Hamish McRae


  • Hamish talks about the forces that will change the world over the next generation, and the implications these have for the business world.
  • Audiences leave understanding these forces and how leaders can plan to meet those challenges in his highly customized keynote presentation.
  • Hamish McRae is one of Europe's foremost speakers on global future trends in economics, business and society. He is Associate Editor of The Independent Newspaper in London and Principal Economic Commentator for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday and a columnist for the London Evening Standard best selling author.
  • Past clients include: Bell Microsystems, Deloitte, Fujitsu, Eversheds, TNT, KPMG, The Astana Economic Forum and PwC.

About Hamish McRae - Economic Commentator and Futurist:

Hamish McRae is one of Europe's foremost speakers on global future trends in economics, business and society. He is Associate Editor of The Independent Newspaper in London and Principal Economic Commentator for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday and a columnist for the London Evening Standard. He is the author of the acclaimed work on the future, The World in 2020: Power, Culture and Prosperity, which was long-listed for the Business Book of the Year at the FT/Goldman Sachs Awards in New York in 2010. Following its publication he became a sought-after speaker on trends in the economy, technology and business.

As a speaker, Hamish is in demand around the world for his lucid insights into the forces such as technology, demography, globalisation, natural resources, and government policies shape the economy and influence business strategy. He examines likely future scenarios for business, government and society.

Hamish's other books include Capital City - London as a Financial Centre, co-authored with Frances Cairncross, and Wake-up Japan, co-authored with Tadashi Nakamae. and What Works: Success in Stressful Times, which was long-listed for the Business Book of the Year at the FT/Goldman Sachs Awards in New York in 2010.

He is an Adjunct Professor at Trinity College, Dublin, and a Governor of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research as an economic journalist, Hamish McRae was editor of Euromoney and financial editor of The Guardian before moving to The Independent.

Amongst his awards are the David Watt Prize for outstanding political journalism in 2005, the Business and Finance Journalist of the Year in the 2006 British Press Awards, and Communicator of the Year at the 2007 Business Journalist Awards.

He is now working on a new book, provisionally entitled The World in 2050, to be published in 2020.

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What Hamish McRae Talks About:

What Works

Based on his latest book What Works, Hamish takes the audience on a fascinating journey in pursuit of the difference between triumph and failure.

Why do some initiatives take off while others flounder? How have some communities managed to achieve so much while others struggle? What distinguishes the good companies from the bad? What lessons can we learn from the surprisingly well-ordered Mumbai community made famous by ‘Slumdog Millionaire’? Why have Canadian manners helped Whistler become the most popular ski resort in North America? How has Zurich developed the world’s most admired anti-drug policies? And how has Hong Kong used gambling profits to help its residents enjoy the greatest level of economic freedom on the planet?

Drawing life lessons from the great ideas put to work on every continent – from America to Europe, from Africa to Asia and Australasia – McRae’s stories are as surprising as they are inspiring. We are better placed now than we have ever been to make good choices about the future of our species and our planet. But if we are to face the many challenges ahead, we have to try to learn from each other. What Works will leave you entertained, informed and, ultimately, enlightened as to what each of us can do to make successes of our businesses, our communities and our lives.

Key Trends in the Global Economy – Power, Culture and Prosperity

Can we talk sensibly about the future – particularly since so many predictions of the future have proved wildly inaccurate? Yes, we can because it is possible to identify forces that will change the world over the next generation, and within broad limits to see what implications these have for the business world.

Key drivers of change in the world economy are:

  • Demography – how many more people there will be in the world, how old they will be, and where they will be located
  • Resources and the environment – whether there will be enough resources to give these additional people a decent lifestyle, the pressures this will create, and the impact on the financial community
  • Globalisation – how long it will continue to race onwards and how it will change its nature from emphasis on international trade to emphasis on culture and intellect
  • Technology – how we can see an outline of the technologies which will dominate for the next 25 years and the broad social impact of these is more important (and in some ways easier to see) than the precise technical advances
  • Government and social change – why we will ask different things of government and why government will tend to retreat (for example in services such as pensions) ; where we can catch a glimpse of the big changes in our societies that will be associated with this retreat
  • The End of Inflation – why a world of price stability, maybe deflation, will put different disciplines on investors and company managers as well as encouraging all of us to rethink our values and our life strategies.

Each presentation is tailored to the interests of the audience. Thus for the property industry particular attention is devoted to the impact on economic growth of populations ageing at different rates, at the different demands that technological change will place on physical structures (the office as a club, the home as a factory, etc) and the implications of a world of low interest rates and zero inflation. But it also tries more generally to explain the big changes taking place elsewhere in the world and so reaches beyond just the property market. It is sensitive to national differences of culture and taste and seeks to give a world view, rather than an Anglo-Celtic or London one.

This presentation brings out the way in which the changes we know are likely to take place will affect the audience, and how they should plan to meet these challenges. It also looks at the areas where change is so rapid and/or so uncertain that the best strategy is to plan to be nimble, so that when the unexpected happens people are ready to take advantage of the favorable changes – and duck the less favorable ones!

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 Recent Publications

An engaging and entertaining speaker, credible and authoritative.


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