The Future of Business
Critical insights into a rapidly changing world from 60 future thinkers
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 breakthroughs in science and technology. Over 60 contributors from 21 countries explore how the business landscape will be reshaped by factors as diverse as the modification of the human brain and body, 3D printing, alternative energy sources, the reinvention of government, new business models, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and the potential emergence of the Star Trek economy.
The Authors & Their Chapters
Meet the authors of The Future of Business and watch them discuss their contributions to the book.
- Section 1 - Visions of the Future
- Section 2 - Tomorrow's Global Order
- Section 3 - Emerging Societal Landscape
- Section 4 - Social Technologies
- Section 5 - Disruptive Developments
- Section 6 - Surviving & Thriving
- Section 7 - Industry Futures
- Section 8 - Embracing the Future
- Section 9 - Framing the Future
- Section 10 – Conclusions
Visions of the Future
What are the global shifts on the horizon?
The Future of Business - Navigating the Next Horizon - Rohit Talwar is a global futurist, founder and CEO of Fast Future Research and Fast Future Publishing and the curator and lead editor of the Future of Business. His opening chapter presents a broad overview of the emerging ideas, fundamental tensions and technology developments shaping the future of business. Thirty key future industry sectors are identified, and possible future business behaviors and strategies are discussed along with the resulting choices for business leaders.
Forecasting Future Disruptions - Strategic Change Is Inevitable - William E. Halal is Professor Emeritus of Management, Technology, and Innovation at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and founder of the Tech Cast forecasting system. He presents forecasts out to 2030 for critical technologies, social trends, and wild cards, and highlights their expected impacts and implications for society, nations, and business.
The Automated, Digitized, and Simulated Future - Gray Scott, a New York based futurist, techno-philosopher, speaker, writer, artist, and founder and CEO of SeriousWonder.com, outlines the relentless forces that are driving the deep and transformative penetration of digital technologies into every aspect of society.
Redefining the Relationship of Man and Machine - Gerd Leonhard is a Swiss-based futurist, keynote speaker, author, and CEO of The Futures Agency. He sets out the case for a Digital Ethics Treaty, ensuring that in the face of exponential waves of disruption, we focus on controlling these technologies and harnessing them to serve humanity and further human happiness.
Can 3D Printing Destroy Capitalism and Restore Government? - Jeffrey Joslin is a self-proclaimed “extraterrestrial from the Pleiades star cluster” and a writer on the advancement of technology. He argues that 3D printing could be the most disruptive innovation in history - reshaping industry value chains, enabling abundance, redistributing economic wealth, and rebalancing power and influence in political systems.
Tomorrow's Global Order
What are the emerging political & economic transformations that could reshape the environment for society and business?
The Prospect of Democracy 2.0 - David Wood is a UK based futurist, technologist, writer, and chair of London Futurists. He sets out the case for embracing technology to help enable the transition from democracy 1.0 to a more open, participative, and informed democracy 2.0 model of governance in the digital era.
The Comeback of Value Creation as the True Measure of Results in Business - Petur Albert Haraldsson is a business executive, entrepreneur and financial services change agent from Iceland. Petur presents a compelling vision of how the economic and financial system could evolve in the digital age to enable true market driven capitalism and a reframing of the future purpose and role of banks.
The Impact of Accelerating 3D Printing Technology on Economic Systems - Sally Morem is a freelance writer based in Northern Minnesota and Southwest Florida with an interest in emerging technologies, including space development and transhumanism. She highlights the highly disruptive potential impacts of the rise of 3D printing on business, consumers, the environment, and the wider economy.
The Future of the Global Monetary and Financial System - Time for a New Bretton Woods? - Professor Adrian Pop is a faculty member at the National University of Political Science and Public Administration in Bucharest Romania. Adrian highlights scenarios for how our international monetary and financial systems could evolve in the wake of the global financial crisis, continued economic uncertainty, and the scale of disruption taking place in financial markets, digital currencies, and global trade.
It's not Money until it's Postmoney - Dr. Boyan Ivantchev is an associate professor in behavioural finance and board member of a Bulgarian listed private equity fund. He examines the evolution of the role of money, its emergence as Postmoney and the potential future scenarios for the evolution of money in an increasingly digital world.
Investing in International Aid and Development - Norman Rebin is a U.S. based specialist in productivity and communications focused on global business. He outlines the drivers for and benefits of increasing future corporate involvement and investment in international aid and development.
