What needs to change?

What needs to change?

Future State 2030 projects a challenging future in which governments will need to take actions to address megatrend-driven risks and capitalize on megatrend-driven opportunities. Successful governments will adapt. Their governments will look different in 2030 than they do today. They will be the ones that continue to deliver for their citizens.

Father and laptop using laptop

In assessing the impacts of the nine megatrends on the future state of government, we present possible responses using the core tools available – policy, regulation and programs – as well as the strategies, structures and skills that future governments will need to have in place.

What governments need to change?

Policy, including the expansion of:

  • national governments' engagement in international, regional and jurisdictional forums to address interconnected issues
  • the quantity and quality of evidence-based policy which uses high-quality data assisted by strong data analytics. 

Regulation, including shifts that seek to:

  • encourage behavioral change among citizens to mitigate and manage downstream megatrend impacts (where policy and program changes have been ineffective)
  • enforce market practices to align with government policy priorities and choices, including controls over the extent and form of any foreign investment. 

Programs, including shifts that seek to:

  • minimize costs to governments by reducing unit costs/prices, reducing unit demand and/or capping total demand for government services
  • take a more holistic long-term view of infrastructure systems, encompassing both hard and soft infrastructure. 

How governments need to change?

Strategy changes include greater focus on, and use of:

  • long-term planning and scenario exercises including long-term economic forecasts and critical infrastructure renewal assessments
  • behavioral insights to encourage people to act in ways that will reduce pressures on social support systems
  • outcomes and metrics to help ensure that funds are allocated to cost-effective programs
  • flexibility and "paradigm" thinking as part of policy and planning capacity to address unexpected challenges and opportunities
  • technology adoption that is flexible, affordable and timely. 

Structural changes include shifts towards becoming more:

  • internationally integrated through active engagement with international partners, or increased cooperation with international institutions
  • highly integrated through more connected-up policy arrangements within and across relevant policy domains
  • locally empowered with greater funds and authority given to cities to meet their responsibilities
  • networked through meaningful collaboration with citizens, other levels of government, neighboring countries, the private and non-profit sectors to sustain key areas of government service delivery
  • flexible and adaptive in planning to facilitate greater risk taking and more timely responses to unanticipated situations. 

Skills needed include greater capabilities and capacity in:

  • international awareness, including knowledge of global trends and their impacts, to factor into decision-making processes
  • financial sophistication with a deep knowledge of highly integrated international capital markets
  • systems thinking to understand the potential benefits and risks of technology developments and undertake effective technology road-mapping
  • effective stakeholder engagement, including the use of new communication channels such as social media
  • risk assessment and change management to address complex risk issues.

Connect with us


Want to do business with KPMG?


loading image Request for proposal

Stay up to date with what matters to you

Gain access to personalized content based on your interests by signing up today

Sign up today