Growing Uphill: The 15 Forces Shaping our World in 2023

The world is about to shift dramatically. Forces are building that will, in some cases, boil over the top of the pot. In short, it’s going to be an uphill struggle.

This will create immense opportunities for people and planet – and for businesses looking to grow in 2023 and beyond.

White Space Strategy Managing Director, John Bee, has analysed the key challenges and opportunities facing businesses globally, as we move into 2023. The 15 forces are summarised in this article, which is free to download as a planning tool for business leaders.

It comes with a health warning, for the first part of the article at least. This section focuses on challenges: there’s no escaping the fact that these will be immense. The second part focuses on opportunities, which will also be very significant. The article concludes with a set of key insights and take-outs to support strategy planning.

Basic instincts

All around the world, people and businesses next year will be under immense strain, caused by the pressures of inflation, cost of living, climate change and, in some places, war, flood and famine.

But, at the end of the struggle, lies something of immense value: stability, security, and the conditions required for sustainable growth – in every country, city, town, village and agricultural community that together make up our economy.

Riding up this hill requires an understanding of the forces that are building.

These forces and trends will not be the normal ones business leaders are used to engaging with. An understanding of economics, geopolitics, geography and military strategy will be needed – so that we can create the right strategies for market selection, M&A, cost management, pricing, supply chain structure, recruitment and shareholder engagement, during our day jobs.

White Space Strategy’s Managing Director, John Bee, has worked with over 150 of the world’s leading companies, as well as government bodies, leading universities, charities, global private equity houses and VC funds. He’s drawn on this experience, and connections with world leading academics and economists, to identify the 15 forces that will fundamentally shape the world we’re doing business in next year.

A framework for action

John’s article aims to create a framework for practical action – for the benefit of people and planet, and to protect the bottom line of companies everywhere in the world.

It’s been written with input from some of the world’s leading experts in business, economics, climate change, social support and geography. By weaving these perspectives together, layering in his own insights and analysis, John’s provided business leaders with a map for sustainable growth in 2023.

About the author:

Headshot of White Space founder and MD, John Bee

John Bee

Managing Director, White Space Strategy

John founded White Space Strategy in 2005, and has worked on over 300 growth strategy projects worldwide.

White Space Strategy was named as one of the UK’s leading strategy and innovation consultancies by the Financial Times in 2021 and 2022.

He is currently also working with Oxford University within their UN Sustainable Development Goals Impact Lab, and has lectured at Warwick Business School.

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