Insight: The Future Laboratory co-founder challenges government policy on immigration

On the morning of the inaugural Global Futures Forum, hosted by The Future Laboratory, co-founder Martin Raymond has issued a dire warning to British businesses: ‘The future success of organisations in the UK will be compromised if we limit immigration in the way current government policy is proposing.’

‘Geographical diversity, along with ethnicity and gender, are among the most powerful drivers of innovation. If we place limits on people who bring with them rich veins of ethnic, cultural and social difference we severely restrict our ability to respond to sudden changes in the market, and to understand and utilise different points of view that may not be familiar to our domestic culture.’

The Global Futures Forum has been created in response to the demand for comprehensive, strategic insight into changing consumer behaviour and industry shifts at a time when UK organisations risk being left behind by their more agile, open, culturally diverse US and EU counterparts.

From radical keynote presentations and influencer panel debates to expert-led workshops and experiences, the event will challenge, shock and provoke to inspire impactful and sustainable change.

Raymond continues: ‘Increasingly in the UK there is a growing sense that being different, challenging or ‘other’ is somehow un-British or unpatriotic. This thinking is creating a culture that is unable to respond to the bigger issues being faced by an increasingly multicultural and socially enriched world.

‘We are seeing huge and profound shifts between urban and rural consumers, and between cities. London has more in common with New York and Paris than it has with Leeds and Manchester.

‘If British businesses are to bridge these gaps successfully and understand why these rifts have happened, they will need increased diversity to do so – from the UK, but also from abroad.’

Raymond concluded: ‘Businesses need to reject the isolationism of current government thinking. If they ignore geographical, social, gender and ethnic diversity, then they are severely compromising future success. Being ‘other’ is at the heart of innovation, and if businesses reject ‘otherness’ then they are dooming themselves to failure.’

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