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Members' reports

2/2018: The New Age of Trade - Trends and Drivers shaping the World 

The nature of global trade is undergoing significant structural shifts. This report provides an overview of the changing macroeconomic landscape through the identification of key trends and drivers. These include increasing regionalisation and trade protectionism, China’s transition to an emerged economy, changing indicators of economic development, the impact of automation on jobs and new trade routes.

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1/2018: Future Transport - Development Patterns and Innovation in Transport of goods and people

Megatrends like population growth, urbanisation, and economic globalisation demand compact, intelligent and automated transport solutions. This report looks at how future transport will affect a range of industries and business sectors and change how we shop, where we live, and how we work.

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4/2017: The Future of Workplace Strategy

A successful workplace strategy aligns organisational strategy, workplace design, and the needs of the workforce. It increases productivity and innovation and supports the organisation as it moves from its present position to its desired future state. The report examines the key elements in a good workplace strategy and offers recommendations as to how they can be implemented.

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3/2017: Smart Society

The report looks at three areas where robots and artificial intelligence will have a critical impact: infrastructure, information and governance. The report provides and overview of the technological development as well as inspiration for how you, as a decision-maker in a company or organisation, can use it to your advantage. 

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2/2017: Working in the Age of Hyper-Agility

The nature of work will change in the future. As a result, the workplace and the workforce will change, too. New technologies enable agile and hybrid ways of working, which gives rise to a number of challenges and opportunities for companies and organisations.

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1/2017: The Battle for Future Mindspace – How to Remain Relevant to the Consumer

The strongest brands of the future will have to regard the relationship between brand and consumer as almost identical to the relationships formed between people. In this way, brands can ensure that they remain relevant to the consumer.

The battle for future mindspace – a place in the consumer's mind - is won through consistent communication in a world characterised by ongoing consumer journeys and the breakdown of silos across industries, where personification, affection, and co-creation of brand stories form the premise for remaining relevant.

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4/2016: Evaluating the Hype – 3D print, Bitcoin, and Electric Cars – A Reality Check


The media coverage of new technology is often characterized by exaggerated optimism without consideration for the barriers the technology must overcome before it can live up to the hype.

We evaluate three technologies that over the past several years have received significant media attention: 3D printing, Bitcoin, and electric cars. How much is hype, and how much is reality?

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3/2016: Automation – The Perfect Storm or a Storm in a Tea Cup?

Automation will undoubtedly lead to massive changes in our society in the coming years – but in which areas will these changes be most evident and to what extent? This members’ report takes a deep dive into the debate on automation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

We examine how business models must adapt to these changes. Numerous jobs will disappear, come into being, or evolve; this in order to understand what consequences automation has already had and may have in years to come. Finally we examine how you, a decision-maker, will need to understand and handle the challenges and opportunities that arise from the new wave of automation.

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2/2016: Individual Resilience – Survival Guide for the 21st Century

CIFS examines the skills humans will need to survive in a more demanding, globalised world that is characterised by high levels of technological interdependence and individualised, urban living. As social structures continue to be rebuilt throughout the 21st century, what competencies will be needed at the individual level in the future, in order to perform at work and succeed in life?

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1/2016: How to be Resilient in the 21st Century – The Radar, The Shield and The Sword

Resilience helps organizations and communities adapt before change occurs. This report builds awareness and understanding of resilience as a means for reducing long-term costs and creating opportunities. We provide insight into how organizations and communities can apply resilience with three tools called: “the radar, the shield and the sword”.


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2015: Future of Europe

For many centuries, Europe was the dominant continent in the world, economically, culturally and politically. However, Europe currently faces a number of challenges with long shadows. These include the repercussions of the financial crisis, but also great demographic changes, and a growing number of refugees and migrants. This members’ report examines 5 central and comprehensive themes that will characterise Europe towards 2030 and present a vision of what Europe could look like in the future.

