An overview of futures and foresight in government agencies around the world

By

In 2014 Sweden made headlines as the first nation to appoint a Minister for the Future, Kristina Persson. Unfortunately, her role only lasted for a year and a half. Sweden’s experience with long-term planning at such a high level is common. Many governments spend a few months to a year thinking about the long-term future before taking a break.

The context for foresight in government

For governments to plan for the long-term future, they must first sustain their efforts at long-term thinking. Long-term thinking actually has a history of at least 100 years in national governance. In fact, an entire field has built up in that time devoted to helping organizations, both public and private, to forecast, plan, and prepare for the future.
Read more

Vectors of Disruption: a framework to clarify the key forces of change

By

Yesterday I gave a briefing on Technology Trends and the Future of Work to a group of Non Executive Directors of major corporations, organized by a large professional services firm for its clients.

The group was the first to get a run-through of my new concept framework Vectors of Disruption, shown below, which I used to introduce and frame the rest of my presentation.


Click on the image for the full-size pdf
Read more

“Government as platform” provides a compelling vision for the future of government and society

By

Before my recent keynote at CeBIT on Platform Strategy: Creating Exponential Value in a Connected World I did a video interview with Alex Zaharov-Reutt of ITWire, shown below. The full article and video is available on ITWire.

It was a very broad-ranging interview, however one of the topics I touched on was the concluding point of my keynote that afternoon, on governments as platforms.

I have written before about issues such as the role of crowdsourcing in government, how crowdfunding could shift the shape of taxation and government, how we can envisage the future of government as a solution enabler, and the value of a framework for the Transformation of Government.
Read more

Reinvent Australia: how can we shape a positive future for nations?

By

A few days ago I attended the launch event of Reinvent Australia, organized by Annalie Killian of Amplify Festival at PwC’s Sydney offices. It was a very interesting event, digging into the issues of how we can bring together many people’s ideas to create better futures for nations.

Graham Kenny, President of Reinvent Australia, described the organisation as a collaborative initiative to create a conversation on a shared vision for the nation. The bottom line of its endeavors is to increase the quality of life for all Australians, by influencing government and business in how they work.

Kenny quoted Henry Mintzberg in a recent Harvard Business Review article, Rescuing Capitalism from Itself.
Read more

40-50% of jobs are at risk of being lost to automation, but where will they disappear fastest?

By

The Committee for Economic Development for Australia (CEDA) today launched a landmark publication Australia’s Future Workforce?

It’s an excellent report, bringing together contributions from leading researchers from Australia and globally, looking at the exceptional challenges of the changing landscape of work, and some of the policy prescriptions that will help nations and their citizens to prosper.

One of the highlights of the report was an analysis of the likelihood of automation replacing jobs in Australia, adapting the methodology used by the Oxford Martin Institute in examining the risk of job losses in the US.

The Australian study looked at the likelihood of different job sectors being replaced by automation.

CEDA1
Source: CEDA
Read more

What people value in creating better lives: differences around the world

By

The OECD has created a wonderful interactive visual map of the world, showing the Better Life Index – what people value most in their lives – in different countries around the world.

OECD_BetterLife
Source: OECD

It is fascinating to see what people value the most around the world. When we look at cultural differences between countries, the simple question of what people value show deep differences, and strong insights into national identity.
Read more

Six compelling reasons we should have driverless cars

By

Yesterday morning I was interviewed on Channel 9 Mornings about driverless cars. You can view the segment by clicking on the image below.

Mornings9_010615

While daytime TV isn’t an ideal form to discuss all of the ins and outs of big issues, we did start to discuss some of the advantages of driverless cars. Some of these are:
Read more

Cities reconfigured: How changing work, shopping, community, and transport will transform our collective lives

By

One of our companies, Future Exploration Network, recently created a detailed report for a client delving into the most important shifts shaping the next decade and beyond.
City_aerial1

One of the themes was Cities Reconfigured. The section began:

Urbanisation has proved to be a dominant global force, shaping both developed and developing countries. We know cities are both spreading out and become denser at their centres, but radical shifts are now reshaping the structure and shape of cities. The rise of flexible, remote and freelance work and shifts where and how people shop and socialise are significantly changing travel patterns. The widespread deployment of data sensors is providing real-time insights into environmental, traffic and infrastructure conditions, enabling rapid response and a deeply-needed increase in urban efficiency.
Read more

Envisioning the future of government as solution enabler

By

When you look at the future, there are few more important topics than the future of government.

Government was designed to be institutional, providing stability to nations. Yet that design and structure means that governmental institutions are generally very poorly prepared to change as required in the face of extraordinary shifts in society and business.

I have been drawn more into the future of government over the last few years, among other activities creating and sharing my Transformation of Government framework with a variety of groups of senior policymakers.

William Eggers and his team at Deloitte have distilled some excellent analysis and insights into the future of government at their Government 2020 site, which includes an overview of drivers and trends shaping government, and views on the implications across domains of government.

The following slides and video provide nice high-level overviews of the work.

The other resources on the website are well worth a look, including the Drivers and Trends sections.


Read more

Latest insights into the state of global telecommunications

By

A delightful report out from International Telecommunication Union (ITU) today, Measuring the Information Society 2014, examines in depth the state of global telecommunications.

Below are a handful of the particularly interesting insights from the report.
Read more