Quicktake on "Thriving in 21st Century World"

Quicktake from Thailand Productivity’s 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner on July 9th, 2015 -- Speaker was Dr. Michael Jackson, Founder Member and Chairman of Shaping Tomorrow

Executive Summary

The world in 21st Century:

Most significant changes affecting organizations know no borders or markets and affect every part of society today and tomorrow. Countries, governments, businesses, and institutions continue to witness ever increasing surprise as complexity increases. New surprises impact us far faster, and more profoundly, than we might think, e.g., pandemics, changing weather conditions, terrorist events, health crises, altered social values, economic and political uncertainties, and technological advances.

Organizations, too, face additional new challenges including:

  • Intelligence
  • Climate
  • Water
  • Cities
  • Consumer
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Food
  • Health
  • Manufacturing
  • Poverty
  • Resources
  • Security
  • Geopolitics
  • Science
Dr. Jackson also gave the scenario lenses with Implications for Asia. His Shaping Tomorrow is a futures intelligence, trends research tool and knowledge management portal (website) that helps people and organizations to better anticipate what's next through collaborative foresight.

15 Major Challenges


Big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT)- Internet of Everything (IoE) and intelligent robots are set to take advanced analytics to unimaginable heights. By 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices and 40% of existing jobs may have disappeared.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of everyday physical objects which surround us and that are increasingly being embedded with technology to enable those objects to collect and transmit data about their use and surroundings. TVs connected to the Internet and refrigerators connected to online delivery services are just the start of it. In the new world of the IoT, the possibilities are enormous, and the technology industry has so far only scratched the surface of what 'machine-to-machine' (M2M) interconnectivity could achieve.


  • Advances in foundational information technology, process automation and analytics will unleash the potential for more productive and innovative ways of working.
  • Asia will wield more global power than the US and Europe combined by 2030.
  • Indonesia and Mexico are expected to leap into the top ten world economies from 16th and 15th place in 2014 to fourth and ninth place respectively by 2050.
  • The power of smart industrial systems will only increase as the artificial intelligence that runs them becomes cleverer.
  • China is expected to overtake the United States in 2026 in nominal GDP in US dollar terms and maintain its position as the largest economy to 2050.
  • Quantum computing, neuroscience and nanotechnology could transform the retail and banking environments and alter their customer behavior in some surprising and profound ways in the coming years.
  • Robots will continue to actively assist humans in their day-to-day lives and even perform particular tasks such as cleaning completely autonomous of human interaction.
  • Smart home, security, and energy devices will be another major consumer market and are projected to constitute almost 2 million of the total connected devices by 2019.
  • Growth in the number of installed IoT technologies is projected to exceed that of personal computers a factor of ten over the next four years.
  • The array of transport choices is likely to be very wide, and new business models will drive innovation.
  • Artificial Intelligence-based technologies will be used to forecast food and beverage demand more accurately as pressure grows for better cost control and reduced waste.
  • An ability to determine deeper meaning or the significance of what's being expressed will be driven by the rise of smart machines and artificial intelligence.
  • Added connectivity, communications and intelligence of things will make many of them agents for services that are currently requested and delivered via human intervention.
  • China today already poses the most pervasive cyber threat to the world in terms of its rapacious appetite for government, corporate, and financial information.
  • Production lines will reconfigure themselves automatically in order to optimize productivity.


Dealing with climate change of the next 15 years will require $6 trillion USD in annual investment. Organizations, large and small, will increasingly be pressured to deal with the effects of global climate change or face increased costs through not fully adopting sustainable policies.


