Rapid progress is usually accompanied by greater instability. The impact of globalisation on our planet has reshaped, redefined and reordered almost everything. What this looks like and more importantly, what it means are avenues of inquiry that are neither simple nor are they always obvious.

FuturefitWhen one considers what has taken place within just two countries that together represent some 40% of the global population, it becomes easier to begin to grasp the change that has occurred. The two countries in question are those of India and China. In a mere 30 years between 1982 and 2012 India’s poverty rate has dropped 38% (from 60% of the population to 22%) whilst life expectancy has increased by 17 years (from 49 years to 66 years). These demographics have been even more pronounced in China where the poverty rate has fallen by 71% (from 84% of the population to 13%) in an economy that is 25 times bigger than it was 30 years ago. Essentially the Chinese have pulled some 600 million people out of poverty in what is today’s second biggest economy, second only to that of the USA.

Such shifts have a dramatic impact on global markets, consumerism, trade, social dynamics, and politics… in short, what the future looks like. Countries such as China, India, South Korea and a host of emerging economies are on what could be considered as the ‘right side of globalisation’. For many established economies, countries set in their ways and wrapped in layers of bureaucratic constraints, the destabilising shifts that have taken place and the emergent new realities have been harder to understand and more difficult to adjust to. Agility is always more difficult when the joints and muscles have been dormant or relatively inactive for a long time and this is exactly what has happened at a macro social, economic and political level.

Our economies and societies are changing rapidly. The key industries of the future – industries such as robotics, cyber-security, advances in life-sciences, the codification of monetary systems, artificial intelligence and big data destroy jobs and careers as much as they create jobs and careers; they pose new challenges as much as they create new opportunities; they threaten the established way of doing things as well as point to an entirely new way of doing things.

In short, being futurefit is simply not optional – at any level: be that national, organisational or personal. If we are to understand this unfolding future and what it means for both ourselves and our children, we have a personal and collective (corporate) responsibility to ensure that we are futurefit. Any form of fitness takes determination, hard work and consistency…being futurefit is no different.

At TomorrowToday Global helping you to get future-fit is what we do. The wonderful thing is that as we do this work with you so it helps us stay future-fit ourselves. It is just the way it works as in this domain, remaining still is to lose fitness.

This blog post first appeared on the TomorrowToday Global blog

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