A Business Wish List For 2018

Predictions. We all make them; they are woven throughout our day-to-day lives, the weather, sport, and of course, business. However, just as the saying goes,  “Predicting the future is easy, getting it right is the hard part…” – they often prove futile. As we brace ourselves for 2018, and a new year in business awaits, I wish to share with you, not predictions, but what I want to see business stand for in 2018.

Firstly, I want it to be technologically innovative and progressive. As I have written about previously, the fourth industrial revolution is upon us and business must be receptive to its’ opportunities and challenges. AI technologies, in particular, are a growing presence in all facets of our everyday lives. This isn’t something to be feared or resisted but embraced and further developed. An example is business involvement in AI technologies within healthcare delivery. Here, business can play its’ part in enabling online video consultations to reach every single phone user in the world, some-day, revolutionising the way we access healthcare. I think this is a very exciting proposition… In the words of Imperial College Dean Francisco Veloso, ”  True innovation happens when you mix technology and business”.

I also want 2018 to be the year business stands for, standing up for itself.  For several years now, the politics surrounding Brexit and endless public debates over Trump have weakened and bruised perception of business. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. The UK is the world’s second largest exporter of services.  “The dark matter that, well, really matters” according to Ingo Borchert, professor of UK Trade Policy.

The once distant Brexit, by 2018, will be just one year away, the UK’s world-class service industry must make its’ voice heard. It’s provision of jobs, and role in economic growth will be more critical than ever. The UK must show itself to be an attractive, prosperous proposition to potential trade allies across the globe.  If the voices from Parliament can’t do it, then the voices from Business must…

Amidst the considerable political uncertainty and instability across much of the globe, I want business to manifest as the shot in the arm, full of positivity and opportunity. Education, I believe, can be the most successful way in which this much-needed injection of positivity is administered.

As an entrepreneur myself, I am always on the lookout for new skills and talent. Notably, the mix of soft and hard skills business can give you; computing combined with powers of negotiation, data-analysis mixed with creative thinking.

So, I want 2018 to be a year in which businesses play a more significant role in education provision… More entrepreneurial scholarships, investments in IT facilities, and applying pressure to governments that don’t do enough in preparing our youth for the ever-developing, ever-changing demands of the globalised world.

The last couple of years have been primarily comprised of negative outlooks and pessimistic predictions. I see 2018 as a year business can buck that trend. It can be innovative, vocal, positive, and all of us should get behind it!