A review of ARUP’s “Drivers of Change”

We’ve been a long time follower of the engineering and design firm ARUP (HFP consultant Noah Raford has worked with them on several past projects via his other life as an urban planner).  

They also have a scenario planning division, lead by Chris Luebkeman, who put out a beautifully made “Drivers of Change” report on a semi-regular basis (also found on their dedicated scenario planning / strategy website, here.)   

TreeHugger has just posted a very nice review of the latest round of these reports, found here.  The review is pretty light (excerpt below), but it is nice to see this kind of foresight and scenario planning work getting more mainstream coverage.

Although the trends explored in Drivers of Change are, for the most part, pretty scary, there is also good news (although not in the “Climate Change” section, which is not recommended for the faint of heart). For example, accelerated urbanization might actually produce new solutions to some of the problems mentioned in the book, as cities, especially very diverse cities, are functioning more and more as platforms for exchanging ideas – churning out prosperity and culture like never before. The book links the growth of urban diversity and multiculturalism to city dwellers’ prospects for innovation and even happiness.

Another, more in depth look at the overview from this research can be found at DesignIntelligence, written by Luebkeman himself.  His bullet points are:

  1. The world is shrinking
  2. Populations are expanding
  3. Nationalism is on the wane
  4. Potential for scarcity
  5. Increasing ecological footprints
  6. Massive urbanisation
  7. Asia on the rise
  8. Increasing R&D is a hopeful trend
  9. Organisations need to integrate and be prepared for the convergence of these trends

These will be familiar themes for any HFP partners, but again, very nice to see them getting more mainstream coverage.


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