Emerging Societal Landscape
Who are we becoming, how will we live?
Understanding Tomorrow's Consumer Landscape - Anne Lise Kjaer, a global futurist and trend observer based in Denmark, discusses how relationships between producer and consumer could change and the implications for how organizations will need to adapt to engage with ever-more demanding consumers.
Generation Z in the Workforce - Anne Boysen is a Norwegian futurist and researcher specializing in generational analysis. She examines the evolving nature, expectations, and workplace implications of those born after 1995 - often referred to as “Generation Z”.
Education 2025 - Building a Generation of Problem Solvers - Alberto Rizzoli is a young Italian futurist, educational innovation entrepreneur, and Singularity University student. Alberto explores how schools and learning could evolve as a result of the rapid adoption of new technologies and educational models.
The Future of Personal Income and Expenses - Michael Nuschke is a "Retirement Futurist" focusing on the impacts of emerging technologies on personal financial planning. He addresses the potentially dramatic future impacts on personal finances of rising life expectancy and accelerating technologies.
The Future Potential of Consciousness in Business - Rishi Haldanya is a U.S. student with a strong interest in personal development, consciousness, neuroscience and entrepreneurship. He highlights how working with human consciousness could enhance workplace performance and create opportunities across a growing number of sectors.
The Future Derives From Place Choices - Stephen Roulac is a San Francisco based Real estate expert, litigation consultant, strategy advisor, and author. He examines the range of factors that will influence our future decisions about where to live, work and locate our businesses and highlights implications of those choices for individuals, companies and society.
How will tomorrow's technologies permeate our everyday lives?
The Future of the Internet - Rohit Talwar and Alexandra Whittington, a Houston based foresight researcher, describe key forces and factors shaping the next twenty years of the internet and discuss how its role in business and society could evolve.
The Future of Digital Media - The Freexpensive Prerogative - Yates Buckley is a founding partner at UNIT9, an award winning UK digital production agency. He explores how we might use intelligent personal agents to integrate our technology ecosystem to best communicate with us, control access to our personal data, and serve our needs.
2030: Scenarios for the Role of Mobile Technology in Society - Alexandra Whittington and Amir Bar, a technology and education professional, present four scenarios exploring how mobile technology could permeate every aspect of our social and professional lives by 2030.
The Impact of Wearable Lifestyle Technologies and Gamification on Business and Society - David Wortley is a Malaysian based author and expert on the strategic use of gamification and enabling technologies for the transformation of business and society. His chapter considers the future potential impact of wearable lifestyle sensor technologies, AI, mobile applications, and gaming concepts on personal and corporate health.
Body-Machine Convergence - Dr Ian Pearson, a globally acclaimed futurist and inventor, takes us on a journey to the frontiers of human enhancement, examining how scientific advances could turn the body into a technology platform and blur the boundaries between man and machine.
The Rise of Neurosocial Networks - The Prospects for Networking our Brains in the Next 20 Years - Martin Dinov is a PhD student and researcher at Imperial College London focused on modeling, understanding and improving attention, cognition and brain function. Andrew Vladimirov is an experienced Ukrainian neuroscientist specializing in stimulation technologies. The authors examine the potential developments in, and applications of, neurotechnologies that could allow people to network at a brain-to-brain level.
Life in 2035: Future Consciousness, Cyborgs and Wisdom - Victor Vahidi Motti, a noted and award-winning Iranian scholar and academic futurist, explores how rapid and radical advances in science and technology could disrupt and reformulate our understanding of human capability, wisdom and the nature of work.
The Potential for Technological Singularity and Its Future Impacts on Society - Anish Mohammed, a UK-based technologist and security expert, explains the notion of the technological singularity, and examines the potential challenges it could create for humanity.
How might new technologies enable business innovation?
The Decentralization of Everything - Exploring The Business of the Blockchain - In this chapter Alexandra Whittington and Rohit Talwar introduce the nuts and bolts of blockchain technology and explore its potential disruptive impacts for society, business and economies.
The Future of the Phone Call - Dean Bubley, a UK-based technology analyst and authority on the future of telecommunications, explores the potential evolution of the humble phone call and considers the implications of ever-more fragmented – but more functional and customized – forms of telecommunication.
Will AI Eat the World? - Calum Chace, a highly acclaimed author, international authority on artificial intelligence (AI) and experienced business executive, examines the likely benefits and risks of AI and so called "conscious machines" for business and society.
