The world as we know it is now undergoing a massive change, driven by a set of transformational forces known as megatrends. By examining how these megatrends are currently evolving —from population ageing across the globe and climate change to globalisation and technological disruption— we can anticipate there will be dramatic changes over the next decades.

Megatrends are large-scale and long-lasting transformative patterns of change that have a fundamental impact upon the planet and its inhabitants.

As we move into an increasingly connected and fast-track globalised society, the world becomes uncertain and unpredictable. However, if we scrutinize the complex dynamics of global megatrends, we will be able to broadly infer the world of tomorrow. Mapping the future is a risky undertaking but doing nothing is even riskier.

Urbanization in China

Satellite images showing the urbanization of Pearl River Delta in China. Credit: USGS.

Undeniably, the twenty first has emerged as the era of hyperglobalisation, which can be seen not only as an era of prosperity and welfare but also as an era of global crises in which human survival could be threatened at all levels. In order to understand this context, it is crucial to identify and analyze the global megatrends that will be shaping the world over the next decades.