A ‘Megatrend’ is a change in our world that is so massive that it defies human intervention.

A Megatrend’s impact is unprecedented in magnitude.

Megatrends are global and sustained.

Megatrends include macro-economic forces that impact business, economy, society, cultures and personal lives, defining our future world. Megatrends transcend geopolitical and physical boundaries.

Megatrends include:

  • Global Warming and climate change;
  • Human longevity and associated health and care challenges;
  • Scarcity of vital resources such as food, water, and land;
  • Global population growth;
  • Urbanisation;
  • Digitisation and robotics;
  • Artificial Intelligence;
  • Shifts in geopolitical power; and,
  • Global Pandemics.

Together, these massive influences are changing our business operating environment and our children’s futures. They are making for a harsh, brutal reality that previously would have been considered fundamentally incompatible with sustained human prosperity and well-being.

How will your organisation exist in this harsh, new environment?

One thing we do know, is that we cannot solve today’s problems with the tools and thinking that created them in the 20th Century.

For us to even begin to address the megatrends facing us in the 21st Century we need to employ fundamentally disruptive approaches. This is where Millennials (digital natives) may hold the key. It is instinctive for this generation to use empirical data and sophisticated algorithms to assess situations, decisions, challenges, and choices. They have unprecedented access to data, intelligence, and applied knowledge their parents would probably not have dreamt of.

If we are to stand a chance of surviving 21st Century Megatrends such as population growth, climate change and global warming, food and potable water scarcity, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, we need disruptive approaches that depart fundamentally from the ways of the past.

We need the kind of problem-solving that is born out of “integrated thinking” which is the natural ally of Integrated Reporting, and is enhanced by taking “time to think.”

By employing these approaches in the boardroom, and across the thought-engines of government, start-ups, and corporates alike, we may find the beginnings of a new ‘informed optimism’ as we look towards accommodating 9 or 10 billion souls on our tiny planet.