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

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


Fast Future Research

Tel: +44 (0)20 8830 0766

Mob +44 (0)7973 405145




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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