So will Rapid Urbanization change consumer consumption and global economics?Historically, bigger cities have been correlated with major economic growth. With cities the size of small countries, megacities will become markets unto themselves. In the next ten years, urbanization will welcome an additional 1.8 billion consumers to the world economy. The majority of these new consumers will be in emerging markets, where annual consumption is forecast to reach $30 trillion in 2025.
Urbanization is not only driving economic growth, it’s also changing how we buy and consume products and services. It will drive demand for new services that will make it easier to share resources and space in a crowded, hectic and increasingly busy environment, propelling the sharing economy and convenience-based services.
Services that will save us time— virtual assistants that will reschedule our meetings or send clients inventory updates, and home appliances that will reorder coffee, shampoo and milk when we are running low.
Ease the traffic and transportation hassles—ride shares, parking valets and self-driving car services.
And make our busy lives more enjoyable—reservations at the hottest restaurants, last minute weekend getaway house shares, wearables that alert us to nearby retail offers. Even sommelier and florist bots who will make sure we always have the right bottle of wine or flowers for that special occasion.
The service possibilities are endless.
What kind of toll will this rapid growth of cities pose to our environment and how can HP help?
Rapid Urbanization is already taking a toll on the environment. If things remain the same, in 2030 mankind will need the resources of two planets to sustain its current lifestyle. Electricity consumption is predicted to grow by 13% alone in the next 4 years. Addressing resource waste can partially offset this increasing resource demand, but we will also need to employ new technologies that can optimize resource usage. This means that sustainability will become increasingly important for both consumers and businesses.
We need to get smarter about how we manage our resources and capitalize on opportunities, new resources and new ways of doing things.
There is already great advancement being made in alternate energy sources. In Africa a people-powered football field (a.k.a. soccer in the U.S.) is generating energy from the player’s footsteps and converting it into the energy used to light the field.
It’s just the beginning to how technology can help enable new, improved ways of creating and minimizing the use of energy, food, water etc.
How does a company like HP stay ahead of this change, to innovate, adapt, reinvent and engineer experiences for the future?
Rapid Urbanization will transform cities into markets, create a new consuming class, change business models, and increase the importance of global sustainability. And while we can’t predict exactly what the future holds, we can look to these changes, along with the other major socio-economic, demographic and technological trends occurring across the globe, to help guide us as we chart our course. At HP, there is unrelenting excitement about our future in this ever-changing world. We are on the cusp of new possibilities and innovations that will lead to products and services that will shape our future. This is what drives us to Keep Reinventing.