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In thinking about the future over the next few decades, the Dubai Future Foundation sees one that is highly varied, changing both rapidly and unevenly, with global trends affecting different people and places in different ways. How the next half-century will unfold is impossible for us to imagine. And our conceptions of growth, prosperity and well-being may evolve. However, people’s basic human needs and higher-order motivations, the human nature in which we are rooted, will endure. The Future Opportunities Report: The Global 50 covers the breadth of human experience and our relationship with our environment, spanning energy, communications, health, medicine, governance, ecology, education, culture and business. They range from universal access to energy to evolved digital and immersive realities, from machine-run companies to advances in medical screening that promise to reduce the burden of disease dramatically. It is important to remain focused on the future at a time when our world is still adjusting to the impact of a global pandemic that has cost millions of lives and inflicted economic damage on countries, companies, communities and individuals. The response to the crisis has demonstrated the power of innovation – with solutions that would not have been available had innovators not been focused on creating a better future over the past few decades. Researchers created vaccines from recently developed classes of medicines. People used new video-conferencing technologies to continue to work and engage with their families and friends. Companies and governments worked to restructure supply chains to maintain the flow of essential products. The experience has shown that, while external, unplanned-for events can disrupt our civilization, human ingenuity and innovation can respond.


  • 1
    Tap into the opportunities as a source of thought and inspiration to identify prospects for investment and new ways to create value.
  • 2
    Use them for foresight, to reflect on opportunities that would be worth exploring in the context of evolving perceptions of what matters most to civilisation.
  • 3
    Dive deeper into one or more opportunities to explore specific ideas and initiatives that can bring positive long-term financial, environmental and societal outcomes.
  • 4
    Think about associated complexities in needs, motivations, systems, stakeholders and trends within each of the opportunities and identify the risks this may pose to their global competitiveness.
  • 5
    Identify the impact of each of the opportunities on their organisation or community.
  • 6
    Find or build tools that can track people’s experience, perceptions and subjective sense of prosperity and well-being, beyond economic growth.
  • 7
    Identify necessary partnerships and inputs needed to address associated uncertainties and opportunities in the future should they materialise.