Blog: #industry2050 – Perspectives on future
On September 12, 2017, Metso arranged two discussions on the future of Finnish industry. The morning’s “Rock, Paper, Scissors” event continued in the Twitter chat under the hashtag #industry2050. In addition to panel members from Metso, Fiskars and UPM, the chat included the participation of Jyri Häkämies, director general of the Confederation of Finnish Industries, Mari Pantsar, director of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Anne Stenros, chief design officer of the City of Helsinki, and Jussi Kärki, head of MTV’s political and financial newsrooms.
The lively discussion included exchanges of opinion on both the assets and potential stumbling blocks of Finnish industry. In total, 50 Twitter users participated in the discussion during the morning, and there were more than 400 tweets with the hashtag #industry2050. The hashtag reached more than 123,000 Finns on Twitter during the morning of September 12.
What will be the greatest opportunities for Finnish industry in the future?
The chat highlighted top-class technological expertise, a culture of innovation, and reliability as the most important assets of Finnish industry. Digitalization and smart solutions will also be important elements in building the future. In addition, the discussion found that Finnish industry will enjoy success if it can respond and offer solutions to global megatrends and challenges, such as climate change and urbanization.
What factors might threaten the success of Finnish industry in the future?
One statement during the discussion was “We must lead, not follow.” Finland becoming a safety-seeking tailender in the market was seen as a threat to the success of Finnish industry. Instead of just responding to the market expectations, we must innovate more boldly and create new markets ourselves in the rapidly changing world. Organizational rigidity, centralized leadership, a lack of openness, and the ability to maintain and continuously develop the level and range of education may turn out to be our stumbling blocks. The discussion also suggested that the ability to market Finnish expertise and products will also be needed.
In what way will digitalization, urbanization, the sustainable use of natural resources and design work change industry in the future?
The participants in the discussion agreed that the role of the circular economy will further grow as the ways of living and consumption change. In the future, the majority of people will be living in towns and cities, and ownership will no longer be the target state, which will require the development of services and a new type of city design. People believed that Finland has the prerequisites for being a pioneer in precisely this field. At the same time, the significance of individuality, customer experience and a human-oriented approach are expected to further increase. Urbanization was seen as a still-underutilized resource in Finland and a potential source of innovation. The sustainable use of natural resources will be the objective of both industry and individuals.
Concrete examples of companies or business projects that aim far into the future?
In the discussion, it was soon acknowledged that many Finnish projects aiming at the future are in part already reality today. The fine examples of successful Finnish projects mentioned in the discussion included various projects and companies promoting the circular economy, self-steering and remotely monitored vehicles, machines and devices, and smart construction. Biofuels, plastic-free cardboard for making cups, companies developing insect-based food, and MaaS Global, a service concept for a new type of mobility, were also mentioned.
What will our industry look like in 2050?
Many participants referenced data and analytics in their replies when the chat session ended with visions of the Finnish industry of the future. Finland was thought to be a leading country in the utilization of robotics and automation in the future. The culture of single-use disposable products was expected to disappear for good. In the future, Finland will be a model to the rest of the world as a pioneer in circular economy, producing solutions for the great challenges the world faces. The industry of the future will be ecological, responsible and renewable.
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