We're stronger when "we're all in it together"
This week we are proud to be publishing the second book from the Future Agenda, the world’s largest open foresight programme: 120 workshops and events discussing over 22 different topics in 45 locations around the world. This initiative aims for a more informed understanding of the world in which we live, making it easier to shape a strategy to address what lies ahead.
In Future Agenda: Six Challenges for the Next Decade, Tim Jones and Caroline Dewing have synthesised the findings from these workshops into six main themes: people, place, power, belief, behaviour and business. They identify ways in which systems could function, consumers behave and governments regulate over the next decade, and give all organisations access to insights which will hopefully help them to develop their future strategy. Among the conclusions the book makes are that we need to recognise the importance of sharing data, and indeed who controls that data, that we must create ‘smart cities and smarter citizens’, and we will need extensive collaboration in order to drive change.
Vicky Ford, MEP for East of England, also focused on the need to work together when she spoke at the Science Business Conference on Europe’s Tech Clusters earlier this week. The conference was held in the park where Albert Einstein met Marie Curie 90 years ago, a fitting place to discuss the importance of collaboration in science.
At the heart of Ford’s constituency is the Cambridge cluster, Europe’s fastest-growing tech cluster. Published earlier this year, The Cambridge Phenomenon: Global Impact highlights the invaluable contributions that Cambridge companies have made in the areas of communication, biotech, medical, clean-tech, agritech and fintech. Cambridge is Europe's most successful 'Scale Up City', with 15 home grown firms valued at $1 billion or more. Ford argued that what makes Cambridge so successful is the combination of the outstanding research work, largely from its universities, with the entrepreneurial networks around it. These are not just networks of expertise but also of resources and goodwill, themes echoed in the Future Agenda program, which shows that we will need more collaboration, not less, as we attempt to address the challenges of the next decade.