Guest Blog – The World Beyond The Horizon

We are living in very uncertain times – Brexit talks have just begun, we have a minority government looking to form a coalition, tensions between Russia and the US lead coalition in Syria are growing, North Korea are testing missiles and we have Donald Trump as US President!

Technology is advancing faster than we could ever imagine – There are now over 20Bn devices connected to The Internet. Even well-established businesses are finding themselves now out of favour or in administration, think Kodak, HMV, Blockbuster Video, Jessops, Comet, Clintons Cards and more.

We asked Professor Joe Nellis, Professor of Global Economy at the School of Management Cranfield University to summarise a recent presentation he did for The BVAA and are happy to include his Guest Blog below:


“In recent decades the business environment nationally and internationally has been transformed by unprecedented economic and political developments.  A new world order is shaping up with the establishment of new markets and growth opportunities. The globalisation of trade and finance has brought about fundamental paradigm shifts alongside the rapid development of some emerging and frontier economies such as China and India.  At the same time, globalisation has also brought about an increasing interdependence between nations, institutions and people.

In tandem, we are witnessing some major social trends including, for example, the ageing of populations in the most developed economies – including the UK. This contrasts sharply with the rapid expansion of young populations, the growth of urbanisation and a long-awaited and much needed expansion in educational investment in many developing countries.

Innovations in technology have connected people in radically new ways. We all now have access to an almost infinite volume and range of information and knowledge -at little or no cost.  The internet has truly killed distance!  And in the coming years even more far-reaching technological innovations involving for example artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and the gig economy will profoundly change the way we all shop, travel, live and work.

In a nutshell, the world is becoming ever more diverse and complex – and riskier. This makes it increasingly challenging and imperative for everyone to respond appropriately and sooner rather than later.  Government, business and society must be prepared to face up to ‘new normals’- there will be no hiding places for those who try to cling to the past and who ignore the new realities.

Charles Darwin wrote a long time ago that:

It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.

The dinosaurs became extinct because of their failure to evolve in a slowly changing environment.  Today, many well-known and long established companies have joined the ranks of the dinosaurs. The world is changing at break-neck speed – and many of us in terms of our skill sets will also become extinct sooner than previously thought possible. But winners of the future will be those who identify and adapt to the new ‘World Beyond the Horizon’.”

[caption id="attachment_901" align="aligncenter" width="240"]Professor Joe Nellis, Professor of Global Economy at the School of Management Cranfield University Professor Joe Nellis, Professor of Global Economy at the School of Management Cranfield University[/caption]