Archive for October 2011

The Impact of Economic Uncertainty on the Meetings Industry

October 24, 2011

The Impact of Economic Uncertainty on the Meetings Industry

 

Rohit Talwar – CEO, Fast Future Research

 

As an industry futurist, the biggest single issue I get asked about today is ‘how might the current economic turmoil and uncertainty impact the meetings industry? I think it’s a good thing that the industry is starting to ask these questions and think about longer term strategy – that can only be positive.

To answer the question, I believe we need to separate out what’s happening in the short term from the longer run forces driving the future of the economy.

 

Short Term Prospects

In the near term we see three things happening. Firstly many of the key economic indicators don’t look that positive for major economies such as the US and parts of Europe. Growth is flatlining, unemployment is high, personal bankruptcies are up, and lending to small to medium businesses is down.  As a result, many firms and individuals are cutting their spending in anticipation of further economic uncertainty and a possible new recession. This in turn is leading to weaker order books and some corporate events are being postponed or cancelled to control costs.

Secondly, we see firms responding to their weakening order books by doing internal motivational events to try and energise the organisation and creating customer events to try and generate new business. Also many firms are accelerating their overseas expansion efforts and so they are creating globalization related events at home and in key markets. Many in the events sector that we talk to are hanging on to these as the main sources of hope in the short term.

Thirdly, confidence has been eroded by a very poor response from politicians around the world. In Europe they have really failed to acknowledge that European Monetary Union may a ‘fair-weather solution’ that just doesn’t work for such a diverse set of economies in times of economic stress. The recent debacle in the US has also had a damaging effect on global confidence. Both sides knew the likely impact on markets of delaying a decision on raising the US deficit ceiling yet still let the wrangling run close to the wire. The markets are punishing that inaction.

 

The Cost of Short Term Thinking

Sadly for our industry, the current uncertainty is highlighting how little genuine insight many in the industry have into what drives customer demand. People still think I’m crazy when I say that venues with occupancy of 30-40% and big public subsidies just won’t survive the next five years of turbulence – we have a lot of these venues across second and third tier cities across Europe.

 

The Association Lag

For associations, the impacts often lag behind what’s happening in the economy. Events are booked with long lead times and their commercial importance to association finances mean their owners are loathe to cancel. However, many will be forced into tough decisions as hesitant members will delay their attendance decision until the very last minute. In the longer term, the big concern for associations is the retirement of older members who have grown up with live events. The generations coming through behind them aren’t so committed to the live event model and many associations are not recruiting new members at the same rate as they are retiring out.

 

Winning in a Downturn

The players that stand out will be those that can create additional revenue streams for their events and genuinely innovate on their event design. This means catering to increasing desire for a personalized experience. It also means capturing and communicating the value generated for delegates at their events – whether that be new business or the improvements they have implemented as a result of attending. Even in a downturn, there will be growth in certain sectors and new industries will start to emerge. The more innovative venues, destinations and service providers will focus some effort on identifying and attracting in events in these emerging growth sectors.

 

The Long Term Outlook

Now let’s turn to the long term. Structural problems across the developed world mean the global economy is likely to remain turbulent and uncertain for a decade or two. Massive and unsustainable levels of public and consumer debt will dominate the agenda for the US and Europe in particular. The banking system remains a largely unreformed source of risk and is unsustainable as it is currently structured. For example, there are an estimated US$700TN of derivatives contracts out there – 10 times the size of the entire global economy. S&P’s downgrading of the US credit rating from AAA to AA+ will have a negative impact across the global economy and many other countries will experience similar downgrades in the next 12 months. Efforts to cut public debt are leading to austerity measures, budget cuts and rising unemployment.

 

Inevitable Surprises

In sectors where growth is happening (e.g. web services), the scale and pace of automation means that it is often occurring without the creation of large numbers of new jobs. An ageing society and rising life expectancy are also creating massive pensions and social care time bombs that are being addressed at a very slow pace. At the same time, the emerging economies are at a different point in the economic cycle. They are establishing their economic, social and physical infrastructures and for many there is great vibrancy and high growth. History tells us that this won’t last; most of these economies will inevitably have their own problems at some point in the future. The warning signs are already evident in China.

 

Everyone Shares the Blame

The combination of forces driving the turmoil is pretty much unique. Governments and businesses across the developed world failed to address the issues as they built up – maybe because they hoped the worst would never happen or maybe because they just didn’t want to face up to the inevitable changes required. This reluctance to act is totally understandable given the immense courage it would have taken to go against the crowd and take bold action when ‘weak signals’ of the problems first started to emerge. As citizens and businesses, we must also share the blame. Many of us enjoyed the benefits of growth and wouldn’t have responded well by actions to cut public or private debt, increase taxes, extend the retirement age or curb consumer borrowing.

 

Many of the legislative changes that allowed these problems to build up were taken during a period of sustained economic growth when it seemed as though everything we touched was turning to gold. However, we didn’t reshape the economic cycle as many were suggesting at the time, and the outcomes of indecisiveness are becoming more evident. Sadly there are no quick fixes now to these deep rooted long term problems and the process of transformation will be painful.

 

The Path to Recovery

The good news is that many corporations are sitting on significant cash piles and at some point they will start to spend some of this money to invest in transforming their business. These investments will help reboot economies, drive the growth of new industries and hopefully stimulate job creation. We also expect to see a big rise in the number of new sole traders and small to medium enterprises as people decide they have to create their own jobs. Finally, governments will eventually have to face up to the need for real reform, investing in infrastructure, reforming  the financial services sector, stimulating business creation and funding the science and technology that will create tomorrow’s industries. This is not a 12-24 month process – it will take a decade or more to drive through the necessary transformations.

 

Driving the Future of the Meetings Industry

So what does all this mean for the meetings industry? The short answer is that we cannot rely on the economy to carry us forward. We have to take control of our own destiny. Even if there is a serious global downturn, meetings and events will still take place and businesses will still look to engage their customers and motivate their staff. The challenge will be to innovate on our offerings so we stand out, provide measurable value and deliver excellent learning and knowledge sharing experiences.

Perhaps the most critical challenge for the sector is to develop a range of creative new funding models that share the risks and rewards with our customers to help address their concerns over the cost of running events. I think there will also be big shake up in the sector and there will be casualties amongst those who are slow to respond. However, we will also see a number of players emerge who are real innovators – driving through successful new ideas that will influence and reshape the entire sector.

The role of leading industry shows such as Imex will become even more important as a platform to showcase industry innovation and encourage new thinking and transformation.

 

Rohit Talwar is a global futurist and CEO of Fast Future Research. He specialises in looking at the future of the meetings industry and leads the Convention 2020 study.

rohit@fastfuture.com

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New Investment Thinking – Using the Future as Filter for Investment Decisions

October 24, 2011

New Investment Thinking – 

Using the Future as Filter for Investment Decisions

Rohit Talwar – CEO – Fast Future Research

October 18th 2011

 

The current macro-economic turbulence is creating turmoil in financial markets. In the absence of clear signals that a strong recovery could be on the way, equity markets in particular lurch violently on even small news updates about the global economy and Europe’s debt crisis. For investors, it’s highly confusing to decide which asset classes to put your money into. Should you forego the analysts and rely on your own intuition, random walk methods, or the latest ‘guaranteed’ scheme landing in your inbox?

