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What will the future look like?  

Ellun Kanat invited companies in our Executive Insights -network to share what the future looks like from their perspective during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. We used Inclus -tool for insight to help companies to evaluate different trends and their impact, with over 100 companies taking part. Questions within the tool were based on our extensive futures report “Double Disruption – What every company needs to know about the future” and on our Disruption barometer 2020 on change. This is what we found out: 

(click on the picture to open the trend list)

Illustrative photo of a person with a magnifying glass

Trends in a nutshell: 

The ability to change internally defines success externally


In 2021: Ability to change.

The ability to change defines a company’s success because rapid changes in the business landscape have a huge impact. This requires not only continuous strategy work but also fostering a sense of community, ensuring collaboration and creating new ways of developing skills. Leadership challenge of the digital era accepted?


In the long run: Digital life.

The quick transformation to remote work will lead to an increasingly immersive and digital working world. The price of work done at home will probably be measured by the value of the contribution, rather than the hours spent doing it. Remote work might lead to quicker adaptation of AI-led and digital services, while more frequent remote work after the pandemic will likely increase the use of digital services and shopping. This will have major consequences in all aspects of life.

Purpose is the key in turbulent times


In 2021: Purpose.

A sense of shared purpose becomes even more important for companies when they need to keep people motivated in the era of remote work, social distancing and generally turbulent times. However, purpose can easily become an empty marketing slogan. In the 2020s that’s not enough. Purpose must be the guiding star of a company’s vision and strategy in the era  of turbulence.

In the Long Run: Companies as problem solvers.

The economic system and its main operators, companies, have had to face the planet’s ecological boundaries, questions of fairness and their contribution to public values such as democracy. In the future, we will live in a world where profitable businesses increasingly solve problems for people and the planet and not produce them. It’s about doing business in a changing environment and answering the difficult questions of what value really means in the future.

The future is digital and green


In 2021: Platforms.

Platform economy grows rapidly and most companies need to adapt their strategies accordingly. COVID-19 has accelerated this rapid transition. When restrictions are putting a stop to physical globalisation, platform globalisation only speeds up. At the same time questions on for example on the future rules and regulation over work or the platform’s effects to the world around intensify.

In the long run: Green economy.

Upcoming stimulus packages are designed to orient investment towards those sectors and technologies that can accelerate green transition. Over 100 countries have already adopted carbon neutrality goals for 2050, requiring transformative change in many economic and business sectors. However, countries’ commitments for 2030 collectively fall short of what is needed for carbon neutrality. Governments must be consistent in their policies to ensure investments if they want to ensure the path towards a zero carbon, sustainable world.

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