When the going gets tough, the tough must get going – a plea for innovation and new thinking: Part 2

This article is more specifically meant to challenge the US brick industry in preparing for the future through a greater effort on innovation. But it can certainly give food for thought to most, if not to all, of the other brick markets in the world. The aim of this article is to show that even if the depressed construction industry in the USA eventually fully recovers and heads towards new boom years, so that bricks are again used in large quantities to build new houses and buildings, we must be very careful not to take this for granted and fall back into a routine. The ­future will only be what we work hard to define and shape.

3 A changing world

As we have seen with this rapid world tour, the fortunes of the clay product industry have been varied depending on each country and its specific parameters. But, the constant we see over the last 40 years is that the world is changing at a faster pace than at any time before and nowhere do we see a conquering clay product industry (with the possible exceptions of North Africa and Saudi Arabia but for very specific reasons). We see an industry resisting with various degrees of success, with each success directly linked to the amount of effort put in by that industry in that...

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