What are megatrends and how they are shaping the future of business

Our focus is grounded in the global megatrends whose influence will have an enormous impact over the world we live in and a tremendous influence on the future of business.

Megatrends, according to the term’s founder, John Naisbitt, are large, transformative processes with ‘global reach, broad scope, and a fundamental and dramatic impact’. Indeed, Stefan Hajkowicz, the author of a recent CSIRO report on megatrends, says many of these megatrends are poised to ‘throw companies, individuals and societies into freefall’. Megatrends are interlinked and involve a significant shift in environmental, societal and economic conditions.

We have identified six megatrends which we believe encapsulate the patterns of transformative change underway: impactful technology, evolving communities, rapid urbanisation, empowering individuals, economic power shift and resource security.

We use megatrends to identify and start important conversations, beginning with the megatrends and then seeking to uncover, understand and shape their concrete manifestations as they impact individuals, organisations, industries and markets.

In the video above, Sydney Business Insights director, Sandra Peter is joined by the University of Sydney Business School Dean, Gregory Whitwell, to introduce these megatrends and why understanding their impact matters for the future of business.

Megatrends – impactful technology. 90% world data created in the last 2 years. 1 trillion objects connected by 2022. In 2017 top ranked GO player was beaten by AI 100:0. 90% of stock trades now created by algorithms
Megatrends – evolving communities. World population, billions: 7.6 in 2018, 10.0 in 2050. Millennials: the largest generation in history. Africa and Asia will emerge as the growth generation sources. World population age 65+: 8% in 2018, 13% in 2030.
Megatrends – rapid urbanisation. 60% of global GDP created by 750 largest cities in 2015. 1.5 million people join cities per week. Percentage of world population living in cities by year: 1800 (2%), 2015 (54%), 2030 (66%).
Megatrends – empowering individuals. 22 trillion: value of socially responsible investments made in 2016. Percentage of connected individuals: 2000 (7%), 2018 (66%). Always ON, anywhere, predictive, personalised. Growth in experiential consumption.
Megatrends – economic power shit. 80% – global middle class in developing regions by 2030. 75% faster growth in emerging economics than developed. Emerging economics as percentage of total world economies: 2015 (33%), 2025 (50%). E7 economics will be double the size of the G7 by 2040.
Megatrends – resource security. By 2050, seafood collapse. 59% increase in global food production needed by 2050. Life critical phosphorous peak by 2050. Clean energy materials at critical levels. #1 risk globally identified by WEF is the water crisis.