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Bryan Stott

Bryan Stott Bryan Stott

30 Voices on 2030: What does the future hold?

Looking back to 2020, members of the Isle of Man government needed a clear strategic plan to identify where they wanted to be in 2030. They also needed an operational plan to understand how they were going to get there in a rapidly changing world of exponential and disruptive technologies transforming traditional markets on a near daily basis. Change was the only constant. Nothing was certain. They didn’t know it, but the very economics of society and government itself were radically changing. The key today, as it was then, was to ensure that the Island’s regulatory and tax system remained as competitive as possible.

A continued focus on leveraging the new economy to transform education, security, and healthcare was also critical in attracting business and new residents to the Island. The government knew it could no longer keep repeating the past in the hope for a better future.

As the world’s population continued to grow, the government eased economic immigration to the Island on the Singaporean model and we embraced the future instead of clinging to the past. We collectively realized that Island is small and nimble and can simply move faster than the larger nations around it. We put this to good use to secure our economy. Following the Canadian model, we digitized our economy and also our government and became one of the last nations in the world to utilize key aspects of privatization to reduce government debt and pension liabilities, but crucially we did this having learned from the good and the bad lessons around us over the last 40 years of privatization to boost our economy and our nation. No jobs were lost as the economy grew rapidly as a result. Services improved, costs were reduced. If we hadn’t have made this difficult move, I shudder to think where we would have ended up. You only have to look at the mess that was made of Cuba to reflect. Thankfully, the Singaporean model worked so very well for the Isle of Man. Wonderful that they are now one of our larger trading partners.

What advice would you give to a CEO today (in 2020)?

Know your business, look after your team, be clear on your objectives.

What would you advise a CEO to do in the next 3 years?

Be aware of your competition and don’t be afraid of it, as change will always take place. 

Any bold predictions for the future?

A more flexible working week with telecommuting will be the norm. For some, it will be a distant memory that we used to commute to spend all day working in an office. Douglas will still be the capital and Athol Street will still be busy, but business will be conducted 24/7 all over the Island as Manx companies and residents work with partners and customers all over the world. The Island’s natural beauty and safe society will continue to bring entrepreneurs and established companies alike seeking a great work life balance for their families. The Isle of Man continues to be a very special and incredible place to live. It has offered peace and tranquility matched with entrepreneurship and commerce for over a thousand years and we look forward to a thousand more.