  • Storm damage could cost cities from Hong Kong to Dhaka to New York trillions annually unless adaptation measures are taken.
  • Phasing down hydrofluorocarbons which despite international agreements continue to rise 10%-15% per year and remain a threat to the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere.
  • Air pollution reduction could significantly improve health and quality of life in many cities.
  • Autonomous taxis could greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions of U.S. light-duty vehicles.
  • People who depend on natural resources to make a living will experience increased insecurity as climate change impacts natural resources.
  • As climate change unfolds around the globe, climate disasters will give undemocratic forces the justification they seek to commandeer resources, declare martial law, interfere with the market economy, and suspend democratic processes.
  • Calls for action that do not include reduction in the world's livestock production and meat consumption will not be able to protect public health from the effects of climate change.
  • There is a potential risk for future outbreaks of exotic diseases in Australia's southern regions.
  • Human population growth is predicted to increase nearly 50% to 11 billion by 2050.
  • Climate change will likely bring more and increasingly intensive storms to northern United States.
  • Energy efficiency improvements are expected to be economically viable in the long term due to budget relief from fossil fuel costs and a reduced need for generation capacities.
  • Water scarcity and increasing awareness about the climate impacts of land-use change (e.g., increasing greenhouse gas emissions) will limit the opportunity to expand land for agricultural use.
  • Drive down technology costs and shift behavior will be the key to unleashing the full potential of the low carbon economy.
  • Ensuring food security by reducing risks and vulnerabilities at the national and local levels requires urgent actions to improve the productivity and promote climate-resilience of agriculture including livestock and fisheries.
  • Groundwater resources will help protect communities, farms, and the environment against the impacts of prolonged dry periods and climate change.
  • "Resource politics, not environmental preservation or sound economics" will dominate the global agenda.
  • Climate change disruptions and the globalization of transportation and food networks will amplify the impacts of disasters widely.


Some parts of the world are going to suffer from long and persistent drought while millions of others are at severe risk of finding their cities and homes under water. The world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs in 2030.


  • All large water users will be required to measure and report the amount of water stored and used.
  • Companies operating in water-stressed regions that fail to address local water concerns may face further risk of losing their social license to operate.
  • Integrated solutions to create an all-pervasive 'smartness' in the fields of transport and mobility, water management, building management and energy efficiency will play a critical role in shaping the government's vision.
  • Germany could suffer from a drop in production due to climate change water shortages.
  • The global water demand in agricultural production is projected to increase by 55% in 2050.
  • Some new resource-related ventures specifically in energy, agriculture, waste and water could become the most profitable companies for generations to come.
  • For Pakistan's policymakers avoiding future conflicts will depend on taking steps to mitigate the effects of climate on water supplies.
  • Washington accuses Beijing of undergoing a massive "land reclamation" program in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea and says China's territorial claims of the man-made islands could further militarize the region.
  • The greening of tourism is expected to reinforce the employment potential of the sector with increased local hiring and sourcing and significant opportunities in tourism oriented toward local culture and the natural environment.
  • Reliance on scarce resources such as water, electricity, and natural gas for building operations exposes the tourism industry to commodity risks and falling margins as prices rise.
  • A temperate city will likely have a significantly longer payback period for district-heating technologies than one in a cold climate.


Smart cities are the talk of the town right now and so they should be to cope with a world where over 60% of us will live in cities by 2030. E-bikes, Driverless-connected vehicles, buildings that talk to each other will help but many cities are susceptible to climate change and pandemics.


  • Increasing energy efficiency standards in the world's leading economies for appliances, lighting and vehicles could boost global GDP by $18 trillion by 2035.
  • China plans to spend RMB 2 trillion ($322 billion) in the hopes of drawing more people from the outskirts of the megalopolis to inside its border.
  • Internet of Everything (IoE) will generate $19 trillion of value - $14 trillion from the private sector, and $5 trillion from governments and public sectors (initiatives like smart cities and infrastructure) by 2020.
  • The UK is well placed to be a global leader in the development of the Internet of Things and the announcement of the £40 million investment will help accelerate the development of new innovative solutions for health, social care and smart cities.
  • Vehicular growth in developing countries has seen transport emissions rise with China's figures predicted to go from 190 megatonnes annually to nearly 1,200 megatonnes and India's from about 70 megatonnes today to over 500 megatonnes.
  • The bus procurement policies in cities embarking on natural gas bus program will have to be linked with the best technology options and enabling emissions standards.
  • The Government of India will have to lay down clear policy guidelines to enable CNG programmes in new cities.
  • Coastal cities close to China's manufacturing hubs, such as Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City, are set to see large increases in industrial employment.
  • The world's urban population will expand to around nine billion out of a total human population of 11 billion.
  • Low-skilled labor will move from rural areas to small cities in the search for manual, small trade or artisanal jobs to integrate/stabilize the earnings from agricultural activities.
  • Paris has already banned older trucks from its streets and will soon do the same for older cars.
  • The high cost of real estate in most cities will mean that cities become ghettos for gays, the rich, singles and childless couples.
  • Effective urban governance will have to recognize the direct relationship between functioning infrastructure, environmental sustainability, productivity, equity and quality of life.
  • One-third of the present-day leading developed-market cities will no longer make the top 600.