As a futurist, I have no more clue than the next person as to what the best strategies for short term returns might be. However, for the longer term, we can offer insights into the markets where we expect to see both long term growth and the funding to enable businesses to operate profitably in those sectors. Some investors have already spotted that as the global population heads past 7 billion to an estimated 9 billion or more by 2050, there is massive long-term growth potential offered by sectors such as education, food and healthcare. Here I explore three examples of future markets which we expect to see grow significantly in the decades to come.

An ageing society – We anticipate significant growth in those providing services to an ageing population. Life expectancy is rising by over 40 days a year in developed economies, and actuaries tell us that a lifespan of 100 or more will be commonplace for those under aged 50 today. Those aged over 65 also tend to have at least 50% of the wealth in most developed economies. As a result of these factors, we will see sharp increases in the range of services required to cater for the housing, health, mobility and psychological care of the over 65’s.

Manufacturing revolution – 3D or ‘additive’ printing is promising to reinvent manufacturing as we know it. Using these techniques, complex 3-dimensional objects can be printed in layers of around 100 nanometres thick – producing structures that cannot be manufactured any other way. Already objects ranging from jewellery to entire cars have been created using 3D printing. The printers themselves are falling in price and are now available for less than $5,000. This promises to revolutionize manufacturing – enabling us to purchase ‘recipes’ or create our own designs and have the product printed locally or even at home.  3D printing stations could become commonplace in tomorrow’s shopping mall.

Infrastructure – Firms offering ultra-quick construction and low ownership costs should stand to benefit significantly from the expected infrastructure boom. An estimated $30-40Tn of infrastructure investment is required over the next 3-4 decades to deliver on the needs of a growing global population – particularly in developing markets. This investment will deliver the sanitation, airports, transportation, logistics and energy infrastructure required to enable social and economic growth and development. The challenge is how to balance the infrastructure needs of cash strapped developed economies and cautious emerging nations with the expectations of infrastructure investors. One solution is to rethink the infrastructure development process itself – bringing down the timescales for construction and adopting new materials to help reduce the costs of building and running infrastructure assets. Hence, there is a growing focus on new models coming from emerging markets – such as the recent example from China of a 15 story hotel constructed in six days following the laying of foundations. China’s Broad Group claim their Ark hotel offers a cost saving of 20%, uses one sixth of the material and has five times the energy efficiency of an equivalent sized hotel, while still being able to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

Clearly, these are not short term plays and there is still a challenge around picking the right future focused businesses to invest in. However, we believe that for those focused on long term returns, it makes sense to invest the time and effort to identify the sectors with true long term growth potential.

 

 

Rohit Talwar is the CEO of Fast Future Research – a global research and consulting company that specialises in identifying future growth industries and helps governments and global companies to explore and respond to the sectors, ideas, trends and forces shaping the next 5-20 years.

rohit@fastfuture.com

 

 

Futurescape 24 – Fast Future’s 100 Predictions for 2011-2012 – Part 3 – The Winds of Change

October 24, 2011

Futurescape 24 – Fast Future’s 100 Predictions for 2011-2012 –

Part 3 – The Winds of Change

[PDF download]

Welcome to the latest edition of FutureScape in which we share the third set of our 100 predictions for the world in 2011-2012. The first two sets of predictions can be found here and here.

We’ve also had lots of enquiries about where to find our past presentations and reports. We are gradually uploading everything to Slide Share – you can find them here including my recent keynote on Airport 2030. You can also now download our recent papers on the future of airline retail and the future of secure data in the cloud.

In this edition we cover the following:

As always we welcome your feedback and contributions to future newsletters. Copies of previous editions of the newsletter can be downloadedhere

Rohit Talwar

CEO

Fast Future Research

Tel: +44 (0)20 8830 0766

Mob +44 (0)7973 405145

rohit@fastfuture.com

http://www.fastfuture.com/

http://www.convention-2020.com/

Twitter http://twitter.com/fastfuture
Blog https://widerhorizons.wordpress.com/
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/talwar
Sign up for our newsletters / Download past editions at http://www.fastfuture.com/
Watch a short video of Rohit’s keynote speech on global trends  here

1.    The Future of Social Experience

As part of a new study, we want to explore how the experiences on offer might evolve in a range of contexts such as retail, entertainment, leisure, sport, gaming, travel, the arts, museums and other related fields. Examples might include the blending of real and virtual world experiences in gaming or the ‘6D’ cinema recently launched at Schiphol Airport, where you can watch 3D adventure films in a ‘motion based seat’ with the experience enhanced through sound, wind and lighting effects.

We are casting our net widely for ideas that have been put forward in these areas and for specialists who are working on the future of these fields. We’d be grateful to hear about any examples you’ve come across or suggestions you may have for people we could talk to. Please email rohit@fastfuture.com with your suggestions.

2.    Report Launch – the Future of HR

On October 6th we launched our latest foresight study. The report on The Future of HR – Transformational Thinking for a New Era in Business explores the priorities, opportunities and challenges facing HR as it defines its role in tomorrow’s organization. A summary of the findings can be found here and the full report can be downloaded here. The research was commissioned by Hyland Software, a leading specialist in transactional electronic content management (ECM). We welcomed your feedback.

3.    Scenarios for Asia and Options for Estonia

In our previous newsletter I mentioned an excellent multi-stakeholder workshop in Tallinn exploring Estonia’s future strategy for Asia. The workshop report is now available. It outlines the scenarios for Asia developed by Fast Future and the resulting strategy options for Asia defined in the workshop. You can download it here. We welcome your feedback on the scenarios and strategy options.

You can see a video of my presentation at the event here. The presentation slides and background materials from my talk can be downloaded here.

4.    Incubating the Jobs of the Future

In the midst of the current economic turmoil there is growing debate on where the jobs of tomorrow will come from and whether we can create enough to ensure full employment for current and future generations. This issue has led to a major new uptake of interest in The Shape of Jobs to Come – our 2010 study on science and technology led professions of the future. Interest is particularly strong from Latin and Central America and Spain – where the E-Lan centre is being launched to help research and develop the professions of the future for the Basque Region. We will watch these developments with interest. A copy of our original report can be downloaded here.

5.    Adding Social Power to Small to Medium Businesses

Earlier this summer we ran a short study in partnership with Penny Power to explore the use of the Internet by small to medium businesses (SMB), and the potential for ‘social media apprenticeships’ (SMA) to help address the gap between desire and capability for these SMB’s. Our research is published as part of a broader proposition from Penny on delivering the SMA model and can be found here.

