2017 update: Top 8 global megatrends

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Megatrends are strong global forces affecting everything and all life on our planet. By viewing the world from a distance and over several centuries, there are 8 global forces of change that stand out. They are: Population boom; Rapid urbanization; Ferocious consumption; Technology rush; Digital transformation; Global connectedness; Environmental degradation and Wealth inequality.

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2017 update: Top 8 global megatrends

  1. MEGATRENDS ByAndersLindgren Discover the tidal waves of change shaping our present and future lives TOP8GLOBAL
  2. The trends that break all other trends MEGATRENDS are strong global forces affecting everything and all life on our planet. By viewing the world from a distance and over several centuries, there are 3 revolutionary turning points and 8 global forces of change that stand out and break all other trends. By understanding these deep founded grass root trends and the forces that have shaped the society we have today, it is also easier to predict the future. Especially if we understand how the different forces interact. Our population boom, rapid urbanization, consumption patterns, manufacturing methods and technology craze are all inextricably linked. Anders Lindgren, Futurist, PR-veteran, Digital Pioneer and Services Marketer In the same manner as ocean waves can amplify one another, the 8 megatrends are gaining in magnitude and influence, as they interact with one another. Together, they are producing the greatest changes the world has ever seen. Opposing forces and counter cyclical trends will surely arise. They tend to balance things out and are as natural as life itself. They too, are easier to spot when we have a good grasp of the waves of change shaping our past, present and future lives.
  3. The world is COMPLEX
  4. To understand the CHAOS
  5. Simply observe the CHANGE
  6. From AFAR
  7. And over 100 years of ups and downs in the American stock market Source: Robert Schiller, professor of economics at Yale University 800 1600 400 0 2000 1200 (S&P Index adjusted for inflation) TIME
  8. You’ll discover the mighty megatrends HIDDEN behind all the turmoil and change…
  9. The megatrends impact all life and They are macroeconomic forces, spanning hundreds of years and backed by verifiable data EVERYONE They are undeniable in their magnitude
  10. Population boom Global connectedness Wealth inequality Technology rush Rapid urbanization Ferocious consumption Digital transformation Environmental degradation 8 mighty MEGATRENDS stand out 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  11. 1 2 3 Three revolutionary TURNING POINTS The Agricultural Revolution (16th and 17th Century) The Industrial Revolution (18th Century) The Digital Revolution (20th and 21st Century) stand out
  12. Let’s go way, way BACK IN TIME
  13. Once UPON A TIME...
  14. Life was SIMPLE...
  15. Humans HUNTED...
  16. GATHERED food…
  17. FOUGHT disasters and diseases
  18. 12,000 YEARS Life continued like that for
  19. 8000 BC AD 1 6000 BC 4000 BC 2000 BC 1700 10 000 BC 1 Then in the 17th century we reached a According to anthropologist it is the most significant change in our way of thinking and living TURNING POINT
  20. Two behavioral shifts ignited A MONUMENTAL CHANGE We understood the vital importance of personal HYGIENE It vastly improved our living conditions We started farming food crops and animals for NUTRITION
  21. Historians call it the Dawn of Civilization The AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION started
  22. Life on Earth EXPLODED! In both good ways and bad ways
  23. Population boom Global connectedness Wealth inequality Technology rush Rapid urbanization Ferocious consumption Digital transformation Environmental degradation Let’s look at the 1st MEGATREND 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  24. POPULATION 1 boom
  25. Key challenge The boom will be our doom if we don't change our ways, predict experts.
  26. 300 millions We have grown from 1 billion people to 8000 BC AD 1 6000 BC 4000 BC 2000 BC 1700 1800 The Agricultural revolution 1 billion 5 millions in just 200 years! 2000 7 billions YEAR 2016 9 billions YEAR 20507 BILLION
  27. The strongest growth will be seen in AFRICA It’s population will double by 2050 while Europe’s is expected to shrink.