Technology will become the new sales assistant, always on, always friendly, always delivering. Consumers will co-create and create products to their exact needs. Brands will have to focus on seizing mobile moments on apps that already have consumer's attention.


  • Gartner predicts smart light-emitting dioxide (LED) lightbulbs will be the leading technology in the connected consumer environment by 2020.
  • The reduced total cost of ownership per kilometre (taking account of increased purchase costs and reduced fuel costs) could lead to a shift towards larger vehicles.
  • Regulation could lead to a shift towards purchasing smaller vehicles and a reduced demand for new vehicles.
  • Digital 3D printing factories of various sizes and capacities will soon become connected in a global production network.
  • Some of the emerging data types expected to see high growth in use over the next three years include social media data, building permit data, third-party telematics data.
  • With a rising middle class population, the consumer goods and services market in the emerging economies will provide vast opportunities for all businesses concerning personal care products.
  • Indonesia is expected to become both the biggest producer and the biggest consumer of cars in the bloc.
  • Consumer health measurement technologies will help to promote preventative health practices and identify risk factors while emergency response communications can provide near-instant care in life-threatening situations.
  • Sustainability will play an increasing role in determining consumer preferences long before the point of consumption.
  • Growth will be led by strong gains in consumer spending along with more aggressive corporate investment in equipment and software.
  • Consumer electronics companies will build digital brands that break through the noise and lead the industry as it transitions to the new, connected world.
  • Connected-home device shipments will grow at a compound annual rate of 67% over the next five years.


By 2020, fully online students are projected to reach 5 million globally. Online education such as Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will democratize and disrupt global learning. But, at the same time there will be severe talent shortages in newly emerging industries and sectors such as security and renewable energies.


  • Supporting functions such as education, consultants, job placement, and social sharing will help establish and maintain a strong channel for future generations of the world's cyber workforce.
  • Lowering inequality by 1 Gini coefficient point (the main measure of income inequalities) could translate into an increase in cumulative growth of 0.8 percentage points of GDP in the following 5 years (or 0.15 points per year).
  • Developing countries will need to increase the amount they spend per primary student from US$70 to US$197 by 2030.
  • Aging populations will add to pressures on health services in countries such as Russia, Poland, Korea, and Thailand.
  • Total hours worked will increase at an average annual rate of 0.4 percent between 2015 and 2040 in the U.S. Decreases in federal investment could reduce productivity and long-term growth.
  • By 2020, 1.28 million workers will be required to fill science, engineering and technology roles in the U.K..
  • A continental system will pave the way for African institutions to compete more effectively in similar systems in operation at a global level.
  • The attainment of Agenda 2063 of the African Union as a roadmap for Africa's future will be severely hindered without a significant re-orientation of the higher education delivery system in the region.
  • Physicians will help more with end-of-life planning when government and private insurers reimburse them for their time.
  • The incidence of tuberculosis in India averages around two million cases per annum and poses a significant public health risk for the rest of the world.
  • The share of the Chinese population with secondary and tertiary education is projected to increase everywhere by 2050.
  • China and India will account for almost half of the expected 300 million 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education in 2030 while the European Union countries and the United States put together will account for less than a quarter.
  • The World Bank will contribute to decreasing the digital divide between industrial and developing countries by supporting investments in ICT infrastructure for tertiary education within countries or even in multiple countries.
  • Major structural shifts in offline and online learning delivery will lead to integrated systems that enable adaptive and holistic higher-education learning environments.
  • Health and social care professionals will need to automatically consider Assistive Technology as the first type of support to be considered when supporting an individual to stay at home.


Energy demand is set to increase by more than one third by 2035. But the mix of technologies is changing rapidly towards renewables. Businesses are now increasingly taking seriously the need to reduce their energy costs.