6.    Please take our Current Convention 2020 survey on the Future of Corporate and Association Meetings and Conventions

We’ve had fantastic feedback on the content of the survey and how much people have enjoyed reading it – here’s one example:

“This survey is absolutely extraordinary in its thoughtfulness and thoroughness. I have no idea how long it would have taken to create this questionnaire, but it is about the best one that I’ve seen on any topic.”

We are interested in everyone’s views – whether you attend events, own them, speak at or design and deliver them. The survey explores key trends driving the future design of these business events. It then goes on to explore the implications for event strategies, financing, meeting design, delegate experience, use of social media, technology and knowledge management.

You can find the survey here: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22D832TC536

Please share the link with colleagues who might be interested. Everyone who leaves their email address will receive a copy of the final report. The emerging findings will be presented at the following industry events:

Imex Las Vegas – October 11th -13th 2011 http://www.imexamerica.com/

The ICCA Congress Leipzig – October 22nd – 26th 2011 http://www.iccaworld.com/dbs/congress2011/
The EFAPCO Congress Estoril – January 12th – 14th 2012 http://www.efapco.eu/events/the_5th_congress_2012_estoril_portugal

The survey closes on November 30th 2011. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

7.    Presentations at Imex Las Vegas

I am going to be delivering a number of presentations sharing different aspects of the current findings of the Convention 2020 study at Imex Las Vegas 11th-13th 2011. A full list of sessions and locations is presented at the end of this email. I hope to see some of you there – please do take the time to introduce yourself.

8.    Fast Future’s 100 Predictions for 2011-2012 – Part 3 – The Winds of Change

In this latest set of predictions we explore key developments that indicate either the start or reinforcement of major changes taking place at the individual, societal and national level. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Political

1)            International institutions – new kids on the block

International institutions will come under intense pressure to reform and others will rise in prominence to reflect changes in the global distribution of economic power and influence. New alignments are emerging – for example the ASEAN[i] grouping and the Shanghai Co-operation Organization[ii] are already becoming more visible and vocal in the representation of their members’ interests. Some of the post-World War II institutions and practices will come under increasing pressure to reflect the interests of the developing world. An Asian presidency of the IMF and continuing debates surrounding a permanent Indian seat on the UN Security Council could accelerate the process of change.

2)            China’s modern military might

China’s growing military strength will become an increasing cause of international concern, for the US in particular. Over the next eighteen months we can expect to see an acceleration in the pace of reform of the Chinese military – turning it into a modern fighting force.  Key advancements will include symbolic hardware launches, such as the J-20 stealth fighter, and a modernization of the training and equipment of the rank and file soldiers.

3)            The return of gunboat diplomacy?

We expect tensions to rise in the South China seas as a result of the anticipated launch of China’s first aircraft carrier. This will seal China’s position as the dominant regional power, and cause alarm to its oceanic neighbours such as Japan and the Philippines.  Over time, we expect China to become increasingly assertive in its use of naval assets to apply additional pressure in regional diplomacy.

4)            Capitalism in crisis – time for reform?

Debate will grow over whether capitalism in its current form may have run its course and what its replacement(s) should look like. Further expected deterioration in the stability of the global economic system and a worsening sovereign debt crisis will lead increasing numbers of voters to conclude that current models of governance and government are the problem, not the solution. With many countries’ fiscal situations becoming seemingly untenable, the debate over tax rises vs. smaller government will become louder. Increasingly serious attention will be paid to the new modes and models of economic and political governance required to steer society through the decades ahead. Issues such as the purpose of an economy, inequality, human rights and needs will all feed into the debate.

Social

5)            Two thousand and grumpies

As government austerity measures set in across the more heavily indebted nations, a marked downward psychological shift will become increasingly apparent. The age of anxiety will evolve into a new grumpier era. The negative attitude shift will be fuelled by rising unemployment, withdrawal of social protections, reduction in public services and declining living standards amongst the previously comfortable middle classes. The impact will be felt in areas such as declining public trust, workplace behaviours and family dynamics.

6)            China effectively abandons the one-child policy

We expect China to quietly set aside the enforcement of its one child policy. Rapid economic growth, cultural norms and the effects of the one-child policy have created a significant age and gender imbalance which could hamper China’s progress as a global leader.  Without major public pronouncements, China will progressively ease restrictions on family size as it seeks to manage an increase in population growth. A concerted effort will be made to foster a rise in female births.

7)            A clear case for transparency?

Consumers around the world will demand increasing simplicity and clarity in everything from pricing structures to ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR). Pressure will mount for governments to step in and enforce simpler and more easily comparable pricing structures for utility providers, transport operators and mobile phone networks. The demand for clarity will extend to businesses’ social and sustainability causes.  Customers will demand transparency on what’s actually being spent and the impact of these CSR initiatives. Those guilty of false promises, green-washing or other cynical marketing campaigns will increasingly be punished at the checkout.

8)            Is University worth it?

Sharp rises in university fees across the UK and proposed rises in other countries will result in an intense scrutiny over what return students are getting on their investment.  Research from accountancy and finance recruiter Marks Sattin suggests that if faced with today’s spiralling university fees, just 40% of current accountancy and finance professionals would have gone to university[iii].  Increasing focus will be placed on the ‘value added’ by different subjects in different university faculties.  Alternative funding models for higher education will become more popular – such as the sale of entire courses via discount aggregators such as Groupon and company supported courses such as that offered by Durham University and KPMG.

9)            Experiencing the news – the rise of immersive journalism

Immersive journalism will become more popular – employing gaming platforms and virtual environments to convey news and non-fiction stories to a generation that want a more experiential approach to consuming the news. Typically these stories are set in online virtual worlds such as Second Life, making use of avatars. Immersive journalism will become increasingly mainstream, accompanied by the rise of content curators advising on where and how best to consume the news based on your personal learning and engagement preferences.

Economic

10)         The race abroad

Developing economies will receive an increasing share of all foreign direct investment (FDI) globally. A 2010 UNCTAD survey revealed that by 2012 only one of the top six FDI recipients worldwide, and only 3 of the top 10, will be a G7 economy[iv]. China, India and Brazil are forecast to be the largest recipients, with the US 4th and Russia 5th. With emerging economy infrastructure, retailing and many other market opportunities generally considered more attractive, Western multinationals will funnel their investments to where they think the growth will be. We expect this trend to deepen further, short of a hard landing for the Chinese economy.

11)         Chinese consumption accelerates

While the developing world hesitates, recycles last years’ outfits and cuts up the credit cards, the growing Chinese middle class will exercise their growing spending power. Research suggests that China will have enough purchasing power to consume 14 percent of global goods by 2015[v], up from 5 percent in 2010. As the global economy and export markets slow, the Chinese government will put greater emphasis on encouraging domestic consumption to ensure growth continues.

