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Foreword

Welcome to Journey 2026, the Atos Scientific Community’s perspective on technology driven trends that are expected to shape the evolving world of business and society. It provides a possible vision of the future and highlights some of the challenges and opportunities that could emerge along the way.

We feel such vision is more than ever needed in the context where the pandemic has driven huge changes across all areas of business and considerably accelerated the rise of the data economy.

Much of the current rhetoric coming from the world’s leaders indeed refers to the fact that we are living in a time of profound change. The challenges relating to climate change, global pandemics, globalization of the economy and sovereignty all demand a new approach – and we are all having to learn quickly to respond. Failure to think differently and act differently could have lasting and destructive consequences. However, historically there has been a tendency for us to be constrained by so-called conventional wisdom – even with the adoption of new technologies, and especially in the areas of business models, value, and ethics.

We believe we have a good understanding of the world in which we live, but the reality is that much of the natural world remains unexplored and unknown, including ocean depths, outer space, 90% of our brains and 80% of the data we produce. As we look to wrestle with the grand challenges of our time, most of which are bound by our physical world and the continual stresses that we are applying to it, do we need to start exploring technology-enabled virtual dimensions for future growth opportunities? Digital has been hugely transformative in what we have been able to achieve so far, but to continue to realize benefits for our finite world, do we have to break free from some of its physical boundaries?

Atos Scientific Community proposes that “Unlocking virtual dimensions” offers the potential for new ways of relating, conducting business and even being. The research and thought leadership contained within Journey 2026 explores the ways in which the current boundaries of our physical world are being stretched, and how we need to appropriately deal with the societal, ethical, and economic consequences of breaking through into new virtual ways of operating. It will, we are sure, help stimulate your thinking as to what different technology-led approaches are opening up for businesses, governments and societal groups to maintain relevance and thrive in times of profound change.

Atos Scientific Community Editorial Board

Journey 2026

Journey 2026 – Unlocking virtual dimensions considers the potential of new virtual ways to relate, conduct business and even exist. It will challenge business leaders to pursue virtual opportunities, and to understand and manage very real societal, ethical and economic risks that accompany the potential rewards.

Download the report