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2015: The Overlooked Consumers

In a time of tectonic demographic shifts, increasing polarisation and rapid acceleration, we witness changing consumer markets and consumer behaviours. We explore several different social trends and share insights on how such developments are leading to the emergence and continued development of underestimated and even seemingly forgotten consumer segments. By focusing in on more ignored segment groups we are opening up the field and mapping other global consumer opportunities for companies to address and pay attention to in order to better navigate the complex world of the future.

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1/2015: Trust me, I'm not a doctor

Medicine and treatment is becoming more expensive. Even in developed countries, the healthcare systems must prioritize who and what will be treated and how, but the world will soon witness the Gutenberg process of the healthcare system: Genetics and information technology that moves the focus from system to individual and gives the masses opportunities previously reserved for the elite of society.We examine two aspects of future health: opportunities and challenges in using new technology and the inspiration that can be found in how developing countries organize their health systems.

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4/2014: Trends for tomorrow

Trends are important since they bolster our understanding of the complexity that surrounds us and are helpful in guiding our descision-making by identifying emerging opportunities and threats. CIFS has identified a selection of eight diverse trends which we expect to have significant implications for governments and business alike. They all represent a general, observed change in society linked to individual empowerment, technological development, and, not least, demographic change and sustainability.

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 3/2014: 21st century lifestyles

What is the new normal for how we grow up, live and grow old? This report looks at the statistical changes we observe in Europeans’ phases of life and ways of living over the last ca. 60 years. A lot has changed, and we keep finding new ways to renew the nuclear family or entirely dispense of the nuclear family. The report reflects on the market consequences that follow the change in lifestyles in the 21st century.

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2/2014: Future technology

Technological progress is one of the most important drivers of change and growth in our society. This report takes a closer look at technological advances coming in the next 25 years in information and communication technology, robots, advanced materials, and biotechnology, and the reports examines how these advances will influence the following selected sectors in our society: production and trade, consumption and service, energy and climate, infrastructure, and security.

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 1/2014: Future luxury

In the old days, luxury was easy: it should be expensive and exclusive. Is this also true in the future? This report reflects on some of the drivers and values that underpin the use of luxury. The Institute looks closer at the evolution of the concept of luxury and also looks at who consumes luxury and why in a global context. Finally, the report presents the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies’ 5 ideas of future luxury.

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4/2013: Emerging trends


In this report, the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies focuses on seven trends that are emerging or ‘under development’ – and points to changes in how we live, make decisions, consume, work, and produce. Each trend is introduced briefly, with examples and indicators, and each trend section includes a number of concrete consequences and recommendations for various business areas. At the end – as a contrast to the emerging trends – the report looks at some of the things we think will become ‘zombies’ the next 15-20 years.

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3/2013: The Great Mismatch

The Great Mismatch is a serious impediment on national economies. On the one hand, a lot of money is spent in the public sector on unemployment benefits, and, on the other hand, the private sector cannot get the employees they need to create growth, impacting on competitiveness and productivity. Furthermore, studies from the US show that young people who begin their careers in unemployment reduce their income by about 20% over the next 20 years. This is not just a problem for the youths involved, but also for companies and society in general: lower income means lower consumption and lower tax income.

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2/2013: Members' Publication

The smart city is the city of the future. It comprises smart houses, smart urban environment, and smart mobility – and the latter is on the move towards autonomous cars and, eventually, to driverless cars. The EU Commission has already begun to introduce and support technologies that will put Europe in the driver’s seat of smart mobility. When will it happen? The answer is that it has already begun.

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1/2013: Members' Publication

This is the first issue of the new members' publication. We have changed the format and revitalised the content. Main topic this issue: Freedom from Ownership. You can also read members comment on the topic, meet new CIFS members and get updated on the latest CIFS news.

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4/2012: In-line Shopping

To be a winner in tomorrow’s retailing industry you need to make shopping part of peoples’ daily habits, like coffee in the morning. You need to offer your customers instant and easy satisfaction of their needs in line with their habits and rituals. In short, you need to be on your customers’ smartphones to keep them happy, no matter what you sell. We call this In-line Shopping.

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3/2012: A Perfect Storm on the Horizon?