  28. The boom has TRIGGERED explosive growth in all areas Social Technical Creative
  29. 2 Shortly after the population boom started in 18th century A 2nd revolution happened
  30. The steam engine gave it power The industrial revolution came with full speed 1950 20001850 19001800 YEAR 2
  31. It fuelled rapid economic progress Growth in world Domestic Product Source: Angus Maddison 30 25 20 15 10 5 TRILLIONDOLLARS 0 1950 20001850 19001800 YEAR 2
  32. became more efficient MANUFACTURING
  33. FACTORIES shoot up like mushrooms
  34. Masses of WORKERS came searching for jobs
  35. It led to rapid growth of URBAN AREAS
  36. Population boom Global connectedness Wealth inequality Technology rush Rapid urbanization Ferocious consumption Digital transformation Environmental degradation That brings us to the 2nd MEGATREND 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  37. URBANIZATION Rapid 2
  38. Key challenge How will we live: In cities of dreams or urban nightmares?
  39. In 1800, only 3% of the world’s population lived in cities. Today it’s
  40. By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population WILL RESIDE IN CITIES Source: United Nations Population Division
  41. Apparently, we are compelled to crowd together in big cities
  42. Explosive growth of MEGACITIES 1970 Today 2030 30 today and counting: The number of megacities with > 10 million people is expected to grow to over 40 by 2030.
  43. Every year, 70 million people join the URBAN POPULATION Through a combination of migration and childbirth
  44. CLIMATE CHANGES and wars also force people to move Every year millions of refugees migrate to urban areas in search of a better life SOURCE: Synthesis Report, Climate Change, Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions
  45. No wonder, we see such rapid growth of URBAN AREAS
  46. Our cities are more DENSELY Inevitably, this is putting cities’social fabric and infrastructure under pressure populated than ever
  47. The cities are struggling TO KEEP UP With growing need for houses, transport, food, water, sanitation, care and education
  48. 1 BILLION The number is expected to rise, despite great efforts to counteract the problem people live in urban slums Source: UN-Habitat
  49. Air pollution is now the deadliest form and the fourth leading risk factor for premature deaths worldwide SOURCE: The Cost of Air Pollution 2016, the World Bank OF POLLUTION…
  50. Managing urban areas has become one of the most important development challenges of the 21st century.” – JOHN WILMOTH, Director of UN DESA’s Population Division
  51. trying to keep our cities livable for everyone We face TOUGH CHOICES…
  52. Quai Branly Museum. Photo courtesy http://www.verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com/ At the same time opportunities for SMART solutions abound
  53. Obviously, there is still plenty of space in RURAL AREAS Only 3% of Earth’s landmass is urbanized SOURCE: GRUMP
  54. Many urban people long back to the In everything from interior to personal development and housing we can see groups of people seeking back to their natural heritage and RURAL LIFE SOURCE: Jean Viard and Bertrand Hervieu COUNTRYSIDE
  55. SMARTER TRANSPORT and new digital advances makes rural development more feasible than ever
  56. Population boom Global connectedness Wealth inequality Technology rush Rapid urbanization Ferocious consumption Digital transformation Environmental degradation Now, let’s look at the 3rd MEGATREND 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  57. CONSUMPTION Ferocious 3
  58. Key challenge Our getting and spending culture seems to consume the time to nourish our bonds with family and nature.
  59. World production of goods and services has grown 240-fold 1500 $ 250BILLIONS* 2016 $ 60,000BILLIONS * In today’s dollars, World economy (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all final goods and services produced. Source: Angus Maddison and the World Bank
  60. For the privileged industrialized countries THE WORLD IS AWASH in material goods
  61. …have ABUNDANT choices … live longer … travel greater distances … love technology WE … play more … eat more
  62. The median size of today’s supermarket in the US are 46,000 square feet (6 x FOOTBALL FIELDS) Source: Food Marketing Institute choice of groceries ABUNDANT
  63. Average number of items in a US supermarket has grown from 15,000 in 1980 to 50,000 in 2014 Source: Food Marketing Institute ABUNDANT choice of groceries
  64. The size of a typical grocery store in the 1920’s was probably around 1,000 square feet Shopping has RADICALLY changed
  65. 1908 2016 ABUNDANT choice of cars
  66. Average number of channels per US home 1960 6 2014 189 ABUNDANT choice of TV channels Source: Nielsen
  67. We have become the greatest consumers in the history of life on earth IN SHORT:
  68. People in EMERGING Also want a richer material life and are swiftly adopting the western consumer culture like Brazil, China and India and Russia… economies
  69. India and China will be the new In 2020 the size of the middle class in Asia Pacific is expected to overtake Europe and America combined Source: World Bank BIG SPENDERS
  70. There is a PARADOX that puzzles experts
  71. The race for riches doesn’t seem to MAKE US HAPPIER
  72. The overwhelming abundance of Often causes choice overload CHOICE
  73. The getting and spending Seem to eat away the time to nourish family ties CULTURE
  74. A good feeling in the body and peace of mind! People are made happy by one thing and one thing only SOME CLAIM:
  75. The debate goes on…
  76. One thing is for SURE: Consumerism drives business growth
  77. Population boom Global connectedness Wealth inequality Technology rush Rapid urbanization Ferocious consumption Digital transformation Environmental degradation That leads us to the 4th MEGATREND 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  78. TECHNOLOGY rush 4
