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A “megatrend” is a large-scale pattern or movement that has a major, long-lasting impact on business and society.
Examining Megatrends to interpret global intricacies has a long history that goes back to mythology. Megatrend was not a term used before 1982; John Naisbitt came up with the term in his 1982 book by the same name. Modern times have seen experts such as the Tofflers, Naisbitt, and Drucker trying to decipher change in large-scale trends.
PwC began a research project on Megatrends and their effects for companies and government leaders in 2013. PwC’s goals in the 2013 research were to understand society’s innate inquisitiveness about external factors, to expand and extend the consequent conversation; and to convert the overall understanding of Megatrends into a more functional framework that businesses could apply to pursue prospects and mitigate risks.
This research on Megatrends assisted PwC to come up with a framework that had the following 5 fundamental constituents:
- Demographic and Social Change
- Shifts in Global Economic Power
- Rapid Urbanization
- Climate Change and Resource Scarcity
- Technological Breakthroughs
The Megatrends Framework can aid any private or public sector leader contemplate multifaceted outside shifts more lucidly, and can assist in evolving a well-organized, practical, and pre-emptive Strategy for tackling these changes.
Let us dig a little deeper into the 5 historical recurrences still operational globally, that have affected almost every facet of the world’s economic and social structure.
Demographic and Social Change
Blend of longer life expectancy, falling birthrates in several regions of the globe, and unparalleled amounts of human migration, along with a steady rise in status of women and more ethnic and social diversity in quite a few countries, is the 1st pattern.
Shifts in Global Economic Power
Mainly, rapid wealth creation in emerging economies compared to industrialized nations has resulted in big changes in consumption patterns and a rebalancing of global relations.
Enormous growth of cities across the globe, via a mix of migration and childbirth, has had tremendous effects on quality of life and culture, particularly in terms of land use, infrastructure, traffic, and employment.
Climate Change and Resource Scarcity
Rising needs such as food, water, and energy, in a limited planet with finite resources and even less room for carbon dioxide and a vast array of other effluents.
Alteration of business and day-to-day life owing to development and use of latest types of digitally empowered Innovations in areas like Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Nanotechnology, Fabrication (including 3D Printing), and Biotechnology.
All the Megatrends mentioned have occurred to a certain degree and there is an unnoticeable interaction between these trends.
It is not a matter of the Megatrends coinciding, rather of them colliding, resulting in unsettling or transformative shifts undulating out into almost every industry around the world. Collision of Megatrends will take place in some shape, but the specifics are every so often unclear.
It is not possible to envisage precisely how 2 Megatrends will interact. But it is definite that the collisions will take everyone beyond a point, to a world that will be quite distinct from the present-day.
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About Mark BridgesMark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.
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