SUMMARY REPORT (created by WebSummarizer)

  • Higher efficiency standards are expected to save an average of US$200 billion in annual fuel costs by 2030.
  • Action to reduce emissions from aviation and shipping under international treaties and from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol could reduce emissions by as much as 2.6 Gt in 2030.
  • Increasing energy efficiency standards in the world's leading economies for appliances, lighting and vehicles could boost global GDP by $18 trillion by 2035.
  • Denmark will reach their target of producing 50 percent of power from renewable sources well ahead of their 2020 goal.
  • Several EU states are keenly aware that Europe's moderate commitments to renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements will not deliver the 40% carbon cut that leaders have signed up to.
  • There will continue to be a close correlation between CO2 emissions, energy use and demand for transport.
  • Biosynthetic bisabolane could become a renewable diesel fuel alternative offering comparable energy density and superior cold weather performance to standard D2 diesel fuel.
  • Siemens has started an energy project to convert wind power into hydrogen for re-use as a general fuel or in natural gas pipelines.
  • Making the EU's energy and transport systems 'low carbon' will require around EUR 270 billion of additional public and private investment per year for the next 40 years.
  • Energy storage demand is soaring-for vehicles, for power grids, and for residences with distributed renewable generation, such as rooftop solar arrays.
  • Investors cannot assume that economic growth will continue to be heavily reliant on an energy sector powered predominantly by fossil fuels.


With 2 billion more mouths to feed by 2050 the resulting increased demand for certain types of food will put considerable strain on the world's natural resources and agriculture. New types of food, new weather resistant strains, 3D printing and vertical farms are coming to fill the gap.


  • Global food prices will continue to decline over the next decade as more food is produced than the world needs.
  • Crop production increases will likely be driven by yield improvements worldwide.
  • People in the developing regions of the world are expected to diversify their diets by increasing the consumption of animal protein relative to starches.
  • Bars and restaurants will use technology to provide customers with data-based fast services or immersive emotional experiences beyond the taste of food and drinks.
  • Achieving set reduction targets for Campylobacter in chicken flocks in the EU would significantly reduce the risk of human contamination.
  • Our capacity to generate sufficient food, animal feed and energy is increasingly compromised by human population expansion, competition for land use, rapid biodiversity loss and predicted global climate change.
  • The potential for supply shortages or disruptions due to social considerations, including labor violations, child labor, fair wages, and food shortages, present further risk to a company's long-term ability to source key materials and ingredients.
  • Better manage risk and ensure that robust agriculture systems benefit consumers and farmers alike.
  • Lower oil prices will contribute to lower food prices.
  • Creating social and economic continuity between rural, semi-rural, urbanized areas and megacities will re-shape the concept of food security from "how to feed the poor" to "how to secure food supply in answering new emerging demand (quantity, quality, type, processing and more).
  • Sea level rise is increasing the stress on land, water, and food for many Pacific countries and poses an existential threat to low-lying atolls such as Kiribati.
  • Achievement of food safety and health will stay a major challenge of the food system in the future.
  • Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) considering packaging will be a major approach to improve packaging materials and concepts within food systems.
  • Traditional exporters of wheat and coarse grains (North America, the EU and Australia) are projected to further increase their exports modestly.
  • Increasing demand for bioenergy and biofuels will directly affect land availability for food production.
  • Pesticides will still play a major role in the improvement of future crop yields to secure food availability.
  • Crop productivity has been and will continue to be highly threatened by the presence of animal and microbial pests detrimental to plants.
  • Some estimates indicate that as much as one-quarter of food waste in developing countries could be eliminated by increasing access to refrigeration equipment.


Rapidly aging populations and growing disease burdens will require a large and specialized health care workforce by 2025 aided by the rise of health analytics, wearables, genetics, robots, home treatments, personalized medicine and care.


