Tipping Point: 2020 a year of Disruption and Opportunity.

2020 signaled a tipping point in our economic history. The preceding three decades have seen wave after wave of transformational trends that have conspired to provide a perfect mix of disruption and opportunity. With the advent of the 2020s, these trends conspired to present the perfect conditions for transformation – a tipping point – from which we will see the creation of a new generation of wealth creators. 

In this series we explore nine of those trends and examine what they mean for our economy and business. 

It is the understanding of these nine trends and the impact they are having on the modern world that give rise to the New Future Foundation. They underpin our understanding of the present and what it means for the next decade. 

We will discuss our recent economic history, assess the current financial and cultural landscape and provide guidance for how we should move forward. 

These nine insights are the catalyst for the creation of the New Future Foundation and  underpin the investment strategy of the Digital future fund. They inform our worldview and provide us with the opportunity to participate in the next great wave of value creation.
In this nine part series we invite you to understand, discuss and explore these trends with us – with the hope that it will inspire you to join us in participating in the mission of the New Future Foundation – to create the next generation of wealth creators.  

  1. A Convergence of Crises

In 2021 we are seeing the aftermath of a convergence of crises. The major upheavals in the last 18 months will likely shape the next decade and beyond. 

COVID-19, Brexit and digital transformation are just a few of the significant challenges we have had to face in the past year. In 2020 there was a perfect storm of global issues that placed unprecedented stress on industries and individuals around the world. 

But, where will this convergence of crises lead? Here we will look at how the crises created uncertainty, necessitated innovation and examine what this will mean for businesses in the future. 

A Perfect Storm 

The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union occurred on the 31st January 2020. The implications of Brexit were enormous. Many thought the next year was going to be all about adapting to Brexit. However, on that same day the World Health Organisation declared a Global Health Emergency as cases of the novel coronavirus spread from Wuhan, China and were subsequently found in the United States, Germany, Japan, Vietnam, and Taiwan. 2020 would in fact be defined by this virus.  

The pandemic caused global panic, a spike in unemployment, and an inability to rely on traditional models of business success. UK citizens and businesses had to deal with COVID-19 and contend with the complexities of the Brexit transition at the same time. So, we had to start thinking differently. 

As a result of the pandemic, a so-called ‘COVID Economy’ developed. Businesses were scrambling to adapt and there was a rise in “firms selling products or services to deal with coronavirus or responding to trends caused by it.”(Enterprise nation) Businesses that couldn’t adapt failed quickly, and even those that tried were hit by a perfect storm of economic hardship. 

What We Learned

In an interview with McKinsey in April 2021, Dame Sally Davies, the United Kingdom’s chief medical adviser for nine years and current master of Trinity College, Cambridge, stated that the pandemic and events of the past year have caused us to learn “about the interplay between behavior, the economy, and health in a way we haven’t had to before”(McKinsey).

Dame Davies went on to say that “you have to be struck by the power of digital technology—the Fourth Industrial Revolution”(McKinsey). We learned that in order to respond to a convergence of crises we had to let go of outdated systems and behaviours and adopt the new digital reality. Underpinning the response to this convergence of crises was innovative digital infrastructure. 

In the long-term people will leave struggling non-digital corporations that can’t cope with the pressures of Brexit, the rise of China and remote working. People have already begun to look to capitalize on the way COVID-19 has pushed consumers further towards digital solutions. For example, digital start-ups are on the rise. In 2020, from March until September, “London saw the biggest year-on-year increase in new start-ups at 20%“(Enterprise nation). 

The New Generation 

The stress on non-digital corporations has led to a fallout of talent through redundancy, furlough and economic collapse. The current generation may have seen how their former employer failed to transform in the face of a crisis. 

The new generation of business men and women will go on to form transformational start-ups in the next 36 months that value agility, and adaptability.

They will utilise digital business models and technology to grow without the encumbrance of legacy. The convergence of crises has pushed digital transformation to the forefront and encouraged forward-thinking business people to search for digital innovations. 

Stay Tuned for the next in the series – ‘The Digital Extinction Event


A Convergence of Crises

The Digital Extinction Event

Shift in Digital

Instant entrepreneurism: Blessed are the geeks, for they shall inherit the earth

Tech stack of the future: New operating models 

Small is Beautiful 

Outsourcing Innovation 

The Technology Trust Gap

Many to Many: Digital as a cultural force

  1. 8 April 2021 - Reply

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