12)         Bountiful Baltics

The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will receive increasing attention as models of economic management and as centres for low-cost accelerated product development for European markets. Admittance to the EU and Eurozone over the past decade has highlighted the growth of the Baltic states in the post-soviet era. Although the recent economic crisis hit the Baltic states particularly hard, the region responded rapidly and is back on track for growth again.  The jewel in the crown is Estonia – ranked 33rd in the world on competitiveness, 30th on business environment and 23rd on innovation. The country has kept its budget deficit below the EU limit of 3 percent of GDP every year since joining the bloc in 2004[vi].

13)         Economists dethroned?

The disquiet with most economists’ failure to predict financial crises and the wide range of divergent views about how best to reignite the global economy will lead to growing calls for other sciences to contribute to the field.  For example, mathematicians, biological scientists and physicists all study complex systems and algorithms whose behaviour may offer better insights into the behaviour of markets and economies than traditional economic tools. These approaches are gaining serious interest in the financial markets.  We expect further new paradigms to be suggested and explored in the months ahead.

14)         Safe as houses?

The focus for professional property investors in particular will shift towards key growth cities in emerging markets where property prices will continue to rise. Despite an oversupplied US housing market and forecast price drops in some Chinese cities, real estate will still be a prime asset class for domestic and institutional investors alike. Leading and emerging global cities will still hold investment appeal for the rich looking to diversify their portfolios in the face of indecisive policy making, weak currencies and turbulent commodity prices.

Commercial

15)         Business strategy – new tools for turbulence

Businesses will increasingly begin to accept that turbulence is the new norm and start to adapt their strategies accordingly – national and local governments will take longer to adjust.  The warning signs of continued turbulence are increasing – economist  Nouriel Roubini suggest that a slowdown in China, Japan’s tsunami clean up costs, Europe’s debt crisis, and the burgeoning US deficit have a combined one third chance of damaging the global economy. The search for cost reduction, partnerships, risk sharing innovation and new business models will dominate the new strategic agenda.

16)         The new global titans

The business world will pay increasing attention to the threats and opportunities presented by ambitious and rapidly globalizing firms from the emerging economies. For example, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has identified 100 companies from rapidly developing economies that are overtaking more established multinationals in global industry rankings[vii]. BCG projects that if these new titans keep delivering average annual revenue and profit growth of 18%, they could collectively generate $8 trillion in revenues by 2020—an amount roughly equivalent to what the S&P 500 companies generate today.

17)         Aviation meets inspiration

2012 will see the airline industry globally pursue a range of new business models and strategies to bolster revenues and profits in the face of global economic uncertainty. IATA has downgraded its global airline profits forecast for 2011 to $4bn from $8.9bn in 2010. The industry is faced with continued vulnerability to the global economy, consumer uncertainty and oil price volatility and must find ways to insulate profits without damaging customer loyalty. In response the sector will invest heavily in developing new business models and ancillary revenue streams. Tactics will range from auction pricing of flight tickets to broadband enabled in-flight sales of a wide range of goods and services.

18)         Reverse innovation

We anticipate that more and more multinationals will incorporate and roll out innovations and best practices sourced from the emerging economies. Ideas such as the $10 insurance policy, $50 laptop and $2,000 car developed for relatively low income emerging markets will become increasingly relevant in more developed economies.

19)         An open embrace of innovation?

In a hesitant market, firms will increasingly embrace more open approaches to accelerate innovation and drive down costs. Opportunities will arise for those who can help customers cut costs, speed process times, reduce resource requirements and create new opportunities. To achieve low cost, high speed innovation, firms will turn to more open ‘payment by results’ approaches top generating new ideas. Concepts such an innovation contests, ideas markets, crowdsourcing, open and social supply chains, open innovation, will reinforce the trend of open networks becoming central to the business model.

20)         Morphing models

We anticipate a proliferation of new structures and models for business – particularly at the start-up level. For example, with high and rising unemployment in many towns and cities, new community based funding models may emerge as a hybrid of traditional mutual models. In return for the community investing personal savings, these new businesses will be expected to create local employment and reinvest profits to fund further start-ups.

9.    Forthcoming Events

Readers have been asking us to share more information on forthcoming events we are participating in or speaking at. Here is a selection:

Facilitator Training – Designing and Leading Effective Meetings – Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (GMT) – Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion London UK £115 http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2201540868

This facilitation training programme is led two of the best facilitators I know – Virginia Hamilton and John Baker and is offered at the incredibly low price of £115. I am already committed that day but David from our team will be taking the training and we are encouraging everyone we know to attend if they want to develop their facilitation skills.  This is how Virginia and John describe the course: “This training is for people who want improve the quality of meetings and events, help people listen to each other with trust and respect, help build shared awareness of any problem or task, increase participation, get more value for the time spent, and convene deep conversations that lead to change.”

For a full course outline please contact Virginia Hamilton at vahamilton@mac.com

Global Airport Development Conference Barcelona November 7th – 11th 2011

I will be delivering a keynote speech on Airport 2020 and running a workshop on developing future airport strategy.

NextGen 11 – The Role of Broadband in Future Economic Growth and Innovation November 15th- 16th 2011 Bristol UK

I will be delivering a session on the role of broadband in driving the next generation of growth industries.

Awards Contest. NextGen are running an awards competition to acknowledge achievements in developing and deploying better broadband. They are focusing on three categories of broadband activity – I) innovative funding solutions, II) rural leadership and community development and III) collaboration. Details can be found here and entries must be submitted by October 14th 2011. Good luck.

IQ2 If Conference – The future of architecture, dreams, walls, life and more…November 25th- 26th 2011 London, UK £299+VAT

This is one of those events I’d pay to attend even if I wasn’t speaking – the line up promises a feast of brainfood. I am delivering two keynote sessions on:

  • Electronic Highs and Virtual Lows – the digital future of narcotics
  • Virtual Experiential Travel

We have negotiated a 20% discount for the first five of our readers who book tickets for the event. Just click on the TX tickets link from the home page and then enter the code TALWAR when prompted.

http://iq2ifconference.com/tickets.html

Association CEO Workshop – Developing Future-Proofed Strategies –December 15th 9am – 2pm London UK

We are partnering with Kellen Europe to run a workshop aimed at association CEO’s to help them understand the drivers of change and develop future proofed strategies for their organisation. This will be a highly interactive and fast paced workshop. The session is being hosted by the QEII Conference Centre London. If you would like to know more about the event or are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rohit Talwar. rohit@fastfuture.com

10.    Presentations at Imex Las Vegas

I am going to be delivering the following presentations sharing different aspects of the findings of the Convention 2020 at Imex Las Vegas 11th-13th 2011 – I hope to see some of you there:

