Tag Archives: future

London’s post-Brexit Futures

16 Nov

WestminsterAlexandra Jones (Chief Executive at Centre for Cities) is right to point out the strengths of London’s enviable standing as a European economic leader.

In terms of scale the capital’s economic output has a 12.5% lead over second-placed Paris. Scale garners great advantages – like availability of diverse skills – but also creates challenges that eat away at economic and societal sustainability.

Brexit may have induced the summer’s existential crisis amongst London citizens but more recent events have confirmed that uncertainty is the new certainty. Clearly, comforting as recitations of strengths may be, we should avoid complacency and focus more attention on bolstering longer-term directions. So Alexandra is also right to warn of the danger signs signaled by productivity and innovation data that place London in a less-enviable position – even if Brexiteers question the veracity of variables used in economic models.

In matters socioeconomic, like brushing your teeth, we have choices that must be exercised if default decay is to be avoided. It might well be useful and timely to remind leaders that the entire country will suffer if London loses its edge but, more significantly, future fortunes will be decided by the individual decisions of thousands of enterprise leaders – and the speed of those decisions. ‘Muddling through’ seems not to be high on the curricula of MBA courses.

It is therefore entirely sound that the capital, its employers, citizens and leaders of the entire eco-system of stakeholders, should identify weaknesses and not be brow-beaten into silence by ‘patriots’ who would cry ‘talking down’ at any honest self-assessment. . . . and not merely kvetching over the state of the kitchen but cracking on with remedial resourcefulness.

Cracking on with future sustainability has two very obvious themes – investments in infrastructure and in advocacy. The former is an urgent response to the woeful state of London’s digital connectivity – trailing far behind the sort of facilities that villagers in remote parts of Lancashire now regard as commonplace.  The latter, investment in advocacy, demands an attitudinal change in the way London projects itself to the world at large and needs fully to co-opt London’s digitalized diaspora.

Earlier this year (prior to the mayoral election) FISP championed the creation of DfL as a platform for accelerating future-proofed digital connectivity. The underlying principles remain valid and recent reconsiderations of the role of passive infrastructures have exposed the urgency. Now, in advance of the 2018 Global Summit, a small coordinating body is preparing an advanced understanding of what previously may have been called ‘Smart City’ but is now becoming a stronger ‘Intelligent Community’ theme – a shift above and beyond the cleverness of technology towards deeper understanding of the myriad ways in which society can enable greater economic and community wellbeing.

London’s future sustainability as a place to live, work, and dream is dependent on both of these themes – unconstrained connectedness and a deeper mission – with recharged resourcefulness in the way those themes are articulated to Europe and the world at large.

(Written as a response to observations by Centre for Cities – 14th November 2016)

Advertisements

The Future of Business

25 Jun

Future of Business softcover2SMALLWith conventional publishing timelines of 12 – 18 months, expert insights into the future and the concerns of future thinkers are likely to be  delivered far too late for decisive action.

The acclaimed futurist and regular speaker at NextGen events, Rohit Talwar, master-minded production of this impressive work in just 19 weeks. In that process from conception in January to launch this week, Rohit and his team adopted a new business model – one that they hope will lead to many further productions of high quality material.

The Future of Business is exclusively available for order via Fast Future Publishing 2015 – the venture they created in January to tackle the logistics of making their dream a reality.

In 62 chapters bringing together 60 contributing authors from across 21 countries, the Future of Business explores how the commercial world is being transformed by the complex interplay between social, economic and political shifts, disruptive ideas, bold strategies and technological & scientific breakthroughs.

At first sight readers might be daunted by these 566 pages but, edited into 10 sections with chapters averaging 9-10 pages, readers will find it easy to find topics of immediate interest – aided, no doubt, by the online references that perform so much better than printed versions ever could.

The book is aimed at the leaders of today and the pioneers of tomorrow – raising awareness of the issues that will confront us long before we are knocked sideways by the supposedly unexpected.  Our future, your future, is not pre-destined but the awareness that society, businesses and individuals can identify and exercise those choices is rarely apparent in life’s daily grind.

If the Future of Business raises your sights and stretches your imagination, then the entire collaborative production process will have been well worth the effort.

_____

Notes:

Rohit Talwar wbsizeRohit Talwar has been a star speaker at many NextGen Events.

The programme for NextGen 15 (November 5th) is currently under development and exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information see http://www.nextgenevents.co.uk/awards or contact Marit Hendriks –  marith@nextgenevents.co.uk