The Future Worlds 2050 project

We’ve launched the Future Worlds 2050 project. We’re looking at future trends and possibilities across a range of themes to examine what legal work, client needs, and law firm business models might look like within these future worlds.

The project will be a mix of quantitative and qualitative research to build a plausible picture of the world in 2050.

Data scanning and analysis is structured around seven key themes:

  • smart cities (infrastructure, transport, architecture, gov/politics, public services)
  • populations (ageing, education, health, gender, migration)
  • industrial sectors (labour, skills, employment, professional services)
  • digital revolution (AI, nanotech, Biotech, IoT, Big Data, ‘Siri’)
  • energy (energy, efficiency, resources, plastics, fuel, environment)
  • food, biosphere and water (diets, agriculture, biodiversity, climate change)
  • production and consumption (resources, circular economy, products and services, buying behaviours, retail)

Findings will be reported granularly to include perceptions of the world in 2020 to 2030, 2030 to 2040 and 2040 to 2050.

This will enable us to engage with nearer term and more immediately practicable changes alongside stretching thinking to creatively imagine the longer term.

The intent is that we help lawyers and law firms understand how different drivers of change work together to transform future operating environments over a longer horizon.

The project aims to assist organisations to make best use of strategic planning and resources and deliver competitive services by providing a critical context to how executives think about what the future means ‘for us and our plans’.

The work will be running until around October 2020, but we’ll have a range of opportunities for participation before then.

In parallel to the 2050 project, our Horizon Scanning endeavours are twofold:

  • based broadly around the key themes of the 2050 project
  • scanning and analysis of cross-cutting themes such as ‘data’, ‘privacy’, ‘trust’, ‘rights’ and ‘digital’

Some of the first reports released this year will look at the future of the company and the future of trade.

We welcome your input on this work, whether to share your own views about how you foresee the future evolving or to pose questions you’d like us to consider in our analyses. If you’d like more information, email Dr Tara Chittenden, foresight manager.

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