TomorrowToday Innovations and Futures Laboratory has recently worked with the UK Hydrographic Office, on an exciting project researching “The Future of Shipping”.

Using the TomorrowToday TIDES framework we pulled together the latest thinking and predictions in Technology, Institutional Change, Demography, Environmental Issues and Social Change to produce some exciting scenarios of how the Shipping Industry will evolve in the next 20 years.

We studied how changes in wealth and demography will lead to shifts in global trading patterns.

We looked at how Generations Y and Z might work out as ships’ crew, how they might be trained more effectively and how life on board might change.

We researched how Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things will revolutionise how ships are managed and navigated and at the same time cut costs and enviromental damage.

We discovered how new manufacturing technology could completely change the way the world relates and trades.

We learnt about the huge anticipated rise in global wealth and also about the (very considerable in some cases) risks to this growth.

And we found some unexpected threats to the industry itself…

Along the way, we interviewed some amazingly knowledgeable global experts such as Lars Tvede and IBM’s Master Inventor Andy Stanford-Clark, who gave us some breathtaking insights.  (Did you know ferries can tweet? Or that a 3-D printed plane has actually flown?)

We also saw how these innovations, discoveries and trends will impact every industry and business in so many different ways – from education and public sector, through not-for-profits to micro-businesses and global corporations.  It was the most fascinating project – we can’t of course fully predict the future of your industry, but we now have a really good process for understanding – and, more importantly, preparing!



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