What will Wales be like in 2020?

ProjectsApril 20th, 2015

The last five years have seen dramatic shifts in Wales’s economic, social, environmental and constitutional landscape, and the next five years promises that the pace of change will continue.

Understanding the scale, impact and interconnectedness of the changes, and thinking about how organisations can respond, is at the core of this innovative and exciting project.

This project identified and drew together independent forecasts and projections of how Wales might change over the next five years.  It involved:

  • a rapid evidence review of existing forecasts, outlooks and scenarios to 2020;
  • engagement with stakeholders to consider the implications for their organisation, services and clients;
  • publication of the findings in a final report.

Project start: April 2015     Project end: March 2016

Key outputs


The Shape of Wales to Come: Wales’ economy, environment and society in 2020

The final report of the project summarises the evidence on how Wales is changing and sets out our conclusions.

Get your copy on the publications page


Short articles on the project were published:


Informing the public BBC Wales (1)

The project reached a very large number of people, helping to ensure that they are informed about the challenges Wales faces.

Extensive media coverage on all the main media channels meant that we reached as many as half of all adults in Wales. We were featured on BBC Wales Today, which reaches 53% of adults in Wales[1], and the project also had two items on BBC Wales online which is typically accessed by approximately 3.5m devices.[2]   We were, in addition, featured on ITV Wales early evening news and website, with an audience of around 100,000.

The project was covered by the Western Mail over several days, with a feature article and then with an article by the paper’s business editor, Sion Barry, and columnist Dylan Jones Evans – circulation of the print copy of the Western Mail is approx. 18,000.[3]  The articles were also featured in WalesOnline, which has approx. 343,000 daily browsers[4]  There were articles in regional media such as the Daily Post and South Wales Argus.

Our website received 3,700 page views in the week following the launch of the report and our top two tweets in September had more than 3,000 impressions.

Changing Policy and Practice

We reached and shaped the thinking of hundreds of decision makers through presentations to a wide range of professionals including:

  • Workshop Leader at the board of Shelter Cymru’s strategic planning day, 2nd October 2015
  • Keynote speech at Community Housing Cymru annual conference, 9th October 2015
  • Keynote speech at National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education ‘Employability Summit’, 3rd November 2015
  • Opening address at National Energy Action Cymru annual conference, 10th February 2016.

We were  invited to contribute articles to other organisations’ publications including:

Across Wales, the project has been quoted by politicians such as Mark Isherwood AM and Suzy Davies AM, by keynote speakers such as Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts at the Wales Public Leaders’ Summit on 5th November 2015, and by independent bloggers.

The report has also helped to shape the policies and strategies of many organisations, including Colegau Cymru,[5] and Shelter Cymru.

Although the project has formally ended its findings are continuing to shape thinking, policy and strategy.


[1] BBC Trust (2015) Annual Report 2014-15 http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/who_we_are/audience_councils/wales/wales_annual_review/wales_annual_review_2014_15.html

[2] BBC Trust (2015) Annual Report 2014-15 http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/who_we_are/audience_councils/wales/wales_annual_review/wales_annual_review_2014_15.html

[3] Press Gazette UK Daily Print Sales Down  26th August 2015, http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/uk-regional-daily-print-sales-down-102-cent-birmingham-mail-loses-quarter-sales-year-year

[4] Press Gazette Newspaper Website ABCs, 18th March 2016 http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/newspaper-website-abcs-wales-online-fastest-grower-sun-starting-catch-mail-online-levels-out

[5] Colegau Cymru (2016) Skills for a Prosperous Nation – Manifesto for the 2016 Assembly election.


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