Today, more than half the world’s population live in urban areas and almost all of the new growth will take place in lesser known medium-sized cities of developing countries.
How cities evolve will be determined by the collective actions of city governments, people and businesses. What is critical, is to focus interventions not just on the ‘smart city’, but on the smart town and the smart village, enabling an interdependent ecosystem that counters rapid organisation to the mega city.
As the world becomes more populous, urbanised and prosperous, demand for energy, food and water will rise. But the Earth has a finite amount of natural resources to satisfy this demand.
Without significant global action, average temperatures are predicted to increase by more than two degrees Celsius, a threshold at which scientists believe significant and potentially irreversible environmental changes will occur.
Some emerging economies that were growing rapidly are now in recession. Commodity prices have played a considerable role in sending these economies into reverse.
Businesses that are investing, or already invested, in emerging economies will need to make a careful assessment of whether and, if so, how they should manage in these more volatile market conditions, where prospects look less certain today than they did even a few years ago.
By 2030 the world’s population is projected to rise by more than 1 billion. Equally significantly, people are living longer and having fewer children.
All countries will need to implement bold policies to cope with these demographic changes. Supporting an ageing population will require greater participation in the labour force from women and the elderly.
The digital revolution has no boundaries or borders. It is changing behaviour and expectations as much as the tools used to deliver new services and experiences.
But many of today’s largest and leading organisations and businesses developed in an era of scarce, expensive and rigid technology. Delivering change for them is a complex proposition. Born digital businesses are change ready.