Our future is set to be urban. Today, more than half of the population live in urban areas and 1.5 million people are added to the global urban population every week. A staggering 90% of this urban population growth will take place in African and Asian countries with rapid urbanisation placing huge demands on infrastructure, services, job creation, climate and environment. But this global urban transition presents significant opportunities too, with vast potential for emerging cities to act as powerful and inclusive development tools.

Climate change and resource scarcity

As the world becomes more populous, urbanised and prosperous, demand for energy, food and water will rise. But the Earth has a finite amount of natural resources to satisfy this demand.
Without significant global action, average temperatures are predicted to increase by more than two degrees Celsius, a threshold at which scientists believe significant and potentially irreversible environmental changes will occur.

Shift in global economic power

Some emerging economies that were growing rapidly are now in recession. Commodity prices have played a considerable role in sending these economies into reverse.
Businesses that are investing, or already invested, in emerging economies will need to make a careful assessment of whether and, if so, how they should manage in these more volatile market conditions, where prospects look less certain today than they did even a few years ago.
One factor more than any other has contributed to a significant change in the economic performance of many emerging markets: the dramatic fall in commodity prices. While the fall in the price of oil has been the most visible marker, other commodities have also seen precipitous declines.

Technological breakthroughs

The digital revolution has no boundaries or borders. It is changing behaviour and expectations as much as the tools used to deliver new services and experiences.
But many of today’s largest and leading organisations and businesses developed in an era of scarce, expensive and rigid technology. Delivering change for them is a complex proposition. Born digital businesses are change ready.

The change generated by technology is multidimensional. It’s happening rapidly and in many different directions – changing behaviour and expectations as much as the tools used to deliver new services and experiences.