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Innovation and future forumJune 2018

Written by Lynne Ceeney, Consultant

We have set up an Innovation and Future forum which is helping us to shape BSRIA’s research direction over the next couple of years.

Members will be aware that we have set up an Innovations and Future forum, which is helping us to shape BSRIA’s research direction over the next couple of years. We are focusing on issues that we think will be important three/five years from now, as we have other routes for looking at more immediate issues.

Future gazing is a tricky business – the personal jet packs predicted in the 1970s have not yet materialised (sorry Jetsons) but other predictions about personal communicators on wrists (thank you Blakes 7), flat screen TVs, quicker automated tunnelling methods, phase change materials and a more challenging climate have proved more accurate.

We are not trying to precisely predict the future, but we are trying to understand the trends that are coming our way and creating change, together with their potential impacts, so that we can grow our knowledge through research and investigation. Whether change is a threat or an opportunity generally depends on perspective and the ability to respond, our intention is to use our research to forewarn and inform so that Members can innovate or mitigate as they choose.

Mega Trends

Nine mega trends were identified from an analysis of various publications from sources as diverse as the US National Intelligence Council (who provide US Presidents with a framework for thinking about the future), “Big 5” consulting organisations, consulting engineers, contractors and professional institutes.

The IF Forum, chaired by Chris Monson explored the potential impacts of each mega trend likely to be significant to our industry and some of the key issues arising. We then worked up focus areas where BSRIA research might focus. Subsequent testing at Council, and then at a BSRIA staff meeting, has given more direction, and we expect to take a “long list” of research topics and more detailed proposals back to the IF Forum for discussion and prioritisation. We’ll keep you informed.

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