  • Monday 10th October 17.00 – 17.20: Association Day – Event Innovation – The Latest Examples from the Convention 2020 Study
  • Tuesday 11th October 10:30 – 11:15: Learning Zone – Convention 2020 – Global Business Trends and the Implications for the Meetings Industry
  • Tuesday 11th October 11:30 – 12.15: Learning Zone – Campfire – Convention 2020 – Global Business Trends and the Implications for the Meetings Industry
  • Tuesday 11th October 12:30 – 13.15: Learning Zone – Convention 2020 Session – Meeting Innovation and the Technology Timeline
  • Tuesday 11th October 16.30 – 17.30: – CEO Forum – Convention 2020 – the Future of Association and Corporate Meetings – Launch of Findings – Titian 2306, The Venetian/Palazzo Congress Centre
  • Wednesday 12th October 10.30 – 11.15: Learning Zone – Convention 2020 – Future Strategies for Venues
  • Wednesday 12th October 11.30 – 12.15: Learning Zone – Campfire – Convention 2020 – Future Strategies for Venues
  • Wednesday 12th October 12.30 – 13.15: Learning Zone – Convention 2020 – the Future of Association and Corporate Meetings
  • Wednesday 12th October 14.00 – 14.45: Learning Zone – Campfire – Convention 2020 – the Future of Association and Corporate Meetings
  • Wednesday 12th October 16.15 – 17.00: Open Session / Future Leaders Forum Convention 2020 – Emerging Industry Priorities, Strategies and Business Models – Titian 2301A, The Venetian/Palazzo Congress Centre
  • Thursday 13th October 10.30 – 11.15: Learning Zone – Convention 2020 – Future Strategies for Convention Bureaus – The Engines of Growth Seminar
  • Thursday 13th October 11.30 – 12.15: Campfire – Convention 2020 – Future Strategies for Convention Bureaus – Engines of Growth

Rohit on the Road

In the coming months I’ll be delivering client speeches, workshops and stakeholder briefings on the future of HR, digital narcotics, virtual travel, the world in 2015-2030, the future of communications, business complexity, strategic innovation, city development, the future of meetings, the future of aviation and airports, tourism futures, developing entrepreneurship, and the future for sectors such as media, retail, IT, insurance, legal services and infrastructure.

Please let me know, if you’d like to arrange a meeting, presentation or workshop on one of my forthcoming trips. I’ll be speaking in Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Bodrum, Bristol, Copenhagen, Geneva, Las Vegas, Leipzig, London and Vilnius.

About Fast Future

Fast Future is a research and consulting firm that works with clients around the world to help them understand, anticipate and respond to the trends, forces and ideas that could shape the competitive landscape over the next 5-20 years. We draw on a range of proven foresight, strategy and creative processes to help clients develop deep insight into a changing world. These insights are used to help clients define innovative strategies and practical actions to implement them.

Cover image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31543164@N08/3016497368/sizes/m/in/photostream/

[i] Members: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

[ii] Members: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

[iii] http://www.recruiter.co.uk/university-fees-big-turn-off-for-today%E2%80%99s-accountants/1010095.article

[iv] http://www.businessworld.in/bw/2010_09_07_China_India_Top_FDI_Destinations_Till_2012.html

[v] http://www.commodityonline.com/news/China-to-consume-14-percent-of-goods-by-2015-2011-06-14-39936-3-1.html

[vi] http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-06-30/euro-cuts-estonia-risk-as-prudence-rewarded-amid-greek-woes.html

[vii] http://www.bcg.com/documents/file70055.pdf

Futurescape 23 – Fast Future’s 100 Predictions for 2011-2012 – Part 2 – Big Conversations

October 24, 2011

 

Futurescape 23 – Fast Future’s 100 Predictions for 2011-2012 –

Part 2 – Big Conversations

 

Welcome to the latest edition of FutureScape in which we share the next set of our 100 predictions for the world in 2011-2012. As always we welcome your feedback and contributions to future newsletters.

 

The feedback on our increased level of activity on Twitter has been excellent and we now have over 2000 followers.

In response to demand from our followers we’ve also launched two new tweet streams –

 

https://twitter.com/#!/FutureAviation on the future of airlines and airports.

 

https://twitter.com/#!/FutureofTravel on the future of travel and tourism.

 

Copies of previous editions of the newsletter can be downloaded here.

 

 

 

Rohit Talwar

CEO

Fast Future Research

Tel: +44 (0)20 8830 0766

 

rohit@fastfuture.com

http://www.fastfuture.com/

http://www.convention-2020.com/

Twitter http://twitter.com/fastfuture
Blog https://widerhorizons.wordpress.com/
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/talwar
Sign up for our newsletters / Download past editions at http://www.fastfuture.com/
Watch a short video of Rohit’s keynote speech on global trends  here

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.    Please take our current Convention 2020 survey on the Future of Corporate and Association Meetings and Conventions

 

We are interested in the views both of those who attend business events as delegates and of those who work in the meetings industry. The survey explores key trends driving the future design of these business events. It then goes on to explore the implications for event strategies, financing, meeting design, delegate experience, use of social media, technology and knowledge management.

You can find the survey here:http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22D832TC536
Please share the link with colleagues who might be interested. Everyone who leaves their email address will receive a copy of the final report. The emerging findings will be presented at the following industry events:

 

Imex Las Vegas – October 11th – 13th 2011 http://www.imexamerica.com/

 

The ICCA Congress in Leipzig – October 22nd – 26th 2011 http://www.iccaworld.com/dbs/congress2011/
The EFAPCO Congress in Estoril – January 12th – 14th 2012 http://www.efapco.eu/events/the_5th_congress_2012_estoril_portugal

 

The survey closes on November 30th 2011. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

 

 

2.    Presentations at Imex Las Vegas

 

I am going to be delivering a number of presentations sharing different aspects of the findings of the Convention 2020 at Imex Las Vegas 11th-13th 2011. A full list of sessions and locations is presented at the end of this email. I hope to see some of you there – please do take the time to introduce yourself.

 

 

3.    Forthcoming Events

 

Readers have been asking us to share more information on forthcoming events we are participating in or speaking at. Here is a selection:

 

Facilitator Training – Designing and Leading Effective Meetings – Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (GMT) – Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion London UK  £115 http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2201540868

 

This facilitation training programme is led two of the best facilitators I know – Virginia Hamilton and John Baker and is offered at the incredibly low price of £115. I am already committed that day but David from our team will be taking the training and we are encouraging everyone we know to attend if they want to develop their facilitation skills.  This is how Virginia and John describe the course: “This training is for people who want improve the quality of meetings and events, help people listen to each other with trust and respect, help build shared awareness of any problem or task, increase participation, get more value for the time spent, and convene deep conversations that lead to change.”

 

For a full course outline please contact Virginia Hamilton at vahamilton@mac.com

 

 

Global Airport Development Conference Barcelona November 7th – 11th 2011

 

I will be delivering a keynote speech on Airport 2020 and running a workshop on developing future airport strategy.

 

 

NextGen 11 – The Role of Broadband in Future Economic Growth and InnovationNovember 15th- 16th 2011 Bristol UK

 

I will be delivering a session on the role of broadband in driving the next generation of growth industries.