  • Patients who search for hospital cost and quality information will be rewarded with higher-value care.
  • Support for government spending on health in the future will be shaped by views on redistribution as much as economic conditions affecting revenues.
  • Spread of Ebola in humans from currently affected countries West Africa Medium to high Very low and poor health condition in the three most affected countries could lead to a further spread of disease which is not yet under control.
  • People who did not invest significantly enough in health care reform and a retail marketplace are going to struggle.
  • Air pollution reduction could significantly improve health and quality of life in many cities.
  • Calls for action that do not include reduction in the world's livestock production and meat consumption will not be able to protect public health from the effects of climate change.
  • Making personal care free at the highest levels of need will end the current 'all or nothing' distinction that NHS Continuing Healthcare provides.
  • The UK is well placed to be a global leader in the development of the Internet of Things and the announcement of the £40 million investment will help accelerate the development of new innovative solutions for health, social care and smart cities.
  • Detailed and accurate costs of targeting different age groups or increasing treatment frequency will be essential to formulate cost-effective public health policy.
  • All Americans can have their genome, proteome, metabolome, environment and emotional factors assessed to forecast future risk of developing disease.
  • Patients and physicians use medical technology to identify future health risks and employ aggressive prevention strategies.
  • A smart fridge sending data on storage and usage of healthy food at home monitoring the consumption levels, refills, etc. could get health insurance discounts.
  • Spending for mandatory programs other than the major health care programs and Social Security is projected to decline relative to the size of the U.S. economy over the next 10 years.
  • The outcome of digital health will only be trusted, if, the highest possible security and privacy is provided.
  • Mobile health technologies (m-Health) will result in better patient care and help to keep an ageing population out of hospitals.
  • Research focusing on the health implications of food retailing and food marketing will be crucial in understanding and influencing the interplay between consumer knowledge, attitudes and food-related behaviours.

10) Manufacturuing

A new industrial revolution is looming as 3D printing, Industry 4.0, robotics and new, sustainable materials replace old technologies. With the size of the global middle class expected to increase to 4.9 billion by 2030 demand for goods is unlikely to slow down.

Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution has a vision of tomorrow's manufacturing in which products finding their way independently through the production process. In intelligent factories, machines and products communicate with each other, cooperatively driving production. In 1712, Thomas Newcomen invents the first steam engine. It is not very useful yet, but the idea of using steam to make machines go will be important to the First Industrial Revolution. Later, steel is often cited as the first of several new areas for industrial mass-production, which are said to characterize a "Second Industrial Revolution", beginning around 1850, although a method for mass manufacture of steel was not invented until the 1860s, when Sir Henry Bessemer invented a new furnace which could convert molten pig iron into steel in large quantities. Recently, the Digital Revolution, known as the Third Industrial Revolution, is the change from analog, mechanical, and electronic technology to digital technology which began anywhere from the late 1950s to the late 1970s with the adoption and proliferation of digital computers and digital record keeping that continues to the present day.


  • Additive manufacturing, otherwise known as three-dimensional (3D) printing, is driving major innovations in many areas, such as engineering, manufacturing, art, education and medicine. Recent advances have enabled 3D printing of biocompatible materials, cells and supporting components into complex 3D functional living tissues. 3D bioprinting is being applied to regenerative medicine to address the need for tissues and organs suitable for transplantation.
  • In the rapidly transforming world of medical technology, the best material that was available till now for 3D printed bone implants was titanium.
  • Manufacturing companies could download the software and parameters controlling their production process to a virtualized chain of production.
  • By 2025, nanotechnology is expected to be a mature yet still growing industry.
  • Additive manufacturing (three-dimensional printing) will help reduce the time-consuming long-distance transport of products or components that are currently mass produced and may shift industrial production from peri-urban areas to city centres.
  • Future factories will have to operate at higher material and energy efficiencies.
  • Devices will provide constant, accurate measurements of output, resource depletion, and capital depreciation to isolate sources of waste and maximize factor productivity.
  • Industry 4.0 productivity improvements on conversion costs, which exclude the cost of materials, will range from 15 to 25 percent.
  • Floating manufacturing plants will be particularly useful for making large pieces of infrastructure such as satellites, space stations and antennas.
  • Especially aftermarket supply chains (e.g., warehousing and distribution of spare parts) will be transformed by the possibility to fabricate in small factories with on-site 3D printing capabilities or outsource the task to small fabricators located.
  • SpiderFab could cut spacecraft construction costs by only launching raw materials into orbit.

11) Poverty

Global poverty is reducing but the rich-poor divide is widening and new forms of poverty are emerging.The poor spend relatively more on what will keep them alive, because they must, and the rich spend more on what will keep them rich, because they can. The real difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich spend a larger share of their much larger income on insurance, education, technology, and, when you drill into the housing component, mortgages—all of which are directly related to building wealth, preserving wealth, and passing it down in the form of inheritance of direct investments in the lives of their children.


