Imperial Consultants joins Imperial Business Partners to “foresight” change by 2032
The conference was hosted by Imperial Business Partners (IBP), a new College initiative designed to forge closer relationships with leading multinational companies, and looked twenty years into the future, to the year 2032, to consider how technological developments emerging from universities today might shape the world in which we live.
For Imperial’s Foresighters, the event was as much about communicating science to a business audience as it was about the technological revolutions they see advancing towards us. Bringing academics together with global business leaders, including directors of R&D from companies ranging from Shell to Syngenta, helped to spark new ideas that could potentially lead to consultancy opportunities.
Delegates heard Dr Simon Schultz, Director of Imperial’s Neural Coding Laboratory, considering the technology pathway to a world in which fake memories could be uploaded to our brains (a possibility which is already a reality for flies today), whilst Professor David Klug, Chair of the Institute of Chemical Biology, discussed how miniaturisation in molecular biology would, amongst other impacts, open the doors to a new generation of non-institutionalised, entrepreneurial amateurs across the world, who could be mobilised through non-traditional organisations.
These academics’ personal perspectives gave delegates ‘an insight which you couldn’t buy or obtain anywhere else’ into the unexpected consequences for business of the curiosity-led research taking place at Imperial.
The appetite for technology foresighting within industry is growing. The next conference is in May 2013 and Imperial is seeking academics at any point in their careers, who would be interested in exploring where their research has potential to make an impact in the future.
Foresighters will be supported through personalised workshops, which are based on a structured approach to foresight thinking and are informed by latest market trends.