  79. Key challenge We can do incredible things with technology – does that mean we always should?
  80. Time to reach 150 million users, years Phone TV Cell phone iPod Facebook Internet Google Earth 89 38 14 7 5 4 2 Source: The Magazine Imaging Notes. See also Ray Kurzweil's book The Singularity is Near and The Economist Adoption of new technologies is ACCELERATING
  81. Number of patent filings in leading economies 800,000 600,000 400,000 0 200,000 Patents has grown to DIZZYING HEIGHTS Source: WIPO, China USA Japan EU
  82. There’s been a rush of new TECHNOLOGIES
  83. AGRI- technology
  84. ROBOTICS- technology
  85. ENERGY- technology
  86. BIO- technology
  87. NANO- technology
  88. COMMUNICATION- technology
  89. Two innovations has We invented the TRANSISTOR to help us use and send electronic signals It vastly improved our communication We invented WRITING and the PRINTING PRESS than anything else MEANT MORE
  90. Writing and printing has allowed us to CONQUER THE WORLD It's pure magic how we have used the written language to teach each other things, invent things and create great wonders.
  91. Writing is possible the most important single invention of the last few thousand years.” – JARED M. DIAMOND, professor, University of California, author of the Pulitzer book Guns, Germs, and Steel.
  92. The transistor and INTEGRATED CIRCUIT
  93. The rate of progress defies the The first transistor invented in 1947 could be held in your hand Today the worlds tiniest transistor is the size of a single molecule IMAGINATION
  94. Something else is TRANSFORMING our society…
  95. Our exploration of the DIGITAL UNIVERSE
  96. Population boom Global connectedness Wealth inequality Technology rush Rapid urbanization Ferocious consumption Digital transformation Environmental degradation That brings us to the 5th MEGATREND 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  97. DIGITAL transformation 5
  98. Key challenge Will the digital world make our lives more simple and convenient or more complicated and confusing?
  99. Welcome to the digital INFORMATION AGE
  100. It all started in the 70’s with a revolutionaryturningpoint THE DIGITAL REVOLUION
  101. All of a sudden, almost every aspect of life around the world is being recorded and stored in some digital information format. That's a real change in our human ecology.” – PETER LYMAN, (1940 – 2007) professor emeritus at UC Berkeley
  102. Size of circles indicate actual and expected amount of digitally stored information in the world. DID YOU KNOW? We live in an exploding digital universe. By the start of 2013, there were almost as many bits of data in our digital universe as there are known stars in the physical universe (4.4 zb). By 2020, the amount is expected to be 10x. Source: The EMC Digital Universe study 2013 2020 0,1 ZB 44 ZB4,4 ZB 2005
  103. By one calculation, we’ve created more information in the last 10 years than in all of human history before that.” – DANIEL LEVITIN, McGill University psychology professor, author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.
  104. All of this is more information than the brain is configured to handle.” – DANIEL LEVITIN, McGill University psychology professor, author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.
  105. Never have people had so much INFORMATION & CONTENT to choose from
  106. It has radically changed how buyers READ, SHOP and PROCESS information
  107. in 7 ways People are ADAPTING their lives
  108. 1. We have become digital animals 2. We try to avoid content overload 3. We want things to be easy 4. Everything should happen quickly 5. We seek help and guidance 6. We want to be seen and heard 7. We trust word of mouth
  109. There are only They read, buy and shop differently - so learn about their differences. 4 types of people say experts
  110. A stimulus sparks an interest that meets a need. People ask around and go online to find out more. People reevaluate the purchase and share their experiences. People decide to buy, join, sign up etc. People try demos and seek proof points to compare solutions. People use the product or service. Do what you can to understand every step of the CUSTOMERJOURNEY The better you do it, the easier it will be to do and say the right things in your communication customer handling
  111. This human quality will be a key to empathy noun | em·pa·thy | ˈem-pə-thē The ability to identify with the situation and emotions of other people. The capacity to understand what other beings are experiencing as if we were feeling it ourselves. SUCCESS
  112. The advances in digital communications ONLINE USAGE HAS SOARED is directly linked to the fact that
  113. LOG OFF It’s about turning off, shutting down and logging out from the digital world mini-boom Be alert to the IT’S CALLED DIGITAL DETOX! On the new digital free resorts, people are forced to ditch their smart devices as they check in
  114. Businesses have great OPPORTUNITIES To streamline their business and delivery model
  115. The smart ones utilize digital technologies To create a seamless buying process fit for our digital age
  116. DON’T BE FOOLED! There are many dangers lurking in the shadows of the digital jungle
  117. Today’s world is more interconnected than ever before. Yet, for all its advantages, increased connectivity brings increased risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. As people become more reliant on modern technology, we also become more vulnerable to cyberattacks.” – U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
  118. Population boom Global connectedness Wealth inequality Technology rush Rapid urbanization Ferocious consumption Digital transformation Environmental degradation That leads us to the 6th MEGATREND 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  119. GLOBAL connectedness 6
  120. Key challenge Human survival have always depended on our ability to work together as a team. Now, we are being forced to manage it on a global scale.
