This book is about ideas for a better future, for making this world a better place. However, the real magic happens when ideas become actions. When something that began as a thought then transforms our world. When we step out of the realm of dreams and into a better reality.
In a bid to uncover how ideas for a better future are becoming reality, Monocle has teamed up with Siemens. Because, for the past 175 years, Siemens has been turning ideas into solutions that transform the everyday for people everywhere. No other company has a better grasp of the digital and real worlds – and of the laws of physics and data that they are ruled by.
Siemens is that rare thing, a company that is found in almost everything that people do. Its products help to heat our buildings and establish more sustainable processes for manufacturing the objects that fill our world; they ease our lives in homes and offices, they connect and move people and goods in their neighbourhoods and across borders. The magic of this global influencer is hidden within the intricate layers of our urban fabric, pulsing through fibre optics or firing up digital drawing boards wherever innovation is forged.
This report will span six unique insights into real-world projects. Along the way, it will examine how people are turning ideas into solutions for a better future. We hope to give readers further cause for optimism in a future being guided by a genuinely sustainable outlook. Welcome to a glimpse of a better tomorrow, transformed by ideas that became reality.
Immersed in rolling news, you could be forgiven for wanting to draw the blinds, lock the doors and curl up in a ball. But there are good reasons to be optimistic. We have powerful tools to build the future by our own design. We have the technologies needed to tackle challenges such as climate change today. Now we must summon the will and determination to put those capabilities to good use.
Yet fear of the enormous challenges alone is not enough to make this happen. People need hope that they have the means to create a better future. “That is why future-back thinking is a key capability to enable the systematic transformation that the world needs,” says Markus Strangmüller, head of sustainability strategy and governance at Siemens. “This allows us to get a better picture for what is possible – and to identify the best way to get there.”
To build the trust needed to embrace and drive progress, Siemens commissioned Messages from 2030: a report informed by a series of around 70 interviews with Swedish experts about the future of their country. Some of the findings from this detailed dissection are shared here. They reveal why there is cause for optimism not only in Western society but also in emerging economies. Countries can progress by embracing new technologies and engaging societies in their own way but a similar spirit.
Some reasons to be cheerful by 2030
Ninety-five per cent of new cars produced are powered by electricity. Fifty per cent of cars and light trucks on the streets could already be electric.
Energy grids will be more efficient and provide a stable power supply. This is made possible by digitalisation, such as simulation with a digital twin.
The steel industry will increasingly use only renewable energy and will therefore become a pioneer in sustainability.
Entire cities will become “smart” with data from different domains, such as power generation and distribution, flowing together. Artificial intelligence (AI) and simulation will be used to develop optimal solutions for liveable cities that are as sustainable as possible.
As a result of the more frequent automated analysis of health data (for example, through AI), the chances of detecting many diseases in their earlier stages will increase.
Read more here.
“This is not a vision of a distant utopia or a flight of fancy. We present a scenario that is very probable if we meet the current challenges with determination.”
Mikael Leksell, CEO for Sweden and the Nordics, Siemens
“Society will be increasingly data driven. Advanced AI will enable cars, trucks and trains to constantly scan their vicinity to interact with it and elevate safety.”
Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, senior advisor research and innovation, Scania
“In 2030, we need to acquire, produce, store and use electricity in ways that are more apt to maintaining our planet as a place worth inhabiting.”
Karl Bergman, VP research and development, Vattenfall
“In a digital world, knowledge and technical competence are invaluable. The more complex a system, the more competent, creative and critical-thinking people are needed to maintain, operate and further develop it.”
Anna Kiefer, COO digital futures, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
“In the Industrial Metaverse, we can simulate, analyse and test products, services, and technologies; we can test functionalities, improve processes and maintenance in all aspects of life before we apply them in reality – and all of this without the boundaries of time and space.”
Annika Hauptvogel, head of technology and innovation management, Siemens