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.

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.

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.


  • 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.”


Bring it on! We are ready.


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