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The World in 2030: pressure on resources and a completely new approach to global business


19 Jul 2010

New ACCA report collates expert opinion on what our world will look like in 20 years time

The world in 2030 will be a startlingly different place, with a ‘flattening’ of the economic landscape and a more genuinely global market place, according to a new report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), in collaboration with the strategic research and consulting group Lighthouse Global.

The report, Where next for the global economy? A view of the world in 2030, collates predictions from 15 global experts in business, economics, and accountancy. Covering areas such as the future global power, the future of the earth’s resources, and the future of the corporate eco-system, the paper sees the world turned completely on its head in 2030.

“Distracted by the powerful effects of the global financial crisis, commentators, politicians, and economists have recently been focusing on the short term; it’s important that the longer term isn’t forgotten”, says Helen Brand, ACCA’s chief executive.

Ms Brand adds: “In 2030, the world could be facing intense pressure on resources, a big shift in global power, and a completely different way of doing global business. These aren’t things that we can just deal with when they crop up. We need to start thinking about tomorrow today.

“As a wide-ranging collection of insights, covering a wide array of scenarios and possibilities, the report is designed to encourage people to think about how their actions today will affect the world tomorrow. We're sharing our panel’s ideas and perspectives to provide accountants and business with new thinking to help them make decision based on the insights of those at the forefront of debate.”

The report looks at the future of: the distribution of global power; the earth’s resources; financial markets; the corporate world; and the future of government. Among the predictions made by ACCA’s panel are the following:

    1. Some of today’s biggest companies are likely to de-conglomerate by 2030, outsourcing almost all central functions to achieve efficiency. ‘Federations of businesses’ will be the corporations of tomorrow. Strong virtual ties will connect increasingly specialist and remote businesses, located in increasingly specialised regions and cities. Small businesses will act like shoals of fish, becoming a strong global force in the global environment.
    3. With the world’s population growing and with resources heading in the opposite direction, there could be severe pressure on access to oil, gas, or water. Food will be limited too, leading to increasing elements of nationalism in discussions about resources.
    5. The world will be made ‘flatter’ as a result of globalisation. This could lead to a shift in global influence to the East. The East won’t be the next big thing; it will be the big thing. One of the report’s contributors, Nenad Pacek, the president of Global Success Advisors, says: “The business world will be astonished by the rise of new companies from emerging markets. At how powerful they will become. They should not be underestimated in any way.”

    The predictions made in the report come from experts including: the economist Andrew Dilnot, former director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, now principal of St Hugh’s College Oxford; Chin Kwai Fatt, the managing director of PwC Malaysia; Loughlin Hickey, KPMG’s global head of tax; Tony Hegarty, chief financial management officer at the World Bank; and Professor Saul Estrin from the London School of Economics.

    - ends -

    For further information, please contact:

    Cecile Bonino
    +32 (0) 2 286 11 37
    ACCA Newsroom
    +44 (0)20 7059 5759
    +44 (0)7725 498654

    About ACCA

      1. Where next for the global economy: a view of the world in 2030 can be downloaded from ACCA’s website:
      3. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
      5. We support our 140,000 members and 404,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,000 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
      7. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.

      About Lighthouse Global
      Lighthouse Global provides strategic advice and business analysis to the world’s leading financial institutions, professional firms and business services. Over the last seven years, the firm has built a global client list which includes Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, UBS, Credit Suisse, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Baker & McKenzie and the London Stock Exchange. For more information, visit

      Cecile Bonino
      Public Affairs and Media Relations Officer-EU ACCA
      CBI business house
      14 rue de la Science
      BE-1040 Brussels
      tel:+32 (0) 2 286 11 37
      mob: +44 (0) 7809595008


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