2020: Key predictions from Stategy Directors for the year (and decade)
In February we hosted our annual Winter Strategy dinner and asked a room of strategy consultants and directors what they expect from 2020 and the new decade.
The answers have been combined into topics and trends to show some interesting and eventful predictions for the year and decade to come.
Retail & Consumer
A major trend, that we have already seen and continues to be a concern within the retail industry, is the decline in high street retailers. In 2019 we saw several major high street retailers go bust, including Debenhams and Mothercare, but many at the dinner predicted that this decline will continue throughout 2020 and the upcoming decade with more retailers going bust. Some even believed that in ten years there will be no clothing stores on the high street, with all shopping being done online. Due to this it is likely that there will be limited cash in a developed world.
On the flip side, in a change of consumer behaviour and a lean towards veganism and dietary changes to help the planet, within the new year and decade it is predicted that we will see a rise in vegan restaurants, with some believing that in ten years time eating meat will have negative connotations.
The transport industry is believed to be a hot topic over the next year and decade with changes and transformation looking set to have high impact. Several believed that Amazon will get involved
with the transport industry, with the idea that they will sell train tickets within the next decade and may even launch an Amazon airline. Other predictions included rail to become the most hated transport within the year and in ten years, electric vehicles will most likely overtake all other vehicles. Is this the decade that we also see the rise of the first flying vehicle?
From another perspective, it was predicted that the transport industry may also take a hit, with some predicting that one of the top manufacturing companies could go bust within the decade.
As a resourcing firm it would be rare to get through a set of predictions without resourcing and recruitment coming up. Our consultants and other strategy directors predicted that there will be a change in how we recruit as well as how businesses are run. For example, within the decade there will most likely be the death of the CV, instead of a CV it will be purely assessment focused in order to proceed through the process. The roles that top graduates will work in was also predicted to change with graduates looking to work in customer success or onboarding roles.
In addition to this, there was a focus around employee and company behaviours, with the belief that within the next year and decade there will be a rise in employee activism, a decrease in the gender pay gap and organisations who deploy a blended workforce will be more profitable.
As always tech is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, when it comes to predictions and changes throughout the year and decade. Many believe that AI is soon to be everywhere but not everyone will know how to handle it. Examples and predictions for the year include, people not knowing what to do with 5G, breakthrough applications for Blockchain and more tech will emerge with sharp growth and sharp failures. Within the next ten years, AI will look to make a massive impact in healthcare, insurance products will run with tech companies. But negatives will also come from the increase in tech, with lots of talk of data ethics, but no action and it is likely that we will see people wanting to speak to a human gain and not a bot.
With such a turbulent time it is no surprise that politics was a topic of interest. Several interesting discussions were around the people in power and surprisingly how those in power are likely to
stay in power over the next year and decade, these include Putin still being president, Trump to be president again, followed by Michelle Obama and Boris to continue to be in power. This is interesting seeing as all of these high profile politicians have been controversial in current times.
Another hot topic, which was bound to be discussed is Brexit and with the dinner occurring promptly after the UK left the EU, there was no shortage of prediction. Many predicted that trade activity will be the most significant talking point of the year and that we may not have a trade deal with the EU at all but instead one with the US. Leading on from this, it was predicted that Scotland will leave the UK and re-join the EU by the end of the decade, which, in turn will cause a united Ireland. Some even believed that throughout the decade the EU will restructure, and the UK will re-join again. It will be interesting to see how these pan out. Overall, within politics it is likely that Brexit, healthcare, trade activity and the economy will be the main focus points throughout the decade.
Amid health concerns across the world, there were many predictions about the Coronavirus becoming a pandemic, with it looking likely to have a significant impact on the economy. In particular China will suffer a downturn from the health outbreak and will need to reassess. Big companies such as Apple will also take a hit as sales decrease in infected areas and staff are restricted from working. This is going to be a big year for health officials and one to watch.
Social media is also likely to change over the next decade, with concerns over social media's impact on mental health. Predictions included Facebook being broken up, Netflix to be acquired by Apple and to start streaming live sport becoming a competitor for sport broadcasters. Finally, the ideas of B2B video marketing is set to explode.
Overall, the predictions for the year and decade varied drastically and covered a range of sectors. We'd love to hear what your predictions are for the year and decade. So please get in touch at