  121. Global trade has EXPLODED Source: Manfred Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford 2013 2010 $ 15,000BILLIONS 1947 $ 57BILLIONS*
  122. There’s been a surge in international CAPITAL FLOWS
  123. Nothing flows more freely than INFORMATION
  124. we can connect like never before With the WORLD WIDE WEB as platform… Map reveals every connected device in the world Source: John Matherly
  125. Through internet we have instant world wide reach
  126. In just 4 years time, between 20 and 30 billion things will be connected to the internet. In 1992 it was 1 million Source: Gartner, McKinsey of the world’s population is connected to internet today. In 1995 it was 1%. Source: Internet Live Stats 40% 25 billion
  127. ENGLISH has become a truly global language Source: Neil Reynolds, Spread the word 2016 2000MILLIONS Growth in English speakers and learners globally 1582 4MILLIONS
  128. When trade and information flows.. CULTURE FLOWS
  129. Labor also find more ways to cross BORDERS
  130. It means that things SPREAD faster than ever
  131. The good STUFF Democratization (voting right is key)
  132. The good STUFF Rise of democratization Number of nations scoring 8 or more on Polity IV scale, a measure of democracy Source: The Polity IV project 20 100 80 60 40
  133. But also the really BAD STUFF
  134. The market is more VOLATILE The ups and downs in American stock market Source: Robert Schller, professor of economics at Yale University 800 1600 400 0 2000 1200 (S&P Index adjusted for inflation)
  135. People are more VULNERABLE
  136. The networked world isn't just a little bigger, a little faster, and a little more complex. It is qualitatively different.” – JAMES CLEICK, author, reporter, and essayist
  137. Everyone & everything is inextricably LINKED
  138. We are especially linked to this BLUE BALL
  139. Population boom Global connectedness Wealth inequality Technology rush Rapid urbanization Ferocious consumption Digital transformation Environmental degradation That brings us to the 7th megatrend 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  140. ENVIRONMENTAL degradation 7
  141. Key challenge Did you know? We are eating away our own natural life support systems.
  142. As a species, we have much to be PROUD OF
  143. … built wonders of the world … landed on the moon We have … almost put a stop to wars … close to eliminated child mortality … tamed wild beasts
  144. Climbing and clawing our way to be the top rung of the food chain We have won the evolutionary ARMS RACE
  145. In fact, we have OVERRUN We have cut down forest, drained swamps, dammed rivers, flooded plains, laid railroads and built skyscraping megacities the planet
  146. Our colonization of the planet has been a disaster for plants and wildlife The bad news is that we DESTROY NATURE in the process
  147. Historical records makes Homo sapiens look like an ecological serial killer.” – YUVAL NOAH HARARI, professor of history, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of the international bestseller Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind.
