Just 20 years into the 21st century, we have already seen remarkable changes that we could never have anticipated. We've come up with 20 predictions that explore what the next 20 years may have in store for your organization.

To keep up with the rapid pace of technological change, governments 20 years from now will adopt agile regulatory review. New technologies and their applications will be reviewed in a similar way to how new drug research is reviewed today, to create space for emerging technologies that don't fit within current regulations. In a marketplace where boundaries between industries are melting away, it will no longer make sense to regulate entities; instead, regulators will focus on an organization's activities and outcomes.

Agile regulation enables unprecedented innovated disruption

This will make more sense from the perspective of consumers and other groups on whose behalf regulators are acting—who may otherwise be caught by gaps in protection. It will also be crucial for innovation. As many industries become more fragmented, and as new entrants from other sectors shake up the market, regulation will mirror this fragmentation to avoid stifling transformative ideas.

Rather than a one-size-fits-all regulatory approach that focuses on compliance with detailed rulebooks, regulators will examine the outcomes of a regulated company's activities; their role will be to ask whether these activities are safe and generating benefits for consumers.

As this shift takes place, regulators will automatically begin to regulate companies more proportionally, according to factors such as the size of the firm, its reach and its revenue. They will also look to leverage the very technologies driving fragmentation and transformation for themselves, using tools such as AI and blockchain to improve their own processes.

Regulators two decades from now will continue to prioritize consumer safety and security, but this shift in approach will help drive innovation and transformation in heavily regulated industries, which is itself a consumer benefit. This will allow both new and existing players to launch new products and services in markets including financial services, senior care, autonomous vehicles and biotechnology.

Workflow and collaboration will also improve, allowing regulated companies to offer customers a frictionless, higher-quality experience in a landscape where combined capabilities will be key. As for the regulators, while technology will support the autonomous supervision of many activities, the human element of regulation will not disappear.

Predictions pulse

Trends, breakthroughs, milestones, and insights on our path towards agile regulatory evolution.

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