The world has undergone major changes in recent years, and growth opportunities in Europe have been reduced considerably because of the global financial crisis. All eyes are now directed at the developing countries, and BRIC, Next 11 and The Rise of Africa have become synonymous with the land of new opportunity. However, these regions aren’t just growth dynamos; they also contain the script for a perfect storm – a random confluence of factors that could end in chaotic conditions. Hence, there are also more uncertainties at play when we look at these markets. This report analyzes the strategic risks associated particularly with the raw materials markets.

The report examines three main subjects: water, food and energy, which are all tightly connected and which together may constitute the greatest challenge the world will face the next 20-30 years.

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2/2012: Generation Y

Generation Y is feted, reviled and especially described in detail through the last 5 years. Yet the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies still dedicates this members’ report to the generation that looked like it would get it all, but today is talked about as Generation Lost or the Outcast Generation.

We take a look at Generation Y, which, with Generation Z snapping at its heels, will become the future work force. During the next ten years, the generation will at many levels change our organisations and ways of working. Hence, it isn’t strange that we have noticed a renewed and growing global attention on the generation; particularly among top managers, VPs and partners, who all seeks answers and insights regarding the generation’s preferences. They express that they intuitively feel there’s something new at play among their young employees. If there is, and what it is, and how Generation Y will change organisational culture, are the main themes in this report.

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1/2012: Innovation & Leadership

How do you build a creative and innovative organisation? And how does the successful organisation of today ensure success tomorrow?

In this members’ report we debate innovation and leadership with practical implementers, management experts and 8 innovative companies, and we discuss the companies’ opportunities for innovation in a future where the world becomes increasingly complex and the changes come at an increasing pace.

Innovation and efficiency don’t naturally walk hand in hand. It is difficult to strike the right balance, and the successful CEO needs to handle this conflict, not just day to day, but also in the long term in a future that requires the CEO to build bridges – not just between the CFO’s Excel sheet and focus on resource optimisation and the innovator’s creative and experimental approach – but also to the future.

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3/2011: Breaking Out - RE-Thinking HR

Breaking Out is a report for HR managers, strategic developers, organizations and the business community. The report is a result of the Institute's continued monitoring of trends that all point towards a need to rethink HR.

The human resources that HR normally cover are the in-house human resources and human capital. In the future, relations in the community, and the community's relation to the company, should be a focus area for HR. it is these relations that in the final analysis provide the framework for your ability to innovate and grow. Hence, HR will play a more important strategic role than is the case today.

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2/2011: 100% Business Development

This report we have selected eight trends that have been tagged with a new name. We are picking up on some interesting phenomena that are arising from the interaction between various megatrends which you can read in the second half of the report. We then set out to describe the consequences that they may have on the market in a two-three year time frame. After each trend you can read a number of concrete recommendations for the future-oriented business developer.

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1/2011: Towards New Horizons

A new world order has arrived. While we in the West are experiening the repercussions of the financial crisis, new emerging economies – which we formerly referred to as third-world countries – are riding on the crest of a wave. The global balance of power is shifting away from the West, initially to the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), but also beyond them to the second generation of emerging economies.

In this report we present a snapshot of the world in 2030, and of the changes that are already pointing in the direction of these developments.

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3/2010: Global Talent Rally

Which regions will the global talent of the future migrate to? How many of these talented people will migrate? Will the global workforce grow or shrink? This report investigates global talent: Who are the people, where do they go, why do they migrate, and, finally, how can they be attracted?

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2/2010: 10 Tendencies Towards 2020

The report presents short articles on ten tendencies that will be of importance for the way we live, the decisions we make, and how we work towards 2020 in the West and globally.

The Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies describes developments in areas such as international politics, economy, demography, work, our cognitive reality and the social sphere. Paradigm shifts can be seen in several areas; many new players have made an appearance, and there will be major challenges. By 2020, the ten tendencies will have helped to radically change the world.

