Tracey Keys

Tracey is a Director of Strategy Dynamics Global SA. She has over twenty years of experience as a consultant and executive, focused on complex strategy and organisational issues, and has worked with leading companies globally. Prior to founding Strategy Dynamics Global SA, Tracey worked with senior executives at IMD, and has held senior roles at the BBC, Booz &Co., Deloitte & Touche and Braxton Associates, as well as being an active advisor to a number of start-ups. Tracey is a Fulbright Scholar and holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania where she was distinguished as a Palmer Scholar.

GT Briefing April 2014: A new world of hubonomics and smart megacities


April 2014: Global mass markets are giving way to millions of niche markets of consumers demanding local customization if not personalization. As production and consumption become more distributed, hubs will characterize the next wave of “globalization.” They will specialize to support the needs of growing regional trade, emerging city states, on-line communities of choice, and the next generation of flexible workers and entrepreneurs.

Think of hubs as vibrant centers of knowledge, art, science, politics, technology, religion, skills, exploration, and economic growth that lead the development of the hinterland around them. Around for millennia, from Ancient Egypt to Renaissance Italy, they were typically few and far between. Over recent centuries, transport, communications and scientific advances have allowed companies and governments to harness and distribute the learning, talent, and advances from these hubs much more broadly. Yet the need for scale has meant that many hubs have operated at a global or national level.

Now the redistribution of production and consumption means that many more hubs are springing up, within regions, cities and communities. It’s an increasingly multipolar world in terms of economic growth and geopolitical power, with the rise of the BRICS and beyond. Separatist movements are trying to create their own hubs based on ethnicity, culture and religion, from Spain to India. Multiple megacities are growing in many countries – some even aspiring to be city-states.R&D hubs are sprouting globally, moving closer to the needs of different markets. Silicon Valley has many new rivals worldwide for being the preeminent hub of internet technology. Entrepreneurs have their own hubs to work from while communities of choice are building hubs virtually.

This is a time when the tensions of globalization and fragmentation are being felt. But it’s not globalization in reverse. Underpinning the rise of these hubs are global knowledge networks and the increasing mobility around the world of assets, people and capital. The challenge for businesses, governments and communities is developing new business and governance models based on hubonomics™, that leverage global assets and hub strengths to deliver local value.

GT Briefing March 2014: Panic versus denial: The resource gap grows, the global risks rise – but who is listening?


March 2014: The complex nexus of food, water, energy and climate change presents huge global economic, environmental and societal challenges – heating up the battle to access new resources from the Arctic to fracking. Risks are growing, even as multilateral action stalls.

Today we are using around 50% more renewable resources and land than the planet can generate. By 2030 the annual rate will be 2 times, and by 2050 we will need the equivalent of 2.8 planets, as the population increases along with per capita consumption. Clearly such consumption is not sustainable. These resource challenges are significantly impacted by climatic shifts, with the latest 5th IPCC report on climate change reiterating the risks of continued shifts, including the impact of sea level rises, extreme weather events, and ocean degradation. Meanwhile, the Arctic is rapidly becoming a new battleground for securing natural resources, from oil and gas to minerals, diamonds and fish.

The imperative is not only to do more with less and eliminate waste but to rethink usage, reducing consumption and developing self-sustaining systems that reuse resources effectively, harnessing new technologies and approaches from urban farming to algae-based biofuels. The challenge is that if we do not act, the potential for resource conflicts between countries, organizations and communities will rise.

Yet as resource gaps grow and risks increase – the focus of this briefing – the world seems locked into a vicious cycle of debate and inaction. Media debates around partisan interests obfuscate scientific realities, even as multilateral action remains stalled on critical issues, whether climate agreements or solving the paradox of the hungry and the obese.

It’s a crisis of morals, governance, and above all marketing and media, pitting crisis deniers, often with vested interests in the status quo, against those who recognize the threats but are communicating panic versus reasoned solutions. Expect more debate and calls for responsible capitalism – those that are listening will be taking action at multiple levels in society and business.

GT Briefing February 2014: Sci-Fi – Making the impossible possible


February 2014: Cross-disciplinary approaches and visionary entrepreneurs are driving scientific breakthroughs that could change not just our lives and work but our bodies and intelligence. Labs worldwide are opening up the vast possibilities of mind control and artificial intelligence, shape-shifting materials and self-organizing nanobots, cyborgs and enhanced humans, space exploration, and high-speed, intelligent transportation. These advances are no longer the realm of science fiction but moving rapidly towards commercialization and application, not in the distant future, but in many cases much sooner. Science is making what we thought was impossible, possible.

Neuroscience advances offer the possibilities of thought-controlled objects, and potentially other creatures, even as they offer greater potential to influence behaviors, decision-making, and illnesses. Taking control of minds and machines a step further, human-machine interfaces that could drive enhanced abilities are making rapid advances, whether offering soldiers superhuman strength or managing patients’ health in real time. Wearable technology such as smartwatches, Google Glass, and health monitoring systems are already available – the next step will be taking them inside the body. Technologies such as 3D printing offer other possible body benefits, as soon you may be able to print a replacement for a missing or damaged body part.

Scientific advances will impact many aspects of our lives, for example getting around. Intelligent personal transportation could remove the “middle man,” i.e. drivers, allowing cars to drive themselves or take over to avoid accidents – and could be on the roads in the near future. A little further away is the high speed transportation envisioned by the Hyperloop along with low-cost (relatively) space tourism/travel.

Smart materials and production techniques will revolutionize production and consumption. From graphene and erbium to upsalite and martensite crystals, new materials are offering the potential for products that are lighter, stronger, and more energy and resource efficient.

It’s an exciting age of scientific invention, although The Economist notes the speed of advances needs to be tempered by scientific discipline and challenge. Applications are limited only by imagination. Expect great debate around the ethics, financing, and distribution of public and private benefits of these advances – and the challenge of translating breakthroughs into replicable benefits.