“Our era is characterised by exceptionally fast-paced changes. Technological and economic development in particular is astonishing”, says Heikki Aittokoski, an acclaimed foreign news reporter of Helsingin Sanomat, the largest national daily newspaper in Finland.
Aittokoski addressed global megatrends at If's Risk Management Day, which hosts large enterprises. Having acted as a future correspondent for the newspaper, he is familiar with megatrends, travelling in different parts of the world to uncover answers to the central questions about the future that need to be answered.
According to Aittokoski, the speed of change in the future can be outlined by looking at how quickly changes have taken place over the past few decades. “The Internet, smartphones, sharing economy, drones, medical innovations – all these are examples of changes that have occurred in the last few decades”, Aittokoski says.
Aittokoski believes that Silicon Valley is still the technological centre for innovation in the world, which attracts equity injections much more than any other area worldwide.
“However, the question in the air remains: how close is China? There is a fear in the US, that China will overtake this position”, Aittokoski says.
And if we talk about the Silicon Valley, we should also talk about robotisation. People in Silicon Valley believe that we will witness the emergence of interactive robots in the coming decades. Robots will become commonplace in homes, schools, hospitals and streets.
“Bad” globalisation also brings good things
Globalisation is frequently criticised. Aittokoski believes the criticism is often justified.
“As I see it, there are still more winners than losers in globalisation. Globalisation offers financial prosperity for an increasing number of people. The share of the middle class has begun to rise in the peak years of globalisation. A half of the world's population will belong to the middle class in some twenty years”, Aittokoski says.
Similarly, the share of people living in extreme poverty has fallen dramatically, especially in the last few decades. “It is possible that poverty can be overcome altogether in the coming decades”, Aittokoski highlights.
The changing climate
Climate change is a recognised problem that concerns the planet and its entire population. “The forecast for climate change is poor”, Aittokoski states.