  • Brazil will grow to be the world's largest food supplier and will contribute to meeting additional global demand for agricultural products.
  • World leaders, high-level policy makers, funders and finance ministers are expected to deliver the political will and financial investments required to end extreme poverty by 2030.
  • Fostering innovation to sustain job diversification (non-rural activities) in rural areas and improving the rural areas' connections to small and/or larger towns will be an important way out of poverty.
  • Highest incomes will remain in advanced economies and incomes will just very slightly catch up in emerging countries (Hawksworth and Chan 2013).
  • From currently 45 developing countries with per capita incomes <1'000 USD, 15 are projected to remain in this group by 2050.
  • As the world's population increases, many crop yields will actually decrease by up to 25 percent in the next 35 years due to climate change, undermining efforts to end poverty, hunger, and undernutrition.
  • Income inequality and poverty could prove destabilizing over the longer term if not addressed and undermine economic growth prospects for the region.
  • Fuel poverty is already a severe problem in the devolved administrations and the governments will need to ensure that their own devolved policies effectively target fuel poor homes (especially those on electric heating).
  • Hundreds of millions will be lifted out of abject poverty due to strong growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.

12) Resources

World population is set to grow from 7 billion people today to 9 billion by 2050. Pressures on already scarce resources (food, energy, raw materials, skilled workers, etc.) are set to dramatically magnify but opportunities to innovate and grow are plentiful for smart organizations. Huge resource shifts are on the way resulting from the shift to robots doing much of the work of humans in future years.


  • Planting bioenergy crops like willows or switchgrass in rows where commodity crops are having difficulty growing could both provide biomass feedstock and limit the runoff of nitrogen fertilizer into waterways-all without hurting a farmer's profits.
  • Governments could choose to transfer resources via subsidies and grants or provide support by lowering tax rates to a given economic sector or a group within the society.
  • People who depend on natural resources to make a living will experience increased insecurity as climate change impacts natural resources.
  • As climate change unfolds around the globe, climate disasters will give undemocratic forces the justification they seek to commandeer resources, declare martial law, interfere with the market economy, and suspend democratic processes.
  • Questions about the global economy, governance, evolving methods of conflict, regional spillover, new technologies and the future role of the US could dramatically impact the global picture over the next 20 years.
  • Global food markets are seen as new and fruitful opportunities for small holder farming.
  • The export of natural resources and agriculture will remain key sources of economic growth in Africa.
  • Some new resource-related ventures specifically in energy, agriculture, waste and water could become the most profitable companies for generations to come.
  • Rising populations and increasingly scarce resources will provide a challenging business environment in which sustainability will need to be embedded within all facets of the industry.
  • ICT-enabled services could generate US$6 trillion in ICT-enabled annual revenue opportunities and US$5 trillion in annual savings from lower consumption of energy, fuel and other resources.
  • Large scale infrastructure investments without coordination between investments pose a real risk to the environment through direct development impacts on sensitive ecosystems or through corridor access and development near previously inaccessible or sparsely populated areas.
  • Countries with valuable land and water resources will require infrastructure investment to meet the growing agricultural demands for local consumption and export.
  • Waste management, energy, and indoor environmental quality represent opportunities that can move the hospitality industry toward more environmentally sustainable practices.

13) Security

Issues abound, cybersecurity is an ever-present threat, new forms of terrorism are increasing and organized crime is changing its foci. 51% of large organizations expect the number of security breaches to increase next year.


  • The cost of security will increase for everyone.
  • Operating costs of security infrastructures will rise as they attempt to scale to the increased pace of work.
  • More experts in a vast variety of direct and supporting functions will fill the ranks in support of the changes being driven by offensive security.
  • The upswing in offensive security technologies will create demand in many different roles.
  • Security will experience an increased demand and coupled with other elements will cause the overall cost of security to rise until a new equilibrium is reached.
  • Strong access control enabled by biometrics and securely written software' could ensure the safety of votes cast online and the integrity of the system.
  • Lack of internal cyber security expertise in the areas of investigation / security analysis / forensics / incident response technologies will hinder an effective recovery from an attack, breach or loss of data.
  • There will be a convergence of IoT and smart cities with municipal governments enacting new regulations to ensure adequate risk management.

14) Geopolitics

Rising tensions around are bringing new and regional geopolitical threats and the possibility of eventual global war.


