WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A new report released today by Kearney's Global Business Policy Council, Promise and peril, addresses the challenges and opportunities the council predicts will emerge over the next five years for governments and businesses and advances specific recommendations on how companies can successfully navigate these turbulent times. Indeed, both the promise and peril of the global operating environment have been on full display over this past year. Across society, economics, and politics, the potential of scientific and technological advances has provided cause for hope—most notably, the tremendous feat of science in the rapid development of effective COVID-19 vaccines. In tandem, challenges have emerged—such as struggles in vaccine distribution and in overcoming mask and vaccine skepticism. And harsh realities—from extreme weather and resource shortages to the persistent pandemic itself—still present deadly threats.
The report discusses groundbreaking technologies that have the potential to transform the ways people live and work—from quantum technologies capable of exponentially faster processing times than traditional computers to new breakthroughs in genetic manipulation to the spread of central bank digital currencies that offer greater efficiency, convenience, and transparency than traditional currencies. Yet, each of these trends also carries risk, from unprecedented capabilities to defeat encryption to a return to eugenics to disruptive cyberattacks. Both promise and peril are also evident in the other trends highlighted in the report: the sharp rise in water dislocations and the risks of growing ungovernability. While the threat of such resource shortages in the former carries human, geopolitical, and economic costs, new technologies hold promise for overcoming the challenges. And in the case of ungovernability, the threat of extreme polarization destroying the fabric of societies is daunting, but it also provides opportunities for new approaches to public- and private-sector leadership that can address the root causes of this issue.
"Though there are significant challenges to confront over the next five years, I believe there is nevertheless cause for optimism," says Paul A. Laudicina, founder of Kearney's Global Business Policy Council and co-author of the report. "As governments and businesses face increasing pressures to take a stand on social issues such as growing polarization, inequality, and climate change, they will learn how to work together to produce impactful results for all involved, including those who have not shared equitably in recent global gains."
In times of hardship, there are also opportunities for great innovation. "The rise of quantum technology, central bank digital currencies, and advancements in genetic manipulation gives the world cause for hope," argues Erik Peterson, managing director of the Global Business Policy Council and co-author of the study. "Though the horrific effects of COVID-19 have set us back decades, the pandemic has also been the catalyst for leaps forward in technology, especially in the healthcare industry."
Read the full report here.
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About the Global Business Policy Council
The Global Business Policy Council is a specialized foresight and strategic analysis unit within Kearney. Since its first CEO Retreat in 1992, the Council has been a strategic service for the world's top executives, government officials, and business-minded thought leaders. Through exclusive global forums, public-facing thought leadership, and advisory services, the Council helps to decipher sweeping geopolitical, economic, social, and technological changes and their effects on the global business environment. The Council consistently ranks near the top of the University of Pennsylvania's list of best private sector think tanks, and currently holds the 4th spot globally.
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