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1/2010: Out of Control

The Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies' new report "Out of Control" builds on top of the ideas presented in Anarconomy in September 2009, but develops the concept further by suggesting how you can create profitable businesses in a market where the price of anything digital heads towards zero. The same goes for this report, which is being published under Creative Commons, and the so-called Copyleft rules. This means that you can download and distribute it for free, right here - both in English and Danish.

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4/2009: The New Age of Thrift?

We have chosen to call this report The New Age of Thrift?, since we right now can identify quite a lot of uncertain factors regarding the future, all revolving around concepts like reduction, moderation and caution. The report presents a new approach to risk management through the use of futures studies, and it can be helpful when you, in the institutions of our society and in public as well as private companies, must prepare for future challenges.

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3/2009: Anarconomy

We are witnessing a pronounced flourishing of free content and services on the internet, created and distributed by the users themselves. All this challenges and supplements traditional commercial companies by offering non-commercial alternatives. This is anarconomy. In the future, anarconomy will move out of the internet and also radically change economy in the physical world. The report is free to download.

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2/2009: Future driven innovation

Future Driven Innovation is a strategic innovation tool that outlines how future research methodologies can be used to work with innovation. It can be used to stress test existing business models or create new ones and to create new products with the future in mind. In this report, we present tools for screening and assessing risk for the future market.

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1/2009: Opportunities in crisis

In Members' Report 1/2009, CIFS has prepared four scenarios for the outlook of the current economic crisis and a description of the possible consequences of the downturn. We have also included a number of future-oriented strategies that enable businesses to survive the current economic downturn and re-emerge in a strengthened position.

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4/2008: The young seniors 2020

Aging is one of the greatest challenges facing Western societies. Aging will influence employee recruitment and retention, consumption, advertising and how society works. Denmark, in 2020, will have 57% more 70 to 74-year-olds, and 20% fewer 35 to 40-year-olds, than today.

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3/2008: Future Happiness

In modern society, we are not offered great stories or eternal truths. Instead, we are faced with the enormous task of creating ourselves from cradle to grave. And with no instructions to live by. It is in this light that happiness becomes interesting. Not because happiness has changed form, but because it has changed function. When we have nothing else upon which to hang our identity and choice, happiness becomes the measure of our lives.

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2/2008: Strategic futures studies

At the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, we have noticed an increasing demand for our scenario-techniques, which is why we have produced a special report for our members. MR #2/2008 "Strategic futures studies" presents some of our most significant tools in futures studies while discussing corporate implementation strategies and options.

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1/2008: Strategic issues

2007 saw sharp declines in share prices around the world. The fear of a recession was met with a cut in US interest rates of 0.75%, the biggest cut in 15 years. At the same time, oil prices broke the magic US$100 level, a level at which experts have traditionally warned would bring the American economy to its knees.

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4/2007: Global Warming - today's debate, tomorrows dilemma

No matter which technological solutions we come to devise in the next ten years, no matter which consensus we reach, no matter what happens when the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012, today’s debate and our view of the state of the world will significantly affect our future.

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* only available in english

3/2007: Religion – Future

Our task at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies is advising Danish and international business, and our goal is more innovative, future-ready, growing companies. So why devote this member report to the phenomenon of religion? Because religion is important not only for the religious or for theologians. Globalization has made religion and its consequences a public matter.

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2/2007: Who does the work?

This member's report indicates ways to solve the Danish labor shortage problem, but it is impossible to look at every imaginable initiative to solve the problem.

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1/2007: Places to Go

In the Western World, we are good at covering ourselves in competencies, surplus and social engagement. But often we do not have a concrete idea about where to go, what roads lead there, and what they bring. In that way, all of our competencies and good intentions can quickly seem like empty barrels and borrowed plumage.

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4/2006: Family life and Daily Life Towards 2017

Since the beginning of human memory, families have existed. And they still do.

The conceptual ideal of the family is one of the most important of our times. Have we ever seen family life (or life as a whole) romanticized so much? The paradox is enormous. Because, despite the idealization, the family has perhaps never been so threatened as it is now. The family can no longer be taken for granted.