From Clouds to Networks Without Infrastructure - Dr. Peter Cochrane is a seasoned technology innovator and entrepreneur and former head of research and Chief Technology Officer for BT in the UK. Peter outlines the radical innovations required in networking infrastructures to support the projected growth in internet users, connected objects and internet traffic.
Future Developments and Opportunities for Deep Learning Artificial Neural Networks - Elias Rut, a freelance software engineer and student of computational intelligence at the Vienna University of Technology and Martin Dinov. The authors introduce us to the power of deep learning Artificial Neural Networks as a tool that can have a transformative impact in fields as diverse as understanding the brain to financial decision making and economic risk analysis.
How Massive Simulation Models could Transform Decision Making in Business, Government, and Society - Vinay Gupta's career has seen three distinct phases: software nerd, ecologist, and revolutionary. He is now the release manager for Ethereum - a new “trustless software platform for developing and running decentralized applications on the internet”. He discusses the challenge of valuing complex assets such as ecosystem services and explores how large scale simulations could enabled us to value the impact of everything from climate change to a new business model.
The Future of Events and Networking - Tiana Sinclair is a UK based product manager, futurist and an advocate of emerging technologies and runs the Future Tech Track event for early technology adopters. Tiana highlights how a range of advanced technology developments could be deployed to augment the live experience for attendees, event owners, sponsors, and planners.
Revolutionizing Interactive Entertainment and Marketing in Public Places through Ambient Interactivity - Michael Mascioni is a market research consultant, writer, and conference planner in digital media and clean energy. He provides an overview of how the use of ambient interactivity could play out to enhance user experiences and marketing effectiveness in public places.
Surviving and Thriving
How can business adapt to a rapidly changing reality? What are the critical success factors for business in a constantly evolving world?
Experience Rules: How Stakeholder Experiences will Drive Profit into the Future - Joyce Gioia is President and CEO of The Herman Group (U.S.) and a Strategic Business Futurist advising global clients on workforce and workplace trends. She highlights how maximizing the experience of each stakeholder group could be the most critical driver of future corporate profitability.
Acceleration of the Slow Movement - Dana Klisanin, an award-winning U.S. psychologist and expert on conscious living, explores how businesses in future may increasingly turn their back on the pursuit of speed and instead embrace the concepts of the Slow Movement.
Business Agility: The Future of Work - Laura Goodrich is a speaker, coach, advisor and Global Workforce Innovator focused on change and the future of work. She describes the fundamentals of business agility as a management methodology to ensure organizations have the capacity to respond rapidly and effectively to emerging and anticipated change.
The Future of Work, Talent, and Recruitment - Matt Alder is a digital strategy expert who focuses on the future of work. He examines the critical forces of business change and how they are shaping tomorrow's organization designs and models of work and employment.
The Future of Talent Management: Recruiting, Workforce Planning, Leadership Development, and Performance Management - Kevin Wheeler is a U.S. based author, consultant, teacher, and global speaker and Founder and President of The Future of Talent Institute. Kevin explains how the confluence of factors driving business change will force us to rethink every aspect of talent management in tomorrow's organization.
Making the Shift from Disruptive to Hyper Scalable - Omar Mohout, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Antwerp Management School discusses the limits of the disruptive innovation philosophy and argues that future success requires companies to adopt Hyper Scalable thinking to succeed in winner-takes-all markets.
How might old industries change and what new ones could emerge?
The Future of Aviation - Andrew Charlton, a highly respected Geneva based aviation industry consultant and commentator, presents the case for reform of the aviation sector ecosystem to address the critical capacity constraints that could hold back global trade, employment, and economic growth.
Futures Journalism: A Manifesto - Anna Simpson, a Singapore-based author and curator of Forum for the Future's Futures Centre, examines the current crisis in the practice and institutions of journalism and news reporting, and argues the need for journalism to evolve by learning from the practices of futures and foresight research.
Shaping the Future of Journalism - Puruesh Chaudhary is a development and strategic communications professional and the Founder and President of AGAHI, an NGO focused on creating knowledge collaboration and information sharing platforms. She discusses how the practice of journalism needs to evolve in the face of continuous global change and rapid technological advancements.
Constructing the Future - Julian Snape is a UK-based adviser on the impacts of disruptive technologies for small to medium enterprises and one of the early co-founders of Transhumanism in the UK. He traces the rapid evolution of 3D printing and examines the transformative ways in which it could impact the construction sector.
