones, through to ever more sophisticated roles, and soon self-driving cars
- Creating an open-sourced, networked economy by enhancing our capacity to collaborate within and between companies and countries blurring boundaries and even borders, with growing numbers of self-employed people creating a DIY economy (Do It Yourself) of sharing, creating and employment
- Enabling the personalisation of and remote access to everything from MOOCS (Massively Open Online Courses) providing access to self-managed skill development to mobile devices for managing our personal and work lives.
According to further Shaping Tomorrow research [DK to summarise/update], we should expect huge technological advances that will be experienced by almost everyone on the planet, changes in driving habits and vehicle types, working modes, large scale migration to cities in many countries, continued growth and rising affluence in the developing world and the beginnings of distributed power: away from central power generation among many others. What is changing?