2030: A Changed World?

A joint SAM, KTH, SU and RISE outlook on the future

As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said “change is the only constant in life” and the modern world is no exception to this statement and will, at times, change in very unpredictable ways. For companies and governments alike to be able to plan for the future, these seemingly unpredictable changes must be taken into consideration. An effective and tested way of doing so is to build strategy scenarios. Using several scenarios as a base, one can follow the trends and adapt one’s strategies thereafter.

During 2018 and 2019, SAM worked together with KTH EECS, Stockholm University and RISE to build a set of scenarios for the year 2030. The study focused on 12 key factors, or social contexts, namely: working life, business, entertainment, public health, education, transportation, media, public security, living standards, food and energy. To limit the scenario variation to a reasonable level, each key factor was considered with two variables: economic momentum and socio-political ideals.

Economic momentum describes the general health of the economy, i.e. if its fast or slow and how that affects the labor market, buying power and such conditions. Sociopolitical ideals describe how open or closed the society is and the effects thereof. Combining the two axes result in four quadrants with four different characteristics that will affect the twelve key factors mentioned above. For this scenario study, it was opted to use representatives from the animal kingdom to personalize the four scenarios.

These four animal champions are:

  • The Tiger: As a strong but independent hunter, the tiger represents the scenario with high economic momentum but protectionist and secluding political and societal movements.
  • The Dolphin: The social kings of the ocean are the champions of the scenario were the world enjoys high economic momentum and openness/multiculturalism in political and societal movements.
  • The Elephant: With the habit of traveling tens of kilometers each day in search for precious resources, the elephant represents the scenario with openness and multiculturalism in political/societal movements, but were the economic momentum is low.
  • The Koala: A solitary life and a one-track diet, that is the koala’s lot in life and similar can said for the scenario they are associated with, where the economic momentum is low while political/societal movements are protectionist and secluding.

Above, you can read more about the different challenges each scenario might face. You can also gain some insight into how life might progress for people from each scenario respectively buy reading the “Stories” of each animal – en effective way to get a feeling of the world.

Building the full picture of how these four scenarios might play out is an extensive process and requires a good understanding of the world today and what trends we see both at the moment and going forward. During this scenario project, twelve key factors were taken into consideration and extensive trend analysis was carried out withing each context. We will not go into these in detail here but a few key points are listed below.

Are you curious how these trends and scenarios would affect you company’s strategies. Contact us for a meeting!