Welcome to VISION by Protiviti and the Future of Cities

Joe Kornik, Director of Brand Publishing Editor-in-Chief of VISION by Protiviti

Last week, Protiviti launched VISION by Protiviti, an exciting new global content resource exploring big, transformational topics that will alter business over the next decade and beyond. Through a variety of voices and diversity of thought, VISION by Protiviti aims to spark a new conversation in boardrooms and the C-suite and provide a platform for innovative ideas to surface. Big thinkers, both from Protiviti and outside the firm; influential business leaders; academics and public sector professionals will provide new perspectives on what business will look like in 2030 and beyond.

For our inaugural theme we chose the future of cities – here’s why:

Cities are cultural, political, creative, and economic centers of influence. They are the heartbeat of humanity. Today, more than 4 billion people—more than half of the world’s population—reside in urban areas. By 2050, the United Nations estimates two-thirds of us will call cities home. By then, almost 7 billion of the estimated 10 billion people on Earth will live in cities. Cities are vastly important to the success of the planet and all the people who live on it. If our cities fail, we all fail.

It’s important to remember that cities as we know them today weren’t always here. We created them…with purpose. And that criteria of cities as centers of purpose and influence carries forward all the way to today.

Cities were facing significant challenges even before a global pandemic rocked them in a way they’ve never been rocked before. But 2020 saw residents fleeing urban areas en masse and businesses getting shuttered. Many offices anchored in central business districts remained empty as workers shifted to remote work. There was no shortage of “this is the end of cities” commentary out there. But are cities really dying?

Cities may have bent, but they’re not broken. They’ve been pushed to their breaking point as waves of political, social, and economic upheaval subjected them to the ultimate stress test. And the verdict is in: They passed. From where we sit, reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.

As New York Comptroller Tom DiNapoli so eloquently states: “I think the city has the potential to be stronger than ever in 2030. New York has come through many crises over the years, including a pandemic, and our history as a city says that whenever we come through a crisis, we end up better, not worse.”

For our first theme, we interviewed more than 50 luminaries, futurists, physicists, strategists, executives, innovation officers, information officers, architects, urban planners, politicians, policy makers, professors, pundits, journalists and other big thinkers outside our organization, as well as several of Protiviti’s own thought leaders and subject-matter experts. We asked them about the future of cities and, specifically, how that future would impact business over the next decade. The content we created is the culmination of their insights – it’s a rich mix of research, videos, interviews, podcasts and articles representing perspectives from six continents. The topics range from technology and its role in smart cities, to privacy, climate and policy, to space colonization and digital immortality.

I invite you to explore the Future of Cities on vision.protiviti.com, and to join us on our ongoing journey with our upcoming themes by subscribing to our newsletter. I welcome your commentary and question, both here and on the VISION by Protiviti website. You can also write to me directly at joe.kornik@protiviti.com.

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