  • Russia will be back in the aircraft carrier business with plans to build a new-generation one comparable in size to a U.S. supercarrier.
  • The casualties in Syria could soon approach the tally from the militia's 1985-2000 war with Israel in southern Lebanon.
  • A Pentagon warned of a "low but growing" probability that the United States will get drawn into a war with the world's other major military powers, Russia and China.
  • Violent Extremist Organizations (VEO) pose an immediate threat to transregional security by coupling readily available technologies with extremist ideologies.
  • China will want to be involved in weapons development and testing rather than simply acquiring technology entirely developed in Russia.
  • Among the Chinese military missions in this new world will be to safeguard national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests Traditional Chinese security threats have been compounded by new threats, from terrorism to cyber war, to make life potentially perilous.
  • Drones could potentially save lives in war-torn regions that are prone to accidents and fatalities from unexploded bombs.

15) Science

Scientific discoveries and new methods of doing science are on the rise and promise all manner of change for society especially in health, cognitive technologies and artificial intelligence.


  • All scientifically possible technology and social change predicted in science fiction will come to pass.
  • The bus procurement policies in cities embarking on natural gas bus program will have to be linked with the best technology options and enabling emissions standards.
  • More cities are expected to implement CNG programme as a pollution control measure.
  • Scientific research will hold the key to solve critical economic and societal challenges such as climate change.
  • What seems certain is that the commercial impact of autonomous vehicles will be felt amongst vehicle manufacturers, energy producers, insurers.
  • There will be synergies between nanotechnology and accelerator science which could help move to the accelerator on a chip concept.
  • Synthetic biology presents a set of risks that raise both ethical and security questions.
  • The RMS® North Atlantic Hurricane Models have new capabilities to manage coastal flood risk and have been updated with the latest science and data on hurricane activity.
  • Typical rationales for foresight exercises have included exploring future opportunities and re-orienting science and innovation systems in parallel with building new networks and bringing new actors into the strategic debate (Georghiou and Keenan, 2006).
  • The continued partnership between basic affective scientists and neuroscientists and psychopathology researchers will yield a far richer body of work on the descriptions of emotion-related difficulties.
  • OnSight will use real rover data and extend the Curiosity mission's existing planning tools by creating a 3D simulation of the Martian environment where scientists around the world can meet.
  • Something vaguely resembling the science fiction scenarios from the Terminator and Matrix franchises could come to pass if the potential of artificial super-intelligence is not taken seriously.
  • Views about the role of government funding as compared with private investment show steady support for government investment (61% in 2014 and 60% in 2009) but will be enough to ensure scientific progress (from 29% in 2009 to 34% today).
  • Asian health traditions and modern science will combine for enhanced dietary health as East Asians confront aging and diseases of affluence.

Implications for Asia

  • Asia a growing potent force
  • Everything customer centric and global
  • Everything sustainable
  • Waste and costs being eliminated – growth!
  • Joined up thinking/partnerships/alliances/mergers
  • Invisible/always on technology
  • Sharing Economy
  • Smart phone at the center of everyone’s world
  • Need for continuous future thinking
  • Concentrate on Efficiency and Effectiveness

Further Readings on the Internet

About Dr. Michael Jackson

"Chairman & CEO of the pre-eminent futures website in the world today and a world-recognized innovator, entrepreneur and change agent."

Fee range

$4,000 - $10,000

Mike speaks on business subjects including leadership, using foresight for competitive advantage, sustainability, customer loyalty and retention, business process re-engineering, change management, building strategic visions and values and people motivation and communications, ethics, alliances and corporate governance: he has many published articles on these subjects. With over 30 years' experience in Business Management in the UK, North America and Europe, he has significant exposure to corporate banking and consumer finance and, latterly, futuring.
He is a Founder Member and Chairman of Shaping Tomorrow. He also advises businesses on dramatically improving their competitiveness through pioneering work on practical Sustainable Business Strategies, Health and Education. Clients include a number of blue-chip, international and national companies and small to medium sized UK businesses.
Mike was previously CEO and a senior executive responsible for several dramatic turnarounds in international and national banking businesses. His efforts were recognised by awards presenters, case study writers and universities for his contribution in advancing business thinking. He is able to relate his extensive experience of foresight, strategy and change management so that others can go away armed with new ideas to implement positive change right away.

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