What might the future look like in the four scenarios that framed CPA Canada’s Foresight project? Futurists weigh in.
Recently, CPA Canada assembled a team of 40 business leaders and big thinkers from across the country for Foresight: Reimagining the Profession, a forum on the future of accounting. In a series of roundtable discussions, the participants—CPAs and non-CPAs from finance, industry, technology, government and academia—asked themselves: what will the profession look like in 2030 and beyond?
To answer that question, they had to ask a bigger one: what will the world be like in a decade or two? Their response took the form of four “scenarios,” disparate visions of the future. In some, the international community bands together; in others, it fractures apart. Some scenarios envision technological change as a force for good; others see it as a threat. “Of course, it’s impossible to predict the future,” says Tashia Batstone, CPA Canada’s senior vice-president of external relations and business development. The coming years are likely to contain elements of all the scenarios, rather than just one. “They’re not what we think or hope the future will be, but simply what’s plausible. The value of the scenarios is that they frame the discussion. They encourage CPAs to think differently and consider the challenges and opportunities that we may face in the future.”
In this article, a team of futurists discuss what each of the scenarios may look like, and the implications for CPAs.