August 07, 2015
10 trends that will dominate our future - all relatively slowly changing but with huge impact
Our future will be shaped by hundreds of trends which are changing relatively slowly and predictably. Here are ten of the most significant:
1) Fall of all technology and connectivity costs
40 year trend, which will continue for at least another 40 years, because of new discoveries, innovation, economies of scale and human need.
Take solar cells for example, which will continue to plunge in price. For some communities they are already the cheapest source of electric power, and by 2030 they will make most other ways of power generation look really last century.
2) Universal access to mobile web
There are already more mobile SIM cards in the world than human beings and in most nations of the world. Most web access and e-commerce is now via a mobile device.
And by 2030, trillions of items will be joined up online, sharing information in the greatest and most explosive phase of digital expansion.
3) 1 billion children alive in the world
Never again in human history will so many children be growing up at the same time. All will see your lifestyle in advertising or on TV or the web. All will aspire to middle class wealth, education, health care. Global population will peak at around 11 billion in 2060.
Those 1 billion children will all be adults in less than 18 years, and most will have children of their own in 25 years. Their views and lifestyles will dominate our planet for the next 50-80 years.
4) 85% of humankind living in emerging markets in 10 years
That’s almost everyone. So if you live in a developed nation, think some really radical thoughts about life in 2030. The only markets worth investing in for many industries, will be emerging markets.
The collective voice, opinions and lifestyle choices of those living in emerging markets will one day completely dominate our entire world. America and Europe will decline as global players.
5) Growth of middle class consumers in emerging markets
Over a billion new middle class consumers will be created in emerging markets during the next 30 years, as a result of better education and economic growth.
Countries like China and India will be transformed by growth of their own domestic markets – becoming much less dependent on exports of goods or services to developed nations like America or Japan.
6) Huge growth in life expectancy in most nations
The life expectancy of every person living in a city like London is getting longer by an average of one year in every four years. That’s without the miracles of medical technology, pharma and health care that we can expect in the next 50 years. Life expectancy is growing even faster in many of the poorest nations.
By 2040 we will know all the secrets of non-ageing animals – of which there are many types – and will be finding new ways to slow down ageing in wealthy humans.
7) Growth in global trade and corporate giants
Every year, trade between nations continues to grow rapidly, as our world continues to become more joined up as a single economic community. Expect huge consolidation and mergers in manufacturing, distribution and retail. Over 70% of all retail spending will be in less than 10 companies in many nations by 2040.
In 2050 there will still be only 2-3 major airline manufacturers, only 2-3 global mobile or computer operating systems, only 10 mega-sized pharma companies, less than 5 major groups of car manufacturers.
8) Increased automation – factories, cars, offices, homes
The Internet of Things, Cloud Computing and Big Data will all accelerate global automation of every aspect of human existence. This is an irresistible trend that has been accelerating for over 100 years.
Despite this, expect several billion more jobs to be created, mainly in service industries, as people look for ever more creative and personal ways to improve quality of life.
9) Tribalism feeding radical extremists and terrorism
Tribalism is the most powerful force on earth today. Every family is a tribe. Every community is a tribe. Every brand forms a tribe. Every large company is a tribe of tribes.
As a reaction to globalization and threats to local cultures, languages and ways of life, expect rapid growth of tribalism, localism, activism and terrorism. These forces will be fed by social media, and will undermine democracies and dictatorships.
10) Search for purpose, sustainability and spiritual meaning
Most people in the world say that they have spiritual beliefs which influence how they think, feel and live. As communities become wealthier, expect sharper focus on purpose, meaning, making a difference and spirituality. As part of this, expect intense focus on long term sustainability for our world.
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