Awards Contest. NextGen are running an awards competition to acknowledge achievements in developing and deploying better broadband. They are focusing on three categories of broadband activity – I) innovative funding solutions, II) rural leadership and community development and III) collaboration. Details can be found here and entries must be submitted by October 14th 2011. Good luck.

 

 

IQ2 If Conference – The future of architecture, dreams, walls, life and more…November 25th- 26th 2011 London, UK £299+VAT

 

This is one of those events I’d pay to attend even if I wasn’t speaking – the line up promises a feast of brainfood. I am delivering two keynote sessions on:

 

·         Electronic Highs and Virtual Lows – the digital future of narcotics

·         Virtual Experiential Travel

 

We have negotiated a 20% discount for the first five of our readers who book tickets for the event. Just click on the TX tickets link from the home page and then enter the code TALWAR when prompted.

http://iq2ifconference.com/tickets.html

 

 

Association CEO Workshop – Developing Future-Proofed Strategies –December 15th 9am – 2pm London UK

We are partnering with Kellen Europe to run a workshop aimed at association CEO’s to help them understand the drivers of change and develop future proofed strategies for their organisation. This will be a highly interactive and fast paced workshop. The session is being hosted by the QEII Conference Centre London. If you would like to know more about the event or are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rohit Talwar rohit@fastfuture.com

 

 

4.    Estonian Development Fund – Asia Foresight Workshop

 

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a futurist is running workshops that help you see the world through other people’s eyes. The latest of these last Friday was truly exceptional in terms of the level of participant engagement, the passions generated, the quality of the discussion and the value of the ideas that emerged. I was invited by Arengufond – the Estonian Development Fund – to run a cross-sectoral workshop to help Estonia explore how it should respond to developments in Asia. Participating were Estonian MP’s, senior civil servants from the Prime Minister’s office, and the economic and foreign ministries, local business people, academics and Arengufond. Estonia’s recent history as part of the former Soviet Union has a clear bearing on how it views its future and leads to a strongly expressed desire to maintain political and economic independence.

 

The session started with a context setting presentation from me to a larger forum of around 35 people. The talk looked at key drivers and possible scenarios for Asia over the next decade. The bulk of the time was then spent with a core of 21 people who stayed on to develop and discuss a range of possible Asia strategies for Estonia – ranging from no explicit engagement to serious courtship. The resulting outline strategies explored issues as diverse as Estonia’s economic priorities, educational implications, natural resource protection, cultural legacies, human rights, the pace of change and the role of diplomacy.

 

For me the most exciting and encouraging elements were the level of openness and engagement across all of the stakeholder groups involved and the willingness to discuss the undiscussable on a range of topics. This was especially impressive given the presence of national politicians – which can put a break on proceedings.

This is very much the start of the process of exploration and very soon we’ll be sharing both the scenarios and workshop outputs in order to solicit views and feedback from across the globe.

 

 

5.    Conference Curation – an Under-rated Art

 

A key finding from our Convention 2020 research on the future of business events is the growing importance of the role of the ‘conference curator’ in the design and delivery of the event. I recently witnessed the power of world class curation in action. The Future Travel Experience Conference in Vancouver this September was probably the best designed event I’ve attended in the last decade from a content and learning perspective. Barring the keynotes (of which I was one), the other speakers had 10-20 minute slots to get their message across.

 

Each speaker was heavily briefed by the conference director (the curator) over a period of several months with precise guidance on the aspects of their work to be shared. The presentations were delivered in related theme clusters – with strong moderation and no break outs. The speakers were largely drawn from airlines and airports and each shared real insights into their strategies and the practical actions they were taking to implement them. An audience of their peers pushed hard in the Q&A sessions, and the level of audience engagement suggested real learning was taking place. The conference is supported by a regular publication and Twitter stream which share content that make very clear the forward looking focus of the conference. As a result, anyone not talking about the future and how they were preparing for it would have looked very out of place.

 

Many conferences would claim to adopt a similar approach, however what stood out here was the level of preparation and industry insight that had gone in to ensuring an excellent outcome. This was something many delegates commented on when we discussed what made the event such a success. In many respects the conference design went against all the ‘received wisdom’ about how to design and deliver a personalized event experience. However, the quality of the content, learning and delegate interactions suggest that there is still room in the world for well-designed events delivered in a traditional format.

 

 

6.    Fast Future’s 100 Predictions for 2011-2012 – Part 2 – Big Conversations

 

We had an excellent response to our first set of predictions of inevitable surprises which can be found here. In this issue we are exploring topics that we think could or should become a major focus of public discussion and debate between now and the end of 2012. As always, we welcome your feedback.

 

Social

1.    Education becomes a new battleground Across the developed world in particular concerns will continue rising over the standards of state education systems and the risk of falling behind emerging economies where the value of education is held in high regard. Challenges will become ever-louder on the content, appropriateness and teaching methods in use. Pressure will mount to rethink both the underlying philosophy and physical delivery of education in many countries. Demands will increase for a greater emphasis on applying new insights from research on learning, integrating technology and blending live and virtual classroom components. The focus will also shift to finding new models for running the system. For example, the Khan Academy is a not-for-profit educational organization created and operated by Salman Khan. With the stated mission “of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere”, the Academy supplies a free online collection of more than 1,600 videos on mathematics, science, history, and economics.

 

2.    Social, mobile and augmented  Social activity will continue to be transformed by the mobile web which is currently experiencing an unprecedented growth in use.  By 2012, it is predicted that global smartphone shipments will be greater than notebook and PC sales combined and surpass the billion level by 2015.[i] Rising smartphone penetration coupled with the rise of social apps and services will continue to transform social activity. For example, we expect to see a rise in mobile aggregator sites offering deep instant discounts for same day food and leisure experiences if enough people sign up in a fixed window of time. We also expect to see the rise of reverse auction sites where communities offer themselves up to see which provider will bid the most attractive experience offer for that evening.

 

3.    Rising tolerance of small business law breaking Recent months have seen a growing number of cases from the UK and elsewhere where unscrupulous employers have exploited and mistreated both legal and illegal foreign workers. Examples have emerged of foreigners being held as slaves or forced to work in illegal factories with poor safety standards – leading to explosions and loss of life. An increasingly self-absorbed public will express concern, but do little to demand change. Overstretched and under-resourced police forces and judicial systems will in practice continue to turn a blind eye to detecting these abuses.

 

4.    Aliens land in Hollywood The focus for film makers will increasingly reflect the rising mood of anxiety across their viewing public. The filmgoer needs someone or something upon which to focus our anger. Having exhausted Arab terrorists and World War II reruns for the moment, Hollywood may focus instead on other worldly threats. We anticipate a rise in films about alien invasion (e.g. Battle Los Angeles) and impending doom (e.g. Melancholia).

 

Economic

5.    China 2.0 We expect China to accelerate its preparations for the possibility of a Republican President in the US and a potentially more fractious relationship in the years that follow. China will increasingly seek to fire warning shots and make clear that it is in no mood to be bullied. The issue of the global reserve currency could be a key battleground.

