What The Business World Will Look Like in 20 Years

What The Business World Will Look Like in 20 Years


It sounds a lot better than now!

Firstly, sit down. You need to hear this: Predictions about the future can be made by someone other than Old Moore. Woah!

The Virgin Group have released a document called Future Visions, which explores what the world of business will look like in 20 years’ time. And actually these predictions have all been made already by our in-house psychic. But let’s see what other futurists are saying!

So what will this future working life look like? Says Sir Richard Branson, “It’s a future where AI will assist us in our day to day life. Where battery technology will have advanced so far that we’ll have electric planes and where data will allow us to predict health problems, crime and weather.” There will be pre-emptive crime prevention. Offices as we know them will become extinct. And, as artificial intelligence rises so will the need for more “female” attributes such as emotional intelligence.

The future will also see the introduction of brain-controlled technology, which would allow doctors to operate on a patient remotely from anywhere in the world. It would also allow architects the ability to visualise their designs instantly.

Operations controlled with brainwave technology. A doctor in London can operate on someone in NYC.

The future is often viewed with the doom and gloom of mass-unemployment, marginalisation and poor health which many attribute to rapid technological developments. However, Future Visions lays out a new vision of a more inclusive, intellectual and well-rounded society.

Key findings include:

  • The office will be no more and communities will put increased value on interaction more than ever. It will be a high technology, low geography society as technology removes the need for a fixed location of work. People will work where they want, when they want. You will be able to log into any networked computer terminal in the world to access your cloud based company – you could do the same job in Dublin or Rio.
  • Diversity equals profits. In an increasingly connected global community race, gender and sexual discrimination within the business world will be a thing of the past. Companies with diverse recruitment processes will prosper as they will have a richer bank of opinions, in turn increasing productivity and profits.
  • Haptic technology will allow the controlling of technology through our brainwaves. This means surgeons could perform brain and heart surgery from anywhere in the world or architects could visualise their own designs immediately.
  • Rise in Artificial Intelligence technology will create AI Doctors which, will pre diagnose patients using their cloud based profile. AI will also change the type of skills we need, there will also be greater importance in the workplace for ‘female’ attributes such as emotional intelligence.
  • The internet of things will become the internet of everything. Data points across everything you use will help companies stock up your fridge or send you replacement lightbulbs before you know you need it. This same data will be used by security services to analyse human behaviour and pre-emptively stop possible criminal activity.
  • Companies will put purpose on the balance sheet. Companies will integrate purpose into their business plan, it won’t only be about bank profits but how the world and its citizens can profit. The Trip Advisors of tomorrow won’t just score on how good a meal tasted or how nice a hotel was, but how their food was sourced.
  • Finite resources will evolve. Traditional industries will utilise technology to adapt and conquer current challenges. Farming will revolutionise with vertical above ground and below ground growing which will be aided by the advancement in LED lighting – meaning a rise in inner city farms.

Some visions of the future are already being realised today: remote working has been on the rise, as has unlimited leave with companies like Virgin Management and Netflix offering it to their employees. More and more businesses are putting purpose at the heart of their business models – the corporate world has grown a conscience and this trend is set to explode over the next 20 years.

Says Branson,Now more than ever before in our history fresh ideas become stale very quickly. New innovations are altering the way we work and live at an unprecedented speed. It is important we prepare our future entrepreneurs for what’s coming round the corner. This is why we gathered six brilliant minds from across industry to come up with our best answer of what the future will be like. We will help guide our future entrepreneurs and pave the way for what lies ahead.”

You can download the first episode here: Acast or here: iTunes

In Episode one, Dr James Bellini explains that human hearts really could come from a 3D printer. Dr Bellini also discusses the importance of the ‘anywhere economy’ a fluid and functioning work/life eco-system which mean through hyper-connect systems you will be able to work anywhere, anytime and for any company. Dr Bellini also notes we’re entering the age of disruption as new technologies will see more innovation in the next twenty years than the whole of the 20th century. Other themes covered will be that of diverse and broad recruiting attitudes further a company’s profits and productivity.

Araceli Camargo – Episode 2 – The Future Is Human: Araceli is a cognitive neuroscientist, with a specialisation on perception. She is the co-founder of THECUBE London and INPUT Lofts in NYC, which are coworking spaces. As a science communicator she has worked with companies like Lloyds TSB, NHS, Bumpass and Parr, and Communicator Group. Recently she co-founded The Centric Lab, which is in partnership with UCL. It is a lab focused on research on how people experience the built environment.

Cindy Gallop – Episode 3 – The Future is Female: Cindy has had a celebrated career in advertising, marketing, branding and future thinking. Her continuous pursuit to challenge and disrupt the status quo has seen her become a voice and contributor to many big debates around hard, topical and challenging topics.

Ben Hammersley – Episode 4 – The Future is Ours: Ben is a British internet technologist, journalist, author, broadcaster and futurist. He is a frequent contributor to many publications including Wired Magazine and BBC.

Tracey Follows – Episode 5 – The Future is Predictive: Tracey is an award-winning futurist and works with client such as Google and Diageo. She speaks and writes regularly on the future of AI, gender, work and culture.

Peter Smith – Episode 6 – The Future is Direct: Peter is the CEO& Co-Founder of Blockchain, a financial technology and data company. He is a regular contributor and speaker on new pioneering technology in the FinTech space.




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