In this keynote speaker and futurist Matthew Griffin discusses how N+2 and N+3 generation emerging technologies could transform how we build infrastructure and what that means for the civil engineering sector.


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Firstly, thank you to Lydia, from EMAP, the UK’s largest conference producer, and Bob, the CEO of the New Civil Engineer (NCE), for asking me to be the keynote at their annual summit, this year held in London, where all of the UK’s leading construction and infrastructure companies came together to hear about the latest innovations and technology breakthroughs that will affect the sector in the years to come.


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Celebrating their 50th anniversary it seemed only fitting that NCE chose to look into the deep future to see what the future of the sector could look like, the result of which meant that my keynote was aptly titled The Future of Infrastructure 2080.


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Now, as any futurist knows the further into the future we travel the fuzzier the details about the plausible, possible, probable, and preposterous futures are so as you can imagine trying to predict the future of infrastructure in 2080 was no small task. It also meant that unlike a lot of the 2050 foresight projects from companies such as Arup I had to jump the so called technology S-Curves and go far beyond today’s emerging technologies.


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This meant that, for example, while other foresight teams in the sector look at a future dominated by 3D printed smart infrastructure I instead looked towards a future of industrial scale molecular assemblers dominated by Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI), new computing paradigms, new materials, new sensors, and the eventual seemingly inevitable appearance of synthetic biology in the sector – where buildings are no longer printed but instead grown from genetically engineered seeds. And, you can hear about all of these and more in the keynote and I hope you enjoy it.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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