Andrew Bolwell is VP and Global Head of Technology Vision and Venturing for HP. In this role he is responsible for driving HP’s long-term innovation and technology vision for HP, as well as for HP's venture activities, working across start-up and venture capital communities to identify, source, commercialize and invest in early-stage disruptive technologies. Liaising with HP Labs, business groups, customers and partners, Andrew is defining new market segments, products and business models that will help shape HP’s future growth.
He recently sat down with us for Part 1 of a five-part series to discuss HP’s future technology vision, and how key global forces known as Megatrends are being used to shape that vision and our future.
For more information on Megatrends read Andrew’s article in the latest issue of the HP Innovation Journal.
Can you explain to us what you mean by Megatrends?
Megatrends are global socio-economic, demographic and technological forces that HP believes will have a sustained, transformative impact on the world in the years ahead - on businesses, societies, economies, cultures and our personal lives.
The world is in a constant state of change. In the next 15 years there will be more change than in all of human history to date. And while we can never really know the future, understanding the megatrends that are shaping the world around us can help point the way, and guide us on where the world is going, and the technology that will be needed into the future to help improve our lives.
At HP, we’ve identified four major megatrends that we think are important: Rapid Urbanization, Changing Demographics, Hyper Globalization, and Accelerated Innovation.Let’s start with Rapid Urbanization: by 2030 there will be 8.5 billion people walking the earth. They will be drawn to cities in massive numbers for the promise of a better life. Cities will become larger creating megacities. With bigger cities come major economic growth, particularly in emerging markets. According to McKinsey by 2025, urbanization will welcome an additional 1.8B consumers to the world economy, 95% of them in emerging markets. It will also change how we buy and consume products and services, propelling the sharing economy and convenience-based services. But such rapid urbanization will also take a toll on the environment, requiring us to find ways to reduce the strain on our natural resources and infrastructure.
Simultaneously, Changing Demographics will dramatically shift the tapestry of our society. As fertility rates decline and life expectancy increases the composition of our population will shift older. By 2060 we'll have 3B more people over the age of 30 than today. And by 2030 we'll have twice as many people over 65, nearly 1B. This is leading to a shrinking and aging workforce and putting a strain on economies and government spending, simply because as the world ages, there will be fewer people working to support the number of people retiring. Companies will also be forced to reevaluate their workforce programs for aging workers. But an aging population also means a significant market opportunity. 'Silver spenders' as they are known, have a greater purchasing power than their younger counterparts, and could represent a significant untapped opportunity for companies in the future.
Hyper Globalization arguably began 2,000 years ago with the 6,000km Silk Road that connected Eurasia. However, no one could argue that the “flattening” of the world truly sky-rocketed when the Internet was born. How and where we design, sell and manufacture products will become both hyper-global and hyper-local thanks to us now living in a globally connected world with a diverse set of local requirements. It's now easier than ever for start-ups to scale globally, and for emerging market companies to become real challengers to established multinationals, disrupting markets and business models.
As market sectors change, so does technology. The pace and breadth of innovation continues to accelerate. Technology components are constantly maturing and becoming more accessible, paving the way for new advancements. We believe rapid innovation will occur in four key technology areas that we refer to as HyperMobility, 3D Transformation, Internet of ALL Things, and Smart Machines.
HyperMobility brings a shift from devices we carry to devices we wear, and ultimately to devices that will soon become a part of us. 3D Transformation enables us to seamlessly design and manufacture products of the future using digital technologies, including 3D printing. With the Internet of ALL Things, technology becomes a part of everyday objects and devices that surround us. Finally, Smart Machines allows these objects and devices to become infused with intelligence and understanding, enabling them to anticipate our needs and relieve us of mundane tasks and extend and enhance our human abilities. And as these smart devices grow legs and sprout wings and wheels and move around in the physical world with us, we get self-driving cars, drones and robots.
I recently discussed how these technology trends will affect our future in the HP Innovation Journal.
What role do you envision HP playing?
At HP we look at these Megatrends through the lens of our Blended Reality vision. We continually explore how our physical and digital realties relate and fuse with each other, so that businesses and individuals can keep reinventing the way they shape and experience the world around them.
To do this we need to take advantage of the technology trends I mentioned earlier, that can deliver these smarter, more immersive experiences. Whether it’s transforming how we design and manufacture products, creating interconnected computing experiences that implore all our senses, or developing new machines that have the intelligence to automate our most mundane tasks or give us superhuman abilities, we are on the brink of a new wave of major technologic advancement.
HP is well positioned to ride this wave well into the next decade, continually creating technology that will make life better for everyone, everywhere.