2020: Review of Future Agenda Foresight

Generated on 31st December 2018

At this time of year, many are looking forward to the next twelve months. From the WSJ and the Economist to the FTCNN and numerous consultancies, a host of organisations are suggesting how technology, economics, trade and politics may change and impact society.

However, others keen to plan, innovate and invest for the future are interested in understanding probable longer-term shifts. It is an uncertain science, but those that are able to identify the pivotal global and regional changes ahead of peers can be better prepared.

In 2010 the first global Future Agenda programme looked forward to the key shifts that would impact the World in 2020, so perhaps it is timely to review the results of that research. How well did we anticipate the decade ahead? How does foresight match reality?

During 2010, 50 expert workshops in 25 countries looked at the most significant changes ahead across 16 different topics ranging from the future of cities, food, health, transport and energy to identity, choice, data and authenticity.The 52 top foresights for 2020 were published online and via books, presentations and other media. These covered a wide range of themes. All research was shared openly for all to use under Creative Commons.

This new overview takes a look at the original research, highlights a selection of the foresights for 2020 as identified in 2010 and compares them to the unfolding reality at the start of 2019. It demonstrates a high level of accuracy found with all Future Agenda research – with around 80% alignment between foresight and reality.

If you would like to be involved in some of our upcoming projects for 2019 on changes in digital education, autonomous vehicles, placemaking and energy storage, do get in touch.