The Future We Made: Birmingham and the West Midlands Futures Toolkit 2020-2060

Date of the report

31 July 2015

Author of the report

Sustainability West Midlands

Purpose of the report

This report and slide pack is aimed at local decision-makers operating within the West Midlands area who want tools to help start a useful conversation about the future within their organisation systems and culture. The rest of this report provides you with:

  • A background on the toolkit and how it was developed
  • The 12 future drivers and the detail behind them
  • How to use these drivers to build in futures capacity with your organisation systems and culture

There is also a separate slide pack which provides much of this information in a summary version with some suggestions on how to use it in practice. This report is produced by Sustainability West Midlands, one of six local city projects co-funded by the Foresight Future of Cities project in the Government Office for Science. Each project is developing its own methods for visioning possible futures of its city and surrounding area. This report was produced in collaboration with input from advisors from Birmingham City Council, Forum for the Future, Business in the Community West Midlands, Aston University, Birmingham University, Climate UK, Innovate UK, and stakeholder participation from over 100 Sustainability West Midlands members. The 12 future drivers are:

  • Population Changes
  • Changing workforce, skills and working practices on business
  • Impact of lifestyles and environment on health
  • Increased demand for more regional or local powers and governance
  • Widening inequality and inclusion gap
  • Knowledge economy and networked world
  • Accelerated change from new technology opportunities for business
  • Globalisation of markets and competition on business
  • Increased stress on transport infrastructure for public services and business
  • Pressure for climate change adaptation
  • Emphasis on lower carbon energy supply, security and cost for public services, business, and communities
  • Increased pressure on natural resources

What SWM likes

We enjoyed working with a wider range of stakeholders for this report, but the actual practical testing with a range of our members from corporate sustainability reviews, to land use planning strategy, or business start ups was the most rewarding. We hope you also find the 12 key drivers a useful way to start a conversation about the future within your organisation and with partners to help build a better future for Birmingham and the West Midlands. “This work is great and provides a sound platform for West Midlands partners to work together on” Jay Amin, Foresight for Cities

Links and contact information

The report can be downloaded here  WM Future Drivers Report-Final-July The slide pack can be accessed here West Midlands Futures Toolkit v24.7.15 The link to the Blog for the Foresight Website September 2015 is here

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