  148. All the experts give us the same MESSAGE United Nations (IPCC), World Resources Institute, NASA, IUCN and WWF
  149. The scale of damage to the natural ecosystems that are vital to our lives IS ALARMING
  150. Up to 25% of the world’s food production may become lost due to environmental breakdown by 2050 unless action is taken.” – UNEP, (United Nations Environment Programme)
  151. More than 80% of the natural forests that once covered the Earth, have been destroyed.” – World Resource Institute, Global Forests Resources Assessment 2015
  152. Over the past few hundred years, humans have increased the species extinction rate by as much as 1,000 times over background rates typical over the planet’s history.” – World Resource Institute, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
  153. Population sizes of vertebrate species - mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish - have declined by 52 % the last 40 years.” – World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Living Planet Report 2014 Our planet has lost more than half of its creatures since 1970
  154. IN SHORT: and the terror of the ecosystem THE MASTER OF THE PLANET We have become
  155. It’s time to remember a fact that’s so obvious IT’S EASY TO FORGET
  156. THE FOOD you eat
  157. THE WATER you drink
  158. THE AIR you breathe
  159. THE FUEL you use
  160. THE TIMBER in your house
  161. THE FIBERS in your clothes
  162. Are all products of this living ECOSYSTEM
  163. So, let’s stop destroying NATURE Earth’s natural resources are the very foundation of our lives
  164. Population boom Global connectedness Wealth inequality Technology rush Rapid urbanization Ferocious consumption Digital transformation Environmental degradation That brings us to the 8th megatrend 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  165. inequality 8
  166. Key challenge Do we really want a society where a few have a lot and many have little?
  167. The good news: Total global wealth just US and Europa are the main drivers, but also emerging markets like Asia Pacific and China HIT A NEW RECORD New York City is ranked as the second richest city in the world after Tokyo
  168. In China and India, millions have risen out of poverty to join the working MIDDLE CLASS
  169. The bad news: The rich and poor gap is not only chronic, IT KEEPS WIDENING
  170. The top 1% wealthiest people now own 50% of all household wealth in the world THE RICHEST of the rich are getting richer SOURCE: Credit Suisse and Oxfam
  171. 2 billion people live on less than $3 a day SOURCE: World Bank TOO LITTLE Still, far too many are living with far
  172. 71% of the world’s population remain Living on $10 or less per day SOURCE: Pew Research Centre LOW INCOME OR POOR
  173. The problem with these kind of They are just numbers and hardly touch us STATISTICS 1%
  174. Hopefully this touches YOUR HEART And motives you to care and act
  175. Extreme unequal societies break with the DEMOCRATIC IDEAL They are neither stable nor sustainable in the long run Abraham Lincoln’s legendary definition of democracy: “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.”
  176. The world’s leading economists ties it all together for us
  177. Growing income inequality is the biggest risk the world may face within the next 10 years. It has already squeezed the middle class in both developed and emerging economies.” – World Economic Forum, The Global Risks Report 2014
  178. The top 1 per cent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: and understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 per cent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 per cent eventually do learn. Too late.” – Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the nobel price in economics
  179. How can we make it bright for all? THEFUTURE? What about
  180. The transformation starts in our mind To transform our future, we must understand and learn from the past. Looking back on the 12,000 year history of humankind, there has really been minor changes in our way of thinking that has ignited monumental changes. We understood the importance of having a language, cultivating food crops, keeping clean, utilizing technology and working together. These five small changes in our mindset started the greatest revolutions the world has ever seen. Perhaps another small change in our way of thinking will be enough to make life on earth better for everyone including animals and plants. It might be, that the discoveries made by modern physicists hold the key to the greatest transformation of all time. “The universe, including us, is made up of energy, not matter, and we are all connected”, the scientist say. What if they are right? Perhaps we only need to change our worldview, to discover that the essential character of life, is so much more than our physical bodies and the material world we see around us? Maybe we simply need to open our hearts and minds, to tune into the invisible and universal energy that connects us all? It could be, that when we start to get a sense of this underlying energy, we will naturally begin to honor ourselves and all other humans and life forms with the dignity they deserve. All the best wishes for a bright future. Regards,
  181. Recommended books
  182. About the author Hey, my name is Anders Lindgren. People who know me well, will label me as a content marketing specialist, digital pioneer, PR-veteran and futurist. I have two decades of experience as a marketing and communication director for some of the most renowned brands in the world, primarily PwC, AT&T and Sopra Steria. Today, I work as partner for PLOT, a market strategy consulting firm, based in Oslo, Norway. Throughout my career I have been passionate about understanding the world around us, sharing insights and helping people and brands communicate in a way that makes them shine.
  183. © 2016 Anders Lindgren. The information in this guide is copyrighted. Sharing and copying is permitted only if the information remains unchanged and licensee "Anders Lindgren" is referred to as the source. The information can not be published in print in any media without the prior consent of the copyright holder. Text , design and illustrations : Anders Lindgren Photos: © Adobe Stock, © Dreamstime Typefaces : Myriad Pro , Myriad Pro Black and FFAD Matro

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