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3/2006: The Scandinavian Way

When Europe needs vision, it sometimes looks to the Nordic area. The countries to the north have managed to create a welfare system with free education, public support plans, and a well-developed public health service. The Nordic countries top the international rankings of the most competitive regions in the world despite their having some of the highest taxes in the world, and despite their workers working fewer hours than those of almost any other country. How is it possible? This Members Report explores the factors that lie behind what has become known as the “Scandinavian model".

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2/2006: Mind Your Global Business

Globalisation, in the sense of the increased flow of knowledge, information, goods, services, and people across national and regional borders, will have huge consequences for both worklife and business in the coming years. The focus in connection with globalisation has long been on the now-familliar developments with migration of jobs to low-wage countries and discontinuation of production and service functions in the West. However, globalisation also has a range of other consequences for the way worklife and the labour market will develop in the coming years, and we are taking a closer look at these in this report.

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1/2006: Polarisation Trends 2016

The societal developments in the last 5-10 years have sown the seed for a future society that may be characterised by friction, division and marginalisation, unless we open our eyes to the current trends and what they mean for the future. This members' report examines, documents and puts into perspective 7 very important polarisation trends, which also offer new opportunities for consumers, companies and public institutions.

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4/2005: Between Individualisation and Community

On the one hand we have plenty of examples of how we're all becoming more diverse and individual. On the other hand there is no doubt that modern communities thrive. Individualisation and modern communities exist side by side.

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3/2005: Globalisation Strategies

Globalisation is used both as a 'bogeyman' and as a magical charm, but in the judgment of the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, it is quite simply a megatrend that everyone needs to consider and in most cases something that primarily generates new opportunities for people. This members' report provides you with four business strategies you and your company can use to handle globalisation.

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2/2005: The Physical Products of the Future

The physical products of the future will reflect our way of life, our beliefs, values, way of life, view of the world, etc. We've used seven stories about the creation of physical products, each one based on everyday life of the future, to create an overall image.

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1/2005: Russian Prospects – political and economic scenarios

Developments in Russia over the next 15 years could become of great importance to the World. There are many paths that Russia's political and economic development may follow towards 2020. This members' report evaluates the various possibilities and challenges that face tomorrow's Russia.

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4/2004: 2040

The Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies had its 35th anniversary in January 2005. For that occasion, we look ahead rather than back and present a possible view of the World of 2040 A.D. with special attention paid to the Scandinavian countries. This scenario for 2040 is both explorative and normative. It is our proposal for a possible future, but it does not, of course, rule out other possible scenarios as long as they satisfy the demands for realism and internal consistency; across a span of 35 years, the uncertainty is considerable.

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3/2004: OFF

The subject of this membership report is the tendency OFF. It deals with the future's rejection of the 'mental online' state, the intimidating pace of life, and its increasing complexity. Collectively the tendency is an expression of the desire for having time for other things than just the necessities.

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2/2004: Creative Man

Creative Man is not a description of a new social type following in the footsteps of the Industrial Society and the Dream Society. It is rather a growing market logic. A logic that at the same time is a continuation of, and a challenge to, previous market logics. Successful companies of the future will hence operate with the new logic without completely rejecting the old ones.

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1/2004: Perception of Time 2004

Perception of Time 2004 is a new and improved version of the Perception of Time model the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies developed in the mid-1990s. Many companies have shown an interest in the concept, and we have frequently used the Perception of Time model in lectures and in other contexts.

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4/2003: 10 tendencies towards 2010

10 tendencies towards 2010 is a presentation of the struggle for the future. The tendencies set the stage, but they don't decide the outcome. The outcome is decided by the people and companies that find both challenges and opportunities in this struggle.

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3/2003: Branding tomorrow

This members' report is addressed to those that are interested in or work with communication and management in organisations. It can be used as inspiration for marketing and organisation and product development. It contains four scenarios for the society and branding of 2013.

