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Population 2050: why it matters that we understand where the future is taking us

Population 2050
Aaron Punwani Chief Executive Officer & Partner

A world in flux 

The last few years have been eye-opening, exhibiting a tremendous pace of change for all of us as individuals and a society. 

2023 was declared the warmest year on record, and it’s clear that urgent collective action is needed to protect our planet. The pandemic was a reminder to all of us of the fragility of life as we know it. Economies are struggling to find their equilibrium, and the UK and many other countries are still experiencing a cost-of-living crisis for both workers and retirees. Health systems are still playing catch up post-pandemic, exacerbated by demographic shifts. War in Ukraine and in the Middle East has put energy security at the top of the political agenda. And even over just the last few months, AI continues to evolve at the pace of a sprinter and its uses and applications seem to grow daily. These issues present us with both opportunities and threats that policymakers and business leaders need to understand. 

If the early 2020’s have taught us one thing, it is that preparation is key. Understanding what challenges are on the horizon will mean that we can better understand and weather the storm, and we can make sure that our businesses and societies are resilient and adaptable. The big macro and societal trends impact us all, regardless of industry or expertise. 

2050: the not too-distant future 

The year 2050 might seem a distant date on the horizon, but it’s a crucial date. It is the year when the UK is planned to meet its net zero target, and the energy transition is going to have repercussions for infrastructure and society. European populations are also expected to stop growing, then which will bring its own societal and economic challenges. We expect technological evolution to be unrecognisable from what it is today, so it’s necessary to upskill workforces over the next decades so they are equipped to adapt to changes as they come. There will also be an increasing need for regulation to keep up with those changes. 

For business leaders, it feels like a constant juggle merely to stay still and on top of daily challenges, but the businesses that will survive and thrive are those that understand and invest in the future. This is especially true when the change coming down the track is so dramatic. 

The scale of these challenges and opportunities will be daunting if left to the last minute to tackle and the impact on people and our planet will be vast. For businesses, taking action now means spotting opportunities for growth and longevity with the upside that you are also helping to make society less unequal and therefore more prosperous. 

The trends to watch out for 

We will be drawing together all the latest thinking from our experts about key trends, issues and data that tell a story about where we are headed when it comes to technology, demographic shifts, health and the drive to a net zero future. 

Our message is one of hope. Understanding where the future is taking us will make our economy and society stronger and give businesses that are forward-thinking the key to growth and prosperity.