 

Some say the process has already started. On August 6th, following the S&P’s downgrading of the US credit rating from AAA to AA+, Xinhua the official Chinese news agency launched a scathing attack on US economic governance[ii].  Xinhua argued that “The days when the debt-ridden Uncle Sam could leisurely squander unlimited overseas borrowing appeared to be numbered…. many outside the United States believe the credit rating cut is an overdue bill that America has to pay for its own debt addition and the short-sighted political wrangling in Washington”.

 

Xinhua went on to say ”…China, the largest creditor of the world’s sole superpower, has every right now to demand the United States to address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China’s dollar assets. To cure its addiction to debts, the United States has to re-establish the common sense principle that one should live within its means… It should also stop its old practice of letting its domestic electoral politics take the global economy hostage and rely on the deep pockets of major surplus countries to make up for its perennial deficits… International supervision over the issue of U.S. dollars should be introduced and a new, stable and secured global reserve currency may also be an option to avert a catastrophe caused by any single country”.

 

6.    US job creation – a fine word burger topped with inaction sauce? In June 2011 McKinsey estimated[iii] that to replace the 7 million jobs lost in the US during the 2008–09 recession would take until 2016. A key problem is that whilst joblessness remains high and new Americans continue entering the labour force, there are millions of open positions for which there are too few qualified workers.  A radical rethink is required to deliver a major programme of rapid re-skilling of those currently out of work and encourage the adoption of accelerated learning techniques to improve the prospects of those coming out of the education system. Whilst we expect the introduction of new training schemes and the idea of school reform to be broached, the political debate may hinder any serious progress in the short term.

 

7.    CIVETS on the prowl First we had the BRIC grouping of Brazil, Russia, India and China, to which South Africa has recently been added. Then came the E7[iv] and N11[v] – so which is the next country grouping that global businesses will focus on in their search for growth? We expect increasing attention to be paid to the CIVETS countries – Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa. The EIU[vi] is predicting year on year growth for the CIVETS of 4.5% per annum from 2010 through 2030. This compares to 4.8% for the much more populous BRIC economies and only 1.8% for the G7. Issues around civil rights, stability and environmental degradation should figure prominently in country due diligence – but may be set aside by many in the quest for growth opportunities.

 

8.    Lost in transition In the midst of the current financial turmoil and in the face of government debt reduction programmes, the ranks of unemployed and disaffected youth will rise across Europe. A lost generation of increasingly male unemployed youths is developing with stale skill sets and limited opportunities – exacerbating already simmering social tensions. Currently one in five people aged between 16 and 24 are unemployed in the UK.  The figures in parts of Europe are much worse; with 44.3 percent of young people unemployed in Spain, 36 percent in Greece, 27.8 percent in Portugal, and 31.5 percent in Ireland.[vii]  An ageing population means the influence of this group is diminishing at the ballot box and despite much public hand-wringing by politicians, few large scale improvement measures are being implemented. As with the US, a radical and innovative overhaul of education, training and apprenticeship schemes is required to alter their prospects and give young people a stake in the future.

 

Technology

9.    Internet address revolution The opening up of domain naming will create opportunities and confusion. In June 2011 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a new array of top-level internet domain names.  From January 2012 websites can apply to move beyond the traditional .org and .com addresses to use more specific domains such as .human rights, .app, and the designated pornography domain of .xxx.  This creates new branding opportunities for those who want invest in a new dot domain name. There will inevitably be costly battles over the most sought after names.  However, whilst opening up branding opportunities, the move could create confusion amongst users faced with a myriad of new domain addresses – ultimately they will simply turn to search engines to find the desired site.

 

10.  Augmented worlds – choose your reality 2012 will be the year of the augmented reality (AR) app. As businesses seek to differentiate themselves in turbulent times, these relatively low cost developments will be seen as a quick and distinctive way of capturing customer attention. AR solutions enable us to overlay data on the world around us. For example, the Copenhagen Airport app allows you to navigate around the airport, highlights where to find retail, leisure and dining options, provides user reviews and offers prompts related to your flight. Marketeers will embrace AR in their quest to deepen and strengthen the relationship between product and service brands and consumers.

 

Commercial

11.  Discount Discount Discount Demand aggregator sites will drive opportunity and innovation in the most unexpected places. Recently National Louis University in Chicago sold all the places on an entire course via Groupon – offering students a 57 percent discount on the normal course fee of $2,232. We expect to see a growing range of services from airline seats to medical treatments and even counselling to be sold in this manner over the next year.

 

12.  We fly Wi-Fi We anticipate a significant expansion of inflight WiFi offerings by the end of 2012. One of the biggest debates in the airline industry is how to deliver and charge for in-flight Wi-Fi services. Several airlines such as Lufthansa, Virgin America, AirTran and Delta are already offering in-flight Wi-Fi on a number of their routes.  A combination of technological advancement, falling market prices and the pull of consumer expectations are driving the change. The process of industry wide adoption of comprehensive in-flight Wi-Fi will gather pace in all but the thriftiest budget carriers.

 

13.  The customer as service agent An increasing number of firms will shift portions of their customer service to the social media. Many will also seek to engage their most active customers as unpaid service agents – providing advice and resolutions to other customers’ queries. The opportunities are immense – for example mobile phone operators could dramatically reduce inbound calls from new phone customers by allowing customers to upload their own 30 second videos on how you use key features on a phone. The most forward-thinking brands will recognise the value of acknowledging and rewarding these unpaid agents – be it through account credits or offering access to new model in advance of the market.

 

14.  Cloud cover The pressure to control operating costs, reduce asset inventories, increase flexibility and access new functionality faster will all accelerate the take up of cloud computing by businesses around the globe in the coming 12-18 months. For those on a rapid globalization path, the cloud based or Software as a Service (SaaS) model also offers the promise of global access to common systems. The pace of adoption will accelerate despite concerns over security and data theft (see our recent article on the Future of Secure Data in the Cloud).

 

Environmental

15.  Waste not want not The debate will grow over the issue of where the world sends its waste and who pays for the long term clean up costs.The fast-developing countries will increasingly seek to adopt environmental regulations more typically associated with medium-high wealth economies. Their resulting reluctance to accept foreign waste could lead to two parallel developments. Firstly poorer economies may step in to accept the waste that no one else wants – at a price.  Secondly, the need for more sustainable solutions could lead to renewed interest and investment in waste to energy conversion technologies.

 

16.  Iran and the Middle East – the nuclear option Iran will expand and accelerate its nuclear energy programme. Iran’s nuclear program is currently attracting less media coverage, possibly due to ongoing economic weakness and domestic politics in many western nations. Other Middle Eastern countries are also pursuing the nuclear option. Gulf States, led by Saudi Arabia are looking to invest heavily in the technology to 2030, ostensibly to diversify their energy intense economies away from hydrocarbons and to prepare for a coming era of high oil and gas prices. Iranian nuclear success and any escalation of Saudi-Iran tensions could lead the west to recast its lens on Iran – numerous possible follow-on scenarios present themselves.

