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Futurist Keynote, UK: The Future of Infrastructure 2080 with NCE


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.


Relax and rewind the session


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.

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