Harvard Business Review takes a look at which societies are looking at the future.

There is a strong correlation with future-oriented societies, competitiveness and optimism. Singapore is the most future oriented and Russia is the least.

A country that plans for the future is more likely to engage in delayed gratification. Individuals invest for the long-term.

Even more important, however, is our further finding that the greater a society’s future orientation, the higher its average GDP per capita and its levels of innovativeness, happiness, confidence, and (as the chart shows) competitiveness.

Is competitiveness the way to reach a better future? It seems so. The more optimistic a culture is about the future, the more economically competitive they become. The two factors seem correlated.

Singapore, Canada, US, the Netherlands and others are highly competitive and future-oriented. Russia and Venezuela rank at the bottom of the chart. German, S. Korea, Taiwan and Ireland are at the center.

This is interesting:

“What’s more, most people feel their cultures aren’t as forward thinking as they should be.”