The Future Business of Body Shops – B.J.Murphy is a 24 year-old American Technoprogressive Transhumanist, writer, editor, and social media manager for the futures magazine SeriousWonder.com. B.J. outlines a powerful vision for how advances in cybernetics, 3D printing, and the biohacking movement could drive the emergence of high street Body Shops performing a range of human enhancements.
The Rise of the Cosmeceutical Sector - David Saintloth, a U.S. entrepreneur, designer, and writer, highlights the market potential of a new cosmeceutical health and beauty sector that could emerge as a result of recent developments in gene editing technology.
The Great Energy Controversy of 2030 - James H. Lee is a Delaware-based investment advisor and authority on emerging technologies and social trends. He examines the potential opportunities and risks associated with tapping in to fields of crystallized natural gas in the form of methane hydrates trapped in our oceans below the arctic permafrost.
Space-Based Solar Power and Wireless Power Transmission - Devin Daniels is a U.S. based physics student and technology innovator with a deep interest in space based ventures. Devin explores the transformational social and commercial potential and associated technological challenges of developing a space based solar power generation industry.
Embracing the Future
What are the futures / foresight tools, methods and processes that we can use to explore, understand and create the future?
Foresight Infused Strategy Development - Maree Conway is an experienced foresight and strategy consultant and the founder of Thinking Futures (Australia). She explores how to infuse foresight into existing corporate strategy processes to strengthen outcomes and execution.
Automated, Experiential, Open: How to Overcome "Futures Fatigue" with Emerging Foresight Practices - Cornelia Daheim, a leading German futurist and foresight consultant, highlights a growing trend towards the use of IT-based, participative and experiential approaches to invigorate and enhance the practice of corporate foresight.
Storifying Foresight: Scenario Planning as a Tool for Improved Change Management Processes - Dr. Claire Nelson is Ideation Leader of The Futures Forum USA and a White House Champion of Change. She explains the critical role of scenario planning and storytelling in helping organizations shape and share their desired visions of the future, and in delivering the resulting organizational changes.
Is the Future of Design Thinking in the Future of Business Foresight? - Jim Burke is a U.S. foresight coach focused on delivering innovation and effective ways to think about and act on future. Jim highlights the growing use of Design Thinking as part of the foresight process, particularly for prototyping future scenarios.
Framing the Future
Why and how should organizations look at the future?
What Works in Transforming Organizations and Institutions? - Professor Sohail Inayatullah is on the faculty at the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies, Tamkang University, Taiwan and Director of metafuture.org. He identifies critical insights and principles for how we can use foresight and a learning journey approach to framing new strategies and driving organizational transformation.
Futures Thinking – A Critical Organizational Skill - Hardin Tibbs, a highly experienced UK-based futurist, strategist, educator, and writer, highlights the importance of developing the critical future thinking skills that enable a organization to anticipate and adapt to change.
Critical Foresight Skills - Dr. Peter Bishop was Director of the Foresight program at the University of Houston and is now the Executive Director of Teach the Future which helps educators teach foresight. He highlights how organizations can acquire the key foresight skills required to create new adaptive strategies and drive change in uncertain times.
Business Management in a Time of Change: The Importance of Futures Studies - Professor Francisco Jose Martinez-Lopez from the University of Huelva, Spain, specializes in information technology and future studies, and Mercedes Garcia Ordaz is Associate Professor of the University of Huelva of the Department of Financial Economy, Accounting and Operations Management. They explore the critical importance of future studies and long term planning in an era of rapid change.
Is The Pace of Change Accelerating? - Stephen Aguilar-Millan is s consulting futurist from the UK and Director of Research at the European Futures Observatory. He examines the potential for the pace of change to stop accelerating and examines the possible consequences.
The Outside Context Problem, A Concerned Observer's Guide - Benjamin Mottram is a UK based future thinker and authority on crowd sourcing and gamification. He discusses how organizations can make sense of and address the unforeseen and complex problems that will be thrown up by a constantly changing operating environment over the next two decades.
Be There Now - Paul Brooks, a Hawaii-based researcher on social and economic emergence, stresses the importance of openness, dynamism and scalability in helping a business prepare for the future.
Navigating uncertainty and a rapidly changing reality.
Lead Editor Rohit Talwar sets out a framework to help leaders respond to the ideas presented in the book to drive future strategy and navigate uncertainty and a rapidly changing reality.