The term “global megatrend“ appears in the media with ever-increasing frequency. It has become the current buzzword for a trend, or for changing conditions. The Oxford Dictionary defines a megatrend as, “an important shift in the progress of a society or of any other particular field or activity; any major movement.” A megatrend is not simply a significant trend. It is a global transformative force changing the entire world. A megatrend affects everything: labor, assets and infrastructure, systems and processes, the structure of organizations and political institutions, political stability, and even human existence. Over the past 25 years, numerous books have been written on the subject of global megatrends, some of them general in nature, some industry-specific, and some focused on particular regions of the world.
This book discusses six megatrends: climate change, the global economic shift from West to East, increasing urbanization, demographic changes, technological innovation, and global connectedness. Each of these megatrends also involves various sub-trends. For example, the economic power shift to the East includes sub-trends such as political factors, GDP and investment changes, shifting purchasing power, and changing trade dynamics.
Each megatrend creates a challenge for political and business leaders. Identifying the potential impact of a megatrend and preparing an organization, an industry, or even a country to respond effectively is difficult—so difficult that in many cases, the challenge is being ignored. The situation is significantly more complicated because all the megatrends are in play simultaneously.