IPPR: Brexit is the firing gun on a decade of disruption

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With Brexit at the forefront of all business leaders’ minds and as the UK now looks to negotiate its new place in the world, the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) has warned it could be the firing gun on a decade of disruption.

In the Future Proof report, IPPR looked at how the UK would fare in the 2020s and how the accelerating wave of economic, social and technological change will reshape the country.

The report predicts that the economic world will become more fragile as globalisation evolves, trade patterns shift, and economic power gravitates toward Asia.

It also states that the aftershock of Brexit will have implications that are likely to put the country on a lower growth, lower investment trajectory, worsening the public finances, with important consequences for the UK’s economy and living standards.

Migration is likely to become more controlled, but at the same time, politics is likely to become increasingly assertive in seeking to reshape Britain after Brexit.

The report also looks to the technological transformation that’s on the horizon, describing it as a cross between Star Trek and the Matrix sagas.

Exponential improvements in technologies are anticipated such as computing power, machine learning, artificial intelligence systems, automation, autonomous vehicles, health and resource technologies, and the Internet of Things, among others.

These changes have the potential to create an era of widespread abundance, or a second machine age that radically concentrates economic power.

The reports suggests that these trends are going to reshape how we live and work, reorganise our social, economic and political institutions, and redistribute power and reward in society.

In the longer term, as machine learning and computing power divorces intelligence from consciousness, as improving health technologies allow for biological enhancements and species divergence, and as the final frontier is conquered by space travel, technological and social transformation will increasingly change what it means to be human.