Bold leadership will steer us into the future

By Martin Doble | December 2, 2021

The world in 1955, when Hatch was founded, was a very different place than it is today. The past sixty-five years have brought tremendous shifts to our way of life, especially for those in the developed world. We have grown used to a comfortable way of living that’s defined by easy access to energy, clean drinking water, global communication, and so many other resources. The world has globalized and for many that means almost anything is at our fingertips. Today’s pace of life and development would be inconceivable to past generations. Since the Industrial Revolution, our global economy has grown on the back of carbon energy and plentiful, easily accessed natural resources. These have allowed us to unlock human inventiveness in new ways; technology is arterial in our world today. But we know that this way of life is not sustainable forever. Resources are becoming increasingly limited, climate change is obliging us to transform how we power the world, and both are going to require us to become radically more efficient.

In parallel with this, the global population has grown significantly in the last sixty-five years and much of that population has moved to urban centers, creating new needs for logistics, housing, and key services such as health care and education. More than half of the world’s population now live in cities and towns, compared to just over a third in 1955. That figure is expected to grow to two-thirds by 2050.1 With this growth comes inevitable change. We are becoming highly specialized, our economies are becoming more sophisticated and service-oriented, and jobs look very different than they once did. That is driving communities to be shaped in new ways.

Tackling the challenges of the future will require bold solutions that are innovative and challenge the status quo. —Martin Doble.

In addition to the cycles of change that we’ve witnessed throughout human history, about once every generation we have disruptors that alter the way we think about our societal norms and expectations, and about how we live as a world. This generation has two in particular: climate change and, more recently, a global pandemic. The long-term impacts of global crises aren’t always immediately known. Arguably, however, they give the world a pause and challenge us to look again at our values and our expectations. They make us rethink the very basics of how our societies function and how we balance and manage risk with our need to build communities, to consume, and to have freedoms and basic rights. They also beg the question: how well prepared are we for other risks, such as climate change?

The future is now

A new and different era of progress is upon us. Climate change and limited resources are driving us to invest in new ways. The path to growth is less clear. Investors are being driven by the need to perform against increasingly complex expectations. Countries, cities, communities, and businesses need to be more sustainable. The timescale for meeting such challenges now looks much closer. We need to be smarter, serve our communities better, and build for the future with our people, our planet, and effective investment in mind. The good news is that we have the potential.

A positive future requires positive change. Hatch’s mission is to help our clients design, build, and operate major assets in our industries and communities. The good news is we certainly see game-changing efficiencies already being implemented to make these assets fit the future that the world aspires to. Technology—physical, digital, and beyond‒is transforming the ways we imagine and build assets and infrastructure.

But this requires bold leadership. Communities, industries, engineers, and advisors will need to come together and demonstrate the leadership that’s required to build the world we want and can sustain. Tackling the challenges of the future will require solutions that are bold, innovative, and challenge the status quo.

In partnership with our clients, Hatch has led key advancements that have been transformative in our industries. We’ve developed and implemented innovations in the minerals sector, taking the industry on a journey to safety, productivity, efficiency, and now growing sustainability. Together, we’ve worked to diversify energy sources, from hydro-electric to wind and solar systems, making them commercially viable around the world at different scales. We have innovated and together led the use of alternative delivery methods for major infrastructure and transportation projects around the world, helping to build systems for the cities and industries of tomorrow.

We are in an era of global transition. Our world needs leaders, visionaries, and realists to create practical solutions that will bring a sustainable and resilient future to meet the aspirations of humankind. At Hatch, we are determined and committed to bring our leadership, ingenuity, energy, and strong values to work to achieve positive change together.

1 “Which cities have grown the most since 1955?”, World Economic Forum, accessed November 2020, LINK