Last week saw us host our first networking event of the year at the Groucho Club in Soho; its theme, future-gazing – specifically, how we may all be affected this year by political, economic, social and technical trends on the world stage.
Our speaker for the evening was John Andrews, co-editor of Megachange: The World In 2050, a consultant editor at The Economist – and until his return to London in 2006, the publication’s longest-standing foreign correspondent.
Using The Economist’s The World in 2016 edition as a basis for his presentation, John kicked off with the macroeconomic picture: specifically, the threats to global stability and the possibility of another recession engendered by continuing conflict in the Middle East and the tumbling contribution of emerging economies to overall global GDP. Nonetheless, India and southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa will still lead the way – with predicted growth rates of 5.4% and 3.6% respectively. Closer to home, the growth rate predicted for western Europe is a mere 1.8%.
But never fear – Angela Merkel is here! Or rather Merkel, Hillary Clinton and Jane Yellen, Chair of the US Federal Reserve – according to John, these are (or could be) the three most important women of 2016. Let’s hope that fortune favours the brave – and indeed the rest of us.
Other topics included the possibilities of Brexit, the implications of continued low oil prices (accompanied by the revelation that the Saudis actually want them to stay low in order to hinder the development of ‘fracking’ in the US) and the vogue for ‘macho leadership’ – take a bow, Messrs. Putin, Erdogan and Li.
Closer to our own industry, eyebrows were raised when John revealed that the level of global revenue lost through ad-blocking software would rise nearly 100% this year – to a staggering $41 billion – potentially putting the cuffs on some creators of free online content and raising the issue of paywalls once again.
As for 3 Monkeys? We will be running other learning and networking events throughout the year, so let us know if you’d like to join us and do keep your ear to the ground. We hope to see you soon.