The year is too far for us to foresee, anticipate, stop or carry on. With only a short span of time, we can expect major shifts in industries due to rapid growth and industrialization. The report will address several facets of programs that we intend to continue to try and avoid by 2020.
We may assume that the damage has been done to our ecosystem. Environmental abuse seems not to halt. It is so great a damage that we now experience climate change and global warming. If it’s not too late yet, much of our business activities will have to be diverted to improving the ecosystem, and promoting environmental care and safeguards, so that we can avoid, at the very least, environmental catastrophes. Such incidents are impacting not only our industries but also our personal lives as Mother Earth people.
In 2020, or somewhat over a decade from now, we should expect changes in many areas of our lives, from industry to individuals and from the countryside to urban life. In this age of electronic gadgets, robots, climate change and global warming, an arduous yet taxing world awaits Americans.
The environment may, or may suffer, benefit much of the changes. Climate change and global warming are the major cause of that phenomenon. In his speech, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Albert Gore, stated:
“Even now it has become harder and harder to misinterpret the signs that our world is spinning out of kilter. Due to massive droughts and melting glaciers, major cities in North and South America, Asia and Australia are virtually out of water. Desperate farmers are losing their livelihoods. People are planning evacuations of areas they have long called home in the frozen Arctic and on low-lying Pacific islands. Unprecedented wildfires have driven half a million people out of our country’s homes and triggered a national emergency that nearly brought down one government in another. Climate refugees have moved to areas where people with different cultures, beliefs and practices already reside, thereby increasing the potential for conflict. Stronger storms have threatened entire cities in the Pacific and the Atlantic. “(Albert Gore’s voice, quoted in Cruz, 2008)
The presence of climate refugees is a big sign that in the days and years ahead there will be more migration. With more immigrants in our country, we are not guaranteeing employment opportunities for our own people. And there’s no guarantee that ten years from now, the American economy will create more and more jobs for Americans and immigrants. That is, even if we’re not making predictions based on current events and patterns. We should plan for eventualities, and implement projects for our organization’s future. Business instincts tell us to prepare for the future. That is what business is all about.
However, Bjorn Lomborg (2008), the author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and “Cool It,” and director of Copenhagen Consensus Center and adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School, says: “A much sounder the solution would be to spend more in research and development of zero-carbon energy technologies than Kyoto and its successor — a simpler, more effective way of actually addressing the environment problem.” (Lomborg 2008)
It’s high time we start research and development for our future. One of our corporate goals must be the technology that help reduce coal-gas emissions.
The Dutch Challenge
Changes will be more on the world’s ecosystem. Now and in the near future, climate change and global warming are the great challenges facing the world. More of our architecture and engineering works should be geared towards that end. The so-called Dutch challenge is still the model to be looked at. To make their country climate proof, the Dutch built “amphibious homes that rest on land but can rise to the water level by as much as 18 feet then float back down as water subsides.”
It is common knowledge that The Netherlands is basically built on reclaimed land that they call polders, which is below sea level. The flood, together with canal dikes, basin dikes and holding ponds, is held at the bay by dikes, pumping stations, dams and huge storm obstacles. But the Dutch realized that simply building higher dikes is no longer possible as Europe continues to endure wetter winters and hotter summers; this is result of climate change and global warming.
Therefore, the Dutch engineers and architects have devised strategies and designs that call for greener and flexible technologies to cope with the rising sea and to make The Netherlands climate-proof. They have developed new guidelines for building flood-prone areas as farmers adapt to a new agricultural landscape.
With the ever-rising world prices of crude and oil that creates a domino effect on prime commodities, we can indeed follow up on Lomborg’s thesis – research and development on zero-carbon energy technologies. It is our big chance to help our business and organization, and also help fight climate change and global warming.
Business should ensure appropriate environmental safeguards. If there are still enough areas in our countryside for ecotourism, investment in this area is much preferred. Real estate, farms and countryside areas are a good business, ten years from now.
Ecotourism has gained momentum in Europe, in areas where countryside business is accessible. Outdoor recreation can be helpful for people who are bored of the city life. This is part of the solution to climate change and global warming – environment preservation. Ecotourism is part of environment preservation. Green tourism which at present is an “in” thing in some parts of England, is good business for local and small entrepreneurs. It’s time we promote green tourism in the United States.
A recreation site to provide a venue for people to temporarily escape stress of urban life and provide recreational pastime of picnicking with the amenities of modern facilities and new technology can be good investment. We can provide a peaceful retreat for passive pursuits and opportunity for physical exercises such as jogging, walking, hiking, bush walking.
An ecotourism destination caters to people of all walks of life. This investment project can make use of residents of the area and tourists who can be customers or volunteers who regard ecotourism and green tourism as part of their lives. Volunteers can be any young resident or adults, physically fit to guide users for proper use and care of the environment. The users can use the amenities, shelter and café, picnic areas and the long stretch for hiking and bush walking.
There will be more on electronic and gadget things. Most of them are touch-screen phones, stylish notebooks, portable and light laptops which are energy-saving and shock-proof, with fantastic designs, that are suitable to outdoor activities and ideal companion for reporters, wildlife photographers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Most cars in urban areas will be computerized, relying on traffic warnings from built-in computers.
In IT, the business processing and outsourcing processing will dominate the scene; most Americans will continue to be lazy to go to the supermarket and malls to buy their daily needs, instead rely on the internet and call centers.
