We live in an increasingly dynamic and interconnected world. Conflicts in the Middle East are causing demographic shifts in Europe, e-waste from the West is being recycled in Africa and emissions from China are affecting air quality in the US. These are just a few examples of how megatrends are shaping today’s world.
But what are megatrends? Ernst and Young defines them as “large, transformative global forces that define the future by having far-reaching impacts on businesses, economies, industries, societies and individuals.” It’s a broad yet apt definition with a very clear message: Megatrends are powerful phenomena impacting the foundations of our world that will be pivotal in shaping its future.
Some of the most commonly cited megatrends include climate change, population growth, resource depletion and urbanisation. It’s important to note that each megatrend encapsulates smaller trends, significant in their own right. Take population growth, for example: This megatrend covers everything from increasing life expectancy to food scarcity. Furthermore, megatrends are often interconnected, such as urbanisation and climate change — more cities means more manufacturing, which will release more emissions into the atmosphere, which will impact climate change.
Put simply, megatrends are complicated and extremely important.