 

Political

17.  New global leadership, old challenges, limited options  Over the next 12-18 months there could be a sea change in global political leadership. Elections are on the horizon in the US, Russia, France, Italy and Spain and China (see below) will see a leadership change. However, the scale of challenges faced by the first five and the weight of expectation on the latter will mean the new leaders have little room for manoeuvre to introduce new policy measures.

 

The economy will clearly play a central role in determining the next US President (see below). Spain’s Jose Luís Rodríguez Zapatero will not seek a third term. Continuing controversy surrounding Silvio Berlusconi in Italy will pressure him to step down after two decades in power. In France, a beleaguered President Sarkozy will probably hold onto his position. In Russia, Putin seems likely to reclaim the presidency, whilst in the UK, there’s an outside chance that a double dip recession and further social unrest could force the current conservative-liberal coalition to disband.

 

18.  China’s first president of the world? For at least the last century, the world has grown accustomed to the US President accepting the de facto mantle of leader of the (free) world. A Republican in the White House could see the US turn inward and focus its attention on a range of domestic challenges. China could increasingly be nudged, pulled and pushed into playing more of a global leadership role – representing in particular the views and needs of the developing world majority on the planet. As China faces transition to a new leadership next year, the responsibility would lie with current Vice President Xi Jinping who is due to take over from Hu Jintao as President of China and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in 2013. Xi’s stance is as yet unclear on many issues. Whilst he has made conciliatory moves towards the West, he has also been uncompromising on the issue of a separatist Tibet and is unlikely to countenance a populist Tibetan uprising or support for it abroad.

 

19.  Korea – love don’t live here any more South Korea will adoptan increasingly assertive posture in the face of continued hostility from its volatile northern neighbour. March’s sinking of a South Korean Navy Vessel and subsequent artillery exchanges have stoked the fire on the peninsula whilst rising world food prices threaten to worsen an already dire situation among the North’s poor. We have also been witness to the grooming of Kim Jong-Il’s Son, Kim Jong-Un to become premier, introducing another factor into a volatile mix. The South is keen to protect the rapid advances in economic and living standards it has achieved and will increasingly match any aggression from the North but is unlikely to take pre-emptive steps.

 

20.  The US Presidential Election – Two Scenarios Given the two most probably outcomes (barring the emergence of a credible independent candidate), we have focused on outlining possible scenarios for what might happen next.

 

Democrat Victory – A successive victory for the Democrats should reinvigorate the Obama presidency. His supporters would encourage the regime to have the confidence to pursue the more radical agenda on which he was originally elected and continue with the tentative social reforms of the previous four years.  However the continuing economic crisis at home and abroad will remain Obama’s principal priority. Without reform of the US political process, this suggests four more years of tortured economic wrangling with the Republicans and resulting compromises that push any proposed economic policy to the right.

 

Republican Victory – Whichever Republican candidate succeeds, an early and populist course of action will be to dismantle or neuter key social legislation from the Obama regime, most notably healthcare reform.  In the face of  continued economic turmoil, the Republicans, at the behest of the Tea Party, will most likely seek drastic cuts in the regulatory powers of the federal government, reduce taxes across the board, and ease environmental restrictions.

 

 

 

7.    Presentations at Imex Las Vegas

 

I am going to be delivering the following presentations sharing different aspects of the findings of the Convention 2020 at Imex Las Vegas 11th-13th 2011 – I hope to see some of you there:

 

  •  Monday 10th October 17.00 – 17.20: Association Day – Event Innovation – The Latest Examples from the    Convention 2020 Study
  • Tuesday 11th October 10:30 – 11:15: Learning Zone – Convention 2020 – Global Business Trends and the Implications for the Meetings Industry
  • Tuesday 11th October 11:30 – 12.15: Learning Zone – Campfire – Convention 2020 – Global Business Trends and the Implications for the Meetings Industry
  • Tuesday 11th October 12:30 – 13.15: Learning Zone – Convention 2020 Session – Meeting Innovation and the Technology Timeline
  • Tuesday 11th October 16.30 – 17.30: – CEO Forum – Convention 2020 – the Future of Association and Corporate Meetings – Launch of Findings – Titian 2306, The Venetian/Palazzo Congress Centre
  • Wednesday 12th October 10.30 – 11.15: Learning Zone – Convention 2020 – Future Strategies for Venues
  • Wednesday 12th October 11.30 – 12.15: Learning Zone – Campfire – Convention 2020 – Future Strategies for Venues
  •  Wednesday 12th October 12.30 – 13.15: Learning Zone – Convention 2020 – the Future of Association and  Corporate Meetings
  • Wednesday 12th October 14.00 – 14.45: Learning Zone – Campfire – Convention 2020 – the Future of Association and Corporate Meetings
  • Wednesday 12th October 16.15 – 17.00: Open Session / Future Leaders Forum Convention 2020 – Emerging  Industry Priorities, Strategies and Business Models – Titian 2301A, The Venetian/Palazzo Congress Centre
  • Thursday 13th October 10.30 – 11.15: Learning Zone – Convention 2020 – Future Strategies for Convention Bureaus – The Engines of Growth Seminar
  • Thursday 13th October 11.30 – 12.15: Campfire – Convention 2020 – Future Strategies for Convention Bureaus – Engines of Growth

 

 

Rohit on the Road

In the coming months I’ll be delivering client speeches, workshops and stakeholder briefings on the future of HR, digital narcotics, virtual travel, the world in 2015-2030, the future of communications, business complexity, strategic innovation, city development, the future of meetings, the future of aviation and airports, tourism futures, developing entrepreneurship, and the future for sectors such as media, retail, IT, insurance, legal services and infrastructure.

 

Please let me know, if you’d like to arrange a meeting, presentation or workshop on one of my forthcoming trips. I’ll be speaking in London, Barcelona, Bodrum, Bristol, Copenhagen, Las Vegas, Leipzig and Vilnius.

 

 

About Fast Future

Fast Future is a research and consulting firm that works with clients around the world to help them understand, anticipate and respond to the trends, forces and ideas that could shape the competitive landscape over the next 5-20 years. We draw on a range of proven foresight, strategy and creative processes to help clients develop deep insight into a changing world. These insights are used to help clients define innovative strategies and practical actions to implement them.

 

 

[i] http://mobilitron.blogspot.com/2011/06/idc-says-global-smartphone-shipments.html n

[ii]After historic downgrade, U.S. must address its chronic debt problems, Xinhua News Agency http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-08/06/c_131032986_2.htm

[iii] https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/The_growing_US_jobs_challenge_2816

[iv] Brazil, Russia, India and China, plus Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey.

[v] Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam.

[vi] Epoch Hothouse Foresight PDF 2011

[vii] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/8564500/Interactive-graphic-Youth-unemployment-in-Europe.html