The future will have a huge impact on the future of communities, both good and bad, but with proper foresight and planning tomorrow’s communities could be brighter and better for everyone.


Firstly, I’d like to thank Jay and Chantel for inviting me to present on the “Future of Communities,” and be this year’s keynote at Castleton’s annual European Summit at the MK Dons stadium in sunny Milton Keynes.


World first as drones and robots plant, tend and harvest their own crops


Formed in 1997 today Castleton Technology Plc is the UK’s largest technology provider to the rapidly growing social housing sector and they supply over six hundred of the UK’s two thousand housing associations with what is widely considered to be the gold standard of integrated housing solutions.


Watch the keynote, what’s the future of your community?


Every one of us lives in a community, but how those communities are maintained, managed, monitored and kept safe can often have a huge impact on how well, how poorly people judge them, and as we head into the future, where Artificial Intelligence, automation and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) become increasingly prevalent and capable it is easy to argue that many of the effects of this shift are going to be felt here first, in the social housing market.

Take, for example, the UK Chancellor, Philip Hammond’s recent announcement that he wants to accelerate the UK’s transition to self-driving cars and that over a million people need to “prepare for a complicated and difficult transition” and you can suddenly get a feel for the difficult time that lies ahead for these kinds of communities, and that’s without mentioning some of the other sectors of the jobs market that also stand to be obliterated such as fulfilment and logistics positions and even cashiers.


It's electric, US to cover 25,000 miles of roads with charging stations


During my keynote I made sure we covered a lot of ground, leaving no stone unturned in my quest to demonstrate the positive impacts that, automation asides, new technologies will have on local communities and the companies that manage them, covering everything from transportation and energy through to local wellness, food and property management.

To begin with I discussed self-driving cars and the impact they will have on community relations, parking and social inclusion and then I discussed how electric vehicles, in the short term will push the local energy grids to the limits while at the same time helping to reduce local air and noise pollution, and improve local health and boost house prices. Then I switched topics to discuss the emergence and impact of local renewable micro grids and Blockchain based energy trading initiatives and the impact that Blockchain based mesh networks could have on local broadband provision, and then we discussed bringing food production closer to home with new urban farming, vertical farming and fish farming initiatives – all of which are increasingly productive, sustainable and high tech.


The size of a grain of rice, researchers unveil the world's smallest computers


Then, I dived into how companies will be able to leverage immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to help them create intelligence led, predictive management platforms, new autonomous, low visibility policing techniques and the impact that networks of community sensors and creative AI’s will have on future urban planning and design. And if you thought your community would be immune from the technological developments that we’re witnessing today then think again.

Tomorrow’s community will be very different from todays, but getting there takes vision, planning and investment, and while Castleton have this in spades it’s not clear that anyone else, for example, in government, does… and that’s a shame for the people who stand to benefit most from them all. However, we can but hope.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, award winning Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute is described as "The Adviser behind the Advisers." Recognised for the past five years as one of the world's foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an author, entrepreneur international speaker who helps investors, multi-nationals, regulators and sovereign governments around the world envision, build and lead the future. Today, asides from being a member of Centrica's prestigious Technology and Innovation Committee and mentoring XPrize teams, Matthew's accomplishments, among others, include playing the lead role in helping the world's largest smartphone manufacturers ideate the next five generations of mobile devices, and what comes beyond, and helping the world's largest high tech semiconductor manufacturers envision the next twenty years of intelligent machines. Matthew's clients include Accenture, Bain & Co, Bank of America, Blackrock, Bloomberg, Booz Allen Hamilton, Boston Consulting Group, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Du Pont, E&Y, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, HPE, Huawei, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, McKinsey & Co, Monsanto, PWC, Qualcomm, Rolls Royce, SAP, Samsung, Schroeder's, Sequoia Capital, Sopra Steria, UBS, the UK's HM Treasury, the USAF and many others.

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