Delivery robots, new forms of energy generation and greater disruption from extreme weather are among a series of predictions for how business may look in 15 years.
A new Business in the Community’s (BITC) “Future Insights” project launched in Birmingham aims to give the clearest vision yet of the future landscape that firms will operate in.
The report, developed by WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, makes predictions about six main areas – demography, climate change, politics, resources, value change and technology.
It also identifies an ageing workforce, a greater threat of terrorism and climate change as possible obstacles.
WSP head of environment Mark Hurley said: “If we think back ten, 15, 20 years, it’s remarkable how much the internet and consumer habits have changed, not to mention human nature, work-life patterns and the homes we live in. The businesses that have succeeded and really made a difference have been those that have embraced innovation and planned ahead. This new guide – Key Trends for the Built Environment – will give an overview of the key changes we can expect to see and helps inform strategic planning processes. Most of all we want to start the debate, and get the conversation going now on how we should be preparing for 2030 and beyond.”
The 38-page report, which is also backed by Pinsent Masons, Anthesis, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Lloyds Banking Group and Cisco, features a detailed insight into the trends we can expect to see in 2030 and recommendations on how to future proof assets, infrastructure and operations.
Key predictions for 2030 include:
* The demand for housing in the UK could be the highest in Europe.
* The number of older people in the UK will grow by 50 per cent between 2013 and 2030.
* Supply chains will be frequently disrupted by extreme weather, with a 10 per cent chance of a major flood in England over the next 15 years.
* City regions will gain more autonomy to control their local environments and economies.
* Homes will be zero carbon and super water lean as a matter of course.
* Sensors will be the eyes and ears of systems – from traffic networks to home heating.
* Robots will ensure delivery of any item within two hours.
Gudrun Cartwright, Head of Innovation and Partnerships, at BITC, said: “I’m delighted that Birmingham – a forward thinking city – was chosen to pilot this project and launch the report.
“We are asking senior leaders to engage employees and suppliers in conversations to develop ideas and innovations that will future-proof their businesses and help support local communities.”