By Amy Sung
About Elizabeth Stephenson: Elizabeth Stephenson is Principal in McKinsey & Company’s Strategy Practice. She also co-founded and helps lead McKinsey’s Global Forces service-line, a center focused on emerging future trends. Before that, Elizabeth was the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Real Age: Are you as Young as You Can Be? She subsequently helped found online health publisher, RealAge.com
Most businesses are pretty pessimistic, worried about what’s going to happened next, where is the economy going, but many in the audience at today’s lunch keynote were fairly optimistic. So, too, is Elizabeth Stephenson, who spoke about the five crucibles of innovation that will shape the coming decade.
“You can predict general macroeconomic trends relatively well, and the one fact we can predict with accuracy, it’s actually overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “The next decade will see more people exit poverty than ever. Global real per capita income will be 40% higher than 2020 than in 200 emerging markets will see real per capita income double.
“Innovation and imagination is going to be unleashed – there will be enormous amounts of change,” Stephenson adds, emphasizing how far we’ve come since 20 years ago, when the World Wide Web was an academic white paper, and how far we have yet to go to adapt to and improve the economy. “More than 50% of chief executives believe that in the next 10 years, their business model will undergo fundamental transformation; this decade really is the decade of innovation.”
Five crucibles of innovation will drive this change, Stephenson said, moving us from an economy by developed world markets and the rise of the emerging markets. These five crucibles are the great re-balancing, the productivity imperative, the market state, pricing the planet and the global grid.
“There are negative scenarios across all, but also a lot of hope,” she said. “Does the economy stand still, do we accept things to be as they always have been, or do we innovate?”
For details on Stephenson’s five crucibles of innovation, check out her Power Point presentation.
By Amy Sung