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CoreNet UK’s ‘One Big Day’ provides a glimpse into the future


CoreNet Global’s UK Chapter event ‘One Big Day’, held earlier this month, took 250 delegates on a journey into the future. Guest speakers explored what work, life and play will look like in 2040 with a programme that challenged the needs of the wide range of organisations involved in CoreNet.


Opening with a “live scene” from the future, actors debated the pros and cons of their lives in 2040, giving delegates an insight into what life could be like with artificial intelligence playing a huge part in managing our day-to-day lives as well as clothing that can monitor our vital statistics, control our body temperature, diet and even detecting illness.


Dr Savvas Verdis from Siemens and the London School of Economics and Daniel Cook of RICS presented on the infrastructural challenges facing cities of the future, and how cities need to adapt to the huge technological advances taking place, including the internet of things. Density and demand for living space will drive an evolution in construction methods that will see advancements in 3D printing which already proven successful in China. The success of cities will be down to liveability, security and resilience.


The ‘Pursuit of Workplace Happiness’ session opened with a group hug initiated by Laughology’s Dave Keeling. On average, people with stress take up to 24 days off work and cost businesses up to £100 billion a year, and as a result companies need to look at creating a working environment that engages staff by embracing changes. According to Louise Chester from Mindfulness at Work, if your heart is engaged then your mind works better, and happy people make better choices, therefore get better outcomes.


Next we travelled to the workforce of 2040. This session explored how the workforce needs to adapt to accommodate and plan for the roles that don’t exist now but will in the future. According to reports, 65% of children entering work today will be working in roles that don’t currently exist. Marie Puybaraud of JLL stressed that the CRE/Workplace needs to anticipate and plan for change by embracing innovation, engage users and rethink workplaces.


In the same session, Sophie Hackford of WIRED magazine took delegates on a technological journey to the future and highlighted how artificial intelligence will play a huge role in how we work, with robots predicted to take on average one in three jobs – the challenge here is for individuals and businesses to adapt to this and use it to their advantage.


Following a break, Major General, Nick Welch, Preetam Singh Heeramun of the University of Reading, and Chris Carter Keall from Oxford Properties, explored the importance of collaboration. Nick used his experience in the British Army and covered the key factors necessary for collaboration: trust; shared core values and interests, concluding that the more we collaborate as groups the happier people are in general.


Jamie Bartlett, Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, opened the ‘Hacks, Attacks and Threats’ session – with 82% of people using open Wi-Fi connections exposed to hacks in 10 minutes and hacking costing the UK 130 billion dollars a year – he highlighted the importance for businesses to put hacking on top of the agenda. As the amount of personal information uploaded to the internet increases strict measures need to be put in place to avoid the threat of hacks and companies need to make their employees aware of the posed risks that will only increase as more is shared online.


The day closed with a team debate around the following: ‘In 2040 this house believes that 75% of the global population will live in urban areas and only 40% of jobs will be performed by humans.’ Arguments for included using technological advancements to enhance our lives rather than threaten and arguments against questioned whether 75% of people will want to live in cities and that cities won’t be able to cope with the amount of people putting strain on water supply, food and infrastructure. More stark consequences could include antibiotic and pesticide resistance, pandemics and huge stretches on city infrastructure.