Clem Sunter, The future – what to watch out for

Clem Sunter, futurologist, scenario planner and co-author of best seller “Mind of a Fox” speaks to Topco CEO Ralf Fletcher about what the future might hold.

Clem Sunter, futurologist, scenario planner and co-author of best seller “Mind of a Fox” speaks to Topco CEO Ralf Fletcher about what the future might hold:

The nature of work and employment has changed for ever. The new normal in South Africa, post COVID-19 will be an emphasis on SMMEs and entrepreneurs. Before COVID America’s unemployment rate was around 3.5% while Europe was sitting at 5-7%. This is because America is a younger more entrepreneurial population. This is what we need to focus on here

There is a wealth of entrepreneurial energy in the South African townships – think Siyabulela Xusa, born in Mthatha, scientist, energy-engineering expert, entrepreneur and Harvard engineering graduate who developed a rocket fuel and whom NASA named a planet after. There are lots of Siyabulelas out there who need the government as their cheerleaders.

To get this right we also need to fix the disconnect between the informal and mainstream economies. Big business needs to reach out to the informal sector in order for the South African economy to grow.

The latest pandemic has made the world incredibly vulnerable. In order to survive we need to be agile, adaptive and ready for new situations – and think like a fox.

 

What are the 5 main flags we need to watch for as the future unfolds?

 

1. The real driver of the global economy will be China and  America’s relationship over the next  2 years.

 

2. Levels of inequality. SMMEs and entrepreneurs will be key to narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor in South Africa.

 

3. Climate change and reduction of certain animal species. The world is fragile at the moment and the reduction in carbon emissions as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown are going to play a huge role in our recovery.

 

4. War – the chance of war may be less likely, but we also have not seen any real data yet, so we need to be cautious.

 

5. Investment portfolios – think like a fox and keep assets and investments diversified.

 

In 1966 Clem Sunter joined Anglo America’s gold division in London, then moved to Zambia and from there to South Africa in 1973. Later he was tasked with devising different scenarios for future proofing the organisation and is a renowned futurologist.

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