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“Anticipation in the face of change” is the motto we adopted in our company 11 years ago. We believe that anticipating changes that may directly or indirectly affect your organization’s outlook is a competitive advantage.

When we talk about the future, it is important to emphasize that there is not only one possible future, but plural futures. There are a range of possible, plausible and preferable scenarios, each with its own implications and consequences, making it difficult to predict the true trajectory of the present.

In the practice of strategic foresight and the generation of future scenarios, it is advisable to develop contingency plans to prepare for any circumstance. However, not all aspects of the future are equally unpredictable. There are relatively stable and partly predictable forces that will have a minor or major impact on our future. These are recognized as “megatrends”, major changes that operate globally and have a long-term impact on multiple local sectors.

Origin of the term

The term was first coined in 1982 by futurist John Naisbitt, when he published the book “Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives,” in connection with the publications of military strategist and futurist Herman Kahn in the 1970s.

Kahn spent more than a decade studying hypothetical war scenarios to improve wartime preparedness. Kahn is also credited with the creation of the Hudson Institute, a think tank recognized for using scenario planning to forecast future trends and developments. From his legacy, futurist Naisbitt developed the concept of megatrends, stating that “Trends are like horses: it is easier to ride in the direction they are already going.”

Characteristics of megatrends

We know that megatrends are those changes that will have a major impact on the future of societies around the world in the coming decades. Being aware of the megatrends that are shaping the global landscape is more than a competitive advantage; it is a necessity. They require ways of thinking and acting that are totally different from what we are used to.

In an age of uncertainty, where the future can seem unpredictable and even frightening, citizen and individual attention is often focused on the latest news, on the present. But building a stable and sustainable future requires a deep and comprehensive understanding of the long-term outlook. The essential role of megatrends is, therefore, to remind us of the existence of those phenomena that surround us and that, starting from a global level, will impact our individual realities in the long term.

Furthermore, as the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies states in its publication “Global megatrends“, due to their enormous scale and impact, megatrends are often interconnected and have a duration of at least 10-15 years. The interaction between them makes them particularly difficult to address, as each megatrend is exacerbating the societal challenges facing the world, in tandem with other global changes. As a result, a complex and dynamic environment is emerging that requires proactive and collaborative strategies to address emerging challenges.

Megatrends Collection

Examples of current megatrends include technological development, population aging, globalization and the resulting interconnectedness, the growing importance of sustainability and digital security, among others. In this series of articles entitled “Megatrends,” we will explore some of these phenomena and discuss how companies can prepare to meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities they present.

Throughout this series, we will take an in-depth look at how these megatrends have already changed and will continue to change the business world, each raising existential questions and redesigning the way we face the present and the future. If we do not explore and analyze these possible future developments, we will face these problems later, in the midst of the crisis. Megatrends are changes we cannot afford to ignore.

Megatrends

#00 Introduction: impossible to ignore
#01 Aging population
#02 The rise of digital security in the age of technology
#03 Urbanization: A new model of smart and sustainable cities
#04 Globalization
#05 Digitalization
#06 Scarcity of natural resources; the race to Net Zero #07 AI revolution
#07 The AI revolution
#08 Population growth
#09 The importance of health
#10 The service economy
#11 Connectivity
#12 Transportation
#13 Industry 5.0

 

Megatrends

  • Naisbitt, J. (1982). Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives. Google Libros.
  • CIFS. The Eccentric World of Herman Kahn. Farsight (cifs.dk).
  • Instituto Hudson. History & Values | Hudson.
  • New York Times. John Naisbitt, Business Guru and Author of ‘Megatrends,’ Dies at 92.
  • Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies (cifs.dk).
  • Global megatrends – CIFS. CIFS_Scenario_Report_Global_Megatrends.pdf.
  • Forbes. The Mega Trends That Will Shape Our Future World.
  • Fundación Innovación Bankinter. Megatrends 2024.
  • PwC. Megatrends 2022.
  • World Economic Forum. These 5 megatrends will shape the future of the Gulf and beyond.
  • Siemens. Siemens-Megatrends-2023-Report.pdf.
  • Ceplan. 4985383-ceplan-megatendencias-al-2050.pdf.