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2/2003: After Suburbia

The present-day parent generation has been rather lacking in imagination and hasn't created a single social innovation in family or home living. The standardised family's inflexible situation and the present supply of housing mean that the demand for social and commercial innovations is growing. These can be found in many borderlands, and we point to "business to community", a number of megatrends/paradoxes, and five different versions of future home living.

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1/2003: UFO Work - Work and Management on the Market for Unspecified Floating Objectives

A good UFO is an employee who is creative, development-oriented, entrepreneurial, inventive, and committed, with well-developed abilities regarding co-operation and empathy. And then everything will come together in a greater whole: what is good for the company is good for the employee, and what is good for the company and the employee is good for customers and users. And that's really all there is to it.

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4/2002: Det meningsfulde seniorliv 2002:2010 - fem nye fortællinger

Medlemsrapporten henvender sig til alle, der har interesse i eller beskæftiger sig med fremtidens ældre. Den kan bruges som inspiration til produktudvikling, kommunikation og markedsføring og giver fem nye måder at se seniorlivet på i fremtiden - i forhold til arbejdsmarkedet, boliglivet og forbruget.

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3/2002: New Dimensions in Consumption - perspectives on situational consumption

Situational consumption is the great new dimension in consumption, and in this member's report we present a new chapter on the development of the work with situations and consumption.

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2/2002: The PESCI Challenge: How to Create Productive and Attractive Service Jobs

This report focuses on a labour market trend that tends to be overlooked: that service work becomes industrialised. This isn't true for all service jobs, but for many, especially those in the personal service and care. We call them PESCI jobs.


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1/2002: Basic Scenarios for the Consumption of the Future

This report presents a number of scenarios for examination of the European consumer of the future. These scenarios are imagined, possible images of future settings that can be used for inspiration in the process of determining strategy, product development and other types of company decisions.

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4/2001: Life and Living Technologies

In the future IT and biotechnology will be as the two sides of the same coin. IT and biotechnology will be united as what we call Living Technologies. What will be common for them is that both technological areas will be dealing with living or quasi-living systems. We foresee that life and the living organism will become key concepts for both IT and biotechnology.

As we show in this report, the rapid developments within IT and biotechnology will change what we think are vital mechanisms in living organisms. IT and biotechnology will change our view of life.

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3/2001: The Future 2001

Normally we at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies use our members' reports for presenting our own ideas of the future. This time we primarily, though not exclusively, reference the ideas of other futurists. We present thoughts on the future as they are currently held and discussed by people who are professionally engaged in thinking about the future.

Always keep in mind that the ideas we hold about the future are by necessity reflections of our present experience and knowledge. The traumatic events of September 11th and its immediate aftermath have certainly led to the questioning of many assumptions held before and put a new perspective on many others.

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2/2001: The Cities and Homes of our Future

The mobile services of the future make it easier to be mobile. "Virtual Home Environment" is the oppornunity to take your home and your office, at least the parts that can be digitised, with you out in the world.

In an increasnigly specialised labour market we see a divion between on the one hand more internationally mobile 'symbol analysts', and on the other hand more local service workers who service the citizens where the are. Both groups are increasingly going to use mobile services in order to free themselves from office work and in order to be better able to serve customer in the field.

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1/2001: Individual Majority

The times have changed, and so has the population of the Western world. We are individuals and our identity is no longer as predestined and stable as it once was.Our lives are filled with crossroads and choices to make, and in the end we alone are responsible for the outcome of our own lives. This is the typical picture of the modern society.

This member report look into the paradoxes of individualism and society, trying to find out whether our observations about modern society are fundamentally wrong, or if the observations actually are correct though perhaps incomplete.

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Member Reports

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Euroconstruct på Dansk




Global Scanning Review 

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Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies

Founded in 1970 by Professor Thorkil Kristensen, former Minister of Finance and Secretary-General of the OECD.    
We strengthen the basis for decision-making in public and private organizations by creating awareness of the future and highlighting its importance to the present.  

Select your own entrance to the future

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    Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies |     Amaliegade 5 C |     DK-1256 Copenhagen K |     +45 33117176 |     cifs@cifs.dk