Beyond 2023: addressing future challenges

Category: future, technology, Sustainability, strategy, design

Sara Baliña in Beyond23 at The Cocktail

We live in a world in constant evolution, where the future is a blank canvas full of challenges and opportunities. On 17 October, the 2nd edition of Beyond took place, a space to become aware of our responsibility, to rethink ourselves and to go beyond. 
Throughout the day, several experts gave their views on the challenges facing society and companies in the current reality, through an innovative approach, and in order to design a new present that opens the possibility of a better future.

"We have to work on those things that are going to happen in the coming years. We have to reflect and focus on the challenges that lie ahead", Alberto Suárez, Managing Director at The Cocktail

Let's talk about Demographic Transition: solutions for including older people in the economy

This was the focus of the presentation by Sara Baliña, Deputy Director of the Spanish Government's National Foresight and Strategy Office, who spoke about the challenge facing countries such as Spain, whose population pyramid is immersed in an increasingly palpable ageing process.

The negative effects of this situation mean a reduction in the workforce at older ages, as well as lower productivity, which has a negative impact on the economy. In this way, he explained the need for governments to seek solutions that promote the inclusion of people of this age group: part-time work of 3 hours, participation in mentoring or accompaniment within companies.

"It is not a question of working at 70, but of adapting in such a way that the experience of these people is not wasted". Sara Baliña, Deputy Director in Office at the Spanish Government's National Office of Prospective and Strategy

Let's Talk Green Challenge: working towards climate stability

Xavier Vallés, Managing Director of Neture Impact, the impact consulting spin-off of The Cocktail, introduced this block by reminding attendees that "the profitability-risk binomial, under which our companies have traditionally operated, must give way to a profitability-risk-impact trinomial that turns business into a promoter of environmental and social transformation in this emergency context".

Following this, Emilio Santiago, Senior Scientist at the CSIC's Department of Anthropology, explained the two key trends that are currently shaping sustainability: the mutation of the climate regime and the flourishing of mature alternatives.

Furthermore, Emilio stressed that the increased weight of fossil fuels, climate diplomacy and the administrative deficit are obstacles and uncertainties that prevent our society from being up to the task, although he pointed out that, fortunately, there are 6 reasons for hope:

1.The technological revolution of renewables
2.The political centrality of the climate emergency
3.The great macroeconomic transformation
4.Emerging cultural changes
5.The remarkable regenerative potential
6.The climate drive of citizens

"We are facing the era of global boiling, a new climate regime marked by new global dangers where we face the challenge of redirecting the world's climate towards a valley of stability and ecosystemic stability". Emilio Santiago, senior scientist at the CSIC Anthropology Dept

Let's talk about Technological Revolution: the opportunities of AI

The third block began with a short introduction by Lara Poveda, Managing of Engineering at The Cocktail, who spoke about the irruption of new technologies such as AI, which is "promoting social change, and its potential cannot be underestimated, as it can mean the failure or success of future businesses".

Alberto Levy, Innovation Evangelist and CEO of Poly Cashback, focused his presentation on the potential of this technology. First, he presented a series of case studies to the audience to help them understand the potential of this technology. He also emphasised that AI is the most disruptive intelligence, and that generative AI is just the beginning, "we are just learning". But humans must come to a consensus, otherwise "the challenge is greater".

Talking about New Models of Coexistence: promoting social welfare

Finally, Clara Tió, Chief Design Officer at The Cocktail, introduced the last block, calling for the need to "incorporate the ecological and demographic dimension in cities, which are currently designed in a productive way".

She was followed by Izaskun Chinchilla, PhD architect, who pointed out that "in many European capitals, cities are compact, with few urban voids, abundant uses, well adapted to their climate, with a large presence of public spaces. All of this generates a sense of well-being for citizens". He also placed special emphasis on the need for shared space, as "it favours the conscious responsibility of citizens".

Let's talk about Creative Transformation

Alberto Barreiro, Director of Transformation at The Cocktail, offered the creative vision to address the four great challenges and shared the imperative axes of change: ethical, economic, institutional and aesthetic. In this sense, he shared several resignifications of concepts deeply rooted in today's society, such as consumption, return on investment or efficiency, which should become care, return on value and harmony, respectively. In this way, he appealed to the need to "move away from the present, force the machinery of reflection and change the world, altering our way of thinking and going further, being optimistic in the face of change".

Once again, we embrace change as an opportunity and turn Beyond into an enriching space to promote innovative solutions and achieve a real approach to the challenge of designing the world around us.