It is recommended that an efficient IT Network Administrator who shall be responsible for managing a network, maintaining equipment, managing IT vendor accounts, program websites and assisting IT needs at workshops and trainings, with an equally efficient staff, be employed to manage voluminous data bases for the future of the organization.
The Merger Mania
Grubb & Lamb (2008) says that, “World-wide merger volume jumped 36 percent to $3.4 trillion, racing forward at a stunning $1.6 billion per business hour.” But both authors also concede, “Only time will tell when the current global consolidation run will lose steam, but it will not happen anytime soon.” (p. 9)
This means that acquisition will continue for up to 2020 and beyond, since the trend is to grow bigger and bigger until the years ahead. This has just been proven by America Online’s “biggest acquisition in the U.S. history – initially valued at $183 billion – of media and cable giant Time Warner (http://hoovers.com/features/compday.html. January 16 2000, also cited in Grubb & Lamb 2008, p. 9)
There have been acquisitions one after the other, but, as Grubb & Lamb argues, “the sobering reality is that only about 20 percent of all mergers and acquisitions really succeed.” This is further supported by the same authors’ statement: “Most mergers typically erode shareholder wealth, create years of chaos, fear, and turmoil of their employees, and take a medley of missteps to perfectly position themselves to lose the battle against their direct market competitors.” (10)
It is therefore unwise for this organization to venture into a merger or acquisition now and in the future. Grubb & Lamb further states that, “most mergers fail to achieve any real financial returns.” (11)
Aside from the environmental concerns, we also have to improve the quality of life of our employees. One program that we have to improve in the coming years is the interrelationship of employees, inside and outside their place of work, to improve their way of thinking for the organization. And one thing to avoid in the office and in our areas of business? Anger in the work place.
Reuters reports: “Anger in the workplace – grumpy, sarcastic short-tempered or worse employees and employers – is becoming shockingly common and likely to grow as Americans face woes of rising costs, job uncertainty or overwhelming debt, experts say.” (Reuters, New York Report, July 19, 2008)
It also said: “Nearly half of U.S. employees in America experience shouting and verbal abuse at work, with about a fifth claiming it has reduced them to tears has shown.”
Two to 3 percent of people admit to pushing, slapping or hitting someone at work. With roughly 100 million people in the US work force, he said, that’s as many as 3 million people. Our organization should install safeguards to help in forming the behavior in the office, now and in the future.
Business process outsourcing will have peaked in the years ahead. Recently The New York Times (online) reported that Reuters went a step further by having its editorial employees in an electronic posting that “it planned it planned to hire six journalists in Bangalore, India are carrying out basic financial reports on 3,000 small to medium-sized US firms. ‘ It’s a place where you can get people who understand English, who understand financial statements, who understand journalism and who are highly educated and willing to do it this kind of work,’ David Schlesinger, global managing editor of Reuters, said in a telephone interview.” What does this mean? “Tasks such as interviewing a company president, talking to analysts and reporting breaking news will continue to be carried out by more seasoned journalists working in the countries where those companies are based, Mr. Schlesinger said.” (The New York Times, 2008)
With the ever-increasing world prices of crude oil, research and development on alternative fuel should be done, so that by 2020, we shall not be too dependent on oil. R&D for ethanol and bio fuel is highly recommended as this save the world from too much dependence on fossil fuel.
In the area of health and medicine, people are more concerned with their health and insurance. With this, in line with corporate social responsibility, we can have programs to help senior citizens and persons with disability. But more so, business along this line is a much recommended step. Health and medicines are also good business in the years ahead.
We can help make life easier for people and show concern through healthcare programs as part of corporate social responsibility. The healthcare industry with its rising overall costs can be aided by our organization in a more economical way.
Our business can provide medical alert services, respiratory care and sleep management, remote cardiac services, hypertension alert services, and even remote patient management, along the line of health care. This is investment with a purpose.
We can expect vast changes in the environment and business organizations by the year 2020. Most of these changes will cover the ecosystem. We have to do something to make our world a better place to live in, if not we will all melt down with the environmental hazards that we have thrown out into the Earth’s inner system. We have to do something before it’s too late.
Health care, environmental preservation, and diversity management are among the many activities and programs that should be given full attention if we have to progress in the coming years.
Grubb, T. M. & Lamb, R. B. (2008). Capitalize on Merger Chaos. New York: The Free Press 2000.
- Cruz, I. A. (2008). Gore’s Purpose. Available from: http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20080615-142721/Al-[Retrieved 12 July 2008]
- De Jesus, A. P. Jr. How the Dutch Are Coping With Climate Change.
- Olsthoorn, A. & Tol, R.S.J. eds. (2001). Institute for Environmental Studies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Floods, flood management and climate change in The Netherlands. Available from: http://dare.ubvu.vu.nl/bitstream/1871/10435/1/f7.pdf. [Retrieved 20 July 2008]
- Lomborg, B. (2008). The Green Inquisition. Available from: http://www.zaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=147393. [Retrieved 15 July 2008]
- The New York Times (2008). MediaTalk; Reuters Takes Outsourcing to a New Level With Journalists. Available from: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9801E4DF173AF93AA35751C0A9629C8B63. [Retrieved 20 July 2008]
- Wulfhorst, E. (2008). Desk rage spoils workplace for many Americans. Available from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080710/us_nm/workplace_usa_deskrage_dc [Retrieved 20 July 2008]